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A Short History of Esther, 1

April 9, 2017

I love to tell the story, especially when it’s true, and Bible stories do not suffer much in their retelling, if we do not embellish with too many imaginative details.

The Bible tells of Esther in a short book after Nehemiah and before the book of Job. The reader learns God is at work to fulfill his purpose before the purpose has been disclosed. As in our last blogs about Martha Washington, the power and resiliency of women are revealed.

About 500 BC in Persia, King Xerxes (also called Ahasuerus) threw a party. He was ruler of 127 provinces, stretching from India to Ethiopia. In the third year of his reign, he invited to his palace their rulers to a celebration showing off the wealth and splendor (power) of his empire and lasting six months.

When the celebration was over, he invited those in his palace who had helped him with the event to a special party. For seven days of merry-making his guests enjoyed the beauty of the gardens, wonderful food, and the best wines poured abundantly. The King said, “Everyone can have as much wine as he pleases. Let no glass go empty.”

Meanwhile his Queen, the beautiful Vashti, gave a party for the women of the palace. There was much singing and dancing, delicious refreshments, and wine. The women were having a glorious time while their men were being entertained by the king.

On the final day of his party, the king (probably emboldened by wine) called his eunuchs to bring forth his beautiful wife so all his guests could gaze upon her matchless beauty.

The seven eunuchs were C, S, A, T, M1, M2, and M3. (I don’t know why that is an important detail, but it must be. The Old Testament seems big on names.) The seven eunuchs were the king’s personal slaves. Only castrated men could wait upon the king and queen without impugning the modesty of the monarchs. The queen was additionally served by female attendants, who could be called upon to serve the king.

I should have warned you this is an X rated story. Possibly you noticed Xerxes has two Xs: but the Old Testament is filled with such stories. They are history, and the farther back you look, the more civilized our generation seems (on it’s surface).

Our topic is Esther, and we’ll get to her soon.

 

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