The king of Babylon, Ahasuerus, sent out his servants to find him a queen. They chose the most beautiful girls in all of the country, and brought them to the palace, so that the king could choose. One of the girls was called Esther.
Esther had a secret. She was really called Hadassah and she was a Jew.
The king’s advisor, Haman, hated the Jews. He wanted to have them all killed. To keep herself safe, Esther needed to keep her secret. Esther wondered why God had let her be taken to the palace where she was in such danger.
Esther was beautiful and smart. The king liked her best of all the girls. He chose her to be his queen.
Meanwhile, Haman was telling lies to the king to make his angry with the Jews. Haman made a plan to send soldiers to kill all the Jews. He knew it would be easy, because the Jews were not allowed to have any weapons. The king said that Haman could carry out his wicked plan.
When Mordecai heard about the plan, he sent a message to Esther, asking her to talk to the king. Now, Esther lived in the queen’s palace. She was not allowed to go to the king unless he sent for her. She knew that if she made the king angry, he would have her head cut off. The king could get a new queen, but Esther could not get a new head.
Mordecai told her that God had put her in the palace so that she could save his people. Esther agreed to try.
She put on her best clothes, and she went to see the king, and she invited him and Haman to come and have lunch with him. The king was pleased to see her, and came to lunch.
Haman was proud that he had been invited to lunch. But he was not happy when the king told Esther that he was pleased with her and would give her anything she wanted! Esther told the king that she wanted her life, and the life of her people, because there was a man who plotted to kill them all.
The king was angry. ‘Who would plot against my queen?’ he asked.
Esther explained that she was a Jew, and that Haman had plotted against her.
The king had Haman executed, and appointed Mordecai as his adviser instead. He made a new law that the Jews could carry weapons, and that they could kill those who tried to kill them.
Thanks to the courage of Esther, the Jews were saved.