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Activity, when one is not in the presence of God, where the heart does not judge itself, has always a tendency to harden.

Esther 1

God's name is not once mentioned in the book! Should this book be in the Bible? But just wait till you read it! You'll find God's unseen hand on every page, but you will have to read it carefully. It's all true, rest assured. It is about a time in the Jews' history when they were captives in Babylon and about 80 years after Daniel's time. Remember, they were captives (see chap. 2 verse 6) because they had turned to worshipping idols, so God hides Himself. But He tells us what He was doing for them behind the scenes. Merciful God. We can wonder why this man and Esther, his young cousin, would stay in that far country when many Jews had returned to Jerusalem (We'll read about them in Ezra and Nehemiah). They certainly lived in a place where God was not known.


When this fleeting life shall be over, that only shall abide which has been produced by the Word.

Esther 1-2

Esth 1:1-9 What a tremendous feast this was. But typical of these prosperous days. God had allowed the Gentiles to rise to great power and wealth.

Esth 1:10-22 As a result of the queen's refusal to obey her husband, she lost her crown. Remember, this story is of a heathen land.

Esth 2:1-4 The king is about to take another bride.

Esth 2:5-7 Here we are introduced to Mordecai and to Esther (her name means "I will be hidden"), whom he had brought up as his daughter. Both of these were of the Jewish captivity. Notice that Esther had kept herself pure, she was a virgin.

Esth 2:15 She did not rely on anything of her own choosing, but left everything in God's hand.

Esth 2:20 She was submissive to Mordecai's instructions.

Esth 2:21-23 Notice these verses and the story of this plot, for it forms a very important part of the story that will follow. How interesting to see the way the Lord works "behind the scenes" directing things for the blessings of His people.


Cultivate intimacy with Him; it keeps the conscience alive and the heart happy.

Esther 3

Esth 3:1-6 Haman is raised to great power by Ahasuerus. He takes great pleasure in seeing everyone bow down to him - but Mordecai the Jew will not bow. Although God's name is not mentioned in this book of Esther, we can see that God's Word was known and obeyed. The ten commandments (Exodus 20:5) were being followed here, cost what they may. The believer obeys the laws of his land. But when those laws come into conflict with what the Word of God says, then he obeys the Word.

Esth 3:7-15 Haman is so angry about this, that instead of trying to get rid of Mordecai, he decides to get rid of all the Jews in the whole kingdom.

Esth 3:8 Interesting verse. Modern writers today claim that the Bible is just made up from the writings of other peoples. Notice what this verse says which utterly denies this.

Esth 3:15 Just like the world today. It sits down to drink, but it does not know what is ahead. Haman thought that he was in control - but wait!


Habitual faithfulness in judging the flesh in little things is the secret of not failing.

Esther 4

Esth 4:1-3 Mordecai is obviously distressed and for good reason; he loves his nation. He was doing a brave thing to come to the very gate of the palace in sackcloth, and to cry out bitterly.

Esth 4:4-8 Queen Esther hears of the way Mordecai is dressed and of his weeping and she shares his grief.

Esth 4:10-14 Esther at first is afraid, but then she is reminded that her own life will also be taken along with all the other Jews. Also she is reminded that she might have come to the office of queen for just this special challenge. Notice again her willingness to submit to her cousin's advice. As you are reading this chapter, notice seven things in the first three verses: (1) rent (tore) his clothes, (2) put on sackcloth, (3) cried, (4) mourning, (5) fasting (6), weeping and (7) wailing. We will see a contrast with these things when the story unfolds more.


If we cannot overcome where we are, we cannot overcome anywhere.

Esther 5

The three days of fasting are ended, and Esther enters the palace room of the king. To her delight, he holds out the sceptre and she is free to make her request. She does not tell him at once just what her purpose is.

