Epistles of Thomas

December 20, 2009

Esther 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 17:37
Tags: , , , , ,

The book of Esther is set in the time of the Persian Empire and begins with King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) throwing a party for all his nobles. While a little tipsy from all the wine the king requests that Queen Vashti appear “wearing her royal crown.” While not specific in the text it could be that she was expected to be wearing only her royal crown which would explain why she refused to appear in order to be ogled by the people and nobles (1:11f). As a consequence Xerxes ordered that a decree be issued to all the people “that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes” (1:19). She certainly got her wish and it sounds like all the wives of the realm got to chuckle at Xerxes’ expense.

A search was made for a new queen and a Jewish girl named Esther was chosen by Xerxes to be his new queen. No one knew her ethnic background, something which is very important to the story. Esther’s uncle and guardian, Mordecai, came to be despised by Haman, a royal official. Haman sought permission from Xerxes to launch a genocidal pogrom against all Jews in the empire.

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