King Ahasuerus of Persia was offended by his queen, Vashti, and set about to find another wife. In the city of Shushan, a Jew named Mordecai was the uncle of a beautiful maiden named Esther. The king met and fell in love with her and she became queen of all Persia.
Since she usually was secluded, Queen Esther rarely could communicate with her uncle who sat at the city gate hoping for a glimpse of her. One day Mordecai heard two palace gatekeepers plotting against the king. He sent a message to Esther. The gatekeepers were tried and hanged and Mordecai's patriotism was recorded in the king's Great Book of Deeds.
Shortly afterward, an evil man, Haman, was appointed to a position of great power within the palace. Mordecai refused to bow to him and Haman decided all Jews in Persia should die for this disrespect. The king agreed.
Esther saw the sorrow and fear this decision created among her people. Her uncle said to her, ". . who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14). Although approaching the king unsummoned was not permitted, Esther was determined to make a direct appeal to him. If he was displeased, she would surely die. The king did not rebuke her for her boldness and asked her to make a request. He said she could request up to half his kingdom. She asked that Haman be invited to a banquet. Haman was greatly pleased at this honor. His ego swelled, and more than ever he wanted Mordecai to bow before him. When Mordecai still would not bow, Haman decided to bad a gallows for him.
During the banquet Esther told the king of an enemy of her people. She revealed Haman's plan to kill Mordecai, despite his earlier service and loyalty to the king. King Ahasuerus decided to hang Haman instead, and Esther's people were saved.