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9. Esther

Image by Ben White


In the ancient kingdom of Persia, a young Jewish girl named Esther becomes queen without revealing her true identity. When a powerful official named Haman plots to destroy the Jewish people, Esther risks her life by revealing her heritage to the king and pleading for her people's survival. The king listens to Esther and reverses Haman's decree, saving the Jewish community from destruction. Esther's bravery and faithfulness are remembered as a powerful example of courage and divine intervention.

Main Characters

  • Esther: A Jewish orphan who becomes queen of Persia.

  • Mordecai: Esther's cousin who raised her and works in the king's palace.

  • King Xerxes (Ahasuerus): The ruler of the Persian Empire.

  • Haman: A powerful official who plots to destroy the Jewish people.

  • Vashti: The king's first queen, who is deposed at the beginning of the story.

Image by Mick Haupt


  • The first queen, Vashti, was deposed by King Xerxes because she refused to appear before him and his guests. This incident is described in Esther 1:10-12.

  • Esther was chosen as queen after a beauty contest among the young virgins in the kingdom, as described in Esther 2:2-4.

  • Despite being chosen for her beauty, Esther courageously risked her life by speaking out to King Xerxes to save her people from Haman's plot. This brave act is depicted in Esther 5:1-8.


The Festival of Purim is a joyful celebration that marks how Queen Esther, with God's help, saved the Jewish people from a wicked plan to destroy them. It's a time when people come together to remember this miraculous event with joy and gratitude. During Purim, people often dress up in costumes, exchange gifts, and enjoy festive meals. When the story of Esther is read aloud, it's a tradition to make noise, like booing or using noisemakers, whenever the name of the villain, Haman, is mentioned, to show disapproval of his actions and to celebrate the victory of good over evil.


  • Fasting and Prayer: Before approaching the king, Esther, also known as Hadassah, urged her people to fast for three days and nights, seeking divine guidance and strength (Esther 4:16).

  • Esther's Name: In Hebrew, Esther is known as Hadassah, meaning "myrtle." This name reflects her Jewish heritage and is a symbol of righteousness and victory.

  • Late Addition to Scripture: Esther's book was among the last to be included in the Hebrew Scriptures, highlighting its significance despite the absence of explicit references to God.

  • God's Absence: Interestingly, the Book of Esther does not mention God directly, yet it illustrates how divine providence operates through the courage and actions of individuals like Esther and Mordecai.


Fasting is when someone chooses not to eat food for a certain period of time. People fast for different reasons, like to show respect to their beliefs or to ask for help from their higher power. During a fast, they might drink water or juice to stay hydrated. It's like giving their body and mind a break to focus on what's important to them. Fasting isn't about going on a diet or trying to lose weight. It's a special time when we choose to give up something important to us, like food, for a little while. It helps us feel closer to God and think about important things in our lives

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