Saturday, January 30, 2016

Esther-News About the King and Queen

By Mary Vee
Esther 1

From Esther's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Hadassah. I live with my uncle Mordecai in a place called Susa and have ever since my parents died. We are Jews and are from the tribe of Benjamin.

My uncle had been among those taken as slaves from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. We still live in the Babylon area.

I call Mordecai my uncle, but he is also my cousin. Now that I am telling the whole story, some people also call me Esther.

We lived a simple life. One that I enjoyed. My uncle was a good dad to me and always loved me. He told me so many times what a lovely girl I was. I didn't feel that way, but I was happy he thought so.

News traveled rather quickly in our city, especially if something happened to the king or queen. When I fetched water this morning I heard the king and queen had a problem. A huge problem.

The king's name was Xerxes. He was not a king of Jerusalem, a Hebrew like us. He was the king in this Babylonian area. Xerxes ruled over 127 provinces that reached as far east as India and as far southwest as Cush in Egypt. The king lived here in Susa.

During the third year of his reign, Xerxes gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. Even the military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces came.

This banquet lasted 180 days! Really! Xerxes showed off his wealth and power to all who were there. Then when the 180 days ended he held another banquet in his private garden on the palace grounds. This one lasted seven days and everyone from the least to the greatest was invited.

The gardens had white and blue linen hanging and fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold an silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pear and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine never ran out, which the king had ordered. They say it was a spectacular sight.

The king commanded each guest to be allowed to drink whatever he wanted.

At the same time, Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

On the seventh day, Xerxes was in high spirits from the wine. He commanded the seven men who served him to bring Queen Vashti to his banquet. She was to wear her crown. He wanted everyone to see his beautiful wife. 

But when the servants delivered King Xerxes command, Queen Vashti refused to come.

...come back next time to read what happened next.

sources: New International Version  

1. Who was Hadassah?
2. Who was Esther?
3. Why did Hadassah live with her uncle?
4. Why did they live in Babylon?
5. Who was the king?
6. Who was the queen?
7. Why did the king have a party that lasted 180 days?

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