The book of Esther tells the story of King Xerxes (or Ahasuerus, for short).
He was doing really well for himself - ruling over 127 provinces (from India to Ethiopia).
The Jews were in captivity in Persia under Xerxes' reign.
His Queen, Vashti, refused to come and be eyed up by Xerxes' eunuchs (Xerxes, I think, was taunting them).
His officials were worried that wives all over the kingdom would rise up and become stroppy, after her example.
Therefore, he had her deposed and banished.
The hunt for a replacement Queen was conducted much in the way of a Miss World or Pop Idol contest, with swimwear and eveningwear rounds etc.
Having sat through a number of candidates who worked with disabled children and yearned for world peace, he plumped for Miss Israel, a certain superbabe by the name of Esther.
They had an odd kind of a marital relationship, wherby she was not able speak to her husband without risking summary execution (hmm, must try that sometime).
Nonetheless, when Esther approached him to ask whether Xerxes would reverse his rash decision to exterminate all the Jewish people, he listened to her.
He got to the bottom of the plot, hanging the chief conspirator - Haman - on a pole.
Both Xerxes and his first wife Vashti were powerful figures on the Scrabble board.