Esther Commentaries

ESTHER RESOURCES
Esther Commentary, Sermon, Illustration, Devotional

CHRONOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIP OF
EZRA-NEHEMIAH-ESTHER
538-515BC 483-473BC 457BC

13 Year

Gap

444-425BC
Ezra 1-6 Book of Esther Ezra 7-10 Book of Nehemiah
First Return
of Jews from
Babylonian Exile
58 Year
Gap
Second Return
of Jews from Babylonian Exile
Third Return
of Jews from
Babylonian Exile
ESTHER:
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
Esther 1
Es 1:1-22
Esther 2
Es 2:1-23
Esther 3
Es 3:1-15
Esther 4
Es 4:1-17
Esther 5
Es 5:1-14
Esther 6
Es 6:1-14
Esther 7
Es 7:1-10
Esther 8
Es 8:1-17
Esther 9
Es 9:1-32
Esther 10
Es 10:1-3
Esther's
Exaltation
Haman's
Cunning Plot
Haman's
Humiliation
Mordecai's
Exaltation
Feast of
Ashasuerus
Fast of
Mordecai
Feast of
Esther
Feast of
Purim
Exaltation Persecution Preservations Commenoration
Jewish Existence
Threatened
Jews
Spared
Gentile Setting Jewess Elevated Threat to Jews Influence
of a Jewess
Deliverance
of Jews
A Jew Exalted
Feast of
Ahasuerus
Feast of Esther
and Purim
Location of Events:
Persian
10 Years
(483-473BC)

Timeline of Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther-See page 28- excellent!
Timeline of Esther related to Ezra & Nehemiah - Parallel lines for Medo-Persian Kings & Daniel, Zechariah, Haggai and Malachi - see page 15
Modified from Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's Survey of the Old Testament"

Key Passages: Esther 4:14, 16, Esther 8:17, Esther 9:26, 31

Key Words: See list under "Precept Ministries Inductive Study on Esther"

The Book of Esther is unusual - God's Name is not mentioned once, yet God's "Hand" is clearly present and active throughout the book, to the extent that many see the book of Esther as a veritable "treatise" on the doctrine of Divine Providence (see separate study)

Purim Music Video - Purim with a beat. Give it a listen as you ponder "For such a time as this!"

CHRIST IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES
in the Book of Esther
by A.M. HODGKIN

Christ in the Historical Books - Esther --

The Book of Esther is designed to show God's providential care of His people. Though the name of God is not mentioned, the hand of God, ruling and over-ruling the events for the preservation of His people, can be seen throughout.

[Footnote: Dr. Bullinger points out that some Hebrew scholars have found the name ''Jehovah'' four times repeated in acrostic form in the Book of Esther.]

In the Talmud, the question is asked: ''Where do we get Esther from the Law?'' The answer is Deuteronomy 31:18, ''And I will surely hide My face, or presence.'' God was hiding His face from His people on account of their sins; they had deliberately chosen to continue in the land of their captivity among the heathen, instead of availing themselves of the opportunity of returning to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. The events in this book occur during the sixty years between the return of that first remnant and of the second under Ezra.

Prayer.

Though there is also no actual mention of prayer to God, it is distinctly implied in the mourning and fasting among the Jews when they heard the royal decree for their destruction (4:1-3); and again, when Esther ordered a three days' fast among her people before she ventured to go before the king (4:16). The Feast of Purim, instituted by Esther and Mordecai, witnesses still, not only to the truth of the narrative, but to a nation's gratitude and a memorial throughout all generations of their deliverance. ''Their fastings and their cry'' are also mentioned, and to whom could they cry but unto God? (9:17-32).

The Golden Sceptre. [Esther 4:11; 5:1-3]

The king holding out the golden sceptre has been an encouragement to many a saint of God in bringing their petitions to the King of kings.

Thou art coming to a King;

Large petitions with thee bring;

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much.

We need never fear that our King will refuse us an audience, or that we shall incur His anger by drawing nigh; but there are seasons when He seems in a special manner to hold out the golden sceptre, and to give us more abundant access to Him in prayer.

Satan.

Behind the personal enmity of Haman [ch. 3] was the deeper malignity of Satan, seeking to make void the promises of God through the destruction of the whole Jewish race; for Xerxes was king over all the Jews in Palestine as well as over those in Persia and Babylon. Satan knew that the great Deliverer who was to arise of the House of David was to destroy his power, and we may trace his hand behind such events of history as Saul throwing his javelin at the youthful David [1Sam 18:9-11; 19:9,10], and Queen Athaliah's attempt to destroy all the seed royal [2Kin 11:1-3]. But God turned aside the blow in the one case, and nourished the infant Joash in the Temple courts in the other. The same enmity of the devil prompted Herod to slay the babes of Bethlehem, but God delivered His Son by sending Him into Egypt [Mat 2]. The great enemy succeeded in bruising His heel when he gathered together Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, against the Holy Child Jesus; but God raised Him from the dead.

Historic Accuracy.

There is hardly a book in the Bible, upon the trustworthiness of which there has been made so determined an attack, as the Book of Esther. [ie., The trustworthiness of the Book of Esther has been attacked by determined critics.] But the writings of Herodotus and the discoveries at Xerxe's palace of Shushan by the Frenchman Dieulafoy, together bring out the truthfulness of every detail of the story.

