In the days of the
captivity of the Jewish people while Ahasuerus was King over the Empire there lived a man by the name of Mordecai. He was the relative of a girl he was caring for whose name was Hadassah and was also called Esther.
The King was having a big banquet and he wanted his beautiful Queen to come in to show the people her beauty. But she would not come to where all the feasting and drunkenness was going on. So awful was the refusal to obey the King that the Queen was removed from the honor of being the Queen.
It was suggested to the King to call for all the beautiful maidens of the land to be brought before the King to see which one he wanted for Queen to take the place of Queen Vashti.
Esther was one of the maids who came to the palace. She was the one the King chose to be Queen but she did not tell them she was a Jew.
Mordecai would not bow to Haman the highest prince of the kingdom, so this made Haman very angry and he wanted to kill all the Jews of the land because Mordecai was a Jew. Haman went to the King and said there was a certain group of people in his kingdom that had different laws than his and did not obey the King and said he would give money to put them to death on a certain day for they were a hindrance to the progress of the empire. He asked the King to sign a decree to put all the Jews to death. This decree went through the whole land.
When Mordecai learned of the decree he put on sackcloth and ashes and mourned for his people and called in the streets with a loud and bitter cry. He came to the Kings gate where no one was suppose to wear sackcloth and Esther sent him clothes but he refused them. Then she asked what the problem was.
Esther and her maids learned of the sentence to be put to death. Mordecai told Esther she should go before the King and ask for her life and the lives of her people. But the law is if any one go before the King without an invitation is to be put to death.
“Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.”
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
So Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews of Shushan together for a fast for three days. Also Esther and her maids fasted for three days and prayed to the God of heaven for help and courage.
“And so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:16
Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.
Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.
On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
Mordecai was one who sat in the gate of the King and he learned there were two men who wanted to harm the King and he warned the King of the evil plot.
Mordecai would not bow to Haman the highest prince of the kingdom so this made Haman very angry and wanted to kill all the Jews of the land because Mordecai was a Jew. Haman had a gallows made to hang him on and then went to see the King to ask if he could hang Mordecai on the gallows.
The King had been having the records read to him about the good deed of Mordecai of warning him of the plot of danger for his life. So when Haman came in with his request, the King first asked him what should be done for the man the King delights to honor. Haman thinking it must be him, said the Kings robe and crown should be put on him and sit on the Kings horse and a prince run before him calling “thus shall it be done to whom the King delights to honor.”
The King told Haman to do everything he said to Mordecai and do it quickly, now. So Haman put the royal clothes on Mordecai and he rode the Kings horse while Haman ran ahead and called out to everyone, ”thus shall it be done to whom the King delights to honor.”
Haman went home mourning with his head covered.
And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
So the king and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the queen.
And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? And it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:
For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.
So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:
Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
It was because Esther obeyed God and had faith in Him that she would be delivered from danger that she could go against the law and enter before the King without an invitation.
She saw she was in a very responsible situation and her only help was the God of heaven to help her save her people from the threatened danger of all those peoples’ lives. And God did not fail her.