Chart of the
Book of Esther
Prepares for the
God’s Hand Rules in the Present—
God’s Hand Brings
Judgment in its
Executes Justice in
Review of Esther
I. God’s Hand Prepares for the Future:
How Esther Came to Be Queen,
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.
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,
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.
b. Xerxes’ advisors suggests
finding a replacement for
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,
c. Xerxes accepts the
recommendation, Esther 2:4b.
There is no surprise in Xerxes’ response.
“Let the games begin!”
2. Esther as a candidate,
a. Esther’s background,
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
b. Esther’s selection,
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
c. Mordecai’s concern,
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.
3. The traditional procedure,
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.
4. Esther chosen as queen,
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.
5. The attempt on the king's life,
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
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
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
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
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.