Esther is the eponymous heroine of the Book of Esther.
22 Facts About Esther
Esther is chosen to fulfill this role due to her beauty.
The Book of Esther provides the traditional explanation for the Jewish holiday of Purim, celebrated on the date given in the story for when Haman's order was to go into effect, which is the day that the Jews killed their enemies after the plan was reversed.
Esther, a cousin of Mordecai, was a member of the Jewish community in the Exilic Period who claimed as an ancestor Kish, a Benjamite who had been taken from Jerusalem into captivity.
Esther was the orphaned daughter of Mordecai's uncle, another Benjamite named Abihail.
Mordecai tells Esther, who tells the king in the name of Mordecai, and he is saved.
When Mordecai learns of this, he tells Esther to reveal to the king that she is Jewish and ask that he repeal the order.
Esther hesitates, saying that she could be put to death if she goes to the king without being summoned; nevertheless, Mordecai urges her to try.
Esther asks that the entire Jewish community fast and pray for three days before she goes to see the king; Mordecai agrees.
Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet she has prepared for the next day.
Esther tells the king she will reveal her request at the banquet.
Esther tells Ahasuerus that while she appreciates the offer, she must put before him a more basic issue: she explains that there is a person plotting to kill her and her entire people, and that this person's intentions are to harm the king and the kingdom.
Esther tells the king about Mordecai being her relative, and the king makes Mordecai his adviser.
When Esther asks the king to revoke the order exterminating the Jews, the king is initially hesitant, saying that an order issued by the king cannot be repealed.
Ahasuerus as described in the Book of Esther is usually identified in modern sources to refer to Xerxes I, who ruled between 486 and 465 BCE, as it is to this monarch that the events described in Esther are thought to fit the most closely.
One popular theory says the festival has its origins in a historicized Babylonian myth or ritual in which Mordecai and Esther represent the Babylonian gods Marduk and Ishtar, while others trace the ritual to the Persian New Year, and scholars have surveyed other theories in their works Some scholars have defended the story as real history, but the attempt to find a historical kernel to the narrative "is likely to be futile".
The Book of Esther begins by portraying Esther as beautiful and obedient, though a relatively passive figure.
Esther's faint had not often been depicted in art before Tintoretto.
Esther was regarded in Catholic theology as a typological forerunner of the Virgin Mary in her role as intercessor Her regal election parallels Mary's Assumption and as she becomes queen of Persia, Mary becomes queen of heaven; Mary's epithet as 'stella maris' parallels Esther as a 'star' and both figure as sponsors of the humble before the powerful.
Esther's fainting became a popular subject in the Baroque painting of the following century.
Esther is recognized as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church, commemorated on the Sunday before Christmas.
The story of Esther is referenced in chapter 28 of 1 Meqabyan, a book considered canonical in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.