Throughout history women have been struggling with leadership roles, especially in the church. Women would gain a leadership role over hundreds, if not thousands, of people and not always being able to lead them in the manner they desire because of the stereotypes placed upon them from men in church leadership positions.
Esther was a Jewish woman, from the tribe of Benjamin to be exact. Her cousin, Mordecai, brought her up after her mother and father had died. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, brought her into captivity, along with the rest of the Jews, to Susa, capital of the Persian Empire. The king of Judah, Jehoiachin, was also taken along with his people. All the Jews became exiled from Jerusalem when this had happened. Esther was taken up to the palace after Vashti, the queen at the time, got removed from her position and King Xerxes wanted to find someone who would replace her as queen. He desired someone more obedient than Vashti, since Vashti had refused to go to the king when he asked for her. An excellent example of this is found in the Bible when Esther was chosen by King Xerxes to become queen instead of Vashti. Now Esther was queen of Persia, but soon the king passed a law that would destroy the Jews because he had been tricked a person in his court, Hamman. Hamman had been given the highest seat of honor above all the other nobles in the king’s court. In Esther 2:15-3:4, it talks about how the kings’ people went to go get young virgins to replace Vashti for what she had done. If the king found favor with any of the virgins, she would replace Vashti as queen. Esther became queen because she found favor with the king and the king threw her a banquet, for his nobles and officials. Later, a plot to kill the king was discovered by Mordecai. Mordecai overheard two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway and reported this to Esther, who in turn, told the king of this plot while giving Mordecai all the credit for finding out about the plot. These events go by and the king honors Haman with a seat of honor that is higher than all the other nobles in the king’s court. This section from the Bible means that women can be placed in, and keep, an authoritative position that helps out several people, regardless of their religion, culture, or gender. Esther 4:15-7:10 talks about how a law was passed to destroy the Jews after Hamman tricked the king into signing the law. After the law was passed, Esther decided to go to the king to save Mordecai and the rest of the Jews in captivity because of that newly passed law. Esther also went to the king because Mordecai had asked her to go plead for help from the king against Hamman. She requests that the king bring Hamman and go to a banquet she has made for them. She does this once more before making her petition. Esther decided to sacrifice herself for her people if the king did not grant her the request she had