Esther Bible Verses Study

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Bible Characters

Esther Bible Verses Study

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Bible Characters study program. This is our Esther Bible Verses study. The truth within this SON-derful Esther Bible Verses study will truly enhance your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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The Book of Esther

Chapter 1

Hope you're ready for a truly interesting story that we're about to study called The Book of Esther.

The story starts off with a grand celebration that the king of Media and Persia was throwing. King Ahasuerus reigned over more than 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, known at that time as Media and Persia.

First a little bit of background, to bring you more information about the setting of the story and to acquaint you with the king. As you may know, the Bible is not completely, in chronological order.

However, if you research some things, you can usually figure out the general time frame of a story by some clues given. Here are some things that give us a fairly good idea of when the story of Esther took place.

In the Book of Ezra 4:6, Ahasuerus was king during the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. That would make it somewhere between five and six hundred years before Christ. In the Book of Daniel, it says that Nebuchadnezzar ruled in Babylon in the third year of king Jehoiakim, which was 644 years before Christ.

Then Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar reigned as king of the Chaldans after that, then Darius the Median who was the son of Ahasuerus, took the kingdom after that as the prophet Daniel predicted, so that puts us in the same general time frame. It's interesting to notice that the Book of Ezra and the Book of Daniel are 12 books apart in the Bible, yet they cover the same era!

The palace where king Ahasuerus' throne was located, was in a place called Shushan, or on some maps it was called Susa. That pretty well covers the setting, as for the people, I'll be introducing you to them as the story unfolds.

Now, in the third year of his reign, King Ahasuerus held a feast for all his princes, nobles and servants. He showed off the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty for 180 days. That was quite a long party!

One can imagine it would take quite a long time to properly entertain all of the princes, nobles and servants of 127 provinces, giving each a bit of your time. At either rate ... It was quite a party.

After that, the king held another feast for all the people who were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, for 7 days in the court of the garden of the king's palace. The palace was very elaborate with fancy linens and furnishings and the guests were served royal wine generously, in all different kinds of golden cups, as the king commanded.

No one contested the drinking because the king told all the officers of his house to serve every man as much as they wanted. In addition to the festivities that the king held, Vashti, the queen, held a feast for the women in the royal house that belonged to Ahasuerus.

On the 7th day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he ordered his seven chamberlains to bring Vashti before the king, wearing the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty, because she was pretty. But Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains. This made Ahasuerus mad and his anger burned inside him.

This is interesting, don't you think? At the utterance of the name Vashti, does not an image of a rebellious woman come to your mind? Let's step back just a pace or two and look at this story closer, shall we?

In our perception of what consists of the qualities a virtuous woman, it may be safe to say that she should be modest, at the very least. And wouldn't one agree that if a husband held any amount of virtue, he would protect his bride from anything that was unrighteous? Now, let's look again at our impression of Vashti, shall we?

Consider this situation. Firstly, the women had a separate feast from that of the men, as you can imagine at a party where the host offers as much as you can drink to the men for free ... Well, enough said.

So here we have the king, merry with wine (drunk, in other words) who orders his top officials (who probably weren't abstaining because they were designated drivers for the evening, but that is assumption of consumption) to go fetch the little woman so he could show everyone what a fox she is.

Now, put yourself in Vashti's shoes for a moment ... You're having a little get together with the women and seven guys who are partying with the hubby who is "merry with wine" come to get you to show the kingdom that not only does the king have fabulous riches but a hot wife too! Any virtuous women out there who can't wait to walk that runway?

So, Vashti, that snakestress ... was wrong for refusing to go, because a woman is submissive to her husband, right? Was Ahasuerus wrong? Does it matter who was ... Wronger?

Take a look at this verse:

Genesis 20:16

And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.

This was advice that Abimelech gave Sarah ... A husband should be as a covering of the eyes ... In other words she must look at no other, nor desire to be looked at by another. And shouldn't a wife trust that her husband will protect her from such? Why would a righteous husband put his wife in such a situation which is totally opposite? That Vashti ... That ... That vixen!

Ahasuerus consulted with his scholars who knew law and the times, and his seven princes of the kingdom asking them, What should we do to queen Vashti according to the law, because she disobeyed the order of the king? One must suppose (tongue in cheek of course), that punishing the queen would be better than admitting the truth of the matter.

