The Persian king Ahasuerus (also called Xerxes) quarreled with his queen Vashti and sought out the most beautiful maiden in his empire to replace her. The Jewish maiden Esther was selected and gained great favor with the king. A wicked official named Haman sought to have Esther’s adopted father Mordecai executed, but when Ahasuerus learned that Mordecai had previously helped foil a plot against Ahasuerus’ life, Haman was executed instead. Haman had convinced Ahasuerus to allow persecution of the Jews, but Esther intervened. Ahasuerus gave the Jews the right to defend themselves, which they did successfully.
Persian king and husband of Queen Esther