Esth 5:9-14 Haman has reached the very highest point of honour, and is very proud of it. But Mordecai still will not bow down to him. Haman goes home and boasts to all his friends of his wealth and honour, and then ends by telling of his anger about Mordecai. So far, everything has been going against the Jews, and in favour of their enemies. But God has His eye upon His people and He loved them still, though they had lost all right to be called His people, because of their disobedience.

Esth 5:13 No matter how well things go for an unbeliever, there is never complete happiness, as we see here.

Esth 5:14 Would we have the courage of Esther? What a brave woman! Did she know that God was with her?


Afflictions cannot injure when blended with submission.

Esther 6

It was much more than an ordinary case of a sleepless night. God kept the king awake.

Esth 6:2-3 The king asks someone to read the diary of his reign. In it, was the story that we noticed in the end of chapter 2. And it was found that no reward or honour had been done to Mordecai for saving the life of the king. Do you see God's hand in this great story? Who had put the thought into the king's head of reading in the old diary?

Esth 6:4-11 Haman is humiliated, and hated Mordecai is honoured. It is true today, that in many countries Jews have been hated and persecuted and put to death; it would seem that God has not taken any notice. But the day is coming when He shall turn to His earthly people once again (after we have been taken to heaven).


Jesus Christ is no security AGAINST storms, but He is perfect security IN storms. He has not promised us an easy passage, only a safe landing.

Esther 7

Esth 7:3-5 The king does not yet know that Esther is a Jewess, and he asks in surprise who is it that would dare to threaten her life.

Esth 7:6 She accuses Haman. Swift vengeance comes upon that haughty, crafty, guilty man. Let us remember as we read this story, that the Lord is behind all that takes place (Proverbs 21, verse 1; and Ps. 73:19).


It is one thing to be the advocate of Christianity and another to be a disciple of it, far easier to teach its lessons than to learn them. (J.G.B.)

Esther 8

The Jews were not only spared from the penalty of death which had been sent out, but a new decree was written, giving the Jews liberty to put to death any "that would assault them".

Esth 8:15 What a wonderful change! No more sackcloth and tears, but kingly raiment and rejoicing. And all this came about without the Jew's own efforts, but rather from the faithful hand of the Lord working for them. Notice the contrast between last words of 3:15 and the last words of this verse!

Esth 8:16-17 We can understand their joy, for one day they were under the sentence of death, and the next day they were delivered from it. Notice too that "many of the people became Jews". What a good thing it would be if many people would turn to the Lord today, and receive Him as their Saviour and become Christians.

We pointed out seven sad things in chapter 4:1. Here we see the contrast; (1)light, (2)gladness, (3)joy, (4)honour, (5)a feast, (6) a good day, (7)rest (9:17), What a perfect description of the unsaved and then the believer.


When knowledge enters the head, it exalts me. When knowledge enters the heart, it humbles me.

Esther 9

Esth 9:1-11 The day of vengeance came, but it did not fall, as had been planned, on the Jews, but on their enemies. Even the ten sons of Haman are put to death (Remember what you read in Zechariah 12:8,9, about Israel's future). The troubles and problems of this poor world are not going to be settled by the gospel, nor by the efforts of people, but by the judgments of God.

Esth 9:30 Do our letters always have "words of peace and truth"? They should.


The breaking of the will is a great means of opening the understanding.

Esther 10

A description of the glory and honour of Mordecai. His story began as an unknown Jew, captive in the land of a proud Gentile king. God has promised blessing for His beloved nation the Jews. And He will keep His promise, though there have already been times when they were more hated and persecuted than any other race. And there will yet be times when they will pass through terrible tribulation. But they will at last shine forth in their own land, blessed through God's own faithfulness. So our story of Esther ends. Have you learned its meaning concerning Israel's future? Be careful not to confuse this story with Christianity (we do not take vengeance on our enemies). But this is a picture of what will happen to the enemies of Israel in a future day. God is going to use Israel to punish their enemies, who have hated and persecuted them. (Take a minute to read Zechariah 12:8-9 to prove this).


by Norman Berry - 1911-2001
Published by Mario Persona

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