To give balance to this whole situation while we're stroking our chins and judging who was right and who was wrong, Media and Persia were not necessarily God fearing realms. So golly, that doesn't really tip the balance back, does it? We're just going to take a Fox News perspective here and use their little motto "We report - You decide." Alas, the infamous "gray area." At any rate ...

It must have been a tough decision for the king, once he sobered up and realized that he had a situation. Verse 12 says his anger burned in him. That is pride. He refused to be wrong. Perhaps inside he suffered a great deal and struggled with pride, as we all do at times. Only God knows what's in a man's heart.

One of the princes answered, Vashti hasn't only done wrong to the king, but also to all the princes and all the people of the provinces. What she's done will become known to women everywhere. They'll despise their husbands when they hear the news that the king commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she didn't obey.

It'll cause too much contempt and anger. If it please the king, let a law be written that can't be changed, that Vashti never be seen again in the presence of king Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another woman, better than her.

When the kings order is proclaimed throughout all his great empire, all the wives will give their husbands honor, both great and small. The king was happy with the idea and the law was written. The king sent letters to every province in their own language that every man should rule in his own house.

So, the contentious (?) ways of queen Vashti caused her to be divorced from the king and expelled from his presence forever. And what happened to the king because he put the queen in such a precarious situation? Has your impression of Vashti changed?

How often do we judge things, and people, without really considering all things? Next in our story, we'll find out all about how Esther became queen in Vashti's place and about a situation that arose when her cousin Mordecai stood up for his beliefs. See you again for more of this story in the next chapter.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 2

Lovely to see you here at our Daily Bread study of the Book of Esther. In the first chapter we learned how queen Vashti disobeyed the commandment of her king, so she was expelled from the palace and it was ruled that her royal estate would be given to someone more worthy than her.

So, when the king's anger subsided, he remembered what Vashti had done and what was ordered against her. The king's servants suggested that there be a search for beautiful young maidens for the king to be able to choose a new queen from the group.

The king liked the idea and he appointed officers in all the provinces of the kingdom to bring all the beautiful young maidens to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women.

They were put in the care of the king's chamberlain, Hegai, to see that the customs of purification were followed and the maiden who pleased the king would become queen instead of Vashti.

Now, in Shushan, there was a certain Jewish man named Mordecai who was of the tribe of Benjamin, and he'd been taken away with the captives from Jerusalem when Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, carried them all away. Mordecai raised his uncle's daughter (his cousin) Hadassah, which is Esther because her mother and father had died and he took her for his own daughter. She was a very lovely maiden.

When the king's commandment was declared and many maidens were taken to the palace, Esther was also brought to the king's house. She pleased the king and won his kindness, and he readily gave her the things for purification which were necessary out of the king's house, along with seven maids. He promoted her and her maids to the best place of the house of the women.

Mordecai advised Esther not to reveal that she was Jewish, so she kept it a secret. He walked every day in front of the court of the women's house to know how she was, and what would become of her.

The custom of purification for women took twelve months. Six months was with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors and other things for the purifying of the women. Then each maiden was presented to the king and whatever she desired was given to her to take with her out of the house of the women to the king's house.

In the evening, she went, and on the next day she returned to the second house of the women, to the care of the king's chamberlain, Shaashgaz who cared for the king's concubines. She was not allowed into the king's presence any more unless the king liked her, and called her by name.

When it was Esther's turn, she took nothing with her except what Hegai advised her, and she won favor in the sight of everyone who saw her. Esther was taken into the house of king Ahasuerus in the tenth month, which was called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

The king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and kindness in his sight more than all of the maidens, so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

The king held a great celebration for all his princes and his servants, called Esther's feast and he made a holiday for the provinces and gave gifts according to the state of the king.

When the maidens were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate. Esther had still not told of her heritage of being Jewish, as Mordecai had advised her. She obeyed him as she did when she was brought up by him.

At that time, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains who kept guard of the door, were angry with king Ahasuerus and plotted to kill him.

When Mordecai found out about it, he told Esther and she informed the king in Mordecai's name. When the matter was investigated, it was found out to be true and the two chamberlains were both hanged on a tree, and it was written in the book of the chronicles that Mordecai, saved the king's life.

