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  The Great Bible Story #83
Esther is made queen

Jacob Ninan
When Ahasuares was the king of Persia and Media, he gave a banquet to his officials that lasted for 180 days. Then he gave a feast lasting seven days for all who were in the capital Susa. Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for all the women in the palace. When the king's heart was merry with wine, he asked for Vashti to come with her royal crown to show off her beauty. But Vashti was unwilling to do this. This made the king very angry, and he asked the wise men what he should do with her. They said that she should be removed from being queen in order to set an example for all wives, and he should choose a young, beautiful woman as his queen.

So an announcement was made in the empire that every young and beautiful virgin should be brought into the king's harem, and whoever he was pleased with would be made queen. So the process began for choosing the queen. There was a young Jewish woman named Esther among the captives, who had no parents, and she was being taken care of by Mordecai, her cousin, as if she was his daughter. Along with all the other women, Esther was also taken into the harem, waiting for her turn to meet the king. Every day Mordecai used to walk in front of the harem to know how she was doing. He had told her not to reveal her nationality to anyone.

When Esther's turn came, the king was very happy with her, and he set the royal crown on her head as the next queen in the place of Vashti.

One day when Mordecai was sitting at the gate of the city he became aware of a plot being made by two officials against the king. He informed Esther to tell the king. This was investigated and found it to be true, and the two culprits were hanged on the gallows. This matter was noted in the king's records, but soon everyone forgot about it.

After this, the king appointed a man called Haman above everybody in the land. Haman was very conscious of his position and expected everyone to bow before him in respect. Everyone did so, except Mordecai, because as a Jew he would not bow down before anyone but God. Haman noted this and started thinking about how he might teach Mordecai a lesson. When he discovered that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman thought that this would be an opportunity to annihilate all the Jews at once. He met the king and told him how the Jews were a troublesome lot and got his permission to kill all the Jews on a special day. He also made a tall gallows on which he would hang Mordecai.

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