In the 7th–6th century BC, Esther was chosen out of the women of Israel to be part of the harem of King Xerxes. She used her political influence to destroy the antisemitic actors who sought to destroy the Jews in Persia, and through her faithfulness, established the Jewish festival of Purim. She was thereafter chosen by Xerxes to be his queen, and she ruled Israel as a Jewish queen of a gentile nation.
Like Deborah a thousand years earlier, Esther saved Israel from the consequences of its own spiritual folly and established a safe place for Jews to worship in the land. It was on this basis that Judaism was allowed to flourish under Greek and Roman rule in the centuries to come, and it was because of Esther that the ministry of Jesus was able to thrive freely and openly in public society.
“So Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter concerning Purim. And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of Xerxes’ kingdom—words of goodwill and assurance—to establish these days of Purim at their designated times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had decreed for them, and as they had established for themselves and their descendants in regard to their times of fasting and lamentation” (Esther 9:29–31).