[Footnote: ''M. Dieulafoy has set up the bithan (apadana, the great banqueting-hall or throne-room) in the museum of the Louvre, where one can now see the remains of the marble pavement, of the hall of the feast.'' (New Biblical Guide, vol 7, p. 359, Rev. John Urquhart) ]

The relative position of the different parts of the palace and gardens fit in exactly with the account in this book. The vain and capricious character of Ahasuerus-- the Xerxes of history-- his extravagant feast, the Persian names of the courtiers, the golden couches, the sceptre, the seal, the scribes, the posts, are all matters of history, if space permitted to examine them in detail. In the account of the king's feast (ch. 1:6), the hangings of the court are described as ''white, green, and blue.'' The word translated ''green'' is really an old Persian word meaning ''fine cotton.'' So it should read ''hangings of fine purple and white cotton.'' These, Xenophon tells us, were the royal colors of Persia. The pillars of marble have been found in the court of the garden, and it is clear that the pavement was a mosaic, as described in v.6.

Salvation.

There have been various attempts to trace elaborate types in the Book of Esther, but the simple fact stands out that here was one who was willing to lay down her life for her people. It is here that we find Christ in the Book of Esther. A picture of Him who was not only willing, but who actually did lay down His life for us, and through whose intercession salvation is assured to us.

Opportunity.

But the great practical lesson for us, in this book, is the all-importance of using God-given opportunities. The power of life and death lies in these opportunities both to ourselves and to others. Mordecai was so sure of God's working that he sent Esther this message: ''If thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou are come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'' (4:14). We may be tempted to think that our opportunities are so insignificant, our circle of influence so small, that they are of little importance; if we were a great queen, like Esther, it would be a different matter. But ''who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'' Thou, whoever thou art, and whatever thy circumstances, thou art called to ''reign in life by One, Jesus Christ'' [Rom 5:17]. See to it that thou dost not miss thy opportunity. God has a purpose for each one of our lives. He has placed us where He can best use us for His glory. If we fail just there, it may be that He will work out His purpose in some other way; but we shall suffer untold loss. Like Esther, we must be ready to take our life in our hand and risk everything in His service.

THE OLD TESTAMENT PRESENTS...
Reflections of Christ in the
Book of Esther
PAUL R. VAN GORDER

OT Reflections of Christ - Contents

ESTHER

The book of Esther is one of the most beautiful stories in all literature. Even though the name of God is not mentioned in it, no book of the Bible teaches His providence more forcefully. The book covers a period of about 12 years, falling somewhere between the events recorded in the sixth and seventh chapters of Ezra. The setting is the court of Xerxes, the king of Persia. The Bible refers to him as Ahasuerus. [The name Ahasuerus is also applied to an earlier king in Ezra 4:6.] At this period in history, a great number of Jews were still living in Persia.

OUTLINE OF THE BOOK--

Haman's Ascendancy (Esther 1-5)

Haman was the enemy of the Jews and sought their extinction.

Mordecai's Ascendancy (6-10)

Mordecai was concerned for the welfare of his people, the Jews.

The record of Luke 24, particularly the journey of the risen Christ with the two disciples to Emmaus, states that ''beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them, in all the scriptures, the things concerning Himself'' (Luke 24:27). Where in the book of Esther, this book without the mention of God's name, do we find teachings about Christ?

I recommend that you read again the entire book to refresh your mind about the historical account. Before we consider where Christ is found in the book of Esther, we will consider some practical matters.

THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD--

An unseen hand is at work behind all human affairs. Who shapes the destinies of nations-- politicians? Never! As a lad, I was fascinated by the operation of a certain machine in the Union Station in Pittsburgh. As we waited for an arriving train, we would stand at the desk in the ticket office and watch a machine with an electric pen attached. A roll of paper was located beneath that pen, and periodically it would begin to write. Some miles distant, somewhere up the line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, a station- master or yard-master would be writing down the position of trains and their time of arrival on a similar scroll. The corresponding electric pen in the station would move in the exact handwriting of the originator. I was always amazed at that apparatus.

Similarly, the providential hand of an Almighty God is behind the destiny of nations. James Russell Lowell wrote,

''Truth forever on the scaffold,
Wrong forever on the throne;
But that scaffold sways the future,
And behind the dim unknown
Standeth God amid the shadows,
Keeping watch upon His own.''

All things move by the knowledge of Almighty God, and according to His ordained plan and purpose. The book of Esther is a confirmation of Psalm 11:4, ''The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the children of men.'' Woven into God's plans are the most minute details of human history. This is illustrated in the turn of events of the story of Esther. The rejection of a Gentile queen, the choice of Esther, and the finding of the records led finally to the exaltation of Mordecai and the sparing of the Jewish race.

Providence is not blind fate. The word ''providence'' means, ''foresight coupled with activity.'' God alone is able to act on the basis of foreknowledge. The book of Esther sets forth two great doctrines: man's free will, and God's absolute sovereignty. Both are at work here. Haman made his plans and Mordecai was busy with his political maneuvering, yet all was done within the boundaries of God's direction.

THE FATE OF THE WICKED--

Another very practical lesson to be gained from the book of Esther is that the prosperity of the wicked is unsafe and unsatisfying, and that it ends in adversity. The experience of the psalmist is recorded as follows: ''For I was envious of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked'' (Psalm 73:3). But then he continued in verses 16 and 17, ''When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end.''

We often see the adversity of the good alongside the prosperity of the wicked. We would tend to ask why, but the book of Esther shows us clearly that the trial of faith results in final victory for the righteous.

