Trump Could Be A Modern-Day Queen Esther: Mike Pompeo

President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the White House on March 22, 2019.  (Photo: MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a Christian news channel that it’s “possible” President Donald Trump is a modern-day Queen Esther ― the Biblical figure who saved Jewish people in ancient Persia from a massacre. 

In an interview published Thursday on the Christian Broadcasting Network, a host asked Pompeo if Trump, like Esther, was “raised for such a time as this” to help save Jewish people from “the Iranian menace.” 

Pompeo responded, “As a Christian, I certainly believe that’s possible.”

Trump has adopted a hard-line stance towards Iran ever since he became president. Last year, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, breaking away from the position taken by America’s Western allies. On Friday, the administration imposed new sanctions on Iran.

Pompeo, who is currently on a trip to the Middle East, praised the Trump administration’s efforts to support Israel during the CBN interview. 

“I am confident that the Lord is at work here,” Pompeo said. 

An artistic depiction of Queen Esther in a color lithograph from 1882. (Photo: duncan1890 via Getty Images)

The theory that God played a role in Trump’s election is not uncommon in certain evangelical circles. Even though many white evangelicals don’t think highly of Trump’s personal morals, some believe that he is the leader God has chosen to help preserve America’s Christian heritage during turbulent times. 

Evangelical leaders have often drawn comparisons between Trump and various Biblical figures to prove this point.

Some have compared the president to King Cyrus, an ancient Persian king who was chosen by God to help rebuild Jerusalem  ― even though Cyrus wasn’t a Jew.   

This isn’t the first time Trump has evoked comparisons to Esther. Paula White, a prosperity gospel preacher and the president’s spiritual advisor, has also compared the two figures ― claiming that both are unconventional outsiders chosen by God to fulfill a divine purpose.

According to the Biblical story, Queen Esther was an orphaned Jewish woman who married a king in Persia, or modern-day Iran, during the 5th century BCE. Risking her own life, she used her influence to foil a plot that sought to slaughter Jewish people in the empire. 

Esther’s story is commemorated every year during the Jewish festival of Purim, which fell on March 20 in 2019.  

Evangelicals have taken an interest in Esther as an example of a noble character who was chosen for a divine role. Samuel Perry, a sociology professor at The University of Oklahoma who is studying conservative American Christianity, told HuffPost that evangelicals are particularly drawn to a turning point in Esther’s story, where her relative Mordechai convinces the queen to risk her life to save her people. In the story, Mordechai told the queen she may have come into her royal position “for such a time as this.” 

“Like the people of Israel in the book of Esther, white conservative Christians perceive that their country and way of life are under attack and someone needs to stick up for the good guys at this strategic moment,” Perry wrote in an email. 

Esther is a hero to white evangelicals because she speaks up for “the good guys,” he said.

But Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, America’s largest Jewish denomination, told HuffPost he found the comparison between Trump and Esther “odd.”

Today, American Jews see Esther as a vulnerable young Jewish woman who used her courage and wisdom to protect her people, Pesner said. He believes the modern-day Esthers are all the women speaking up against sexual harassment, protesting against efforts to take away women’s control over their own bodies and speaking publicly about gender equality.

Furthermore, the story of Purim focuses on “hope,” Pesner said, and is about a community rising up, overcoming great adversity together and reaffirming God’s goodness on Earth. 

“To equate or associate that with a diplomat just seems to belittle the story,” Pesner said.  

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ISRAEL-RELIGION-JUDAISM-PURIM

Israeli dancers take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on March 16, 2014 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

ISRAEL-RELIGION-JUDAISM-PURIM

Israeli dancers take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on March 16, 2014 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

ISRAEL-RELIGION-JUDAISM-PURIM

Israeli dancers take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on March 16, 2014 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Biblical Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

ISRAEL-RELIGION-FESTIVAL-PURIM

Israelis dressed as a zombies takes part in the customary 'Zombie Walk' in the city of Tel Aviv, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, late on March 15, 2014. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as described in the Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

ISRAEL-RELIGION-FESTIVAL-PURIM

Israelis dressed as a zombies takes part in the customary 'Zombie Walk' in the city of Tel Aviv, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, late on March 15, 2014. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as described in the Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)

ISRAEL-RELIGION-FESTIVAL-PURIM

Israelis dressed as a zombies takes part in the customary 'Zombie Walk' in the city of Tel Aviv, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, late on March 15, 2014. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as described in the Book of Esther. AFP PHOTO/DAVID BUIMOVITCH (Photo credit should read DAVID BUIMOVITCH/AFP/Getty Images)
Ultra Orthodox Jewish girls and boys dressed in costumes pose as a woman, not seen, takes their picture during the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Mea Shearim, Monday, Feb. 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish boy wears a costume while celebrating the Purim festival at a synagogue in the town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv, Israel, late Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Two Ultra Orthodox Jewish boys dress as clowns during the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, Israel, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish girl dressed wearing a costume crosses the street during the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, Israel, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Moti and Elazar, 8, two Ultra Orthodox Jewish boys dressed in costumes walk during the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, Israel,Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish girl dressed wearing a costume crosses the street during the Purim festival in the ultra-Orthodox town of Bnei Brak, Israel, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israelis wear costumes at a Purim party in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Young children of foreign migrant workers, wear masks as they march during a Purim parade in Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
An Israeli boy in costume watches a Purim parade in Holon, Israel, Thursday, March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
Israelis in costumes and masks dance in the street during the annual Purim parade in Holon, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israelis dressed up in costumes take part in the annual Purim parade in Holon, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, March 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Dressed up Israelis take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Israelis take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the central Israeli city of Netanya on February 24, 2013. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Israelis parade with a float to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Dressed up Israelis parade on a float to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
A Jewish settler wears a costume and dances on a table as they celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim February 24, 2013 at the settlement outpost of Havat Gilad, West Bank. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)Ê
Dressed up Israeli children pose as they take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Dressed up Israelis take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli boy takes part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the central Israeli city of Netanya on February 24, 2013. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli man takes part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim in the central Israeli city of Netanya on February 24, 2013. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
Dressed up Israelis take part in a parade to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on February 24, 2013 in the central Israeli city of Netanya. (Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)
An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish boy wears a Purim costume as he celebrates the Jewish festival of Purim on February 25 2013 in the religious neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

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