Saturday, August 16, 2008

17 The Book of Esther (Summarized)


Xerxes gets rid of his queen for disobeying him 1

Esther pleased Xerxes, so she became the new queen 2

Haman plots to kill all of the Jews 3

Mordecai and Esther work to save the Jews 4-7

Mordecai gives the Jews vengeance against their enemies 8-10


  1. BG | SAB | In 3rd year of Xerxes rule of Persia, he held a banquet for the upper class. He had displayed his wealth for 180 days, and then he held the banquet for 7 days. Queen Vashti gave a banquet at the same time for the women. On the last day of the banquet, Xerxes summoned Vashti to display her beauty, but she refused to go. In order to prevent Vashti's actions from becoming the impetus for women's rights, Xerxes has her deposed, and then sends out messengers proclaiming that the man is the ruler of the household.

  2. BG | SAB | Xerxes rounds up into his harem the most beautiful virgins throughout his kingdom for a contest where the one that best pleases the king will become the queen. A Jewish woman by the name of Esther pleased the eunuch in charge of the harem, so he gave her a prominent position there. Esther kept hid that she was Jewish. Each of the harem girls spent a year getting beauty treatments before meeting with Xerxes. Then each one would spend one night with Xerxes, and would not return unless he asked for her by name. When Esther turn came, Xerxes was attracted to her more than any of the other women, so he made her queen. Mordecai, Esther's uncle, revealed to Esther that two of the king's officials plotted to assassinate Xerxes. Esther tells Xerxes giving credit to Mordecai, the matter is investigated, and the officials are hanged.

  3. BG | SAB | Haman, an Agagite, was elevated to a position of honor by Xerxes. Mordecai refused to pay Haman honor. Haman is angered about this, and decided that he wanted to kill Mordecai and all the Jews in Persia. Haman tells Xerxes that there is a people in Persia that do not obey the king, and that he wants to destroy them. Xerxes gives him permission to do so. So Haman has scribes write letters from Xerxes to all of the provinces of Persia commanding them to kill all the Jews and plunder their belongings on the 13th day of the 1st month.

  4. BG | SAB | When Mordecai learned of the decree to kill the Jews, he donned sackcloth and morned outside the king's gate. Esther send a messenger to find out why Mordecai is upset. Mordecai reveals the plot to kill all of the Jews in Persia, and tells Esther to beg Xerxes for mercy for the Jews. Esther was afraid to do this because anyone that came before the king without being summoned could be killed. Mordecai says that she will not be protected from the genocide. Esther tells the Jews to fast 3 days, then she will go before the king. The Jews followed her instructions.

  5. BG | SAB | Esther appears before Xerxes, and he extends the gold scepter so that she will not be killed. Xerxes asks Esther what does she want. Esther invites Xerxes and Haman to a banquet. They go, and the king again asks Esther what does she want. Esther invites Xerxes and Haman to a banquet the following day, and says then she will make her request. Haman left happy, but was angry when he saw Mordecai. Then Haman went home and boasted about himself, but complained about seeing Mordecai. Haman's wife suggests that he build a gallows 70 feet high, and ask the king to hang Mordecai on it the following morning. Haman has the gallows built.

  6. BG | SAB | That night, Xerxes couldn't sleep, so he had the history of his reign read to him. He suddenly realized that Mordecai was never rewarded for saving the king from the two assassins. Xerxes sends for Haman and asks him what the king should do to honor a man. Haman thought the king meant the king wanted to honor Haman, and said that the man should be paraded through the streets in the king's robes and on the king's horse. Xerxes tells Haman to go do this to Mordecai. Haman does this and then runs home in grief. His wife says that this will be the ruin of him. Then the king's eunuchs arrive to take Haman to Esther's banquet.

  7. BG | SAB | Xerxes and Haman attend Esther's banquet. Esther asks the king to spare her life and the life of the Jews, and says Haman has directed their destruction. The king has Haman hanged on the gallows that Haman had built to hang Mordecai.

  8. BG | SAB | Xerxes gave Haman's estate to Esther and gave Mordecai the place of honor that Haman had held. With Mordecai's new power, he reversed Haman's previous order to kill the Jews, and sent out a new edict that gave the Jews the right to attack and plunder their enemies on the 13th day of the 12th month. The Jews rejoiced. Many people of other nationalities became Jews because they were afraid of the Jews.

  9. BG | SAB | On the 13th day of the 12th month, the Jews slew their enemies, but they did not take any plunder. Esther requests that on the following day for Haman's 10 sons to be hung on the gallows, and the king agrees to do so. Mordecai directs that the days following the slaughter of their enemies should be remembered for years to come as “Purim”; with feasts, gift giving, and gifts to the poor. The rules of the Purim festival were recorded.

  10. BG | SAB | Xerxes imposed tribute throughout his empire. Mordecai was highly esteemed.

Nehemiah | Esther | Job

No comments:

Post a Comment