The king had become drunk on wine and commanded that his wife, Queen Vashti come out before everyone to show how beautiful she was. Queen Vashti refused to be paraded before everyone. King Xerxes was so angry at her disrespect and disregard for his request that he divorced her. The king called for a nation-wide beauty pagent to be held to find a new beautiful queen.
A Jewish woman named Esther was taken with other young woment to a citedel. Esther’s cousin Mordecai had taken Esther in and raised her as his own after Esther’s parents had died. A man named Hegai was put in charge of preparing the women for meeting the king. Esther’s beauty won her Hegai’s favor and she was given special attention. Esther was careful however to not tell anyone her nationality, as Mordecai had warned her not to.
When it was Esthers turn to go before the king, he immediately found her the most attractive and beautiful of all woman and placed the royal crown on her head. King Ahasuerus held a great banquet for his new queen, Esther. Esther continued to hide her Jewish background as Mordecai had instructed her to do because he knew it would be dangerous for her if anyone found out she was a Jew.
One night when Mordecai was sitting by the king’s gate, he overheard two guards named Bigthana and Teresh conspiring to assassinate King Xerxes. Mordecai told Queen Esther of the plan and Esther told the king, giving credit to Mordecai for overhearing the plan. The two guards were hanged.
Mordecai then refused to bow down the Haman, the highest of all nobles. When Haman found out about this and that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman became enraged with anger and wanted to kill not only just Moredcai but all of the Jewish nation. Haman convinced King Xerxes to kill all Jews as they stood in opposition to the king’s rule. King Ahasuerus agreed and set a date for all Jews to be killed.
Mordecai told Esther about the king’s edict to kill all the Jewish people. Esther feared for her life and tried to avoid his request to do something. Mordecai again pleaded with Queen Esther to do something to save the people. Esther responded instructing all Jews to join her in fasting for three days and three nights, then she would approach the king with her request.
Esther went to King Xerxes after three days of fasting and the king asked her what her request was. Queeh Ester asked that the king and Haman join her at a banquet the next day. The king said yes and asked Esther to let her request be known at the banquet. Haman was still so enraged with Mordecai that he went to set up a pole to impale Mordecai the morning before the banquet.
The king could not sleep that night and began to read the the book that contained all that had happened during his reign. The king read and was reminded of how Mordecai exposed the plot to assassinate the king. The king wanted to reward Mordecai for his good deed and he called Haman in to ask what should be done for a man who the king delights in. Haman thought the king was talking about himself and responding saying extravegent gifts and honor. Haman was even more enraged when the king told him it was for Mordecai!
The next day was the banquet Queen Esther had called for. The king again asked Esther what her request was so he could grant her what she wanted. Esther boldly asked that she and her people be spared and that Haman had plotted to kill all Jews for money. The king was filled with anger against Haman and had him hanged on the very pole that Haman had set up for Mordecai.
Queen Esther and Mordecai were given Hamans estate. They were honored with royal garments and a decree was written to protect all Jews.