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Esther

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The Old Testament book of Esther (Megilath Esther in Hebrew) tells the story of Esther, a Jewish Queen of Persia, who saved the Jews from a plot by a malefactor, Haman, in the reign of king Ahasuerus. The events supposedly took place about 400 B.C.E. However, no Persian King of that name is known. Ahasuerus is variously identified with Xerxes or Artaxerxes, though there were several kings of this name. Many modern scholars doubt the authenticity of the story. The holiday of Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jews as related in the book of Esther. The name Esther is meant to be a Persian or Babylonian name, and it is derived fro the Persian word for star or from the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. The Hebrew named of Esther was Hadassah. Her cousin Mordecai (Mordechai in Hebrew) was apparently named after the Babylonian god Marduk. The Hebrew and King James books of Esther have 10 chapters, whereas the Septuagint translation added a number of chapters at the end. Esther visiting Ahasuerus by Millais

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Esther Chapter 5

Esther 5:1 Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.

Esther 5:2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.

Esther 5:3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.

Esther 5:4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.

Esther 5:5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

Esther 5:6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.

Esther 5:7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;

Esther 5:8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to morrow as the king hath said.

Esther 5:9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.

Esther 5:10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

Esther 5:11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.

Esther 5:12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king.

Esther 5:13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.

Esther 5:14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.


 

 


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The bible and Zionism

The Bible, the Old Testament, has become a mainstay of human culture, but it is first and foremost a historical document of the Jewish people and our culture. It tells the story of our ancient kingdoms and civilization in the Land of Israel, and therefore it kept alive the tie of the people of Israel to the land of Israel for 2000 years. It forms the moral and cultural basis of Zionist ideology and aspirations.

The Bible, the Old Testament, is accepted by the three major Western faiths. It is a major work of Western civilization. The Bible documents the historic connection of the Jewish people to the land of Israel, even for those who do not believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, and even for those who do not believe in God at all. It is the historic epic of the Jewish people in our land.  

Additional Background

Map - Canaan Before the Hebrews

Map - Canaan and the Early Israelite Kingdom

Map - The kingdoms of Israel and Judea; Judea and Samaria in the time of Jesus

Samaria  Judea

Map of Palestine 1845 - Showing biblical and contemporary sites

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Map of ancient Canaan (Palestine) after the Conquest by the Israelites
Palestine (Israel, Canaan) in the Time of the Judges
Map of Ancient Israel (Canaan) in the reigns of Kings David and Solomon (Black and White)
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Divided Kingdom
Map of Judah (Judea) in the Maccabean Kingdom of Alexander Janeus (Yannai)
Map of the Roman Province of Judea

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