Esther the Epitome of Beauty, Grace and Patriotism
Esther the epitome of beauty was a woman who risked her life for her devotion to God and her fellow Jews. Esther was also known as Hadassah. Esther was the daughter of Abihail. When her parents died, she was adopted by her father’s nephew, Mordecai, where they lived in Susa. Mordecai raised her like his own daughter and provided all her needs.
King Ahasuerus, also known as King Xerxes, banished his former queen, Vashti, when she disobeyed his command to appear at a great banquet. King Ahasuerus decided to choose a replacement queen among the beautiful young maidens in his kingdom, and he chose Esther to be his new wife. But Esther the epitome of beauty did not reveal her nationality as instructed by Mordecai. As a result, Mordecai, sat at the palace gate, where he remained in constant communication with Esther, advising her in all matters which included keeping her Jewish heritage a secret.
One day, when Mordecai sat at the gate, he overheard two of the king’s officers plotting to kill King Ahasuerus. Mordecai passed this information to Esther who in turn notified the king of the plot.
Haman, a highly ranked official of the kingdom, hated Mordecai because he refused to bow down to him, as a sign of respect, as decreed by the King. After Haman found out that Mordecai was Jewish, he sought a decree from the king to kill all the Jews in the Kingdom. The Jews were distraught over this directive, so Mordecai asked Esther the epitome of beauty for help. She planned to appeal on behalf of all the Jews, which meant revealing her Jewish nationality, placing her life at risk.
Prior to appealing to the king, Esther instructed Mordecai to get all of their people to fast and pray for three days. Esther and her attendants would do the same. With God’s guidance, she was able to tell the king of the threat to her people, thus disclosing her nationality and of how Haman’s personal interest was the reason for the decree. The King was angry at this news and went out to the palace gardens. Haman decided to beg for leniency from Esther, however fell on the bed where Esther was, just as the king returned from the gardens. This incensed the king even further, causing him to exclaim how Haman was now forcing himself onto his queen in front of him.
Events took a drastic turn, the king ordered that Haman to be hanged including his children. The king then chose Mordecai to fill the now vacant position. A royal edict could not be reversed, so Mordecai made a decree stating that Jews may use weapons to defend themselves which the king signed. It was sent to all the province in the land.
The edict was carried out for two days in Susa, where the Jews proved their strength. They successfully defended themselves and won the battle. To commemorate their victory over Haman, his sons and enemies of the Jews, the Jews celebrated a two-day festival of Purim on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the Jewish month of Adar.
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