Which Queen Esther Characteristics are the most worthwhile and transformative? And How did Hadassah become so captivating?
Who was she? Did she really exist? Was King Xerxes truly so in love with her that he was willing to find a way to save a whole people group?
And what’s the deal with Mordechai and Haman??
First let’s take a look at 6 vital character traits that we would all benefit from putting into practice. Then I’ll share a few of my favorite Christian Fiction stories of Esther.
Characteristics of Esther in the Bible
There are so many fascinating qualities to her life. But the lessons displayed consistently are invaluable to us. If we take the time to learn from and practice the Characteristics of Esther in the Bible in our daily life, we’ll be so much better off!
So let’s look at some history for a moment.
Who Was Hadassah in the Bible?
And how did a simple Jewish girl go from Hadassah to Queen Esther of Persia?
Well, God was working. He doesn’t have to like or approve of people’s choices to work things according to his will.
He was at work in Hadassah’s heart, in her pain. A young orphan. Raised by a cousin. She had 2 names, I’m guessing that, like Paul, she had her Hebrew name of Hadassah, and a Persian name, Esther.
Strangers in a foreign land, and yet this was a family that had chosen for some reason, NOT to return to Jerusalem when the opportunity arose.
But they trusted God’s will, even in the hardest moments.
Which Queen Esther Characteristics Do We Need To Practice?
I think that I can safely say that Esther was not timid and fearful. I don’t believe she was arrogant or selfish or otherwise spoiled. She would not have won Hegai’s approval or support if she was.
Esther 2:8-9 NIV – When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.
She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
Let’s take a look at what stands out most in Esther’s character. What we should try to immitate:
6 Specific Queen Esther Characteristics
I know I’m just scraping the surface with these character traits of Queen Esther, but they have really stood out to me this year. so let’s dive in. Here are some highlights of her noble character and life lessons for us to emulate:
- Obedience (2:10, 15) This works well only when paired with the others. On it’s own it can be dangerous!
- Pleasant/Friendly (2:9)
- Wise enough to seek advice and follow it (2:10, 15, 20; 4)
- Boldness – courage in action, despite realistic fear (4:16, 7:3)
- Faith (5:4)
- True humility (7:3-4, 8:1-2)
We can’t just fall into becoming a wise woman of character. It’s not that simple.
But you already know that.
Developing a habit of being pleasant to be around is a good start.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Matthew 5:43-48 ESV – “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? …
Colossians 4:6 ESV – Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Matthew 7:12 ESV – “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
A pattern of respect for authority will cover a couple of the other essential facets of Esther in the Bible.
Something difficult we can learn from Queen Esther: Obedience and Wisdom. Seeking wise advice – and following it, because you realize you don’t know everything. And aren’t in control. Oops, any other bubbles burst besides mine?
But consider blind obedience. Without wisdom and faith to give you discernment over whether this particular authority or instruction is valid and good. That can be devastating and destructive!
If you have a middle schooler, you’ll love this contemporary retelling, that shows some really nice Esther qualities in a fun way!
Humility: A Key to Leadership Qualities of Esther
Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. (Apparently not a CS Lewis quote, but maybe Rick Warren?)
Either way its true. You focus less on yourself without devaluing or neglecting yourself. Consciously thinking of other people’s needs and what would benefit them most in a situation.
If Esther and Mordecai had been concerned about themselves, they would have likely refused The King’s gifts. Accepting Haman’s property and position meant they might have bigger targets on their backs. Something I’d not really considered before.
But it also positioned them to help the Jews. And influence the king for good.
Through it all, from orphan to queen to being used by God to save her people, Esther remained humble.
That takes diligence on an individual level. And having a parent like Mordecai sure helps!
Mordecai in the Bible
If you want to study Christian fatherhood, Mordecai would be an excellent case study. If he was successfully able to raise Hadassah the way he did I think he can teach us a thing or three.
Esther was an orphan named Hadassah, raised by her cousin, that, by God’s will and Mordecai’s guidance became the queen of Persia!
Mordecai may have served at the King’s gate, but he definitely served at the feet of his God.
