Esther was a beautiful young Jewish woman, an orphan who had been adopted by Mordecai and his wife, as their own daughter. She had become a member of the Persian King’s harem during the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrew nation. Queen Vashti had insulted the King in front of many dignitaries, satraps and nobles, so she fell into disfavor and he sought a new queen from a number of his concubines.
When it was Esther’s turn to go before the king, she asked for nothing except what the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into his royal palace the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”
Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate while Haman hurried to his house, humiliated and mourning with his head covered.
So the following day the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther, and as they were drinking wine the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even if it’s half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request. For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerue said to Queen Esther, “Who is he and where is he who would presume to do this?” And Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai. And the King put Mordecai over all of Haman’s house and fortunes and authorized the Jews to slay all of their enemies in his kingdom and all who had sought to destroy them.
Thus God elevated a young orphan woman of no particular means, a concubine and Hebrew captive of the Babylonian Empire to do His will and save Israel from certain destruction.