Back in biblical times, physical beauty was deeply sought after as well.
In the days of Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, which included India and Ethiopia.
King Ahasureus was a king of great wealth. The king spent many months flaunting his riches in front of high officials. Hosting elaborate parties which he entertained third year of his reign making a grand feast for all his officials and servants-the powers of Persia and media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him. Queen Vahti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
Chapter 1 vs. 10- On the seventh day the king had indulged in wine and was high in spirit. He asked seven eunuchs, definition (men who has been castrated, especially (in the past) one employed to guard the women's living areas at an oriental court.) To bring Queen Vashti before him wearing only her royal crown, in order to show off her physical beauty to the people and the officials, it is made clear that she was beautiful in the eyes of man. However Queen Vashti was not feeling the love that day she did not want to exploit her beauty on this day, and she refused to respond to the King;s command. This angered the king and fury burned from inside.
Vs. 13- King Ahasureus feeling rejected and embarrassed in front of his guest, consulted wise men who were said to understand the times of the kings. They agreed that it was disrespectful for Queen Vashti to ignore her husband's order, and if this story were to get out all women would think that it is okay to disrespect their husbands, without punishment. So the King sent out a decree making it clear that Queen Vashti was to be dethrone due to her actions. Vs 22 The King sent out letters to all the king's provinces, to each province its own script, and to every person in their own language, that women should not disrespect their husbands in their home. The man was to be master of his home.
Esther Becomes Queen
The servants of King Ahasuerus suggested that he replaced Queen Vashti, with beautiful young virgins and that he should appoint officers in all provinces of his kingdom, and thy would be in charge of gathering the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women's quaters, under the care of Hegai, The King's eunuch, were set to watch over the women, and beauty treatments were to be given to them. Then the young woman who pleases the king the most out of loyalty and respect will replace Queen Vashti.
The King's motive in making the decree was to set an example that all women should respect their husband's in order to avoid being replaced by a woman younger and more beautiful. ( However I don't believe that King Ahsauerus was looking for just physical beauty. I believe that he was looking for respect. I also do not believe that the King truly loved Queen Vashti, because if he did, he would not have commanded her to present herself in the nude around his male guest Queen Vasshti was more like a trophy piece just another one of his beautiful possessions. If the King truly loved his Queen in return, he would have respected her. I also feel that Queen Vashti may have put her trust in her physical beauty. Not being a woman who looked up to God, but a woman who treated vanity as a God, which led to the mistreatment of her body.)
vs. 5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jewish man named Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Bejamite Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives leading to Nebuchadnezzar the of Babylon had captured Mordecai who raised his uncles' saughter Hadassah, known as Esther. The young woman was very beautiful. Her father and mohter died, and Mordecai looked after her as if she were his own daughter.
When the king's command and decree was heard many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the watch of Hegai. Esther was on e of women taken to the King's palace. Esther beauty pleased the king. The king ordered that Esther receive beauty treatments and allowance. Esther was given seven maidservants from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house made for women.
Esther. Esther Uncle Mordecai did not want Esther to reveal that she had gained the King's favor to their people, and out of concern for his niece, he would pace in front to the the women's quarters to make sure that she was okay.
After Esther had completed 12 months of preparation, in obligation to what women had to do in those days, (Vs. 12) which was six months with oil from myrh, and six months with perfumes and regimens used to beautify women. A selected number of young women went to the king, and were given whatever they desired to take from the women's quarters the the king's palace. The young women were instructed to go to the king's palace by night and in the morning they would return to their house for women. The young women were not allowed to see the king unless he called for them by name. The women were watched over by the king's eunuch Shaashgaz, who kept the concubines.
(Vs. 15) Due to the fact that Esther was humble not taking anything more than what was given to her by the Kings's eunuch, those around Esther respected her, in which she was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, which was in the seventh year of his reign. The king loved Esther more than all of the other women and through her grace and favor in eyes Esther, stood out beyond her physical beauty, which won her the royal crown placed upon her head,
(Vs. 17) making her an official queen.
The king made a huge feast, the Feast for Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he declared a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts due to the generosity of the king.
Mordecai Discovers A Plot
While Mordecai sat within the King's gate he discovered a plot to kill the king among two of the king's eunuchs. Bigthan and Teresh. They were angry with king and ploted to harm in. Esther's Uncle Mordecai overheard the plot and reported their plan to Esther. There was an investigation which exposed their plan. Both eunuchs were hung on the gallows; (Vs. 23) And it was written in the book the chronicles in front of the king.
Haman's Conspiracy Against The Jews
After this event took place, the King Ahasuerus gave Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite a high position above all the princes who were with him.. And all the King's servants who were withing the king's gate bowed down to Haman, as the king commanded. However Mordecai would not bow down. (Mordecai's respect for God outweighed the law of man within his heart.)
When Haman learned that Mordecai would not bow down to him his ego became tarnished. Out of anger against Mordecai and his Jewish beliefs he wanted to kill all of the Jews and the ones entering the kingdom, his theory was because they had different beliefs and would not honor their ways.
(Vs.7) Haman commanded the first month which is the month of Nisan, the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus (That is, the Lot) before Haman to determine the day and the month until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar .
Then Haman expressed to King Ahasuerus. that there were certain people scattered among the kingdom their laws are different, and that they, the Jewish people do not keep the king's laws. Haman went on to say let there be a decree within that they be destroyed, and that he will pay then thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the kings's treasuries.
The King took his signet ring form his hand and gave it to Haman the enemy of the Jews. The money and the people to to complete the deadly mission were also given to Haman on the thirteenth day of the first month the decree was written according to all that Haman commanded- to the king's satraps to the governors who were over each province, the officials of all people, to every province according to its script and to every person in their own language. In the Kings name and sealed with his signet ring that all Jews were to be killed, young old, and babies.
