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Friday, April 27, 2012

X if for Xerxes

My A to Z blogging theme is characters in (people from) the scriptures. Since my blog is a book blog, this theme would fit right in and help me strengthen a weakness at the same. How fantastic is that?!  This challenge is a blessing. Thank you A to Z Challenge team!  *Book: LDS quad combo scriptures: KJV Holy Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price. (p)1989, (c)1979.

The name Ahasuerus is a Hebrew transliteration of the Persian Khsyayarsha, better known in history as Xerxes, the Greek form of the name. (Old Testament Student Manual, Religion 302, pg 329; also Wikipedia).  Hence, we will revisit the book of Esther in the Old Testament.  As we mentioned in the "V for Vashti" post, Ahasuerus was the great Persian Emperor who banished his wife Vashti for disobeying his call to come to him.  This lead for his search for a new queen which we discover to be Esther, a beautiful Jewish maiden.  Later in the book, we read that Ahasuerus okayed a decree to exterminate Jews under the guidance of Haman at a designated future date.  Unbeknownst to the king that his now wife would be among them.  Moreover, we find that Esther was charged by Mordecai, her uncle/guardian, to go to her husband and plea for her people while there was still time.  At that time though, King Ahasuerus had her on a not to go to him for 30 days, so this charge was not going to be pretty should her visit displease him because such offense would be a capital one.  However, Esther took on the call and asked her people to fast and pray along with her.  She did go to the king and he found favor with her visit.  Esther offered a banquet and another one the next day that led Ahasuerus to read the records which then prepared him to see Haman's wrong doings.  Thus, King Ahasuerus lifted the extermination decree.  Now Esther's heroic story is celebrated by Jews today called The Festival of Purim ..for delivering the Persian Jews from their oppressor, Haman.

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