And that's how Esther became the queen. Next in our story, there's some trouble ahead for Mordecai, so you'll want to come back and see what happens in the next Daily Bread Bible Study.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 3

Glad you joined us back at Shushan where we've just gotten underway in our story about Esther here at Daily Bread. To refresh your memory a bit, king Ahasuerus had a celebration to show the kingdom his riches. Then he had another, smaller celebration for just the people of the palace. When he asked his queen Vashti to make an appearance, she curtly refused, so Ahasuerus divorced her and made a search for a new queen.

The cousin of Mordecai the Jew won the honor of becoming the new queen because of her loveliness. Shortly thereafter, Mordecai heard that two of the king's chamberlains were planning to murder the king, so he alerted Esther, who in turn informed the king and the report was written in the king's book of chronicles, but the king didn't know that it was Mordecai who saved his life.

That brings us to where we left off. After that, the king promoted Haman, of the children of Agag as his top prince above all the others. All the servants bowed and respected Haman because the king commanded it. However ... Mordecai didn't bow to Haman, or respect him. A Jewish man bows to none but God.

The servants of the king asked Mordecai, Why do you disobey the king's commandment? They asked him every day, and Mordecai didn't listen to them so the servants told Haman, to see if this behavior would be tolerated because Mordecai told them that he was Jewish.

When Haman saw that Mordecai didn't bow or have any reverence for him, he was infuriated. He refused to harm only Mordecai, because they showed him Mordecai's people, so Haman planned to destroy all the Jewish people in the entire kingdom of Ahasuerus.

In the first month, called Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, (Esther had been queen for about five years now) they cast the lot, called Pur, in front of Haman every day until the twelfth month, called Adar.

Time for a Daily Bread Crumb! We've talked about how the Hebrews cast lots and this was a means by which God revealed things to them. Well, the Persian word for this practice was Pur, though it wasn't divinely inspired like casting lots was for the Hebrews. They did this to find out which of the twelve months would be the "luckiest" for Haman to accomplish his destruction of the Jews.

Some also think that in addition this was some kind of game that the people played in front of, or with Haman daily to distract him from his ire until the lucky day arrived or that it was some kind of determination as to who would win the property of the more affluent Jewish families.

Then Haman said to king Ahasuerus, There's a certain people scattered abroad and diving among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom as well. Their laws are different from all people, and they don't keep the king's laws either. It's not profitable for the king to put up with them.

If it pleases the king, let there be a law written that they may be destroyed, and I'll pay ten thousand talents of silver to those who are put in charge of the job, to bring it into the king's treasuries. This was because Haman knew there would be a loss of tribute with so many people perishing, so he was willing to pay it out of his own pocket.

The king thought this was a good idea, so he took his ring off his hand and gave it to Haman, the enemy of the Jewish people. The king said to Haman, The silver is given to you, and the people too. Do with them as it seems good to you.

Here's a little Daily Bread Crumb! In ancient times, the king often gave his ring to someone who he placed in a seat of honor. Joseph was given the ring of Pharaoh when he put him in charge of Egypt as well. Now, about the ring itself. You may have heard of it being called a signet ring.

That's because it was used instead of a signature for decrees and laws and such. The ring usually had a gem or a stone that was engraved with some kind of seal (called an intaglio) that represented official authority or authenticity, so that an impression or engraving could be made with it.

The king's secretaries were called on the thirteenth day of the first month and all that Haman suggested was commanded in writing to the king's lieutenants, governors and rulers of every people of every province, in their own language, throughout the kingdom, and sealed with the king's ring.

The letters were sent by messengers ordering to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, to all Jewish people, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, called Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey (take all their goods). This was to be done in exactly eleven months.

A copy of the writing was published for all the people so they would be ready for that day. The messengers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace.

In the next chapter, we'll find out what happens when Mordecai finds out about Haman's evil plan.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 4

It's wonderful to have you back again at Daily Bread to continue our study of the Book of Esther. When we ended, the wicked Haman, disgruntled because Mordecai wouldn't bow to him or show him respect, talked king Ahasuerus into giving an order to kill all Jewish people in the kingdom.

