G17    ESTHER This book, popular among Jewish people, has as its background the period of the 'Medes and Persians' who succeeded Babylon as the next great power of the Middle East. No doubt there is a historical basis to the story of a Queen Esther who skilfully saved many of her Jewish compatriots from a massacre in 473 B.C. in the days of Xerxes I (King Ahasuerus in the text).

Suffice it to say that her success is commemorated in the Jewish Feast of 'Purim'.

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