Who is Zeresh in the Book of Esther?

Zeresh is a lesser-known character in the Book of Esther, but one who played a crucial role in the events of the story. She was the wife of Haman, the main antagonist of the book, and was instrumental in his downfall.

Zeresh is first mentioned in Esther 5:10, where Haman returns home from the first banquet with King Ahasuerus and boasts to his wife and friends about his wealth and power. Zeresh is depicted as a supportive and loyal wife, encouraging Haman to build a gallows to hang Mordecai, a Jewish man who had refused to bow down to him.

However, in a dramatic turn of events, Zeresh's loyalty to her husband is tested when his plan to have Mordecai executed backfires and he is instead humiliated in front of the entire kingdom. Zeresh recognizes the gravity of the situation and advises Haman to change his course of action, warning him that he will surely fall before Mordecai.

Despite her warning, Haman disregards Zeresh's counsel and continues with his plan to destroy the Jews. This ultimately leads to his downfall, as Queen Esther reveals his plot to the king and he is hung on the very gallows he had built for Mordecai.

Zeresh's character serves as a reminder of the importance of listening to wise counsel, even if it comes from unexpected sources. Her warning to Haman was rooted in her desire to protect him from his own pride and ambition, and her insight proved to be accurate.

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Jamie Larson