The book of Esther presents us with a picture of God's current relationship with the Jews. The Jewish people, as a whole, have been out of their land for 1900 years. During this time, they have been under many Gentile rulers. Satan repeatedly has had a ''Haman'' planning their destruction. But all along, God has been in the shadows watching over His covenant people Israel. Even though, in their present unbelief, they may refuse to recognize His hand, He continues His watchful care over His ancient people.

THE MESSIANIC PLAN--

Haman, the Jew-hater from the cursed seed of Amalek [cp. Esther 3:1; 1Sam 15:2,3,7,8], is a picture of the wicked one who will arise in the end-time of this age and seek the extermination of Israel. The ''man of sin [will] be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God'' (2Thessalonians 2:3,4). Just as Haman's end came by decree of the king, so Antichrist, the man of sin, will be destroyed by God's King, the Lord Jesus Christ. Haman was hanged on the gallows; the man of sin will be cast into the lake of fire. [2The 2:8; Rev 19:11-20]

It appears to me that Esther foreshadows that faithful Jewish remnant in the days of the tribulation. Notice an expression that appears in chapter 5, verse 1, ''Now it came to pass on the third day...'' How beautifully this ties in with the prophecy of Hosea, ''After two days will He revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight'' (Hos 6:2). This speaks of the national resurrection of the remnant of Israel in the last days. Esther's Jewish name was Hadassah, meaning ''myrtle.'' Afterward, it was changed to Esther, meaning ''a star.'' This signifies what will happen to that nation in the future. God will take the remnant of believing Israel out of great suffering and trial and bring the nation to the place of exaltation.

Mordecai stands out as a figure of the Lord Jesus.

He was a despised Jew for whom the scaffold was built. The same scaffold proved to be the undoing of his enemy, and Mordecai was exalted to the throne. How forcefully this speaks of Him who is greater than Mordecai, and who will bring peace to His earthly people and the nations of the world.

Mordecai was the revealer of secrets. In Christ are hidden all the secrets of wisdom and knowledge, and He ''of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption'' (1Cor 1:30).

Mordecai was elevated to the throne. He delivered Israel and was next in authority to the king. By the wonder-working providence and grace of Jehovah, salvation was interposed on behalf of the nation and the world.

Yes, the story of Christ is foreshadowed once again in the Old Testament in the account of Esther.

ESTHER COMMENTARY
Verse by Verse
(E.g., see Commentary on Esther 4:14)
Compiled by Bruce Hurt
Completed July, 2012

PRECEPT MINISTRIES
Inductive Study on Esther
“A Man, A Woman Who Lives for the Good of God's People”
A Miraculous Deliverance of the Jews!

Key words (note) in Esther: Which of these "keys" is the major "key word" (Clue: occurs 51x)

Anger/angry - Esther 1:12, 18, 2:1, 2:21, 5:9, 7:7, 7:10

Banquet/feast - Esther 1:3, 1:5, 1:9, 2:18, 5:4, 5:5, 5:6, 5:8, 5:12, 5:14, 6:14, 7:2, 8:17, 9:17, 9:18, 9:19,9:22

Jew/Jews - Esther 2:5; 3:4, 6, 10, 13; 4:3, 7, 13, 14, 16; 5:13; 6:10, 13; 8:1, 3, 5, 7,8,9, 11, 13, 16,17; 9:1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 10:3;

Edict/decree - Esther 1:19, 1:20, 2:1, 2:8, 3:9, 3:14, 3:15, 4:3, 4:8, 8:8, 8:13, 8:14, 8:17, 9:1, 9:13, 9:14

Fast - Esther 4:3, 16, 9:31

Destroy/destruction - Esther 3:6, 3:9, 3:13, 4:7, 4:8, 7:4 8:5 8:6 8:11 9:5 9:6 9:12 9:24

Day, Month, Year - Esther 1:3 2:16 3:7 1:1 1:2 1:4 1:5 1:10 1:18 2:11 2:12 2:16 2:21 3:7 3:12 3:13 3:14 4:11 4:16 5:1 5:4 5:9 7:2 8:1 8:9 8:12 8:13 9:1 9:11 9:15 9:17 9:18 9:19 9:21 9:22 9:26 9:27 9:28 9:31 (See Jewish Calendar)

Pur/Purim - See discussion of pur/Purim - Esther 3:7 9:24 9:26 See also - Purim - Wikipedia and Judaism 101 Purim with interesting discussion of Esther from a Jewish perspective. In short, the Feast of Purim is an annual reminder of God’s faithfulness on behalf of His people.

Ahasuerus (note) - The Persian King - the same as Xerxes = name used in the NIV

Mordecai (note) - His name means - Little man; bitter bruising; bitterly reduced. Bitterness of my oppression. "A picture of the humanity of Jesus while acting as our kinsman Redeemer (Esther 2:4-7; 10:1-3)" (The Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names. Smith & Cornwall)

Haman (note) - His name means Alone; solitary. Well disposed. A rioter. The rager; their tumult. (Smith & Cornwall)

Esther (note) and Ruth (see resources) are the only books of the Bible centered around a woman. Esther is unique in that it is the only book of Scripture that does not mention God, although clearly God's providential hand of protection of His people pervades the pages. Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah, “myrtle” (Es 2:7), but her Persian name Ester was derived from the Persian word for “star” (stara). The Greek title for this book is Esther (Latin = Hester). Note that the dramatic events of the book of Esther take place between the events of Ezra 6 and Ezra 7, between the first return led by Zerubbabel and the second return led by Ezra.

