1. King Ahasuerus Deposes Vashti (1)
2. Esther is Chosen Queen; Mordecai Saves King (2)
3. Haman's Rise in Power: His Hatred of Jews (3)
4. Esther Determines to Act on Behalf of the Jews (4)
5. Esther's Invitation; Mordecai's Unquenchable Wrath (5)
6. The King Honors Mordecai (6)
7. Haman's Fall (7)
8. Israel's Great Victory (8-9)
9. Mordecai's Power (10)
A despotic king, a woman as lovely as she is innocent, an ambitious
and arrogant official, and a godly Jew-these are the characters of the
drama chronicled by the book of Esther, which appears to be written
for two reasons: 1) to demonstrate the providence of God; 2) to explain
the origin of the feast of Purim.
King Ahasuerus deposes Queen Vashti because of her reluctance to
display her beauty. In need of a new queen, the beautiful Esther is
selected. Her cousin Mordecai had reared her and was now coaching her.
He overhears a plot against the king; his information saves the king's
life. Meanwhile Haman is promoted, but since Mordecai refuses to bow
to him, he determines to destroy him, along with the entire Jewish
race. With the king's permission, he sets aside the 13th day of the
12th month for the extermination of this rebellious people.
Mordecai impresses upon Esther that she is in the unique position
to do something. She invites the king and Haman to a banquet. She
does not reveal anything, but says she will the following day if they
will both come to a second banquet the next day. That night Haman's
anger mounts, and he builds gallows upon which to hang Mordecai.
The next morning the king asks Haman what should be done for the man in
whom the king delights. He advises the king, thinking the honor is for
him; he is mortified to discover that the honor is for Mordecai
because of his help in saving the king's life. At the banquet Esther
reveals that she is a Jew and that Haman has purposed the destruction
of her people. Haman is ordered hanged on his own gallows; the Jews are
authorized to defend themselves, and they enjoy a great victory.
4:14 Assuming providence.
1:10-12 Queen Vashti's refusal to be immodest.
4:16 "...if I perish, I perish."
9:19 A day of rejoicing (also 22, 24, 26-27).
5:9 Haman is filled with anger.
5:13 "Yet all this avail me nothing...."
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