- Esther remained in Babylon with her uncle Mordecai when Zerubbabel returned to Jerusalem with many of the Jews. The story of Esther happens prior to the events of Ezra & Nehemiah.
- There is a 4-year time lapse between chapter 1 & 2 as the King went to conquer Greece.
- Esther was possibly written by Mordecai approximately 470 B.C.
- This story starts about 103 years after Nebuchadnezzar took the Jews captive. This is 25 years before Ezra led the second group back to Jerusalem.
Talking points & considerations along the way:
Esther grew into here role in the story
- She hid her identity.
- She seemed reluctant to get involved at first.
- Then she accepted her role and went before the king.
- Then she set up Haman before the king.
This role reversal is consistent with God.
- Moses prince turned killer that was exiled from the land who then stood before the Pharaoh and demanded his people be set free.
- The firstborn passed over for the blessings – Isaac over Ishmael and Jacob over Esau.
- Joseph pulled from Prison to interpret a dream and ends up managing much of the affairs for Pharoah.
- We see similarities with Daniel who didn't eat the king's food and prayed 3 times daily.
- The book notes the reversal of a 75 foot gallows built for a Jew and the death of 75,000 of the Jews enemies and their leader being hanged on the gallows.
- 1 Corinthians 1:27
Esther showed the providence of God even though He is not specifically mentioned.
Xerxes had issues which makes the story all the more interesting.
- Xerxes was moving his army when the sun stopped shining. At this sight Pythius was terrified and suggest Xerxes pull his eldest son from the army to comfort him when he was old. In a rage, Xerxes had his son cut in two and the army marched on between the halfs.
- Xerxes fell for his brother's wife but because he couldn't have her he turned his affections to their daughter. He lay with her continually at Susa. At Xerxes coronation in 477B.C. he offered his queen a wish – she asked for his brother's wife. She had her breasts, nose, ears, lips, and tongue cut off and was then sent home.
- The Feast of Purim is done in honor of Esther.
- The name of God doesn't appear in the book.
- There is no worship and no prayer,
- Why is Esther in the bible?
- It explains the Jewish festival called Purim
- The preservation of God's people
- Esther means 'something hidden'
- 1 Corinthians 10:11 these things are written for our admonition.
- Haman was an Amalekite.
- Saul was supposed to haved killed all the Amalekites in 1Samuel 15:2. Because he didn't follow God's instruction to utterly destroy the Amalekites, the Amalekites would rise up and attempt to utterly destroy the Jews some 600 years later by Haman.
In the eyes of the world, pomp and circumstance look like might and glory, but in the eyes of God they are froth on the water (From page 42 in Disciple book).
Read Psalm 83 with the story of Esther in mind.
- Cyrus made the decree to rebuild and sent Zerubbabel – reigned 559-530 B.C.
- Zerubbabel returned with 50,000 in 538B.C. under Cyrus.
- Darius reigned 522-486B.C.
- Xerxes reigned from 486-465B.C.
- Xerxes was Esther's husband – 470 B.C.
- Ezra returned with 2,000 to build the temple under Artaxerxes – 458B.C.
- Nehemiah was cupbearer to Artaxerxes; he returned to Jerusalem to build the wall in 445B.C.