Esther Kim, a "real life Esther" is the author of the fascinating book entitled "If I Perish" (Amazon - 4.5/5 Stars - Read some of the Reader Reviews) based on the famous verse Esther 4:16.

ALBERT BARNES
Commentary on Esther

JOSEPH BENSON
Commentary on Esther

BRIAN BELL
Sermon Notes
Book of Esther

ADAM CLARKE
Commentary on Esther

(1760-1832) Clarke was Methodist, Wesleyan, Arminian, (e.g., Clarke "suggested that although God can know all future events, he chooses not to know some events beforehand" Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, page 808). He did not always interpret Scripture literally and so was amillennial (he interpreted Revelation as a Historicist) which led him to interpret the church as fulfilling many OT promises to Israel. Influential in development of doctrine of entire sanctification. Affirmed the authority and sufficiency of Scripture, but held a belief of "plenary dynamic inspiration" (idea of every thought inspired), thus falling short of "plenary verbal inspiration" (every single word inspired) (Bib. Sacra: Vol 125, p 163, 1968). In summary, a useful, respected commentary but as with all these resources you are advised to "Be a Berean!"

CAMBRIDGE BIBLE FOR SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
Book of Esther

WALTER ADENEY
Commentary on Esther
The Expositor's Bible

Warren W. Wiersbe - If you can locate the six-volume edition of the Expositor’s Bible, buy it immediately! It takes up less space than the original fifty-volume set, and not everything in the original set is worth owning. Samuel H. Kellogg on Leviticus is a classic; so is Alexander Maclaren on the Psalms and on Colossians. (A Basic Library for Bible Students)

Cyril J. Barber - This set, originally published in 1903, contains expositions by both conservative and liberal theologians. The most important works are by Dod (Genesis), Chadwick (Exodus and Mark), Kellogg (Leviticus), Blaikie (Joshua, I and II Samuel), Adeney (Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther), Maclaren (Psalms), Moule (Romans), Findlay (Galatians and Ephesians), Plummer (Pastoral Epistles and the Epistles of James and Jude), and Milligan (Revelation.) (The Minister’s Library)

ART RELATED
to Esther

BIBLE MAPS AND TIMELINES
Related to Esther
Takes place over ~ 483-473BC
(Takes place between Ezra 6 and Ezra 7)

The Babylonian Exile

The Persian Period

The Hellenistic Period

BIBLE.ORG
Resources Related to Esther

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W. BURROWS
Preacher's Homiletical Commentary
Book of Esther

BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR
Esther
Over 100 pages

COMMENTARY CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY
on the Whole Bible
Commentary on Esther
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown. Published 1871

COMMENTARY CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY
Book of Esther
Unabridged Version
Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown. Published 1871

THOMAS CONSTABLE
Conservative, Millennial

Click for introduction not found in notes below

W A CRISWELL
Sermons on Esther

A D DAVIDSON
Lectures, Expository and Practical,
on the Book of Esther
1859

Another Source

DEFENDER'S STUDY BIBLE
Notes on Esther
Henry Morris

BOB DEFFINBAUGH
Sermons on Esther

C J ELLICOTT, ED.
R. Sinker on Esther
Old Testament Commentary for English Readers

EXPLORE THE BIBLE
Commentary on Esther

EXPOSITOR'S DICTIONARY OF TEXTS
Book of Esther

A C GAEBELEIN
Commentary on Esther
The Annotated Bible

JOHN GILL
Commentary on Esther

GOTQUESTIONS
Book of Esther

L. M. GRANT
Commentary on the
Book of Esther

DAVE GUZIK
Commentary on Esther
Brief Notes from Conservative, Evangelical, Millennial Perspective

HAWKER'S POOR MAN'S COMMENTARY
Book of Esther
Richard Hawker

HYMNS RELATING
to Esther

MATTHEW HENRY'S
Commentary on Esther
(1706)

HOMILETICS ON ESTHER
from Pulpit Commentary

H A IRONSIDE
Notes on
Book of Esther
(1921)

Rosscup - Though Ironside does not get into the detail of the text, he does give a practical exposition on a wider scale in popular fashion. He shows how the message is alive, and at times helps with good illustrations. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors)

KEIL & DELITZSCH
Commentary on Esther

WILLIAM KELLY
Commentary
Book of Esther

PAUL E. KRETZMANN
The Popular Commentary
The Book of Esther

GEORGE LAWSON
Discourses on the Whole Book of Esther
(1809)

GEORGE LAWSON
Discourses on the Whole Book of Esther
(1809)

ALEXANDER MACLAREN
Sermons on Esther

J VERNON MCGEE
Commentary on Esther
Thru the Bible
Mp3's

Complete Book of Esther on one file

F B MEYER
Through the Bible Commentary
Book of Esther

F B MEYER
Our Daily Homily
Book of Esther

MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES
Conservative, Evangelical

JOURNALS

The Theological Journal Library on galaxie.com

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Examples of articles that mention Esther...

Articles on Esther that are free online...

