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Old Testament Survey: The Book of Esther. “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” {Esther 4:14}.

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Old Testament Survey: The Book of Esther

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” {Esther 4:14}


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Background

  • Third year of the reign of King Ahasuerus (Persia)

  • Six-month banquet for his army andofficers

  • Followed by a seven-day banquet for all in the capital--Shushan

  • After much drinking, the king commanded Queen Vashti to come and parade her beauty

  • Vashti refused to obey the king’s command!


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Background

  • The king became enraged; he sought counsel from his wise men.

  • They said the queen must set an example for the other wives. Therefore, Queen Vashti should be removed!

  • Beautiful virgins were brought to the king’s harem so he could choose a new queen.

  • One year of preparation for each maiden

  • Each spent one night with the king.

  • If not called again by the king, she spent the rest of her life in a different harem.


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Esther Is Chosen

  • A Jewess who lived with her cousin, Mordecai

  • The king chose her to be the new queen.

  • Esther kept her nationality a secret.

  • One day, Mordecai overheard two men plotting to assassinate the king.

  • He told Esther, and she gave the message to the king’s officials.

  • The two men were hanged, and the event was recorded in the king’s chronicles.


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Haman

  • Ahasuerus made Haman second in command—all were to bow and pay him homage.

  • Mordecai refused to bow before Haman.

  • Haman became so angry, he determined to destroy all the Jews in the king’s provinces.

  • Haman told the king the Jews did not follow his law. He offered 10,000 talents of silver to enrich the king’s treasury if he would sign a decree to put all Jews to death.

  • The decree was determined and stamped with the king’s signet ring.


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Mordecai’s Request

  • Mordecai went into mourning.

  • A copy of the edict was given to Queen Esther.

  • Mordecai asked Esther to go to the king and intercede for her people.

  • At first, fearful of being put to death, she was reluctant.

  • “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” {Esther 4:16}


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Golden Scepter

  • When Esther went before the king, he held out his scepter.

  • Esther requested that the king and Haman attend a banquet for the king.

  • When asked what she desired, she said that she would tell them tomorrow at another special banquet for the king and Haman.

  • Haman was elated, but seeing Mordecai at the king’s gate caused him to lose his joy.

  • Intending to hand Mordecai the next day, Haman commanded that a gallows 75 feet high be built!


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A Sleepless King

“That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.” {Esther 6:1,2}

  • He asked what reward the man received?

  • No reward had been given.

  • Haman was in the court, so the king asked his advice.

  • Mordecai placed on the king’s horse, in a royal robe. All honored him with a parade led by Haman!


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Esther Reveals the Plot

“For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king's loss.” {Esther 7:4}


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Esther Reveals the Plot

“So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, ‘Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?’ And Esther said, the adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman! So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.” {Esther 7:5,6}


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Haman Is Hanged on His Own Gallows

“... Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king's behalf, is standing at the house of Haman. Then the king said, ‘Hang him on it!’ So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's wrath subsided.” {Esther 7:9,10}


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Mordecai Is Promoted

“So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.” {Esther 8:2}


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The King’s New Edict

“By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives-to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions.” {Esther 8:11}


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The Feast of Purim

  • Mordecai sent a decree setting aside an annual holiday for the Jews.

  • Called the Days of Purim

  • Celebrated in the last days of February

  • Commemorates how Esther saved her people from destruction


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Lessons From Esther

“To bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.” {Esther 1:10,11}

  • Queen Vashti’s modesty

  • Refused to parade before drunken, lustful men

  • A challenge to learn the beauty of holiness


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Lessons From Esther

  • Always be ready to serve.

  • Unwavering dedication to God

  • Be willing to risk your own life.

“Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”{Esther 4:16}


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Lessons From Esther

  • God’s sovereignty

  • God’s will always to be done

  • Esther and Mordecai’s faith helped deliver God’s people.

“For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”{Esther 4:14}


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