From the Harem to the Palace

Photo by Ovayo Ntlabati on Unsplash

I often return to the story of Esther this time of the year which marks the celebration of Purim, the Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from genocide under the Persian Empire.

As I return to her book, seven simple words stand out to me -

…from the haram to the king’s palace. -Esther 2:13 NIV

This was the description of where Esther was prepared to meet the king in the company of other women to the place where she would be set apart as the chosen one and subsequently be made queen.

I considered that perhaps we all experience events and circumstances that lead us from the harem — seasons where we go from restrictive contexts among the many in waiting — perhaps waiting to be clear of our purpose, waiting to make a difficult professional decision, waiting for a job or to graduate, or experiencing personal loss, changes in relationships, a pandemic, moving, physical illness, inflation, or financial setback. But the beauty of Esther’s life is not how it began — as an orphan or among the many in the harem, but instead that she was led to the palace — a spacious place — a place where she was chosen to occupy a position of distinction and influence for good.

And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?-Esther 4:14

I don’t know the context of your harem, but I pray that you too would make it all the way to the palace.

Let not your waiting in the harem dampen your hope. For some, spacious days are here. For others spacious days are ahead, friends.



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Amelia Elizabeth

Amelia Elizabeth


I’m a creative, a consultant and a social impact entrepreneur who loves to write about leadership, faith and joy. Founder, &