SERMONS, DEVOTIONALS,
OUTLINES, etc
ESTHER

BEST COMMENTARIES

Rosscup is a bit less enamored with Karen Jobes' commentary writing "Jobes will not be clear to some in her view that a biblical book can have legitimate errors in historical matters for the sake of poetic license, without distorting the truth (34). She does not give evidence here to make her point clear or show that it is valid in Esther. She says that Vashti, Ahasuerus [Xerxes], Esther and Haman may not be the actual names of the people to whom the events happened (36–37) (Ed comment: The name Esther is used 45x in 37v in this book and to posit that this may not be her name seems a bit presumptive) . The authoress’ explanation of verses in Esther offer studied help, and each section ends with worthwhile comments on ways main lessons are relevant today." (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors)

Rosscup on Baldwin - A frequent, respected contributor to this series (Tyndale), she presents careful research on setting, text, exegesis and related matters such as customs, with good notes. The work is evangelical, but some will think it strange that Baldwin says some details “continue to seem improbable” (p. 24). (Ibid)

Rosscup on John Whitcomb's Esther and the Destiny of Israel (revised edition - new title from 1979 edition) - "Whitcomb has written this fine 128-pp. paperback for the Everyman’s Bible Commentary. He includes a helpful bibliography along with charts and time-line illustrations. The chronology of Esther is dealt with in detail. The author uses nine chapters to discuss ten chapters of Esther. He uses a verse by verse format. Whitcomb’s introductory remarks are very good but regrettably brief. Throughout the volume he counters two major detractors to the historicity and canonicity of Esther (Patton, ICC, 1908; Moore, Anchor Bible, 1977). Whitcomb dates Esther prior to the palace destruction at Susa in 435 B. C. He, like others, hypothesizes that perhaps a Diasporan Jew authored this work. His comments on the difference between canonicity and theological understanding are worthy of note. Whitcomb’s approach to historicity itself makes valuable reading. The author equates Ahasuerus (486–465 B. C.) with Xerxes aka. Khshayarsha. Whitcomb’s work here is especially valuable for its concern for the interplay between secular and sacred history. Conclusion: Outstanding approach and treatment.—Jan Sattem (Ibid)

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  • Esther Introduction - Only in Mp3 but recommended because as a Jewish believer in Messiah, Pastor Kreloff brings an interesting perspective

JOHN MACARTHUR

Outline of the Book of Esther

I. Esther Replaces Vashti (Esther 1:1–2:18)

A. Vashti’s Insubordination (Esther 1:1–22)

B. Esther’s Coronation (Esther 2:1–18)

II. Mordecai Overcomes Haman (Esther 2:19–7:10)

A. Mordecai’s Loyalty (Esther 2:19–23)

B. Haman’s Promotion and Decree (Esther 3:1–15)

C. Esther’s Intervention (Esther 4:1–5:14)

D. Mordecai’s Recognition (Esther 6:1–13)

E. Haman’s Fall (Esther 6:14–7:10)

III. Israel Survives Haman’s Genocide Attempt (Esther 8:1–10:3)

A. Esther and Mordecai’s Advocacy (Esther 8:1–17)

B. The Jews’ Victory (Esther 9:1–19)

C. Purim’s Beginning (Esther 9:20–23)

D. Mordecai’s Fame (Esther 10:1–3)

 

Excerpt - Historical and Theological Themes - All 167 verses of Esther have ultimately been accepted as canonical, although the absence of God’s name anywhere has caused some to unnecessarily doubt its authenticity. The Greek Septuagint (LXX) added an extra 107 apocryphal verses which supposedly compensated for this lack. Along with Song of Solomon, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations, Esther stands with the OT books of the Megilloth, or “5 scrolls.” Rabbis read these books in the synagogue on 5 special occasions during the year—Esther being read at Purim (cf. Esther 9:20–32).

The historical genesis for the drama played out between Mordecai (a Benjamite descendant of Saul—Esther 2:5) and Haman (an Agagite—Esther 3:1, 10; 8:3, 5; 9:24) goes back almost 1,000 years when the Jews exited from Egypt (ca. 1445 B.C.) and were attacked by the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8–16), whose lineage began with Amalek, son of Esau (Gen. 36:12). God pronounced His curse on the Amalekites, which resulted in their total elimination as a people (Ex. 17:14; Deut. 25:17–19). Although Saul (ca. 1030 B.C.) received orders to kill all the Amalekites, including their king Agag (1 Sam. 15:2, 3), he disobeyed (1 Sam. 15:7–9) and incurred God’s displeasure (1 Sam. 15:11, 26; 28:18). Samuel finally hacked Agag into pieces (1 Sam. 15:32, 33). Because of his lineage from Agag, Haman carried deep hostility toward the Jews.

The time of Esther arrived 550 years after the death of Agag, but in spite of such passage of time, neither Haman the Agagite nor Mordecai the Benjamite had forgotten the tribal feud that still smoldered in their souls. This explains why Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman (Esther 3:2, 3) and why Haman so viciously attempted to exterminate the Jewish race (Esther 3:5, 6, 13). As expected, God’s prophecy to extinguish the Amalekites (Ex. 17:14; Deut. 25:17–19) and God’s promise to preserve the Jews (Gen. 17:1–8) prevailed.

