1. Author - unknown
2. Date of action - 483 -- 478 B.C. Date of writing - 464 - 425 B.C.
3. Setting - The events of Esther all take place during a four-year period in the reign of Ahasuerus (or Xerxes I), the fourth
king of the Medo-Persian Empire. The story deals with Jews still in the capitol of Persia, as well as in all the empire,
some 55 years after Cyrus' decree for the Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 1:1).
II. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
1. Key Verses - 4:13-16; 6:6; 9:26-28
2. Theme: God dealing with His people who are scattered in foreign lands: God is able to punish the wicked and deliver the
righteous in every land.
1) Esther is selected queen of the Persian Empire
a. Ancestry of Esther: 2:5-7
b. Esther doesn't reveal her ancestry: 2:10; 20
c. Esther is chosen: 2:15-17
2) Mordecai's righteousness
a. He saves the king's life: 2:21-23
b. He refuses to worship Haman: 3:1-2; 8
3) Haman's wickedness:
a. He is proud: 3:1; 6; 5:11; 6:6
b. He devises a plan to destroy the Jews: 3:6; 8; 12-15
c. He prepares a gallows for Mordecai: 5:14
4) God's deliverance of the Jews
a. The Jews cry out to God: 4:1-3
b. Esther is encouraged to intercede for God's people: 4:13-14
c. Mordecai is honored by the king: 6:1-9
d. Esther petitions the king: 7:1-4
e. Haman is hanged: 7:5-10
f. The Jews destroy their enemies: 8:11; 9L1-16
5) The feast of Purim is established: 9:17-32
III. ABOUT THE MESSIAH
No obvious references to Messiah appear in Esther. However, the attitude of Messiah is pictured in Esther's attitude
at 4:13-16. She was willing to offer her life so that all God's people might be saved: so was the Messiah.
IV. APPLICATIONS - LESSONS
1.People are rewarded for faithful actions: Mordecai and Esther were exalted in due time - James 4:10; Proverbs 18:12
2. The haughty are brought low: Haman - Proverbs 18:12
3. Nations are delivered through God's provision and plan: the Jews in Shushan and all the empire.
4. While we might think that all the faithful returned to Jerusalem to rebuild, we find in books like Esther and Daniel that the
faithful are to be found in many places serving God in faith. They are not all in the same place doing the same things. As
Paul told Timothy: "The Lord knows those who are His: (2 Timothy 2:19)
5. It may take time, but God's people will always be the winners.
1. What did Esther want to do and want all the Jews in Shushan to do before she dared to seek audience with the king?
2. Would you call Haman a proud man or a humble man? What happened to him?
3. Was Mordecai proud or humble? What happened to him?
4. Does it appear that God was angry with those Jews who stayed in Shushan when they could have returned to Jerusalem
and the Temple?
5. Was it right for Mordecai and Esther to hold high government jobs?
6. Can one of God's people be humble and faithful and still hold a high position?