Her name means "Star" -- well deserved, because that's what she becomes during her ten chapters in the Bible. As an orphaned Jewish girl, she wins a national beauty contest and becomes Queen of Persia, and takes a bold stand to save her people from the King's death-decree. The Jews seem to be a minority in this Ahasuerus kingdom, and are probably remnants of the Northern ten tribes as well as those from the Babylonian captivity.
The Book of Esther seems out of place in
the Bible; an anomaly in that it seems to have little or no relationship with other books.
No mention of God, or even Lord, is found in Esther, and we have it on good authority this
book is the only one not found among the dead-sea scrolls at Qumran.
|King Ahasuerus was the father of King Darius the Mede, Dan9:1, and Mordecai was a 4th generation Jew from the 70 year carrying away to Babylon, first prophesied by Jeremiah. Jer25:11 "Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away". Es2:5,6.|
From a contemporary Christian standpoint, several pieces of this story strike a chord when remembering how other Scripture reads. The multiple two's, for instance (2 queens, 2 banquets, 2 hoodlums), and the portentous 3rd Day with the golden sceptre; and the odd ways of the king.
So what are we to learn from this part of the Word of God? The New Testament tells us to study, 2Tim2:15, and that the things written aforetime were "for our learning", Rom15:4, so there must be more to this story than appears at first glance. Currently the Nation of Israel is being vilified by several Arab nations, even to the point of threatening to "wipe the Jews off the face of the earth". Their doctrine of hate would compare to that of Haman, and so maybe God will intervene as this Book of Esther?
Have a care Mahmoud Ahmadinejad!
Cast of Characters
A synopsis of the story of Esther is as follows:
When Queen Vashti refuses to obey King Ahasuerus, he has her put away, and authorizes a beauty contest, with the winner to be the new queen. Esther wins the contest without revealing how she is a Jew; something that her guardian, Uncle Mordecai, has advised her about.
Enter the wicked and vain Haman who also is a trusted minister of the king, but who harbors a grudge against Mordecai the Jew for not giving him due respect as they pass in the street. Unknown to Haman is how Mordecai was instrumental in saving the life of the king when two hoodlums plotted against him. The plot thickens when it becomes known that Mordecai was never honored or rewarded for his actions.
Haman's hatred of the Jews results in his going to the king about them, and persuading him to sign a document ordering their annihilation, viz, a genocide. It's at this point that Mordecai's actions in saving the king's life comes front and center, and the king wants him honored. When Haman is asked what the honor should be, he thinks it is himself the king is speaking of, and unwittingly causes even greater honor to be bestowed on Mordecai.
Haman is so eaten with hatred against Mordecai, and so smitten with conceit over the king's good favor, that he contracts for a gallows to be constructed with the intent to hang Mordecai thereon.
Mordecai, meanwhile, has told Esther of the decree against the Jews, and advised her to intercede with the king: and "who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this"? Est4:14 Esther takes a life-or-death step in appearing to the king on the 3rd Day, but he holds out the golden sceptre to her, and hears about the banquet she plans for both the king and Haman.
At her 'banquet of wine' Esther confronts Haman directly in front of the king, revealing her Jewish heritage, and suddenly the tables are turned against Haman and he has to plead for his life, because the king now knows him as a scoundrel. A fierce bedroom scene ends with the kings order to hang Haman on the very gallows he'd planned for Mordecai.
Happily Ever After. So Mordecai was promoted to head minister similar to the way Joseph in Egypt was promoted, and to the way Jesus is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Instead of the decree against the Jews being declared null and void (as we might have expected), the king put out another decree allowing the Jews to take a stand and defend themselves, which they did with zeal.
But don't take my word for all
this -- get a Bible and read it for yourself!
Two Day 'Feast' of Purim. Pur(Strong's H6332) wasn't one of the three Jewish feasts ordained by God (nor does the Book of Esther call it a 'Feast'), but rather was one the Jews of that time took upon themselves. They use the lunar calendar and observe the 14th and 15th of the twelth month (Adar).