Because of God’s faithfulness to save His people, the festival of Purim (named after the Akkadian word for “lot”—Esther 3:7; 9:26), an annual, two day holiday of feasting, rejoicing, sending food to one another, and giving gifts to the poor (Esther 9:21, 22), was decreed to be celebrated in every generation, by every family, in every province and city (Esther 9:27, 28). Esther later added a new feature of fasting with lamentation (Esther 9:31). Purim is not biblically mentioned again, although it has been celebrated throughout the centuries in Israel. Esther could be compared to a chess game. God and Satan (as invisible players) moved real kings, queens, and nobles. When Satan put Haman into place, it was as if he announced “Check.” God then positioned Esther and Mordecai in order to put Satan into “Checkmate!” Ever since the fall of man (Gen. 3:1–19), Satan has attempted to spiritually sever God’s relationship with His human creation and disrupt God’s covenant promises with Israel. For example, Christ’s line through the tribe of Judah had been murderously reduced to Joash alone, who was rescued and preserved (2 Chr. 22:10–12). Later, Herod slaughtered the infants of Bethlehem, thinking Christ was among them (Matt. 2:16). Satan tempted Christ to denounce God and worship him (Matt. 4:9). Peter, at Satan’s insistence, tried to block Christ’s journey to Calvary (Matt. 16:22). Finally, Satan entered into Judas who then betrayed Christ to the Jews and Romans (Luke 22:3–6). While God was not mentioned in Esther, He was everywhere apparent as the One who opposed and foiled Satan’s diabolical schemes by providential intervention.

In Esther, all of God’s unconditional covenant promises to Abraham (Gen. 17:1–8) and to David (2 Sam. 7:8–16) were jeopardized. However, God’s love for Israel is nowhere more apparent than in this dramatic rescue of His people from pending elimination. “Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:4).

JOHN MACARTHUR

DAVID MALICK

J VERNON MCGEE

BILL MCRAE

MONERGISM

G. CAMPBELL MORGAN

WILLIAM W. ORR

MYER PEARLMAN

JOHN PIPER

WIL POUNDS

PRECEPTAUSTIN

LEONARD RAVENHILL

REFORMATION STUDY BIBLE

AREND REMMERS

DON ROBINSON

A H SAYCE

SERMONCENTRAL

CHUCK SMITH

JAMES STALKER

RAY STEDMAN

AMY STEEDMAN

RICHARD L. STRAUSS

CHARLES SWINDOLL

Excerpt - What's the big idea? While the primary purpose of the book of Esther was to relate the dramatic origins of the feast of Purim, a greater theme shines through the story. The sovereignty and faithfulness of God permeate each scene. Nothing is truly coincidental, the book of Esther says to us. God’s sovereignty is best summarized in Mordecai’s exhortation to Esther: “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

When events seemed out of control to Esther and Mordecai, when the king dictated ruin for their people, when evil was poised to triumph . . . God was at work. He worked through their dark days (Esther was taken to the harem [Esther 2:1–16]), their faithful obedience (Esther risked her life before the king [Esther 5:1–3]), and their victories (Esther revealed Haman’s plot and the Jews’ destruction of their enemies [7–9]). This message is clear: God is sovereign even when life doesn’t make sense.

God is also the great Promise Keeper. Mordecai said to Esther: “If you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place and you and your father’s house will perish” (Esther 4:14). Mordecai’s words reflected his faith that God would honor His eternal covenant with Abraham and David.

How do I apply this? - Life can be hard. Difficult times happen, and pain cannot be avoided. When life doesn’t make sense, do you turn to God or away from Him? Let the book of Esther encourage you that God is always present. Jesus called us “friends” ( John 15:15), and the Spirit is our “Helper” (Jn 14:26). Trust and obey, as Esther did. And watch God silently weave all events for His glory . . . and for our good.

MAJOR IAN THOMAS

GEOFF THOMAS

JAMES VAN DINE

STEVE WAGERS

COMMENTARIES
ESTHER

J G BELLET

ROBERT BRYCE

PAULUS CASSEL

COLLEGE PRESS

  • Esther Commentary - scroll down to page 273 for 133 page commentary on Esther - includes maps - seems to be well done

ALEXANDER D DAVIDSON

J R DUMMELOW, ED.

PAUL S FERGUSON

This 71 page modern (2011) commentary is highly recommended and begins with a discussion of the Doctrine of God's Providence followed by practical application. Then the author gives you a chapter by chapter (often verse by verse) exposition. Highly recommended! (For verse by verse analysis see my work here)

