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March 4, 2015 6:24 pm

A Model of the Palace From the Story of Esther is Built in Israel

avatar by David Daoud

Replica of King Xerxes' Palace. PHOTO: Biblical Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

The Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, in the last few days, has created a unique display connected to the festival of Purim: an exact replica of the palace of King Xerxes, Israel’s NRG reported.

The Palace, called Afadna, was built by King Darius I in Shushan, and was completed by his successor, Xerxes, who is believed to most likely be the King Ahasuerus of the Book of Esther.

The palace model was built according to uncovered historical artifacts and descriptions, and is remarkably similar to Ahasuerus’ palace in the Biblical story.

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For example, in the palace model, the King’s throne overlooks the exit to the courtyard, a detail which is identical to the Book of Esther, wherein the King, seated on his throne, looks out into the courtyard and sees Queen Esther dressed in her royal raiment. This similarity, among many others, suggests that the Book of Esther was not a fictional account, but actually grounded in historical reality.

Quite unusually, the Palace is described in the Book of Esther in minute detail, to a point where an accurate comparison can be made between historical findings and theory.

Archaeological findings dug up in ancient Shushan, in modern-day Iran, were discovered by a team of French archaeologists, led by the late Jean Farrow, in the late 1960’s. There, the archaeologists found the Palace’s reception hall, as well as other parts of the Palace.

Among the findings were the bases of columns, and capitals of the columns engraved with the heads of bulls. These findings are now on display in the Louvre Museum in France, and some of them are still in Persia – today’s Iran – in the area where the excavations were conducted.

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