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Old Testament Summaries: Book of Esther
Posted In: Religion Articles  6/1/12
By: Yona Williams

During the Feast of Purim, the Jews often read from the Book of Esther, which highlights the association between God and fate, especially when it comes to His chosen people in Israel. The book is used to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish nation that God brought through Esther. In this article, you will learn more about the Book of Esther and some of the key points of the text.

The book of Esther is an interesting piece of writing that has attracted debaters for many centuries. For instance, the fact that God is not mentioned anywhere in the book is of great interest to those studying the Bible. References to spiritual disciplines are only mentioned in passing. However, the hand of God is still detected throughout the writing. The book is through to be written by Mordecai, who appears as a major character in the Book of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah, who was well versed in the customs of the Persians. It is thought that the book was most likely written between 460 and 350 BC.

The purpose of the Book of Esther is to give a record of the Feast of Purim and the need to continue its observance. There are three main sections found in the book, including Israel's survival when Haman attempted to destroy the nation. It was a noble named Esther who risked her own life when she realized what was at stake. She risked death as she took on the second-in-command of Haman, her husband's kingdom. She had the characteristics of wisdom and made a worthy opponent. All through her actions, she stayed humble and respected the position that her husband held.

She plays an important role in the fate of the Jews – displaying heroism that leads to the salvation of the people and nation. God's presence in the book is felt as the goodness in people's hearts comes to light. Other events and themes found throughout the Book of Esther include the continuous divide between the Jews and the Amalakites, Haman's goal, and the salvation of the Jews. However, a major theme in the book is feasting, as 10 banquets are recorded in the book. Many events were discussed, planned and brought to light during these meals.

Significant verses found in the book of Esther includes:

"Now when the time came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested." (Esther 2:15)

"For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14)

"Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has begun, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him - you will surely come to ruin!" (Esther 6:12)

"If I have found favor with you, O king, and if it pleases your majesty, grant me my life - this is my petition, and the life of my people - this is my request." (Esther 7:3)


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