The Story of Esther
Adapted by: S.C. Mathisen
Mr. Mathisen: A long time ago, far, far away, back during the time when the children of Israel were being held captive in a place called Persia. They were there because they had disobeyed the Lord by worshipping other gods and being very wicked. There lived in that land, at that time, a young Jewish girl named Esther. Now, some of you have probably heard or read her story before, but, this story does not contain any unmade sandwiches, falling birthday cakes or songs about puppies.
Stanley: Boy, that‘s not going to be much fun!
Mr. Mathisen: Stanley, lots of stories are fun just to listen to and to imagine in your mind what is being told. Can you do that?
Mr. Mathisen: Sure you can! Now sit still and be good and try to imagine yourself back in Persia about 2,450 years ago. I think that it might have been early on a Wednesday morning, and the sun was just beginning to warm the stones of the gate and Mordecai the Gatekeeper was about to go on duty. Now, Mordecai was a middle-aged man, slightly round, with a full graying beard and the hair on the top of his head was starting to get thin.
He was just thinking about his young cousin Esther. She was growing up quickly into a very beautiful young woman and how he ought to be thinking about finding her a husband soon. “How time has flown by” he thought to himself, “since her parents died, and she came to live with me.” “These days she takes more care of me than I do of her, hmm, what a girl she is!”
Well, Mordecai arrived at the King’s gate and took over the running of the gate from the man that had stood watch over the gate during the night. As the two men stood talking about the news of the day, the night man (his name was Ira, by the way). Ira was just telling Mordecai what had happened the night before in the palace. Let’s listen in a little:
Ira: So, Mordecai, my friend there was such a scene last night that you would not believe.
Mordecai: What do you mean Ira? I know that the King has been holding a feast for his royal friends for the last week. I also know that the King tends to drink too much at his feasts and usually does something silly to show off. What did he do this time?
Ira: You’re not going to believe what he did, you’re just NOT going to believe it.
Mordecai: Alright! Enough already with “you’re not going to believe it”! What did he DO???
Ira: He got rid of Queen Vashti! She didn’t obey a royal command, and he just sent her away and she is NO LONGER QUEEN! Can you believe it??
Mr. Mathisen: Needless to say, Mordecai was astonished at this. He didn’t know that a king could send his queen away! He especially didn’t think that King Ahasueres would do that, but, the king has done some strange things during these feasts of his. He was just glad that this had nothing to do with him or Esther. They and the rest of the Jews in Persia were leading quiet lives during their captivity even if some people did not seem to like them very much.