He raised Esther to be obedient and pleasant. But he didn’t neglect her confidence in God. Independent thought and courage must have been encouraged too. Worthy traits for us to practice today!
Mordecai and Haman
This particular pair, Mordecai and Haman, are more interesting than you might realize.
Mordecai honors God, and bows to the king. But he does not give arrogant, sneaky Haman the respect he ‘thinks’ he deserves.
And Haman is so wrapped up in his own importance that he does not notice Mordecai. But once someone pointed out that Mordecai did not bow down, look out. Hamam did not confront, or even have Mordecai punished. No, let’s annihilate his entire people!
I don’t want to identify with Haman. But I have to ask. Do I confront perceived slights (with love)? Or do I grumble in my heart?
Matthew 5:22 ESV – But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
1 Samuel 16:7b ESV – For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
That second verse is definitely ‘out of context’ but I think it applies to the question at hand.
The book of Esther is one of the stories in the Bible that make you think about lots of things in a different way. It shows that God is always with us, and that there’s something to be learned from each event. If we’re willing to learn it!
King Ahasuerus (Xerxes)
It’s very clear that the king loved Esther. He made her his queen, and his favorite. And yet, Esther was hesitant to go before the king without being summoned. At this point it had been a month since she’d seen him.
He was (nearly) all-powerful, and not known for being good or kind. As a secretly Jewish woman living in the king’s harem, even with her status as favorite, was dangerous. Especially after Haman’s edict to kill all of the Jewish people.
But after fasting and prayer, with Mordecai’s encouragement, Esther showed great trust in God. She approaches the king without an invitation, and invites the king to a banquet. Strategy, to relax him, and remind him of who she is to him, before accusing his right hand man of genocide.
This story is one of courage, and I admire her so much.
The Story of Esther in Christian Fiction
I’ve had the fun of reading several great Hadassah story renditions, displaying this wonderful story through Christian fiction, and I am happy to share some of my favorites here:
Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia
Book: Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia Author: Diana Wallis Taylor
This one was on Tour with Celebrate Lit, so I have the full description:
One of the great heroines of the Old Testament, Hadassah was a beautiful, graceful young woman who put her faith in God and her guardian, her cousin Mordecai.
She dreams of marrying Shamir, a tall, handsome, studious young man who is the rabbi’s son. Her heart beats faster when she hears the sound of his deep voice as he reads the Torah. And she hopes that he will visit Mordecai soon to present a betrothal request.
Then, an upheaval in King Xerxes’s palace changes everything. Queen Vashti has been banished and an edict goes out for all qualified young virgins throughout the empire to be taken to the palace as he searches for a replacement.
Fear strikes in the hearts of many, including Mordecai, as he realizes Hadassah will be taken. To hide her identity as a Jew, he tells her to go by the name of Esther. Since he works as a record-keeper at the king’s gates, he can keep tabs on how she is doing.
Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia imagines what life was like for the woman who saved her people—and perhaps found love in the process.
Click to grab your copy from these sellers: Independent Bookshop Kindle Paperback ChristianBook Ebook ChristianBook Paperback
I was privileged to get an advance copy of a new study for teens on the Book of Esther shortly before reading this book. Finding an online sermon series and a few other blog posts framed this story nicely!
The Book Review
I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading Hadassah, Queen Esther of Persia. I have studied Esther several times, and read several fictional accounts. I found it pretty accurate, historically speaking.
The only fault I noticed, (and it might have just been a brain freeze) was saying Nehemiah had already gone back to Jerusalem. Everything I’ve ever heard puts Nehemiah 10-20 years After Esther. The author may have meant Sheshbazzer who led the return Cyrus the Great authorized shortly before (Ezra 1). It was a passing mention, and does not impact the story in any way.
Oh, once Esther claims to be descended from King Saul. Not sure where that came from, but okay.
The actual Biblical portion of the story mostly occurred between 50-80% of the book. The first 50% and the last 20% were believable and beautiful. The interaction was very good. The backstory, the drama and tension of life in Susa and in the Palace, made me feel like I was right there. (and grateful that I was not!)
