The Adopted Queen

September 18,- October 10, 1998

Once upon a time there was an adoptee who lived in a kingdom ruled by a king and his queen. The king was entertaining heads of state from all the nations he ruled and, while under the influence of a very good wine, made a very bad request of his wife, the queen. She refused to comply and pressure was brought to bear to remove her from her royal position. Although the king acquiesced, he lived to regret not only his poor choice of requests to his wife, but also her banishment from his presence.

The king’s counselors saw his loneliness and sought to alleviate it. They sent out word to all the nations of the kingdom ordering all the loveliest maidens to come to the king’s city, where they would be sequestered, pampered, and prepared for their very own evening with the king. She whom the king favored most would become the new queen.

The adoptee was a beautiful young woman who still lived with her adoptive father, obeying him respectfully and doing always as he wisely and lovingly directed her. The adoptee had been lovingly cared for all her life, and her father did not want her to experience the things he feared awaited her in the palace harem. But he realized that he must also obey the authorities above him and so he sent her off to the palace.

She was so sweet and gentle that she immediately caught the attention of the king’s servants in charge of the project. They too chose to protect her and give her special treatment and training. Her own personality and intelligence were enhanced and she was allowed to mature and gain confidence before she took her turn with the king. He was impressed by her! In fact, the search for a new queen ended and she was selected.

Through the years, the king grew to rely upon the wisdom and grace of his lovely wife. He truly cherished her. However, the adoptee had learned well the lessons of her adoptive family. She was always charming and truthful with her royal husband, but she never answered questions he didn’t ask, and he never asked about her past.

You see, the queen was not only an adoptee but also a member of a minority which was greatly discriminated against in the kingdom. When a plot arose to annihilate this minority, the adoptive father came to his daughter and told her of the plans of the king’s bigoted second in command. The daughter told her father that she could not possibly go to the king with the information for she had not been summoned to appear before him and unauthorized intrusions into the king’s presence could be rewarded with death! Her father then told her that she should not count on her royal position to protect her from the persecutions to come, and posed a startling question to her: “Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for such a day as this?” After much thought, the young adoptee told her father that if he would lead their people in three days of prayer and fasting, she would indeed go to visit the king. “And if I perish, I perish!” she said.

Well, her father led the people in prayer and fasting, and the adoptee approached the king. He did not command her death, but offered to grant her greatest desires, up to “half the kingdom”. In her wisdom, she invited her royal mate and his bigoted second in command to attend a series of dinners. They wined and dined and the bigot left the first meal more full of himself than of the excellent food and drink offered him! He bragged to all who would listen about the glories heaped upon him by the king and queen.

At the next day’s meal, the king again asked what gift he could grant his queen, “up to half the kingdom”. She carefully told him that she wished the life of herself, her family, and her people be spared. She told the king of her membership in the minority that had been targeted for extinction and asked for his royal protection. The king asked who would plot such a far reaching mass murder, and the queen pointed to the second in command. The king left the room to collect his thoughts and while he was gone, the bigot approached the queen to beg her for his life. Laying hands upon her, he was found by the king and immediately sentenced to death for assaulting the queen.

The truth of the queen’s lineage was discussed with the king and arrangements were made for the entire ethnic group to which she belonged to be allowed to protect themselves from any and all aggressors. To this day, among the Jews of every nation, the feast of Purim is celebrated to commemorate the victory of the adoptee who became queen.

HINT: To “read more about it” find your nearest Bible and turn to the Book of Esther!

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