Then his wise men
advised Ahasuerus to banish his wife. They reasoned that she had
wronged the king by not obeying his command and that she had
insulted his guests. Likewise, if the women of Persia and Media
were to hear that such disobedience had gone unpunished, they
would have nothing but contempt for their husbands forevermore.
So the king
issued a decree that every man should be ruler in his own home and
that the wives should give honor and obedience to their husbands.
Then all the fair young women of the kingdom were brought before
the king so that he might choose a new queen.
Now there was in
the capital, Shushan, a certain Jew named Mordecai, who had been
carried away a captive from Jerusalem during the Babylonian
invasion. He had adopted and brought up Esther, his uncle's
daughter, for she was an orphan. She was fair and beautiful.
Mordecai warned her not to disclose her race when she was brought
before the king.
The king, seeing
Esther, loved her above all the others, and he set the royal crown
on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
every day to the king's gate and walked beneath the queen's window
in the palace of the women, hoping that he might hear news of his
adopted daughter. One day he overheard two of the king's
chamberlains plotting to kill the king.
He warned Esther,
who told the king. When the treachery was investigated, and the
plot exposed, the two men were caught and hanged, an the heart of
King Ahasuerus was filled with gratitude toward Mordecai.
One of the chief
princes of the kingdom of the Medes and Persians was Haman. All
the king's servants except Mordecai bowed low before him as he
entered the king's gate. This so enraged the proud Prince Haman
that he determined to destroy not only Mordecai but all of the
Jews who were in the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.
persuaded the king to give him his royal signet ring, and then
sent letters sealed with the king's seal to the governors of all
the province of Persia, ordering them on a certain day to slay
every man, woman, and child of Jewish blood, and to confiscate
As soon as
Mordecai learned what Haman had done, he put on sackcloth and
ashes and cried with a loud and bitter cry before the king's gate.
When Queen Esther
heard of it, she bade Mordecai gather all the Jews in Shushan to
fast and pray for three days. The, against the law (for the king
had not summoned her), she put on her royal garments and went in
When the king saw
Esther standing modestly in his court, near his throne, instead of
being angry, he held out his golden scepter to her, and said,
"What is your request, Queen Esther? Though it be half my
kingdom, it shall be given to you."
And Esther asked
only that the king and Haman come to the banquet she would prepare
for them the next day.
Haman was joyful,
and went home to tell his family how he had been honored not only
the the king but now by the queen as well. But on the way he had
passed Mordecai, who still refused to bow to him. So his joy
turned to anger and he ordered a gallows to be built fifty cubits
high upon which the stubborn Mordecai was to be hanged.
That night, the
king could not sleep, and he called for the book of chronicles to
be read to him. When he heard that Mordecai once had uncovered a
plot against his life, Ahasuerus siad, "What hone was done to
Mordecai for this?" And his servants answered,
The next morning
Haman came to the king's court to discuss the hanging of Mordecai.
But before he could speak, the king asked him, "What shall be
done for a man whom the king wishes to honor?"
Haman thought the
king was referring to him, so he answered, "Let him be
arrayed in royal garments and led on horseback through the streets
of the city, while it is proclaimed that he is so honored by the
king." Great was Haman's discomfort when he heard the king
say: "So et it be done to Mordecai, for once he saved my
life." And there was hatred in Haman's heart when he came to
the queen's banquet.
Here the king
asked Esther what was her petition.
Then Esther said,
"If it please the king, let my life be given me and my
people. For we are to perish, I and my people - to be slain and
destroyed by an enemy."
Then the king
cried out, "Who and where is he that dares to do such a
And Esther said,
"The enemy is this wicked Haman."
Then Haman was
afraid, for he saw that the king was weighing evil in his mind
Just then a
chamberlain came and told of the gallows Haman had built for
Mordecai. The king said, "Hang Haman thereon instead."
So they hanged
Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Ahasuerus
spared all the Jews, and Haman's worldly good were divided among
Queen Esther's people.