When Mordecai heard about this, he was so sorrowful that he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth with ashes. Remember it was because he refused to bow that this decree was given. But, he knew the law, he was not to bow to any but God. He went into the middle of the city and cried loudly and bitterly. He even went in front of the king's gate, because nobody clothed in sackcloth could enter in there.

In each province where the king's commandment and decree went out to, there was desperate mourning among the Jewish people, and they fasted and wept and wailed. Many of them wore sackcloth and ashes.

Esther's maids and her chamberlains told her what was going on and the queen was deeply grieved and she sent clothing for Mordecai but he wouldn't accept it. Then she gave a message to one of her servants to take to Mordecai to find out what happened and why.

He took the message to Mordecai and Mordecai told him everything that had happened, including about the money that Haman promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jewish people, and to destroy them. Mordecai gave the servant a copy of the writing of the decree to show to Esther, and he told him to tell her to go in to the king and make a plea for her people.

The servant went back and told Esther everything Mordecai said and she sent him back again with another message. It said, All the kings servants and the people of the kingdom know that whoever comes into the inner court of the king without being called, whether it is a man or woman, there is a law that says they are to put them to death, except those that he hold out the golden sceptre, then they may live, but I haven't been called to come in to the king for thirty days now.

Mordecai sent his reply, Don't think that you'll have a better chance to escape in the king's house, more than all the Jewish people. If you don't speak up now, help and deliverance will come from another place for the Jewish people, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. And who knows, maybe you were made queen of the kingdom for this very reason.

Esther told them to give Mordecai this answer, Go, gather all the Jewish people together that are in Shushan and fast for me. Don't eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maidens and I will do the same and then I'll go in to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.

So Mordecai went his way and did what Esther had told him.

In our next segment, you'll find out more about Haman's hatred for Mordecai, so come on back soon for more of our Esther Bible Study.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 5

Get ready because it seems that in our story today at Daily Bread, Haman isn't the only one with a plan in mind. Let's look in on Shushan the palace and see what's happening.

As you recall, Mordecai and all the Jews are fasting for three days and three nights, and Esther and all her maidens are fasting too, in hopes that when she goes in to talk to the king, she won't be put to death.

On the third day, Esther put on her royal clothes and stood in the inner court facing the king's house, and the king sat on his throne in the royal house, facing the gate. When the king saw Esther standing in the court, he was happy to see her and he held out the golden sceptre in his hand. This meant she was free to enter.

Esther went near him and touched the top of the sceptre, and the king said to her, What do you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? It will be given to you, even up to half of the kingdom.

Well, Esther had other ideas in mind and she answered, If it's alright with the king, I'd like to invite the king and Haman to come to the banquet that I've planned. So the king said, Tell Haman to hurry and do as Esther said. The king and Haman went to the banquet of wine that Esther prepared.

At the banquet, the king said to Esther, What's your wish, and it will be granted to you. Esther answered, If I've found favor in the sight of the king, and if the king wants to answer my request, I'd like to invite the king and Haman to the dinner I've planned for tomorrow and I'll tell you my wish then.

Well, Haman left that day joyful and with a glad heart, because HE was invited to dine with the king and queen, but when he saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and he didn't bow, in fact he didn't even so much as stand up, or even move for him, Haman was full of indignation for Mordecai. Even so, Haman refrained himself.

When he went home, he invited his friends and called for his wife Zeresh. He bragged all about the glory of his riches and about how many children he had. He went on and on about all the great things that the king had entrusted to him and how he was above all the other princes and servants of the king.

Then Haman said, the queen Esther invited no other man but me to have wine with her and the king today, and tomorrow I'm invited by her again, with the king. Still, all this brings me nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew, sitting at the king's gate.

Haman's wife, Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Make a gallows 75 feet high and tomorrow, ask the king if Mordecai can be hanged on it, then you can go in happily with the king and enjoy the queen's banquet.

This idea pleased Haman, and he ordered the gallows to be made.

Things are looking a little dire for Mordecai, but Esther has something in mind ... Or is it God who has a plan? Be sure to join us and find out what it is, in the next Daily Bread.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 6

Happy to have you back at Daily Bread to find out what happens next in our story about Esther. Sometimes things don't go as people plan, and that's exactly the case with Haman in this chapter, in fact, quite contrary to his plans, instead of bringing Mordecai down by hanging him in the gallows that he had made, Mordecai was rather ... Lifted up instead! Let's look in on them and find out the details.

