The ‘Story’ Chapter 20: The Queen of Beauty and Courage

The Story

Ahasuerus, or, as modern scholars identify as, Xerxes, the all-powerful king of Persia, banishes his queen Vashti for failing to appear before him when bidden. The new chosen queen is Esther, cousin of Mordecai, the Jew. Mordecai’s bitter enemy at court is the wicked Haman. Mordecai rejects Haman’s ways and so Haman plots not only Mordecai’s death but also the extermination of all the Jews in the Persian empire. Mordecai calls on Queen Esther to save her people. Esther heroically risks the king’s wrath by appearing unbidden before him. She invites King Ahasuerus(Xerxes)and Haman to two banquets where she persuades the king both to save her people and to hang Haman on the very gallows he had constructed for Mordecai. The king’s edict to kill the Jews is reversed, and the Jews instead get revenge on their would-be persecutors. They celebrate their victory by initiating the festival of Purim.

Read: Book of Esther