Esther (Hadassah) was a woman who thought she had no influence over her husband or over matters of importance. Yet a desperate situation forced her to into the spotlight, where she realized she had more power than she thought, indeed the power to change the political climate for all the Jews in Persia.
The conquest of Judah by the Babylonians was soon followed by conquest of Babylon by the Medes and Persians. The biblical book of Esther opens with Jews in the seventy-year exile under the rule of a capricious and despotic Persian king known to historians as Xerxes. The king’s right-hand man was Haman, a man more evil even than the king. He hated the Jews and especially a particular Jew named Mordecai. Mordecai’s business location was just outside the palace gates, and whenever Haman entered the palace, he had to pass a man who refused to bow to him. Anxious to get rid of this unruly Jew, he concocted plan to rid the kingdom of all Hebrews.
Meanwhile the king had another problem: his queen, Vashti, had refused his request to display her beauty before a raucous, drunken crowd of men feasting with the king. Such impertinence must be punished, and Vashti was deposed as queen. But who would succeed her? A beauty contest was held to locate the most beautiful virgins in all 127 provinces of Persia, and Mordecai’s niece, Esther, was among those brought to the palace to undergo the year-long beauty treatment required before presentation to the king. At the end, Esther finished first in the pageant and was crowned queen of the realm. The one fact about her that remained hidden was that she was a Jew.
The Book Of Esther
Even though she trained to be a submissive harem girl, Esther, the ezer woman, found inner strength to take a stand for the sake of others. She became the new wife of the king when his first wife disobeyed him, and Esther was chosen for her beauty. She was known for foiling the plan of the king’s chief adviser, Haman, who wanted to have all Jews in the kingdom killed. Esther’s story provides the traditional background for the Jewish holiday Purim, which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people in the Achaemenid Persian Empire. But there are stories surrounding this famous biblical figure that are also weird. Here are the weird things nobody told you about Queen Esther.
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING is an impressive biblical epic based on the story of Esther. Tiffany Dupont stars as Hadassah, an orphaned Jewish girl in Persia raised by her Uncle Mordecai. When King Xerxes puts away his disobedient Queen, Hadassah is one of the many women considered to be the next queen. She changes her name to Esther to hide her Jewish roots. Of course, she becomes the favorite of the King. Haman, who is descended from a tribe were almost annihilated by the Jewish King Saul, is intent on killing all the Jews. Esther must put her life on the line, break protocol and go before the King to plead for her people.
ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING brings history to life in a meaningful, realistic way. Despite being slightly repetitive in places, the script by Stephan Blinn, based on writer Tommy Tenney’s original novel, is very clever. There are also some quick jumping conflict resolutions at the end. Most of these structural problems are very minor, however, and will not be noticed by most viewers. Anyone who loves the Bible will love this movie, whether they are Christian or Jewish.