It seems that the night before queen Esther's banquet, the king couldn't sleep, so he ordered the book of the chronicles to be brought and they were read aloud to the king. Well, it came to the king's attention that Mordecai was the one who reported that the two chamberlains of the king were planning to kill king Ahasuerus.

Is it coincidence that the thought came to the mind of this king to have those chronicles read to him after all this time on this particular day? God's Hand was at work.

The king asked, What kind of honor and dignity has Mordecai been given for this? The king's servants replied, Nothing at all has been done for him. The king then asked, Who's in the court right now? (Well, Haman had come into the outer court of the king's house to speak to him about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had made for him.) ... The servants said, Haman is in the court, so the king said, Tell him to come in.

When Haman came in, the king asked him, What should be done for a man that the king wishes to honor? Now, Haman thought in his heart, Who would the king want to honor more than himself? Haman actually thought the king was talking about Haman himself. Haman answered the king, For the man that the king wishes to honor, Let the royal robe that the king wears be brought and the horse that the king rides upon, and the royal crown that is set on his head:

And let this apparel and horse be taken to one of the king's noblest princes, so he can display the man who the king wishes to honor and lead him on horseback through the streets of the city and present him. That's what should be done to the man who the king is pleased with.

Ahasuerus then said to Haman, Hurry and take the apparel and the horse, just as you said, and give this honor to Mordecai the Jewish man, who sits at the king's gate. Don't leave a single thing out of all the things that you said.

Oh, you know this about knocked Haman to the floor. But, he had already opened his big mouth so Haman took the robe and the horse and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the streets of the city, announcing, This is what will be done to those who the king wishes to honor.

Mordecai went back to the king's gate afterward, but Haman hurried to his house pouting, with his head covered in shame. He told Zeresh his wife and all his friends all that had happened to him. They told Haman, If Mordecai is of the seed of the Jewish people, and you've begun to fall before him, you surely won't prevail against him. (Why didn't they give him this advice earlier?)

While they were still talking to Haman, the king's chamberlains hurried over to Haman's house to bring him to the banquet that queen Esther had prepared. You almost forgot about Esther having a plan too, didn't ya?

If you think ole Haman ate some crow while parading Mordecai around the city and honoring the man who he hates, wait until the banquet Esther has planned! We'll find out if Esther plans to serve crow as well.

Just a little Daily Bread Crumb to end this story with! Where did the phrase eating crow come from? Well, to crow is to gloat, brag or boast, so if you eat crow, it's like eating your words, or accepting something that you previously fought against.

Another phrase used for this all too common occurrence is sticking your foot in your mouth. You have to admit, Haman seems to have an appetite for his own foot quite a bit in the Book of Esther.

Be sure to join us again and we'll find out what happens as some plans fail and some succeed, in our next Daily Bread.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 7

Glad to have you back once again at Daily Bread to share this unique story. Looking back, Haman had just been humbled unbeknownst to the king, when he was ordered to parade Mordecai around the city in honor of saving the king's life.

Then after going home and crying in shame to his wife and friends, he was promptly picked up by the king's chamberlains to be brought to the banquet of wine that queen Esther had prepared.

When the king and Haman arrived, the king asked once again, What is your petition, queen Esther and it will be granted to you. Whatever your request is, it will be granted, even up to half of the kingdom.

Esther answered, If I've found favor in your eyes, O king, let my life and the life of my people be spared. We've been sold to be destroyed. If we had been sold for slaves, I would've held my peace, even though the enemy couldn't compensate for the king's loss.

Ahasuerus said, Who dares presume in his heart to do such a thing? Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman! The king in anger, getting up and leaving the banquet, went into the palace garden. Haman was afraid and he stood up to beg for his life from Esther because he saw that the king determined evil against him.

Haman threw himself on the bed where Esther was and just then, the king returned from the garden to the banquet. Infuriated to see Ahasuerus laying on the bed with his wife ... Said, "Will he assault the queen also, with me in the house?" While the king spoke, they covered Haman's face.

