Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Esther 7 and 8

Study 6 From the Book of Esther is: Esther 7 and 8

      1-    How does chapter 7 illustrate the theme of certain psalms? See, e. g., Pss. 73:17-19; 94:1-7, 21-23. How should this influence our faith?

       2-    After the fall of Haman what did (a) Esther and (b) the Jews still have to do to obtain the deliverance promised by the king? See especially 8:3-8, 11, 12. What parallel is there in Christian experience? Cf. Phil. 2:12, 13.

Notes

             1-    7:3. ‘My life … and my people…’: for the first time Ester acknowledges her nationality.

            2-    7:9. Notice how often the king’s decisions are influence by those around him.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Esther 5 and 6

Study 5 From the Book of Esther is:  Esther  5 and 6

      1-    Mordecai could reasonably have expected a substantial reward for saving the king’s life (2:21-23). However, his service was acknowledged only after a long delay and by an apparent coincidence. In what ways does this help us to understand delays and disappointments in our own life? Cf. Ps. 37:7; Is. 55:8, 9

       2-    Consider the developments in the story of Haman as illustrations of such verses as Ps. 34:15, 16; Pr. 16:18. What ought we to learn from such a record?

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Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Esther 4

Study 4 From the Book of Esther is:  Esther  4

      1-    The Jews mourn Haman’s decree, but for Ester the situation requires personal action. Consider (a) what factors influenced the decision she reached (see particularly verses 4, 8, 13, 14, 16), and (b) whether verse 14 is relevant to your own immediate situation.

       2-    Esther made careful preparations to enter the king’s presence. In our own approach to the King of kings, what parallels and contrasts can you find? See also 5:1, 2; cf. Ps. 33:8; Heb. 10:19-22.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Esther 2:19 – 3:15

Study 3 From the Book of Esther is: Esther 2:19 – 3:15

      1-    Mordecai made no secret of his Jewish faith, yet advised Ester to remain silent. What does this teach us for our own witness? Why did Mordecai not obey the king’s command? Cf. Ec. 3:1, 7b; Dn. 3:8-12, 16-18; Acts 5:28, 29.

      2-    What do we learn of Haman’s character in chapter 3? See particularly verses 5:9 and 15. To what was he blind in the schemes that he made?

Notes

            1-    2:19. ‘Sitting at the king’s gate’: the phrase may imply that he was in the king’s service in some way.

           2-    2:21. ‘Who guarded the threshold…’: i.e., of the king’s sleeping apartments.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Esther 2:1-18

Study 2 From the Book of Esther is:  Esther 2: 1-18

        1-    By what steps did Ester become queen? Consider the events and the timing in terms of God’s overruling care for His people. See Note on verse 16; cf. Rom. 8:28; Is. 65:24

        2-    How far should a Christian conform to the laws and customs of his country? Cf. Dn. 1:8; 1 Pet. 2:13, 14.

Notes

1-    Verses 5, 6. ‘Who had been carried away …’: this refers not to Mordecai, but to Kish his grandfather. 

2-    Verse 16. Cf. 1:3. Four years had elapsed since Vashti was deposed.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 1 — Esther 1

Study 1 From the Book of Esther is: Esther 1

       1-    Read this chapter in the light of a2 Cor. 4:18 and 1 Jn. 2:16, 17. What choice do such considerations force upon us?

        2-    What may we learn of the characters of Ahasuerus, Vashti and Memucan, as seen in this chapter? Pr. 20:2; Jas. 1:19, 20; Eph. 4:26, 27.

Notes:

           1-    Verse 11. Persian women were usually present at feast, so this would not be taken as a personal affront to Vashti.

           2-    Verse 14. ‘Who saw the king’s face…’: i.e., belonging to the inner circle of the king’s counsellors.

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Search The Scriptures —Study 0 — The Introduction to the Book of Ester

Study 0 From the Book of Esther is: The Introduction of the Book of Esther

The book of Esther is a swiftly-moving story which repays reading at one sitting. Its author and date of composition cannot be identified with certainty. Its author and date of composition cannot be identified with certainty. The wealth of detail and local colour, however suggest, that it was written in Persia not long after the events recorded in the book had taken place. Perhaps its Persian origin may account for the long time that elapsed before it was accepted as canonical by the Palestine Jews.

Ahasuerus is usually identified with Xerxes (485 – 465 BC), and the action takes place in Susa, one of the three capitals of the Persian Empire. Chronologically this places the events some years before those recounted in Ezra and Nehemiah, which relate to the following reign-that of Artazerzes (465-424 BC).

One of the most unusual features of the book is the absence of any mention of the name of God. There is, however, a strong undercurrent throughout of patriotism and a sense of overriding providence, as the Jews in exile as saved from destruction. Their deliverance provides the origin of the Feast of Purim.

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