L M GRANT

DANIEL HILL

JOHN HUGHES

WILLIAM KELLY

GARY KUKIS

JOHN LOWRIE

THOMAS M'CRIE

WILLIAM NEWELL

BOB UTLEY

WILLIAM KELLY

MOODY BIBLE

ESTHER 1

PRECEPTAUSTIN.ORG

WILLIAM MACDONALD

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY

BRIAN BILL

JOHN KITTO

RAY STEDMAN

GEOFF THOMAS

JAMES FREEMAN

J G BELLET

ESTHER 2

PRECEPTAUSTIN.ORG

RAY STEDMAN

ROBERT NEIGHBOUR

J G BELLET

TIM KELLER

JAMES FREEMAN

DAVID STRAIN

GEOFF THOMAS

ESTHER 3

DAVID STRAIN

RAY STEDMAN

JIM TWAMLEY

J R MILLER

TIM KELLER

J G BELLET

J R MILLER

JOHN KITTO

ESTHER 4

RAY STEDMAN

DAVID STRAIN

WILLIAM MACDONALD

J R MILLER

JAMES FREEMAN

RAY PRITCHARD

GEOFF THOMAS

C H SPURGEON

PREACHER'S HOMILETICAL COMMENTARY VARIOUS AUTHORS

T DE WITT TALMAGE

CHARLES STALKER

J G BELLET

JAMES HASTINGS

J C PHILPOT

ESTHER 5

RAY STEDMAN

WILLIAM MACDONALD

DAVID STRAIN

JAMES FREEMAN

J G BELLET

JOHN KITTO

ESTHER 6

RAY STEDMAN

SERMON BIBLE COMMENTARY

JAMES FREEMAN

J G BELLET

DAVID STRAIN

JOHN KITTO

ESTHER 7

RAY STEDMAN

J G BELLET

GEOFF THOMAS

JAMES FREEMAN

JOHN KITTO

ESTHER 8

J R MILLER

J R MILLER

RAY STEDMAN

DAVID STRAIN

DON FORTNER

WILLIAM MACDONALD

JAMES FREEMAN

J G BELLET

ESTHER 9

C H SPURGEON

RAY STEDMAN

DAVID STRAIN

JAMES FREEMAN

J G BELLET

ALFRED EDERSHEIM

JOHN KITTO

ESTHER 10

RAY STEDMAN

C H SPURGEON

J G BELLET

JOHN KITTO

G CAMPBELL MORGAN
Living Messages of the Books of the Bible

Through he had no formal training for the ministry, G. Campbell's devotion to studying of the Bible made him one of the leading Bible teachers in his day. His reputation as preacher and Bible expositor grew throughout England and spread to the United States. This commentary is the culmination of his study of God's Word.

THE MESSAGE OF ESTHER

A. THE PERMANENT VALUE

GOD acting in Providence.

I. The Method

i. Hidden but Active.

a. Ruling to Issues (Esther 10:3.)

b. Using the Trivialities.

1. Before the Peril.

2. In the midst of the Peril.

ii. Inclusive. An all-pervading Atmosphere.

a. The Individuals.

b. The Events.

II. The Principles

i. Perfect Knowledge.

ii. Undeviating Righteousness.

iii. Absolute Power.

III. The Issues

i. To those recognizing. Confidence and Courage.

ii. To those in Rebellion, Panic and Punishment.

B. THE LIVING MESSAGE

I. The Truth

i. GOD is.

ii. GOD acts in Providence.

iii. GOD is touching Life at every Point.

II. The Application

i. Reckon with Him.

ii. Trust Him.

iii. Act with Him.

 

Morgan - "There are peculiarities in this story which have raised doubts as to whether it ought to have any place in the canon of Scripture. (1) the name of GOD is never mentioned. (2) there is found no reference to the Hebrew religion. (3) the temple never appears. (4) no ceremonial of the Hebrew worship is referred to. (5) no requirement of the law is named from beginning to end." (Click full message)

NET BIBLE NOTES
Esther Commentary Notes

Comment: More Technical notes but you will often discover some very helpful insights. The links below open to the NET Bible which is synchronized with the NET Notes, Constable's Commentary and relevant articles (click the tab labeled "Articles") on the Bible.org website. Very helpful!

Entire Book with Notes on Pdf

JAMES NISBET
Church Pulpit Commentary
Book of Esther

OUR DAILY BREAD
Devotional illustrations on Esther
RBC Ministries
Updated December 28, 2015

JOSEPH PARKER
Commentary on Esther
People's Bible

L B PATON
The International Critical Commentary
1908

Rosscup: Though old, this still is a rich larder of information on details of word meaning, exegesis, history, etc. It is liberal in perspective but contributes much help if gleaned wisely. (Commentaries for Biblical Expositors)

MATTHEW POOLE
English Annotations on the Holy Bible
Book of Esther

PREACHER'S HOMILETICAL COMMENTARY
Book of Esther
W BURROWS
Excellent Resource
1880

Contents

Index of Illustrations

Introduction

 

Esther 1 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 1 Main Homiletics of the Whole Chapter
  • Esther 1:2 Time's Doings with Human Greatness
  • Esther 1:1-2 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:3-5 Contrast Between the Human and the Divine
  • Esther 1:3-5 A Feast for all the People
  • Esther 1:3-5 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:4,6 Self Glorification
  • Esther 1:4,6 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:7-8 Unwise Liberality, but Wise Regulation
  • Esther 1:7-8 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:9 Vashti the Persian Monarch's Queen
  • Esther 1:9 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:10, 14 A Catalogue of Names
  • Esther 1:13-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:10-12 False Merriment and its Result
  • Esther 1:10-12 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:10-12 Vashti's Dilemma
  • Esther 1:10-12 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:13-14 Seven Wise Men
  • Esther 1:13-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:15 A King in Consultation
  • Esther 1:15 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:16-20 Courtiers Forsake a Failing Cause
  • Esther 1:16-20 The Folly of Trusting in Man
  • Esther 1:16-20 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1:21-22 Vashti is Stripped of Queenly Externals
  • Esther 1:21-22 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 1 - Illustrations

Esther 2 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 2:1 Regrets-Natural, Useless and Wholesome
  • Esther 2:1 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:2-4 The Servility of the King's Servants
  • Esther 2:2-4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:5-7 A Truly Royal Character
  • Esther 2:5-7 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:8-10 Esther's Hopeful Beginning
  • Esther 2:8-10 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2 - Illustrations
  • Esther 2:11 Mordecai's Loving Solicitude
  • Esther 2:11 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:12-14 The Vanity of Earthly Hopes
  • Esther 2:12-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:15, 20 Esther's Elevation
  • Esther 2:15 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2:21, 23 The Plotters and the Counterplotter
  • Esther 2:21, 23 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 2 - Illustrations