Hungry for a little Daily Bread Crumb? It was the custom of the kings of Persia, that their servants covered the face of anyone the king was angry with, so the king wouldn't have to look at him anymore.

It was also a custom that the Romans, the Macedonians and possibly the Persians commonly muffled the heads of prisoners with a napkin or veil before executing them.

One of the king's chamberlains told the king, There is a gallows, fifty cubits high, that Haman had made, for Mordecai the man who saved the king, at Haman's house. The king said, Hang him on it. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's anger was pacified.

Well, that wasn't the end of the matter. Don't forget that Haman convinced the king to put in writing and seal with the king's ring, that Mordecai and his people would be destroyed. Although Haman has been hung, the writing was still standing.

We'll find out more of what happened when God's divine hand assists Esther and Mordecai in helping to save His people, next time, at Daily Bread Bible Study.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 8

Greetings to all of you once again from Daily Bread to study the Book of Esther. As we ended last time, Haman was just hung on the gallows that he had made in hopes that Mordecai would be hung on it. His hopes were foiled when Esther told king Ahasuerus that the people who Haman convinced the king to have destroyed, were Esther's people.

That day, the king gave the estate of Haman to Esther, and Mordecai stood before the king because Esther revealed that he was her cousin. The king took off his ring that he had taken from Haman and gave it to Mordecai, and Esther put Mordecai in charge of the estate of Haman.

Esther spoke with the king once again, falling at his feet and begging with tears to stop the evil of Haman and the plot that he began against her people. Ahasuerus held out the golden sceptre toward Esther and she stood up in front of the king and said, If it's alright with the king, and if I've found favor in your sight, let it be written to reverse the letters created by Haman to destroy my people that are in all the king's provinces. How can I bear to watch the evil that will happen to them or see the destruction of my kindred?

The king said to Esther and Mordecai, I've given Esther the estate of Haman and hung him on the gallows because he laid his hand to your people. You may write whatever you like in the king's name and seal it with the king's ring, for anything written in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Did you catch that? That means that the writing that Haman made was also in the king's name and sealed with his ring, so it was unlawful for any man, even the king, to reverse it. However, the king didn't hesitate to say to Esther and Mordecai, Sure, go ahead, write whatever you want in my name and put my stamp of approval on it! That's because the hand of the Lord was intervening to save His people. The Lord provided a way for the king to reverse the order ... Without reversing it!

The king's scribes were called in on the 23rd day of the 3rd month, called Sivan, and all that Mordecai wished was written to the authorities of all 127 provinces, in king Ahasuerus' name and sealed with the king's ring. The letters were sent by messengers on horseback, mules, camels, and young dromedaries.

Now, let's find out what had to be written in order to thwart the devices that Haman had put in place. Now remember that Haman's writing to destroy Esther and Mordecai's people was to take place on the 13th day of the 12th month, so they had 8 months and 23 days to get their message to the people. The king's grant allowed the Jewish people in every city to gather themselves together and stand for their life, to destroy, slay and cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prize on the 13th day of the 12th month.

So, now there's an order for the people to kill all of the Jewish people, and an order for the Jewish people to stand for their lives and kill those who try and assault them. A copy of the writing was published for all the people so they would be ready for that day. The messengers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace.

All this, because one man's pride was so strong that he couldn't bear it when another man wouldn't bow to him. Now, as you may know, this all happened after the children of Israel were scattered throughout these 127 provinces after the carry out of Jerusalem.

Perhaps this was one way that God used to remind the Medes and Persians that although He allowed the captivity of His people, they were still His people and His strength is still in them.

Mordecai left the presence of the king dressed royally in blue and white with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple and the city of Shushan was no longer bewildered, but they rejoiced and were glad.

The Jewish people had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor and in every province when they heard the news, they had a feast. Many of the people of the land even became Jewish because the fear of the Jewish people fell upon them.

As you've seen many times before when God's hand was with the people of Israel during the conquest of Canaan, nobody could prevail against them, just as Zeresh, Haman's wife and his friends warned him. Who would you guess will be the victors in this story? Come on back and find out, next time, at Daily Bread.

The Book of Esther

Chapter 9 - 10

Great to see you here for the conclusion of the Book of Esther. We left our story when king Ahasuerus sent letters again to all the provinces of his kingdom.

