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Esther & Ahasuerus.






Esther was an Old Testament Jewish woman, brought up by Mordecai, a fifth-century official at the Persian palace of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes).  The King had banished his wife and taken Esther as his new queen without knowing she was Jewish.  Mordecai had shown disrespect to Hamas, the King’s chief minister, who took revenge by advising the King to issue a decree ordering the massacre of all Jews in the Persian Empire.  Mordecai asked Esther to admit that she was Jewish and intercede with the King to save her people from destruction.  She had, therefore, to initiate a meeting with the King, an action strictly against protocol and punishable by death, but the King treated her appearance with kindness, touching her with his golden sceptre as she knelt before him and finally agreeing to her request.

The Jews commemorate their deliverance each year at the Feast of Purim.  Esther is an Old Testament equivalent of Mary, her coronation prefiguring the Coronation of the Virgin, and her intercession on behalf of her people is a prototype for Mary interceding for humanity.