I just got done reading an incredible book, Hadassah, by Tommy Tenney, a Christian fiction writer. It made me think about Queen Esther and the moral issues she was faced with. If premarital sex was condemned in the OT, why does the book of Esther make it seem okay -- even inspired -- for her to sleep with the king before marrying him? In the book by Tenney, he suggests that they just spent the night together, talking and falling in love and didn't actually have sex until after she was queen. What is your insight on this? -- Ashley Meyer

As soon as she was taken into the harem, according to the laws of the time, she was legally his property, his wife. Or, to be technically correct, his concubine. While it is possible that they did not sleep together on first meeting, this view is speculative, and not demanded by the text (Esther 2:16-17). The point is that there would have been nothing wrong with the two of them having sex, since it would not have been premarital; it would have been marital