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Story of Esther: Part 1

Esther 1-3
Xerxes, King of the Medes and Persians, appoints a beautiful Jewish woman, Esther, as Queen.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
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Chapter 1: King Xerxes (also known as Ahasuerus) was the most powerful man in the world. In the third year of his reign he invited the nobles and princes to a feast, which lasted 180 days. – Slide 1
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King Xerxes ruled over the empire of the Medes and Persians, which stretched over 127 provinces from Ethiopia to India. Living in his empire were many Jews. – Slide 2
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After the feast the King invited everyone at his palace in Susa (Shushan) to another feast which lasted 7 days. There were white, green and blue hangings fastened with fine linen cord to silver rings. There were beds of silver and gold on pavements of red, blue, black and white marble. – Slide 3
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Everyone drank from cups of gold. Queen Vashti gave a party for the women in another part of the palace. – Slide 4
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At the end of the 7 days the King, who was drunk, ordered his 7 servants to fetch Queen Vashti so he could show off her beauty. – Slide 5
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But they reported back that the queen refused to join him. – Slide 6
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The King was furious. His wise men advised him saying, ‘The queen has not only insulted you but everyone. She has set a bad example in not showing honour to her husband.’ The Queen’s title and estate was taken away from her. – Slide 7
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A law was made and read aloud throughout the land that all wives must honour and obey their husbands. – Slide 8
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Chapter 2: Who would replace Vashti as queen? A search took place throughout the land for the most beautiful young women and they were brought to the palace under the supervision of Hegai, the King’s servant. – Slide 9
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Working in the palace was a Jew called Mordecai. Mordecai had a cousin named Esther (also known as Hadassah), whom he had brought up because her parents had died. Esther was a beautiful young girl and chosen to join the other contestants at the palace for 12 months of beauty treatments. Mordecai advised her not to tell anyone she was a Jew. – Slide 10
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Of the many women chosen, Esther was the one the King loved most and she was was crowned as queen instead of Vashti. A feast was given in her honour. But she told no one she was a Jew. – Slide 11
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A little while later Mordecai was guarding the King’s gate and overhead two servants, Bigthan and Teresh plotting against the king. Mordecai immediately warned Esther of the plot and she told the King. – Slide 12
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The two plotters were arrested, found guilty and hung on a tree. Their plot was recorded in the chronicles of the King’s reign where it was noted that Mordecai had uncovered the plot. – Slide 13
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Chapter 3: The king promoted Haman above all the other princes to be the second most powerful man in the Kingdom. All the servants working at the king’s gate would bow to Haman when he entered. However Mordecai would not bow before Haman or show him reverence. – Slide 14
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Why do you break the King’s command and not bow down and honour Haman?’ the servants asked. They knew Mordecai was a Jew. They kept asking him but Mordecai would not listen to them. – Slide 15
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They reported the matter to Haman who was furious to find Mordecai the Jew did not bow or revere him. – Slide 16
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Haman schemed to find a way to punish not only Mordecai but his people the Jews also. – Slide 17
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Haman went to the King and said, ‘There are people living in the land who have their own laws and obey them rather than the King’s commands. – Slide 18
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‘A law must be passed so they can be destroyed. I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the King’s treasury to get this done.’ – Slide 19
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The King took off his signet ring and gave it to Haman. ‘Keep the money and do to these people what you think is best.’ – Slide 20
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The King’s scribes were instructed to write a law that on the 13th day of the 12th month the Jews were to be attacked and killed and their possessions taken as plunder. The law was sealed with the King’s ring. A law of the Medes and Persians could not be changed or altered. The new law was announced throughout the empire – Slide 21
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