This is a unique work, and well worth adding to your collection. If you enjoy Biblical fiction, historical fiction or stories of hope, I would definitely recommend this book.
As much as I enjoyed the author’s account of Lydia in the Bible, her writing has improved and Hadassah: Queen Esther of Persia is 5x better than Lydia: Woman of Philippi (which was excellent!).
- Meet Lydia in the Bible, Woman of Philippi
- Are You Ready to Dwell In The Shelter of The Most High
- Great Biblical Fiction Authors You Don’t Want to Miss
Star of Persia, Beautiful Story of Hadassah in the Bible
I’ve read several fictional versions of the book of Esther, and this one‘s tied for first place. I love how beautifully unique it is, while staying true to the Biblical narrative.
Related to the traits of friendliness and pleasant to be around, compassion was a theme that stood out to me in Star of Persia. Vashti’s decision not to go before the king was compassion. Xerxes even showed compassion in a couple of instances that, while out of historical character, were still within a believable line. And naturally, Esther’s compassion and kindness are what won her such favor.
Mordechai’s wisdom and influence cannot be underestimated and is something we as parents can learn a lot from. (yes, even in a novel!)
There was one scene that really got me upset-as in: How could she write that, that’s got to be an error!!- but it was a carefully devised plot point that is explained a few pages later. So if you find yourself in the middle of the book going “WHAT!!!????” then keep reading. It’s okay! All will be fine 🙂
I received a copy of Star of Persia through @netgalley. I chose to review it here, all thoughts are my own.
Find your copy of Star of Persia at
Great Biblical Fiction Available Here
- Answers In Genesis
- BibleStore (Much More Than Bibles)
Jewel of Persia, An Unusual Hadassah Bible Story
My all time favorite rendering of Hadassah isn’t even really Esther’s story. It’s Kasia’s Story. This one takes a lot of creative license, but all the key parts of the original story are firmly in place. The weaving of a whole other story makes this a beautiful tapestry.
Kasia is daring a forbidden pleasure, and talks her young friend Hadassah into joining her, only to be caught out by the royal party. Kasia displays her own traits of boldness and wisdom to get out of a few scrapes, and ends up capturing Xerxes heart. Though without a dowry, she’s ‘only’ a concubine. Her father lets everyone think she’s died.
Esther grows up burdened by cares, and after having her heart broken, decides to accept the (voluntary) offer to try for the position of new Queen. She fully demonstrates the expected characteristics of Esther, and is well-loved, even as a minor character.
.Mordecai’s role in this book is absolutely awesome! I can’t say more without spoiling it, but you don’t want to miss it.
This story has way more intrigue and layers of cultural, historical, political drama than most Biblical fiction. As such, it sucks you into an unforgettable adventure.
Find your copy of Jewel of Persia at
*In Lynn Austin’s Restoration Chronicles over on the Biblical Fiction post, there’s another really good rendition of this story. And of Mordecai in particular, though most of the focus is on Ezra in Babylon, and experiencing the familiar drama from a new point of view. Outside of the palace and the city of Sousa!
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The Esther Paradigm, A New Hadassah Bible Story
The Esther Paradigm is a contemporary Christian fiction retelling of the Hadassah Bible story. I think seeing Esther and the dynamics of her story played out on a very contemporary backdrop is especially meaningful. So often we paint the people of the Bible as 2D, and just a story to learn from.
It may seem a little surreal, having the Hadassah story in modern times, but I think Sarah Monzon did an incredible job with Hannah. Hannah displayed many characteristics of Esther in the Bible, and making Karim a little more likable than Xerxes was. Especially liked the “Haman” character’s portrayal. I loved getting lost in the contemporary story and trying to predict the Biblical parallels before they came.
One lesson that struck home, was Hannah’s struggle with her self worth/value. Instead of letting that struggle define her as “broken” or “worthless” etc, she saw it as a sign of her need to continually spend time in God’s word.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
This woman has left quite a Legacy, and her noble characteristics are worth emulating. But it’s not easy. I mean, Boldness and True Humility in the same person? A foreign concept. But if she did it, we can too. How do you want to be remembered?
Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!