"...who knows whether you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14
The book of Esther is a dramatic and romantic historical novel. The powerful drama portrayed in Esther includes: intrigue, suspense, love, hatred, pride, conceit, malice, conspiracy, revenge, murder, duty, honour and courage.
A Colossal Conflict Between Continents
The historical backdrop to the book of Esther is one of the most famous and dramatic chapters in world history. Xerxes, the King of Persia, was about to launch his famous invasion of Europe. His father, Darius I, had been defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Marathon. The historian Herodotus informs us that the occasion for the great feast described in Esther 1 was for planning the campaign against Greece in the third year of Xerxes' reign.
Xerxes (king Ahasuerus) accumulated a massive army of reportedly 5 million men. Only 10% of these were Persians, the rest conscripted from the 127 provinces ruled by the Persian Empire. Xerxes' engineers used over 670 boats lashed together to form two bridges across the Hellespont, enabling his huge army to march from Asia into Europe.
The Capriciousness of Xerxes
Indicating what a volatile individual Xerxes was, when a storm wrecked the first attempts of his engineers to complete the bridge across the channel, he ordered the Hellespont flogged and chained as punishment for its tempestuousness!