Esther 3 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 3:1,6 The Prosperous Wicked Man
  • Esther 3:1,6 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 3:7 The Blind Method of Revenge
  • Esther 3:7 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 3:8-11 A False Aspect of the Truth
  • Esther 3:8-11 Haman's Murderous Proposal
  • Esther 3:8-11 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 3:12-14 Fruitless Preparations
  • Esther 3:12-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 3:15 The irregularities of Human Conditions
  • Esther 3:15 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 3 - Illustrations

Esther 4 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 4:1-4 Great Sorrow
  • Esther 4:1-4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:4 The Action of Sympathy Rejected
  • Esther 4:4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:5-6 A Ministerial Appointment
  • Esther 4:5-6 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:6-9 A Strange Meeting
  • Esther 4:6-9 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:10-12 Prudential Considerations
  • Esther 4:10-12 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:13-14 A Human Voice Speaks Divine Lessons for Human Lives
  • Esther 4:14 God's Purpose and Man's Opportunity
  • Esther 4:13-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:15-16 A Woman's Heroism
  • Esther 4:15-16 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4:17 A Good Man's Characteristics
  • Esther 4:17 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 4 - Illustrations

Esther 5 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 5:1-2 The Royalty of Faith
  • Esther 5:1-2 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5:3-5 A Large Offer and Some of Its Consequences
  • Esther 5:3-5 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5:6-8 Directions for Prayer
  • Esther 5:6-8 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5:9-10 The Superficial Man
  • Esther 5:9-10 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5:11, 13 The Discontented Man as a Reckoner
  • Esther 5:11-13 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5:14 The Speech of a Foolish Wife
  • Esther 5:14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 5 - Illustrations

Esther 6 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 6:1 A Humiliated King
  • Esther 6:1 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 6:2-3 A King's Sorrow for an Unrewarded Subject
  • Esther 6:2-3 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 6:4-5 The King's Inquiry and Concession
  • Esther 6:4-5 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 6:6, 11 Self-Flattery Leading to Self-Humiliation
  • Esther 6:6,11 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 6:12-14 A Small Man in Adversity
  • Esther 6:12-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 6 - Illustrations

Esther 7 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 7:1-4 A Strange Banquet
  • Esther 7:1-4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 7:5-6 The Doings of a Wicked Heart
  • Esther 7:5-6 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 7:7,10 The Fear, the Folly, and the Doom of the Evil-Doer
  • Esther 7:7-10 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 7 - Illustrations

Esther 8 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 8:1-2 Sudden but Wise Changes
  • Esther 8:1-2 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8:3-4 Sin Survives the Sinner
  • Esther 8:3-4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8:5-6 The Pleading of a Great Passion
  • Esther 8:5-6 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8:7-8 A Monarch's Imbecility
  • Esther 8:7-8 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8:9-22 Evil Counteracted
  • Esther 8:9-14 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8:15-17 Days of Rejoicing
  • Esther 8:15-17 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 8 - Illustrations

Esther 9 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 9:1 Hope and Foreboding
  • Esther 9:1 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:2-3 Self-Help Brings Help
  • Esther 9:2-3 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:4 The Greatness of Goodness
  • Esther 9:4 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:5-11 The Fate of Evil-Doers
  • Esther 9:5-11 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:12-16 The Rigor of Justice
  • Esther 9:12-16 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:17-28 A National Memorial
  • Esther 9:17-28 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 9:29-32 Important Letters
  • Esther 9:29-32 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 10 - Illustrations

Esther 10 Critical Notes

Scroll down for the following titles...

  • Esther 10:1,3 A Good Government
  • Esther 10:1-2 Suggestive Comments
  • Esther 10 - Illustrations

PULPIT COMMENTARY
Esther

ROB SALVATO
Teaching Series on Esther

W. SCHULTZ
Lange's Commentary
Commentary on Esther

SERMONS
Book of Esther
Verse by Verse
Click Arrow to go to next verse

CHARLES SIMEON
Sermons on Esther

CHUCK SMITH
Sermons on Esther

Through the Bible Series

Esther 1-10

SPEAKER'S COMMENTARY
Commentary on Esther

RAY STEDMAN
Sermons on Esther
Peninsula Bible Church
Recommended

C. H. SPURGEON
All His Sermons on Esther

C H SPURGEON
Devotionals from...
Morning and Evening

JOSEPH SUTCLIFFE
Commentary
Book of Esther

THIRD MILLENNIUM
Book of Esther
Study Notes

Outline & References

TODAY IN THE WORD
Devotional Commentary on Esther

JOHN TRAPP
Complete Commentary
Book of Esther

BOB UTLEY
Commentary on Esther

 

DANIEL WHEDON
Commentary on the Bible
Book of Esther

Book

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DISCLAIMER: Before you "go to the commentaries" go to the Scriptures and study them inductively (Click 3 part overview of how to do Inductive Bible Study) in dependence on your Teacher, the Holy Spirit, Who Jesus promised would guide us into all the truth (John 16:13). Remember that Scripture is always the best commentary on Scripture. Any commentary, even those by the most conservative and orthodox teacher/preachers cannot help but have at least some bias of the expositor based upon his training and experience. Therefore the inclusion of specific links does not indicate that we agree with every comment. We have made a sincere effort to select only the most conservative, "bibliocentric" commentaries. Should you discover some commentary or sermon you feel may not be orthodox, please email your concern. I have removed several links in response to concerns by discerning readers. I recommend that your priority be a steady intake of solid Biblical food so that with practice you will have your spiritual senses trained to discern good from evil (Heb 5:14-note).