Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My Cousin the Queen

Esther reveals Haman's plan to King Ahasuerus I am a Jew, and I am a captive in exile in Susa. My uncle and aunt had died, and I am bringing up their daughter, Hadassah, my little cousin.

During the exile under the reign of King Ahasuerus, one of the king's men, Haman, plotted to kill my people, so I went as far as the king's gate clothed in sackcloth, fasting, weeping, and wailing.

My cousin, Hadassah, who has become the queen, heard what I was doing and ordered Hathach, the king's eunuch who was appointed to attend to her, to find out what was troubling me. So I told him all that had happened and the exact amount that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. I had also given Hathach a copy of the edict issued in Susa for the Jew's destruction, and requested him to show it to the queen to inform her to go and implore the king's favor and plead for her people.

My cousin, however, replied through a relayed message brought to me by Hathach the eunuch.

"All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court without being summoned, there is but one law, that the person be put to death unless the king holds out his golden scepter and grant the person favor!"

When I heard these words from my cousin the queen, I became angry and told Hathach to relay a reply to her.

"Do not imagine that because you in the king's palace, you can escape any more than all the Jews. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father's house will perish."

Soon afterwards, I received another message from my cousin.

"Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens will also fast in the same way, and I will go to the king even though it is not according to the law, and if I perish, I perish."

So on the third day, my cousin went to the inner court of the king's palace and stood in front of the king's rooms. When the king saw his queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in the king's sight and the king extended his golden scepter to her.

Over the next two days, my cousin began to unfold step by step the plans of Haman to kill her people to the king, and finally through investigations and confirmation of Haman's crime against the Jews, Haman was hanged on the gallows prepared for me by him, and the king's anger eventually subsided.

I, Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, am therefore grateful to God for His deliverance, both my life and His people's lives, and I thank Him for my cousin Hadassah, who is Esther the queen.

Esther 2:7 (NAS)
He [Mordecai] was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had no father or mother. Now the young lady was beautiful of form and face, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

NOTE: The dialogue and story in this article is adapted from the Book of Esther, New American Standard Bible.