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Monday, December 13, 2010

Esther's Shrine in Iran

Interesting visit to the Shrine of Esther.

Jewish exiles from the Kingdom of Judah who had been living in the Babylonian captivity (6th Century BCE) found themselves under Persian rule after Babylonia was in turn conquered by Cyrus the Great, King of the Persians and Medians and founder of the Persian Empire who according to the Biblical Book of Ezra released them from captivity and allowed those that wished to return to Jerusalem, giving them back the money which Nebuchadnezzar II had carried away from Jerusalem.[2] According to the Book of Esther, Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus planned to kill the Jews, but his plans were foiled by Esther, Ahasuerus's queen. Mordecai, a palace official, cousin and foster parent of Esther, subsequently replaced Haman. The Jews were delivered from being the victims of an evil decree against them and were instead allowed by the King to destroy their enemies, and the day after the battle was designated as a day of feasting and rejoicing.