Esther 2 ss


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Esther 2 ss

  1. 1. Bright Star in a dark place (Chapter 2) By Samuel E. Ward For text version:
  2. 2. Introduction 2
  3. 3. Chart of the Book of Esther 3 God’s Hand Prepares for the Future— Chapters 1-2 God’s Hand Rules in the Present— Chapters 3-8 God’s Hand Brings Judgment in its Time— Chapter 9:1-19 God’s Hand Executes Justice in the End— Chapters 9:20-10:3 TheGreatBanquets DethronementofVashti TheChoiceofaNewQueen Haman’sPlot–Plot#1 Mordecai’sPlan Esther’s1stBanquet Haman’sPlot–Plot#2 Haman’sHumiliation Estther’s2ndBanquet Mordecai’sElevation AGreatSlaughter AGreatVengeance AGreatCelebration Mordecai’sLetter Esther’sConfirmation Mordecai’sGreatness
  4. 4. Review of Esther I. God’s Hand Prepares for the Future: How Esther Came to Be Queen, Esther 1:1-2:23 We have examined the events of the first chapter which included . . . A. The Great Banquets of Xerxes and QueenVashti, Esther 1:1-9 (483 B.C.) B. Vashti's Dethronement, Esther 1:10-22.
  5. 5. We now turn our attention to chapter two which leads us through the process of . . . C. Choosing a New Queen, Esther 2:1-23 1. The search, Esther 2:1-4 a. Xerxes’ anger recedes over Vashti, Esther 2:1.
  6. 6. The celebrations in Esther 1 prove to be premature. A different mood is hovering over Xerxes as he seemingly lacks anyone from whom he could receive comfort or solace after his defeat in Greece.
  7. 7. b. Xerxes’ advisors suggests finding a replacement for Vashti, Esther 2:2-4a. The search for a new queen was to be empire-wide. Physical beauty was probably a key qualification but the word could well include a description of pleasant disposition, cheerful attitude, etc.
  8. 8. c. Xerxes accepts the recommendation, Esther 2:4b. There is no surprise in Xerxes’ response. “Let the games begin!”
  9. 9. 2. Esther as a candidate, Esther 2:5-11 a. Esther’s background, Esther 2:5-7 Esther was under the care of a cousin named Mordecai. Mordecai had taken custody of Esther when her parents died. No details exist as to cause of their death, but Esther was apparently quite young.
  10. 10. b. Esther’s selection, Esther 2:8-9 Among all the other young women brought to Susa, Esther soon became a favorite of Hegai, overseer of the king’s harem. The Hebrew language describes her as being “beautiful of form and face.”
  11. 11. c. Mordecai’s concern, Esther 2:10-11. Several questions arise out of Mordecai’s forbidding Esther to reveal anything about her nationality or other personal family information. Since Jews were discouraged from marrying Gentiles, why didn’t Mordecai resist Esther’s inclusion in the candidacy for queen. Perhaps he was not given a choice and was fearful to object.
  12. 12. 3. The traditional procedure, Esther 2:12-14 Take note that the young women would go through this procedure for twelve months and still could be rejected by the king! This was no less true for Esther.
  13. 13. 4. Esther chosen as queen, Esther 2:15-18 Many commentators and scholars dwell on what they consider to be the sins of Esther and Mordecai that put them in this position of being obligated to this heathen king. It would seem that if that were the point of Esther, she would have been portrayed in a more negative light than she is.
  14. 14. 5. The attempt on the king's life, Esther 2:19-23 In God’s preparation for the deliverance of the Jews who were dispersed throughout the Persian Empire, He was already prepared to use the dethronement of Vashti for His purpose.
  15. 15. Now we see that other events which transpired seem to guide the course of which will make the deliverance possible. These include . . . Mordecai was in a strategic position to gain useful knowledge. Esther kept the secret of her family background and nationality. Mordecai became aware of a plan by Bigthana and Teresh to assassinate King Xerxes.
  16. 16. Mordecai had access through Esther to warn the king and gain favorable status with the king. Bigthana’s and Teresh’s plans were prevented and they were executed. Most importantly, the event was recorded and filed away in the king’s annals.
  17. 17. Conclusions It is not for man to know and understand all of the ways of God in the world. We do know that we are quicker to condemn others men than God is. He offers mercy and grace before judgment. Mordecai and Esther seem to have been in violation of God’s Law in a number of ways. But the point of this book is not so much about the failings of Mordecai and Esther, but their courage to stand in the gap on behalf of their people. 17
  18. 18. Rahab was a prostitute and yet not one word of condemnation is recorded against her because, when it counted, she trusted in God. The woman caught in adultery was not condemned by Jesus because perhaps He saw her as the victim of the men who self-righteously judged her. The inference in the text is that these same men probably used and abused her. Jesus did not even ask for a confession. Hear Jesus’ words of grace and mercy in John 8:10-11.