Esther - painting from ceiling of Dining Room at International Temple in Washington DC by Eric Adkins


The Noble Queen


The scene is laid in Shushan (Susa), some 250 miles east of the city of Babylon and 75 miles east of the Tigris River, and 130 miles north of the Persian Gulf. King Ahasuerus (Xerxes, B.C. 485-465), was king of Persia and reigned at this time over one hundred and twenty seven provinces, extending from India to Ethiopia. It will be recalled that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, and carried away from Jerusalem, Jeconiah (Jehoiakin), the King of Judah, together with a number of Jewish captives, which at this time would seem to have been widely scattered throughout the domain of the Persian empire. The time was about four centuries B.C. The heroine of the story is Esther, one of the Jewish exiles, who rises from the most humble walks of life to become a queen, and thereby ultimately rescuing her people from wholesale destruction, planned by Haman, the favorite courtier of the king. One must take into account the circumstances of her life and the conditions of her time.


Queen of Persia's broad domain
Why this anguish and despair!
Blending tears like falling rain --
Sighs and words of hopeless prayer!
Round thee stands a waiting train,
Wealth and beauty, rank and power;
All to bring relief in vain,
Queen of sadness in this hour.
For a voice has gone abroad,
Stern and fearful, filled with doom;
Israel's exiles to the sword,
Sword and brand to Israel's home.
Lo, that high expressive brow!
Was there e'er a heart so true?
Hark what words the purpose show --
I will save or perish too.
To the sovereign I will haste;
Robe your Queen in purity;
Crown me as in triumphs past;
Maidens to the Throne with me.
Queen, thy holy aim is won --
God o'er rules the stern decree,
Sends a pardon from the throne,
Israel saves and honors thee!
- Rob Morris


Proud and lovely, brave Queen Esther
Holds our hearts thru' all the years;
Teaches bravery in great danger,
Helps to calm our timid fears.
Esther, hope of her sad people,
Guided by God's mighty hand,
Saved her nation from destruction,
Brought peace to her troubled land.
If we had unselfish love for
Our own nation, and our kin,
Like that of brave, young Esther
Freedom's light would never dim!
And we think that her great mantle
Falls on you, who bear her name;
Wearing royal robes of Esther
May you have her noble aim!

(Unless stated, written by Mark Keller/Dianna Gillard (Mass. Grand Chapter). Printed with permission).

The picture of Esther is the court with the King is one of the beautiful paintings of our Star Points painted on the ceiling of the State Dining Room at the International Temple in Washington D.C. by local artist Eric Adkins (1966).

Each Star Point is painted on one of the major panels in the ceiling. The several emblems and flowers represented by our heroines are painted on smaller panels.

Members are invited to visit the Temple at 1618 New Hampshire Ave., NW Washington, D.C.


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