Queen in Persia who prevented an anti-Jewish pogrom

Esther was a Jewish woman who lived in Persia.  Ahasuerus the king had a quarrel with the queen and chose Esther to be his wife.  A royal official named Haman wanted to destroy the Jews and planned a large scale persecution.  Esther learned of the plot and agreed to intercede.  She invited the king to a banquet and after securing his favor she pleaded with him to help the Jews.  The Jews were given the right of self-defense, and when the persecution began they destroyed their enemies.