King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia dismissed his wife Vashti because she had offended him. Instead the King chose Esther, not knowing she was Jewish. Esther was an orphan and had been raised by her uncle Mordecai. Haman, the King's chief minister, hated the Jews and Mordecai and decreed that all the Jews in the Persian Empire should be massacred. Mordecai asked Esther to intercede with the King, which she did at great risk by entering into the King's presence without having been summoned to. Although even forbidden for the Queen, she entered and was accepted by the King, who stretched his arm out with his golden scepter in acknowledgment. Haman was hanged by the King and Mordecai and all the Jews were saved.