General

  • The book is named after the character Esther.
  • Author unstated/unknown

    • Possible author: Mordecai

      • Josephus, some rabbinic circles claim Mordecaic authorship
      • Author seems to have been a resident of Persia (not Palestine)
    • Possible author: Nehemiah

      • Nehemiah would have known about Purim, as proclaimed in Esther.
      • Nehemiah was literate, had access to royal archives.
  • Dated 464-415 B.C.

Themes

  • Providing the historical background for the feast of Purim
  • Emphasis on the significance of the Jewish people
  • Encouragement for Babylonian/Persian Jews of God's providential ability

Outline

  • I. The Feasts of Xerxes (1:1 - 2:18)

    • A. Queen Vashti Deposed (ch. 1)
    • B. Esther Becomes Queen (2:1-18)
  • II. The Feasts of Esther (2:19-7:10)

    • A. Mordecai Uncovers Plot Against the King (2:19-23)
    • B. Haman Plans Jewish Genocide (ch. 3)
    • C. Mordecai Persuades Esther to Help (ch. 4)
    • D. Esther's Request to the King: The First Banquet (5:1-8)
    • E. A Sleepless Night - Mordecai Honored, Haman Humiliated (5:9-6:14)
    • F. The Second Banquet: Haman Hanged (ch. 7)
  • III. The Feasts of Purim (chh. 8-10)

    • A. The King's Edict in Behalf of The Jews (ch. 8)
    • B. The Institution of Purim (ch. 9)
    • C. Mordecai Gets Promoted (ch. 10)

External Links and References