The Biblical book of Esther reads like a movie. (Oh yeah, it has been made into several movies .) Here's the short of it. Xerxes is the king of Persia (from 486 to 464 BC) and his wife, Vashti, has been thrown out of the palace and de-queened for not running to the king when beckoned. The king then begins a search for a lovely young virgin girl, his servants combing the kingdom for the best candidates. But from the gathered masses of long locks and curvacious figures, Esther captures the King's eye. As it turns out, she becomes queen. But the story is not so simple. Esther's cousin, Mordecai, had raised Esther as his own when both her parents died. So as any protective parent would do, Mordecai spent his days near the king's gate, hoping to keep an eye on the young queen of Jewish descent, having warned her not to reveal her heritage. His diligence was even responsible for overhearing a plot to kill the king, thwarting the plan when Esther offered timely warning.