Here is my favorite bible study lesson that I taught the ladies!
Esther is a very important woman of the bible. Did you know that she is the most mentioned woman in the Bible? Here is her story and why she is so important
- (Say if you turn to Esther 1:1)The beginning of Esther’s story starts in the Persian Empire during the reign of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). He was the son of Darius and ruled the vast land that contained India and Ethiopia. He had a beautiful wife named Queen Vashti.
- Ester is the descendant of Jews that were held captive in Babylon nearly 1000 of years earlier. Jews who didn’t move back to Jerusalem lived in the Persian Empire. After her parents died, she was raised by her cousin, Mordecai, who was a guardian.
- King Xerxes decided to have a seven day feast to show off his wealth (Basically, he wanted to show everyone how rich he was by having a big party.) On the seventh day, the King wanted to show off his beautiful wife. But she refused and was banished as punishment.
- Mordecai warns the King about an assassination attempt (Well he told Esther, but she mentioned Mordecai’s name.). For this, he was recorded in the record books and is later served as a blessing. Meanwhile, Esther is chosen to be the new queen and goes under 12 months of beauty treatment before she meets her new husband.
- So Haman, a vizier in the Persian Empire (A vizier is a special adviser to the king or pharaoh) was honored and given a higher position. He got a fancy ring. All of the royal officials were order to kneel down and pay honor to Haman. All of them did except, Mordecai. That made Haman angry (He is very arrogant.). So he started plotting the execution of all people like Mordecai, the Jews.
- Ester hears about and (obviously) wants to prevent it. So, she tries to tell the King. But, King Xerxes doesn’t know that Esther is a Jew. Esther is very reluctant about tell the King about her being a Jew (Because she doesn’t know he will react.) Mordecai tells Esther: For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Chapter 4:14)
- Esther finally agrees and asks Mordecai to organize time for her to fast.
- So, Esther invites the King and Haman to a banquet (Kind of like a big reveal about her being a Jew, but it was being planned) Meanwhile, Haman’s hatred for Mordecai is getting stronger. He is advised by his friends and their wives to have a special gallows next to his house where he can hang Mordecai.
- During the night time, King Xerxes cannot sleep so, he asks for the record book to be read aloud to him. The King hears about Mordecai’s past deeds. The King decides to talk to Haman about a man he wants to honor. Haman (who, remember, is very arrogant) thinks it is him. He suggest a big display of wealth and honor to be bestowed on the man publicly (So a big public ceremony). So the King orders him to do this for Mordecai. So Haman gets a robe and a horse and rides to Mordecai. Haman drops Mordecai off with the King but, he rushes back home. He tells his wife, Zeresh, and all of his friends what happened that night. (In Chapter 6: 13) His wife tells him: “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!” The King interrupts there conversation to tell them that Esther has planned a banquet.
- Esther revealed that she was a Jew and she revealed Haman’s plan.
- The King was furious. Haman tried begging for his life but it didn’t work. He hung Haman on the gallows he built for Mordecai (How Ironic!)
- So the King gave Esther Haman’s house and gave Mordecai a ring (The ring that was taken from Haman) The King made a law that said: Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. (Chapter 8:11)
- So when Mordecai left, he was dressed in nice clothes (He was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen) The Jews had celebration.
- So on December the 13th, the Jews came together and killed 500 men that hated them but did not take their plunder (Plunder is stealing someone’s goods). This included the 10 sons of Haman. The next day, they killed 300 men but did not take their plunder. So Mordecai and Esther made a holiday for Jews. They would feast because they are free. This was called Purim.
- King Xerxes awarded Mordecai by making him the highest rank next to him. That also made him preeminent of all Jews (surpassing all Jews) At the end of the book of Esther it says: and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews. (Chapter 10:3)
Esther helped saved all the Jews and has taught us that your background does not hinder your future with God. Esther was an orphan. God still exalted her and used her. Your background does not determine what God can do with you. Your faith does.
- Who were Esther ancestors?
- Who was King Xerxes father?
- Who was King Xerxes first wife?
- Who much land did King Xerxes rule?
- What happened to King Xerxes first wife?
- What was Haman’s job?
- What did Esther do before she planned the banquet?
- Who was Haman’s wife?
- How many men did the Jew kill in total?
- What was Mordecai’s relation towards Esther? (Brother, Father, Grandfather Etc.)