Paula White, a televangelist and spiritual adviser to Donald Trump, appeared on television Tuesday to defend the president amid recent controversy using an unlikely Biblical comparison.
While speaking on a panel on "The Jim Bakker Show," White said that Trump's presidential victory was similar to a story from the Hebrew Bible where a woman named Esther was chosen to be queen, since both parties were unlikely to be selected for their roles.
As the scripture goes, Esther was a young, orphaned Jewish woman living in exile who, through her wits and good looks, ends up being selected by the Persian king to be his queen at a time when Jews were widely persecuted.
Because of her new position of power, Esther was able to stop a plot to murder all the Jewish people in Persia. The Bible concludes that Esther was placed in her position as queen by God to fulfill this important mission.
On Tuesday, White compared Trump to Queen Esther, saying that he, too, was selected by God to carry out a divine plan.
"They say about our president, 'Well, he is not presidential.' Thank goodness. Thank goodness. Thank goodness," White said. "And I mean that with all due respect. Because, in other words, he is not a polished politician. In other words, he is authentically, whether people like it or not, has been raised up by God."
"God says that he raises up and places all people in places of authority," she continued. "It is God who raises up a king. It is God that sets one down. When you fight against the plan of God, you are fighting against the hand of God."
White's comments were met with backlash online, with some people upset over her comparing Trump to a king.
Dennis Olson, a professor of Old Testament theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, told the Washington Post that he also found White's analogy cryptic.
Although he told the outlet that he agrees Esther and Trump are certainly both unlikely candidates for their respective roles, he believes that there are more reasons why their stories are opposites.
"Esther's story is one about protecting persecuted ethnic minorities, while the president has won support from white supremacist groups and seeks to crack down on immigration," said Olson.