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Portrayals Of Women In The Old Testament

2333 words - 9 pages

Portrayals of Women in the Old Testament: The Story of Esther The story of Esther takes place in the days of A-has-u-e'rus which reigned from India to Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. In these days A-has-u-e'rus sat on the throne of his kingdom in the palace of Shu'shan. In the third year of his reign he had a feast for all of his princes and his servants. During this feast, he "shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days" (Ester1:4). After those days were over, the king had a feast for all the people great and small, who were present in the palace, seven days in the court of the king's palace. The people were served royal wine in gold glasses and served to the people in abundance according to the state of the king. The drinking was according to law, no one forced, because the king told all offices of his house to do as they pleasured (Esther1:9). Vash'ti the queen, wife Hurt 2 to A-has-u-e'rus, had a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to the king. On the seventh day the king A-has-u-e'rus commanded the presence of his seven chamberlains. He commanded them to bring his wife queen Vash'ti with the crown royal , to show off her beauty. Vash'ti was said to be quite beautiful, appealing to all. Queen Vash'ti refused to go to the king. The king was enraged and took counsel among his wise men, to try to figure out what he could do under law to punish Vash'ti for her insubordination to the king. Me-mu'can one of the princes of Persia and Media says, "Vash'ti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the King A-has-u-e'rus" (Esther1:16). The queen's punishment was that Vash'ti may not enter into the royal presence. Four years, later the king decides to take another queen. The royal minister searched for the most beautiful virgin women in the king's palace. It was decided that which ever woman appealed to the king the most would be queen, rather than Vash'ti. Of the women chosen to be presented to the king for consideration was a young Jewish woman, living in Shu'shan. This woman was Hadassah, that is Esther, she had been Hurt 3 raised by Mor'de-cai, of the house of Saul. Esther was very beautiful so she was put in the custody of He'ge, "keeper of the women." There were many women brought to the royal court because of the decree of the king. When it came to be Esther's turn to appear before the king, he instantly fell in love with her beauty and made her queen in the place of Vash'ti, by placing the crown upon her head. Esther did not tell the king of her people or of her family and relation to Mor'de-cai, even after they were married, because she had been advised against it by Mor'de-cai. In days to follow, Mor'de-cai found out that Big'than and Te'resh were conspiring to harm the king. He told Esther who told the...

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