“Chapter 45: Esther,” Old Testament Stories (1980), 161–64
Some Jews did not go back to Jerusalem. They stayed in Babylon. One of them was a beautiful girl named Esther.
Esther’s father and mother were dead. She lived with her cousin Mordecai. Mordecai was a good man.
The king of the land gave a big feast. He asked many people to come.
The king sent for the queen to come to the feast. But she would not come. The king was angry. He said he would choose a new queen.
The king sent for many young women to come to his house. Esther went to the king’s house.
Esther 2:2–4, 8
The king saw that Esther was beautiful. He loved her and chose her to be the queen.
Haman was one of the king’s leaders. He hated the Jews. Haman made the people bow down to him. Mordecai would not bow down. Haman was angry.
Haman told the king the Jews would not obey the laws. Haman wanted to have the Jews killed. Letters were sent to leaders in the kingdom. The letters said all the Jews should be killed.
Esther 3:6–9, 13–15
The Jews heard about the letters. They were afraid and sad. They fasted and prayed for help.
Queen Esther heard about the letters. She sent a servant to ask Mordecai what had happened.
Mordecai said Esther would be killed because she was a Jew. Mordecai said Esther should try to save the Jews. Esther told all the Jews to fast for three days. She fasted, too. Then she went to the king.
Esther 4:7–16; 5:1
The king asked Esther what she wanted. He said she could have anything. Esther asked the king to come to a feast. She wanted Haman to come, too.
Esther told the king about Haman’s plan to kill the Jews. She told him she was a Jew. The king was angry. He had Haman killed.
The king told Mordecai to write letters to all the kingdom. Mordecai told the Jews to kill anyone who tried to kill them.
The Jews were happy. Esther had saved them.