A classic story of good versus evil, the Book of Esther is a unique account in the Bible. It gives us a glimpse of the Jews who remained outside their homeland after the Exile, particularly the Jews living in the Persian Empire. Here we see that the author chose a fascinating literary choice - never once is God mentioned in the entire Book. This behind-the-scenes take of God at work is brilliantly displayed throughout Esther's chapters through "coincidences" and "happen chances" that help to save the Jews from Haman's wicked plot to destroy them.
Even today Jewish people celebrate Purim each year by reading Esther, enjoying fun traditions, and giving gifts as described in Esther Chapter 9:20-32. Christians, too, can benefit from reading Esther as it reminds us that even though it appears God is absent, He is still at work in our lives and will not abandon His promises while we are living in a murky and ambiguous world.
Not So Common
Persian King Xerxes banishes Queen Vashti after she refuses to come to his drunken party. Xerxes looks for a new wife and Esther becomes queen.
Moredecai and Haman
Evil Haman becomes powerful but is furious when Mordecai doesn't bow. He plots to kill every Jew in a single day. The King ordains it.
Mordecai asks for Esther's help. She can only speak with Xerxes if he summons her, or she dies. Esther prays and enters for her people.
Esther invites Xerxes and Haman to two banquets. Xerxes honors Mordecai and humiliates Haman. Esther exposes Haman's plot to Xerxes, and he executes Haman – victory.
The Jews' Victory
Esther and Mordecai reverse Haman's evil plan. Xerxes' decree is irreversible, but he issues a new one allowing Jews to defend themselves. Purim is established.