Courageous Queen Esther
November 1990

“Courageous Queen Esther,” Friend, Nov. 1990, 48

Courageous Queen Esther

  1. King Ahasuerus reigned over the lands from India to Ethiopia. The king had a servant named Haman who hated the Jews who lived in the king’s lands, because they would not bow to (worship) him. (See Esth. 1:1; Esth. 3:5–6.)

  2. Haman promised King Ahasuerus that he would pay ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s treasury if he would make a law allowing all the Jews in the kingdom to be killed. (See Esth. 3:8–9.)

  3. King Ahasuerus agreed to make the law. He did not know that Esther, his queen, was one of the Jews. (See Esth. 3:10–11; Esth. 2:17, 20.)

  4. When Esther’s cousin Mordecai, who raised her, heard about the king’s new law, he sent a messenger to her, asking her to plead with the king to spare the lives of her people. “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” he pointed out. (See Esth. 2:5–7; Esth. 4:1–9, 13–14.)

  5. Esther knew that anyone who came before the king without being sent for would be put to death unless the king held out his golden sceptre. She also knew that because of the new law, just telling the king that she was a Jew would endanger her life. Even so, Esther asked Mordecai to gather the Jews together to fast with her for three days. On the third day of fasting she went before the king. (See Esth. 4:11, 15–17; Esth. 5:1.)

  6. The king held out the golden sceptre to Esther and asked, “What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request?” Esther invited King Ahasuerus and the wicked servant Haman to come to a banquet. (See Esth. 5:2–4.)

  7. At the banquet, the king again asked Esther what she desired. She asked him to return with Haman for another banquet the next day. (See Esth. 5:6–8.)

  8. At the second banquet, the king again asked Esther to make her request. Esther said, “If it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.” (See Esth. 7:2–4.)

  9. When the king asked Esther who it was who dared to destroy her people, she told him that it was Haman. The king then had Haman hung because of his wicked plan. (See Esth. 7:5–6, 9–10.)

  10. Esther again asked the king to reverse the decree that Haman had devised. She cried, “How can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?” King Ahasuerus was unable to change his decree, but he issued a new one that gave the Jews the right to defend themselves if anyone attempted to kill them. (See Esth. 8:3–8, 10–11.)

  11. Because of Queen Esther’s courage and faith, the lives of her people were saved. The Jews in the kingdom celebrated their escape from their enemies every year thereafter with two “days of feasting and joy.” (See Esth. 8:17; Esth. 9:20–21, 26–28.)

Illustrated by Phyllis Luch