Esther a Courageous Queen
Updated: Jul 11, 2022
Word of the Day: Courageous
Possessing or characterized by courage; brave:
The Book of Esther is different from the other books of the Bible because 1. Neither the Word of God nor the word Jahweh (Lord) occurs in the Hebrew text; 2. The scene is Shushan (Susa), the capital of Persia, not Israel; 3. The Book concerns the marriage of its Jewish heroine to the pagan king.
Although the word of God is not mentioned in this book, His sovereignty and providence are evident everywhere.
Historical Setting: The events occurred over ten years (483–473 B.C.) in the kingdom of Ahasuerus (486–465B.C.). Ahasuerus is the Hebrew name in Persian Khshayarshan and Greek Xerxes. The events occurred during chapters six and seven of Ezra.
Author: The book does not give an idea of who wrote it, but whoever it was, knew the Persian culture well; the story is told as if the person had been there because he describes the events as an eyewitness. He could also have been Jewish. The book could have been written sometime after 465 B.C. since Esther 1:2 says that Xerxes' reign had already ended.
Esther's Scheme I. The Rise of Esther 1: 1–2: 23 a. The Feast of Ahasuerus 1: 1–9 b. The Elimination of Vashti 1: 10–22 c. The Choice of Esther 2: 1–18 d. Mordecai's Loyalty 2: 19–23
II. Haman's Rise and Fall 3: 1–7: 10 a. Haman's Plan 3: 1–15 b. The Mourning of the Jews 4: 1–17 c. The Intercession of Esther 5: 1–8 d. Haman's Pride 5: 9–14
e. Mordecai's Reward 6: 1–14 f. The Banquet of Esther 7: 1–6 g. The Death of Haman 7: 7–10
III. Mordecai's Rise and Liberation of the Jews 8: 1–10: 3 a. The Ahasuerus Decree 8: 1–17 b. the Liberation of the Jews 9: 1–19 c. The Feast of Purim 9: 20–32 d. Promotion 10: 1–3
The Story Goes: Esther's name means little myrtle, Persian. On the other hand, Hadassah means little star in Hebrew. She was a descendant of Benjamin and whose descendants were known as warriors, which says a lot about her. Also, she is given the name of a Courageous Queen. She lived in the capital of Shushan, Persia, in what is now Iran, and lived with Mordecai, her adoptive father, an older relative. Mordecai, along with Esther, had been taken from Jerusalem in captivity to Shushan. Esther became one of the beauty candidates to replace Queen Vashti. In this competition, she had been assigned to Hegai (keeper of the woman). Each young lady had twelve months to prepare to spend a night with the king. They had to be purified for six months with myrrh oil and six months with aromatic perfumes. The maids were allowed to get anything they wished to please the king on that particular night. But when Esther's turn came to be with the king, she required nothing more than what the king's eunuch had advised. Keep in mind that the young women were there to prepare for twelve months, but the Bible says that Esther is brought to the king during the tenth month. Esther must have been so beautiful and with a great personality; the Bible says he loved her overall women and obtained favor and grace more than all the virgins. After this, he placed the crown and made her the queen; the king had a great feast to celebrate such an event.
Up until this time, Esther had not yet revealed to her husband that she was Jewish. The Bible relates that Haman was promoted by Ahasuerus and laid his chair above all princes of the kingdom. All the kingdom servants were supposed to bow down to him, but one person refused, and that man was Mordecai. Because of Mordecai's action, Haman was so angry that he wanted to vanish all the Jews from the kingdom of Ahasuerus. Haman decides to take the matter to the king by saying that the Jews were scattered among the people and that they did not follow the king's laws. Haman offered the king to confiscate the properties of the Jews. Based on this, the king decided to give him his Executive Power by allowing him to write letters with his ring's seal. The letters were sent to the entire province of the king to destroy, kill, and put to death all the Jews.
When Mordecai found out what Haman had done, he tore his clothes and put on a sackcloth with ashes, and this is how the Jews used to manifest their form of mourning. During those days, there was a great revival due to the king's decree. The Jews began to fast and pray. When Esther found out, she sent one of the king's appointed eunuchs Hatach to search for Mordecai, and they gave Hatach a copy of the decree to show the Queen. The Queen was in charge of going to the king and pleading for her people. We have to remember that those days were not the same as today. The Queen, his wife, had no right to approach the king. Access to the king was strictly limited, and whoever entered the inner court would be executed according to the law, including his wife. Mordecai decided to pressure Esther by reminding her that she would die if she approached the king or not. Please keep in mind that other kings killed and oppressed the Jews centuries prior, but God has never allowed evil to conquer in his promise and providence.
Exodus 1:22 And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive.
Exodus 3:7 And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;
Esther came into action. She commands all the Jews in Shusha and her maidens to gather together for a time of fasting, which means not eating or drinking anything for three days, and says: "if I perish, perish." After the three days of fasting, Esther put on her royal apparel and went to the king's house. When the king saw her, she found grace before his eyes. The king asked her what her request was. Esther decided to invite her husband and Haman to a banquet as that brave woman. I am honestly not sure if she knew at the time of this quote, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach!" she certainly took advantage of this great opportunity. With this invitation, Haman took the time to share it with his wife and friends and told them about the glory of his riches and was proud to have been invited to the Queen's banquet, not knowing that she was also Jewish. Then he told his friends to build gallows for Mordecai to be hanged. Haman did not expect that the king would ask him to honor Mordecai. It had been recorded in the chronicles that Mordecai saved the king's life; for this reason, he needed to be celebrated. Then the king asked Haman what the king should do to a man who deserved honor, and Haman replied that that person should wear the royal dress, a royal crown on his head, and be carried on horseback through the city's streets. The king agreed to everything and ordered Haman to do as he advised the king to Mordecai.
The Queen had another banquet for the King and Haman. This king loved his wife so much that he offered her half the kingdom if that was her request. Esther asked if she had found grace in his eyes to let her life be saved and that of her Jewish people. The king replied, who ordered this atrocity and the Queen responded by saying, Haman.
The king ordered Haman to the death-sentenced; they covered his head as the ancients did in those days and killed him on the same gallows built for Mordecai. Mordecai was advanced and honored. Because Esther had revealed her nationality, a counter decree was written to reverse Haman's written decree.
Conclusion: I encourage you to read the entire book of Esther. What I gave you here is just a summary of the whole story. I tried to keep it short, but I didn't want to rob you of the blessing of knowing the facts of this beautiful story. What the Lord teaches us here is that love conquers no matter what. As I mentioned earlier, God's name does not appear in this book, but his providence (foreseeing) does. He used this young woman and a pagan king to protect His people. Let's put it in today's perspective. Are we letting the Lord use our lives for His glory?
*Please let me know if this post has been a blessing to you through a comment, for it would be a blessing for me to know.