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Ancient Days
The Queen You Thought You Knew

The Queen You Thought You Knew

Purim is approaching and it holds many mysterious secrets that apply to our lives ~ if you have ears to hear and eyes to see!

Let’s map out the characters…..we have, of course, Esther. She is a young Jewish girl from the Persian diaspora who has found a particular favor with the king. Because of her beauty and her personality, she becomes queen, which will allow her to be the major player in saving her people from total annihilation due to the king’s decree.

Than we have King  Ahasuerus (Xerxes I, reigned 485-465 B.C.E.) who gathers her as one of his young virgins into his harem. During his rule over 127 provinces, from India to Ethiopia he decreed a large feast inviting all the powers that he ruled over. Of course, this decree was mandatory and all the nobles and princes were to appear before him to witness his riches and splendor. The feast, if you can believe it, lasted 180 days! After the major feast, he extended it for another seven days for the ‘great and small’.  During this extended feast he commanded his queen, Vashti to appear before them so that all ‘could see her beauty’. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, but legend has it that it meant she had to appear naked. Well, she refused and of course that got her banished.  So, of course he had to have a ‘new queen’ and that’s where Esther comes in. It’s really an intriguing story, and I would seriously ask you to read the total book of Esther!

Anyway – the chief eunuch, Hegai, took a liking to the young lady from the the daughter of Avihail and cousin and adopted child of Mordecai from the tribe of Benjamin (Esth 2:5–7). The story continues as when it is her time to spend the night with the King, he falls in love with her and makes her his queen. The intriguing part is that she keeps her Jewish identity secret and then risks her life to save the Jewish people when the decree that the evil Haman persuades the King to issue the decree to annihilate them.

Ok, so let’s look at Mordecai. We’ve already noted that he is from the tribe of Benjamin and he resided in the city of Susa which was like a metropolis of Persia (now Iran). After adopting his orphaned cousin, Hadassah (meaning myrtle branch), her name was changed to a more Persian sounding name, and he brought her up as his own daughter. Mordecai discovered a plot of the king’s chamberlains to assassinate him and when he presented that to the king he was appointed as the vizier as a reward. This appointment gave him great prestige, not just with the King, but with the people and he was able to conduct business in favor of the Jews.

Now let’s look at the bad guy in the story … Haman the Agagite. He’s pretty much the big bad wolf in the story. Apparently he was an official in the court of the Persian empire and a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites. He was a proud and very ambitious individual who was extremely arrogant. He even demanded that everyone in the kingdom bow to him when they saw him. Everyone…did…except our friend Mordecai and that was a big thorn in Haman’s side. His blood boiled because of the this insult and he conspired to kill all the Jews. Through his devious lies and deceptions he managed to get the King to issue a decree to kill the Jews.

This is where Queen Esther steps in to foil Haman’s plot and the whole thing turns in favor of the Jews and ends the life of not only Haman but his sons! They die by the same plans they had laid for Mordecai. She foiled the plan with a couple of well placed ‘dinners‘ ….. want to know more? Go read your bible! It’s all in Esther….and now you know why there is an old Jewish saying …. 

“They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.” 

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