Esther Agrees To Help The Jews
When Mordecai learned of the law sealed by the king he tore his clothes ( An action of deep grief.)
Putting on sackcloth and ashes, Mordecai went out into the midst of the city and cried out with a loud and somber cry. Mordecai took his mourning to the kings gate.
When his niece Esther heard of her Uncles mourning she had her servant take him clothes to replace his sackcloth, but he refused to wear them. Jews were fasting and weeping in every province. Esther was unaware of the deadly law which threatened her people. When Esther learned of the deadly law through Shushan, her servant who had went to speak to him on Esther's behalf, she was sadden. due to the kings strict laws (vs-11) Esther was not allowed to go to the king unless requested.
Esther told her servants to reply to Mordecai as he had sent through her messengers, that she was most likely chosen to represent her people in a time such as this. Esther prepared to defend her people. Sending a message to Mordecai she asked him to gather all Jews who were present in Shushan and fast for her; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. Esther also fated along with her maids. (I have fasted before. For me fasting is used to break strongholds , things that keep me bound. Most people use fasting for vanity purposes, quick weight loss tactics. Fasting should be done with humility, one should not look sickly or deprived. Learn more about Biblical fasting.)
Mordecai did as Esther instructed .
On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king;s palace, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his throne. When the King saw the Queen standing the curt he held out to Esther the golden scepter, which approved her visit touching the top of the scepter.
The king asked Queen Esther what she needed, anything she desired would be given to her up to half of the kingdom. Queen Esther requested a banquet and wanted Haman to attend.
The King command to Haman to attend the banquet that Esther had prepared. (Vs. 6) At the banquet of wine the king asked Esther for her petition willing to grant her anything willing to give Queen Esther half of his kingdom. (In those time banquets lasted for days. Queen Esther was cautious discerning the exact hour to stand up for her people.)
Haman's Plot Against Mordecai
Haman went out that day happy with his position. The only thing that ruined his day was Mordecai who sat nearby the King;s gates still unwilling to bow down. Haman went to his wife and and his friends, boasting of his riches that the king had given him (Vs. 12) Haman also complained to his wife Zeresh and all of his friends about Mordecai, the Jew that refused to bow down to him. Haman shared that everything was going his way, and that he was invited to a banquet in the company of the King and Queen Eshter, however Mordecai seemed to be the o only person standing in his way. Haman's wife and friends suggested that he build a a gallow fifty cubits high and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it before he attended the banquet. Mordecai liked the plan and the gallows made. (Vs.14))
The King Honors Mordecai
That night the King could not sleep so he ordered the records of chronicles; it was there that he discovered that Mordecai was responsible for saving his life against the two eunuchs that despised him and was planning to harm him. The King realized that nothing had been done in honor of Mordecai's loyalty. At this time Haman walks in to suggest that they hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. However his suggestion was delayed as the King asked him what shall be done for a man that the king delight to honor. Now Haman in his heart thought that the king was thinking of him, so he suggested an elaborate honor, a royal robe to be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head. Haman suggested let the that the horse be delivered to the hand of one of the kings's most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king is proud of. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him this shall it be done to the man who the king gladly honors. (Vs. 9)
Then King told Haman to hurry take the robe and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the Kings gate! The King instructed Haman to leave nothing undone.
Haman had to parade Mordecai and lead him on horseback through the city. Afterwards in shame he returned to his wife and friends to mourn. As they were in conversation, the king's eunuchs came and brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared. (Vs. 12-13)
Haman Hanged Instead Of Mordecai
So Haman went to dine with Queen Esther. And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king asked Esther, what she desired. (Vs-3) Queen Esther shared with the king that she and her people were in danger, and that she wished to spare the lives of the Jewish people. The King asked who was in charge of this crime against the Jews. (Vs. 5) Esther revealed that the enemy was Haman. The King was enraged, as Haman began pleading for his life. (Vs. 7)
The King instructed his servant to look for the gallows fifty cubits high which Haman made for Mordecai thin hang him on it. The Kings servants did as he instructed and hung Haman on the gallows. (Vs. 10)
Esther Saves The Jews
King Ahasures gave Queen Esther the house of Haman. And Mordecai was appointed over the of Haman by Queen Esther.
Letters were sent by couriers to protect the Jews. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel. (Vs. 1-15)
The Jews Destroy Their Tormentors
The Jews were instructed to protect themselves on the twelfth month, that is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king's command and his decree to be executed, on the day the Jews overpowered their enemies. Mordecai became very important and those against the Jews feared the power of Mordecai. The Jews defeated all their enemies. (Vs.5-16)
The Feast of Purim
Till this day The Feast of Purim is honored.
The Jews who were at Shushan assemble together on the thirteenth day, and the fifteenth of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
This Holiday is celebrated in today's time in honor of Queen Esther, and Mordecai.
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The King Ahasuerus paid tribute to the land and on the islands of the sea. Now all his power and might accounted for greatness for Mordecai. Written in the books of chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus. and was great among the Jews. Seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all men of the country.
A quick Review The Book of Esther: Message Of PURIM
Resource: The Study Bible For Women's NkJV: Photo 123rf.com
Beauty Is As Beauty Does
Let's face it, we live in a visual world. Through social media the infatuation with physical beauty, speaks loud and clear. The obsession with beauty causes all kinds of problems, jealousy, self-esteem issues and vanity. However, regardless of how things work in this world, God's opinion is higher. Man looks at physical beauty, but God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7.
Chapter ! The King Dethrones Queen Vashti