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Few stories in the Bible display the drama, irony, and inspiration that the book of Esther contains. It is a literary masterpiece that reveals much about God, though God is mysteriously omitted from the book. Nevertheless the absence of any direct reference to God only highlights his powerful work behind the scenes. Esther is an orphaned girl entrusted to her Jewish uncle, Mordecai, who is a political activist with an emerging agenda of power and protection for his people.
Meanwhile, King Xerxes, an incompetent and crude king, becomes offended when his queen (Vashti) will not degrade herself before the king. Upon her banishment, the king recruits several young women to compete for the throne. Mordecai convinces Esther to offer herself. Xerxes is thrilled with the young Esther and makes her queen. Some time later, a plot to kill God’s people is revealed and is to be executed by the King’s highest official, Haman. The book reaches its climax as Esther intervenes, putting her own life at risk, thwarting Haman’s plans. The fate that Haman intended for the Jews becomes his own fate. A celebration follows Esther’s heroic acts which to this day is enjoyed annually (the feast of Purim).
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