The festival of Purim celebrates God’s deliverance from a plot to destroy all the Jews. This year the celebration begins on the evening of 25 February and ends on the evening of 26 February.
Today we will look at Chapters 1-3. The fall of Vashti, the rise of Esther, and the promotion and wicked plan of Haman. Please read these chapters for the full story.
Chapter Outline for Book of Esther
Chapter 1 The Fall of Queen Vashti
“But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.” (1:12)
“If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.20 And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both to great and small.21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:” (1:19-21)
Chapter 2 The Rise of Esther
“Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. (2:15-17)
Chapter 3 The rise of Haman and his wicked plot to destroy the Jews
“After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.” (3:1-2)
“And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” (3:5-6)
These three chapters give us the, who, what, when, where, and why for the Book of Esther.
So far we know that the king is easily swayed by his advisors, that his new queen is a Jew, that Mordecai will not bow down or worship anything but the one true God, and Haman hates Jews.
The rest of the book tells us what happens to the Jews, Haman, and Esther.
Come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001 email@example.com