The book of Esther tells of a courageous young woman who uses her mind to please God. She becomes the wife of a great king and allows for protection of her own people, the Jews. Esther is a great role model for women of modern day times because of her strength, nobility, and honesty. She portrays a woman with power that most women of that day did not have. The story of Esther has empowered women of all backgrounds and will continue to do so well into the future.
This story originates in the country of Persia about 464-415 B.C (Mid Fifth Century). The ruler over the Persian in this time period is King Xerxes along with Queen Vashti. Xerxes begins to celebrate for 180 days at a massive banquet with his military officials. He commands his Queen to appear before him so he can glow in her beauty. She refuses his request. King Xerxes becomes furious and demands a decree be made so that Vashti will be exiled and women around the country will respect their husbands.
This decree made by Xerxes is common in regard to the Persian lifestyle. The Persian family was centered around the male of the household. The women and children were subservient to the father. Females were required to be obedient to their husbands and would be put to death if they committed adultery. Boys were preferred over girls but infanticide was not common. Women of royalty had more rights than lower class women. While both classes were in charge of the household, royalty had much more free time to enjoy their riches. Royal women could take the throne if the king died or the heir was to young. In contrast, peasant women could work outside the home as artisans, store clerks, wood workers and many other jobs. Other than manual labor, ladies were paid the same amount as men. Esther was a lower class woman with a very smart father. She won the “beauty contest” created by King Xerxes to find a new queen. Before going to Xerxes’ palace, her father told her to never tell about her race or religion. When reading this story, one is constantly reminded that Esther was a Jew.
Esther’s father is a poor man known as Mordecai. He overhears a plot to...