Esther, a beautiful young Hebrew orphan, was born Hadassah. Her cousin Mordecai adopted and raised her as his own daughter. The reigning King Xerxes had grown angry with his wife Queen Vashti during a drunken feast for refusing to exhibit herself before the people and the king's officials. Angry and concerned that this would cause women throughout the kingdom to rebel against their husbands, he had Vashti removed. The king ordered beautiful young virgins from throughout the land to be brought and evaluated for the position of Queen. Esther was among those young women. Concealing her Jewishness, she underwent one year of cosmetic treatments before being brought to the king. He favored her more than all the other women and chose her as his queen, holding a great banquet in her honor. Haman, the king's highest official, hated Mordecai because he refused to bow to him. Mordecai discovered a plot by Haman to destroy the Jews. He got word to Esther and convinced her to bravely approach the king without being summoned, which was illegal and punishable by death. She told Mordecai to have the Jewish people fast for three days. After those three days, she came before the king. He welcomed her presence and accepted her invitation to dinner with her and Haman. At that dinner, she invited them to another dinner the following day. At the banquet, she revealed her identity as a Jew and petitioned the king to stop Haman's plot. The king not only granted her request, he had Haman killed on the pole that Haman had intended for Mordecai. Mordecai was given a place of high honor in the King's palace, and the Jewish people were given freedom to avenge
I am a Houston-based artist, creating vivid, thought-provoking art in my home studio.