BibleAce.com | The Book of ESTHER

BibleAce.com | For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword... Hebrews 4:12

O.T. | GEN | EXO | LEV | NUM | DEU | JOS | JDG | RUT | 1SA | 2SA | 1KI | 2KI | 1CH | 2CH | EZR | NEH | EST | JOB | PSA | PRO | ECC
SOS | ISA | JER | LAM | EZE | DAN | HOS | JOE | AMO | OBA | JON | MIC | NAH | HAB | ZEP | ZEC | MAL | N.T. | MAT | MAR | LUK | JOH
ACT | ROM | 1CO | 2CO | GAL | EPH | PHI | COL | 1TH | 2TH |1TI | 2TI | TIT | PHL | HEB | JAM | 1PE | 2PE | 1JO | 2JO | 3JO | JUD | REV
EST | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 |

 

THE BOOK OF

ESTHER

 

Overview:

Esther is named after the woman whose actions are described in it. Because it is the only Bible book that, except a number of Heb. alphabet acrostics and a veiled reference in Esther 4:14, contains within its text absolutely no mention of God or his name—not even a single mention of direct prayer to him—some have cast doubt on the wisdom of including it within the canon of inspired Scripture. Others, however, see the obvious inferences to the unseen hand of God at work as a clue that God is perennially at work behind the scenes of history, working providentially through circumstances and timing of man-directed events to accomplish divine purposes. This book may be studied in ten parts:

(1) the Banquet of King Xerxes (1:1-22),
(2) The Ascension of Esther to become Queen (2:1-18),
(3) Mordechai's Discovery of Palace Intrigue (2:19-23),
(4) Haman's Plan to Destroy the Jews (3:1-15),
(5) Ester's Brave Decision (4:1-5:14),
(6) Mordechai's Honor (6:1-14),
(7) Haman's Execution (7:1-10),
(8) King Xerxes's Assistance to the Jews (8:1-17),
(9) The Deliverance of the Jews and Beginning of Purim (9:1-32), and
(10) Conclusion: The Greatness of Mordechai (10:1-3).

In the Hebrew Scriptures book order, this book is included in the five Megilloth, poetic or wisdom literature read at Pentecost (Ruth), Passover (Song of Songs), Feast of Tabernacles (Ecclesiastes), anniversary of Jerusalem's fall and/or occasions of mourning (Lamentations), and Purim (Esther).

Authorship:

Unknown, though some early rabbinic authorities held that Ezra, Nehemiah, or another group affiliated with the Great Synagogue (a rabbinic assembly associated with events recorded in Nehemiah 8-11 that was responsible for affirming canonization of the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Esther, and the Twelve Minor Prophets, and that was extant until the end of Persian hegemony over the Middle East) was responsible for its writing.

Composition Date:

No internal clues give any hint as to the date of this book's composition, except that its mention of an accolade to Mordecai suggests that it was completed after his death. If this work was compiled significantly after the events recorded within it, Esther might have been compiled as late as the time of the Maccabees (cf. the Apocrypha's 2 Maccabees 15:36). Certain passages (cf. 1:1, 13-14; 4:11; 8:8) suggest that the reign of Xerxes was a distant memory by the time Esther obtained its final form. Some see financial references in the text (cf. 3:9) as hinting at composition during a period of significant Greek influence, despite there being no evidence of Greek language influence in the text itself. The Hebrew text of Esther is similar to the literary forms used by the writer/editor(s) of 1 and 2 Chronicles, which implies a possible composition date perhaps as late as about 400 BC.

Messianic Hope:

The Messiah as the Unseen Hand of God

 

Introduction to the book of Esther taken from the Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.0., Build 2014.01.13.
Copyright © 1996-2014 by the ISV Foundation. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY.

 



 

EST | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
O.T. | GEN | EXO | LEV | NUM | DEU | JOS | JDG | RUT | 1SA | 2SA | 1KI | 2KI | 1CH | 2CH | EZR | NEH | EST | JOB | PSA | PRO | ECC
SOS | ISA | JER | LAM | EZE | DAN | HOS | JOE | AMO | OBA | JON | MIC | NAH | HAB | ZEP | ZEC | MAL | N.T. | MAT | MAR | LUK | JOH
ACT | ROM | 1CO | 2CO | GAL | EPH | PHI | COL | 1TH | 2TH |1TI | 2TI | TIT | PHL | HEB | JAM | 1PE | 2PE | 1JO | 2JO | 3JO | JUD | REV
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For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword... Hebrews 4:12 (ISV)
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