This time it was a writing allowing the Jewish people to gather together, stand up for their lives and lay hand on (defend themselves against) anyone who tried to harm them on the day that Haman ordered that they be destroyed.

From the time the letters were sent until the time the king's commandments were to be executed, Mordecai became more and more honorable in the king's house and his fame spread through all the provinces.

On the 13th day of the 12th month, the enemies of the Jewish people who hoped to prevail over them, couldn't withstand them because the Lord caused everyone to fear them. All the kings officers, deputies, lieutenants and rulers of the provinces helped the Jewish people because the fear of Mordecai fell on them.

The Jewish people struck all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, slaughter and destruction to all those who hated them. In Shushan alone they killed 500 men.

They also slew the ten sons of Haman, but they didn't lay a hand on their property. You noticed that the word slew was in italics, so let's have a little Daily Bread Crumb about that word. The word slew doesn't always mean to put to death. Sometimes it simply means to strike, overwhelm or affect overpoweringly.

You may recall that in the story of David and Goliath, David slew Goliath with a stone first, then cut off his head and slew him with his own sword, 1 Samuel 17:50-51. Did David kill the giant twice! That's quite impossible, so David must have struck him with the stone, then killed him with the sword.

Now, back to the story. That day, the number of people slain in Shushan was reported to the king, and the king told Esther, Your people have slain and destroyed 500 men in Shushan and the ten sons of Haman, imagine what they've done in the rest of the provinces. Now, what else do you wish and it will be granted to you.

Esther said, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jewish people that are in Shushan that according to today's decree, let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows tomorrow.

The king granted Esther's request and they hung Haman's ten sons. Now, if you wanna look at every possibility, if you read the text in your Bible, they could have been slain (as in killed) and then hung afterward as well sort of as a public display, and perhaps this was just sort of a flashback after the author previously stated that they were slain.

The people in Shushan continued to fight against the Jewish people on the 14th day of Adar, and 300 more Medes and Persians were slain, but not a hand was laid on their belongings. (Did you notice that the author made it a point to mention twice that the Jewish people didn't take any spoil or loot or prey?

Perhaps to point out that the prize of liberating God's people from this horrible curse of Haman's was what it was all about, not how much stuff they could come away with.) In the rest of the provinces, the Jewish people had rest on the 14th day because their enemies surrendered, and they made it a day of feasting and celebration, but the Jewish people in Shushan feasted and celebrated on the 15th day. They also sent gifts to one another.

Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jewish people of the kingdom, both near and far, to establish among them that they should keep the 14th and 15th day of the month Adar as a memorial celebration day every year throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city.

The name of these feast days are called Purim, after the word Pur because Haman conspired against the Jewish people to destroy them and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, but when Esther came before the king, he commanded that Haman's wicked idea be returned upon his own head.

The Jewish people enacted and took upon them, and upon their descendants and anyone who joins themselves to them, and that it shouldn't fail, that they observe these two days according to their writing and their appointed time every year so the remembrance of it is never forgotten. The second letter of Purim was confirmed and sent to all the Jewish people in all the kingdom with words of peace and truth and it was written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia.

The king promoted Mordecai to greatness and all their accomplishments were also written in the chronicles. Mordecai was made second in command to the king and he was great among the Jewish people, and respected greatly by all, acting for the good of his people and speaking peace.

All things work together for good to them that love God, says Romans 8:28. Why was Esther orphaned? Why was she put in her cousin Mordecai's care? Why was she beautiful? What are the chances that she would become queen of a kingdom that wasn't even of her people? You can bet God has things in mind, even when they don't make sense to us at any particular time.

Remember, that Esther wasn't the picture of courage at first. She was afraid of approaching the king about saving God's people at first, but Mordecai's words of truth, and the hand of God turned her fright into virtue. Do you think Esther knew the last two verses of Proverbs 31? If not, Mordecai sure taught it to her.

Proverbs 31

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

One more thing before we wrap things up with the Book of Esther. Queen Esther was a beautiful woman. Chosen from the fairest women of 127 provinces of the kingdom. Why did King Ahasuerus never ask Queen Esther to strut her stuff in front of his people and princes? Just askin'.

Congratulations! You've just finished the study of the Book of Esther!

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare