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Bible Book Summary. Esther Summary. by Jay Smith. The genre of the book of Esther is Narrative History. Its author is anonymous however; some believe Mordecai, (Esther’s cousin and guardian), wrote it. It was written approximately 470 B.C. in Persia. Esther became queen in 479 B.C. The key personalities are Esther, Mordecai, King Ahasuerus (or Xerxes), and Haman.
- What’s in It?
- What We Do with It
- Final Thoughts
The book of Esther is written in Hebrew. However, since itwas written by Jews who had been exiled in Persia and dealt with Persian courtproceedings, it is only natural that it borrows words from the vernacular. Someof these words are the hard-to-pronounce “achashdarpanim,”which means “satraps” (or “governors”), and dat,which means “law,” and is related to the word “data.” The book is divided into 10 chapters. Here is a quicksummary of their contents: Reada longer telling of these events.
As per Mordechai’s instruction, the Megillah is read onPurim: once on Purim night, and again on the following day. The Megillahreading is preceded and followed by special blessings. It is a mitzvahto hear all of the Megillah reading. Thus,it is very important to be absolutely quiet during the reading, allowingeveryone to hear every word clearly. It is customary to follow along with thereader. For those unable to make it to synagogue, Megillah may beread at home, provided that it is read from an authentic scroll by someonefamiliar with the exact pronunciation of the Hebrew words, many of which areunusual (see above) and are pronounced differently than they are written. Youcan use thisinteractive trainerto learn the pronunciations and tune. Here are some great Megillahs: In addition to hearing the Megillah twice, there are threeother mitzvahsthe Megillah tells us should be done on Purim day: Read more about how Purim is celebrated.
The Megillah is among the only books in the scripture not tomention G‑d’s name at all. You may wonder what is so holy about it? In a sense,this omission itself is what makes the story of the Megillah unique. Hiddenunder the drama of palace intrigue and politics, G‑d’s hand is apparent. Fromthe very outset, He stacked the circumstances so that as soon as the Jews wouldrepent and pray, things would fall into place and the Jews would be saved. In our post-biblical reality, we are often in the situationof the Jews at the time of the Purim story. We do not see seas splitting, orhear G‑d speaking from mountaintops. But when we look just a little bit deeper,we can see Him guiding and sustaining us. Happy Purim!
- Author: . The Book of Esther does not specifically name its author. The most popular traditions are Mordecai (a major...
- Date of Writing: . The Book of Esther was likely written between 460 and 350 B.C.
- Purpose of Writing: . The purpose of the Book of Esther is to display the providence of God, especially in regard to His...
- ESTHER THEME:.
- MAJOR CHARACTERS:. Esther, Mordecai, Xerxes, Haman, Vashti, and Zeresh.
- BOOK OF ESTHER KEY VERSES:. And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this.
- ESTHER SUMMARY. Esther is written during the period of the captivity. The Book of Esther was likely written between 467...
- Main Idea
- Explanation of Main Idea
- Leading Themes
- How Does This Relate to Us?
- Study Questions
God works behind the scenes through Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai to save the Jews, who are on the verge of total extermination.
The Persian king, Ahasuerus, selects Esther, a Jew, to be queen, after he becomes displeased with his current wife, Queen Vashti. Mordecai, who has been like a father to Esther, overhears a plot to assassinate the king and duly reports it to Queen Esther, thus saving the king’s life (Esth. 2:21-23). This event is recorded in the “Historical Record in the king’s presence” (Esth. 2:23). King Ahasuerus promotes Haman, an Agagite, to the highest position in his royal staff and commands everyone to bow down to him and pay him homage, which Mordecai refuses to do (Esth. 3:1-2). This enrages Haman and he plans to eradicate not just Mordecai, but all of Mordecai’s same ethnic group, the Jews, that reside in the kingdom (Esth. 3:5-6). An edict was issued and this new genocidal law was announced throughout the kingdom (Esth. 3:9, 12-14). Mordecai brings this horrible news to Esther as great mourning occurs among the Jews (Esth. 4:1-9). He tells her to approach the king and “plead with him per...
The book of Esther was written to display the providence of God! When Esther was selected as queen, it was to save the lives of the Jewish people (Esth. 4:14). In order to bring about their salvation, Mordecai had to be in the right place at the right time so he could hear the plot to kill the king. Then, he had to report it and someone had to write it down (Esth. 2:21-23). The fact that he did not at first get rewarded was also a critical step. Then, the king had to have a sleepless night. He had to have the Historical Records read to him from the exact spot which documented Mordecai’s deed (Esth. 6:1-3). Then, Haman had to come into the King’s presence at the right time. If any of these events had not occurred, the entire outcome likely would have been different!
1. God works behind the scenes. The main theme in the book of Esther is that God is working behind the scenes. There was a divine purpose for all the decisions and details documented in this story, yet none of that becomes apparent until the end. God was arranging all these “secular” events to bring about His divine purpose to save the Jews. 2. All things work together for good to those who love the Lord. Things turned out really well for Mordecai and real poorly for Haman. The text does not explicit say that Mordecai loved God, but we do see him adopting his younger cousin when she lost her parents (Esth. 2:7), grieving and mourning at the news of the pending Jewish extermination (Esth. 4:1-2), exhorting Esther to intervene (Esth. 4:13-14), and fasting (Esth. 4:17). Not only was he used to save the Jewish people, he also was promoted to a position of prominence in the Persian kingdom. 3. The Jews, as God’s people, are often persecuted. Haman had an intense hatred for the Jews. He w...
God’s hand is not always immediately obvious in our lives. Whether it’s the mundane day to day tasks or the occasionally trial or even crisis, we easily wonder, “Why did this happen?” or “Where is God?”. The book of Esther gives us the answer: He is there. He is orchestrating the events in our lives to bring about the purpose(s) He desires. He is there in the decisions made against us. He is there in our promotions or lack thereof. Because Esther was placed in the palace “for such a time as this” (Esth. 4:14), we can trust God’s timing for placing us in different situations. It’s easy to struggle with timing; thinking that we are in the wrong place at the wrong time. But who knows? Maybe we are in the right place at the right time! What we can’t see with our eyes, we must believe with our hearts. Every human being goes through difficulties where God seems to be absent. This is nothing new. Esther encourages us that even if we can’t see God’s hand, to just be patient and step out in...
Textual Questions 1. After reading Esth. 1:7-12, what can you infer regarding the character of King Ahasuerus? 2. Compare Esth. 3:10-13 with Esth. 8:8-12. What similarities do you find? Why do you think this is so? 3. What did Mordecai ask Esther to do in Esth. 1:10? What could be a reason for him to do this? 4. What did Esther ask Mordecai to do for her in Esth. 4:15-17? Why do you think she did this? What did she and Mordecai believe that made them do this? 5. At the end of the story, Mordecai finds himself in a great place of influence and authority. How did he get there? Life Application Questions 1. Mordecai suggests that Esther was in her position for the purpose of delivering the Jews. Why do you think you are in your position? 2. The book of Esther never mentions God. Do you ever feel that God can’t be found in the story of your life? How can you look behind the scenes in your life and find God working? 3. Mordecai was like a father to Esther. See Esth. 2:5-7, 10-11; 19-21....
May 25, 2011 · 11 Comments. on Summary of the Book of Esther. Esther was a Jewish woman who was selected by the Persian King Ahasuerus to be his wife. He had banished his former wife and chose Esther through a contest. However, the king did not know she was a Jew.