Tuesday, 26 June 2012

ABC Wednesday, X of Xerxes

                                                   Queen Esther wife of King Xerxes.

The letter X is not easy at all, but lo and behold there is a name in the bible beginning with X! Xerxes! Because of him Israel celebrates Purim every year.

 King Xerxes held a 180-day feast in Susa (Shoushan). While in "high spirits" from the wine, he ordered his queen, Vashti, to appear before him and his guests to display her beauty. But  she refused to come. Furious at her refusal to obey, the king asked his wise men what should be done. One of them said that all the women in the empire would hear that "The King Xerxes commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not." Then the women of the empire would despise their husbands. And this would cause many problems in the kingdom. Therefore it would be good to depose her.

To find a new queen suitable to King Xerxes, it was decreed that beautiful young virgins be gathered to the palace from every province of his kingdom. For his wife and queen, King Xerxes chose  the Jewish girl Esther, an orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai, to replace the recalcitrant Queen Vashti. Esther was originally named Hadassah, meaning myrtle.

                                      Haman and King Xerxes at Esther's party.

 When I went to Israel in March the Purim festivities were going on. Purim is based on the story of Esther king Xerxes or Ahasueros, Haman and Mordecai. It is the happiest festivity of the year. Esther saved her people from the slaughter Haman had planned. King Xerxes was furious and punished Haman and his sons. You can read the whole story in the bible in the book of Esther.
Purim was also celebrated in my country in Jewish communities. There were photos of children in my newspaper ,who were disguised in all kind of fancydresses.
Chagai is ten years old. The mask is part of a wizzard outfit.

Esther is 4 years old. Isn't she a lovely bride?
Sweet Binjomin is a lovely fireman of six.
 I thank Denise Nesbitt, who created ABC.We started round 10 of the fascinating meme of ABC. For more interesting ABC posts click on the logo in the sidebar . This week we are looking for words beginning with X.

Next week I will be in Australia. I don't know if I can answer your comments, but I do have 

 scheduled all my ABC posts. I hope to be back on the 24th July. Have a nice month!


The Weaver of Grass said...

Sometimes we play a game where we have to name a boy's name for every letter of the alphabet - we all want Xerxes!
Esther is my favourite girl's name. If my son had been a girl that is what I would have called him.,
Have a lovely time in Australia.

Shooting Parrots said...

It all seems rather hard on poor Vashti!

Arkansas Patti said...

Goodness, wifely rules were really strict in Biblical times. I had forgotten that story, thanks for the reminder.
Have a great time in Australia.

Sylvia K said...

Strict rules indeed! Wonderful and interesting post as always, Wil!! I hope you have a wonderful trip to Australia!!


Roger Owen Green said...

My favorite OT story! I played Haman in a church play.

Reader Wil said...

Shooting Parrots made me think about Vashti!Thanks for comment on Esther and poor Vashti. Come to think of it: Vashti was actually the main instrument for saving the Jewish people from being slaughtered. Unintentionally but she is the woman whom the Jews should be grateful too. She was brave and the first defender of women’s rights. Esther, however, did what was possible and accepted at that time.

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Great post. I have always known him as Ahasueros, and not Xerxes. I love all the things I learn from the fascinating posts of ABC Wednesday!

Leslie: said...

This is one of my favourite stories from the Bible. I taught it to grade 4 students when I was teaching at a Christian school. Great take on the letter X!!!

abcw team

Hildred and Charles said...

God works in mysterious ways, and Vashti was a heroine too but living in the wrong time space for her rebellion.

Kay said...

I've heard the name, but forgot the story of Esther. How interesting... but I feel sorry for Vashti too. Doesn't sound like she deserved to be divorced for that silly reason.

George said...

Thanks for a great 'X' post. I enjoyed the images you posted along with your text.

Rajesh said...

Lot of interesting history there. Thanks for sharing.

Paula Scott said...


eJoops said...

Such a strict rule!

X is for Xeroderma

Ms. Burrito said...

I haven't read this one yet.

X is for Xenophobia

chubskulit said...

How cute those photos are!

Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

ChrisJ said...

I love the book of Esther. Although it may seem that Vashti was out of her time and place, God knew what He was doing when He gave Xerxes a spirited wife like that. Otherwise we would have had a lot more people to feel sorry for if Hamaan had had his way. But God always knows what He is doing even if we don't know.

Lisa said...

X is a hard one when wandering through the bible. I did Vashti for V-day last time around.

Ann said...

I studied Esther and remember the name Xer... which I can't pronounce and spell.

Have a great time in Oz, hope it is not too cold for you.

I am in Singapore. That is my sleep deprived brain thinking. It's really hot here in Singapore, and good that I am staying in my sister's place so I don't have to pay for accommodation, and I have 1 month so I don't have to rush. I wake up at 3 am in the morning because it is 8 am in New Zealand.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing all those picture!

i love that Roger played Haman in a church play. that's funny

spaceship tanka

DawnTreader said...

It's a very eXciting story, well worth reminding of.

Ann said...

I was going to use this King also, there are so few X's. I love the story of Esther. Great post.