Esther 10 – “Epilogue”

070615.persian-180Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The book ends with a brief epilogue that describes Mordecai’s considerable power and unwavering allegiance to his people.

II. Photo
Mordecai’s story was written down: “All his mighty and powerful acts, and a full account of the greatness to which the king advanced Mordecai, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Media and Persia.” (v. 2)

III. Important Verses
v. 2: All his mighty and powerful acts, and a full account of the greatness to which the king advanced Mordecai, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Media and Persia.
v. 3: For Mordecai the Jew ranked next to King Ahasuerus and was highly regarded by the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brethren; he sought the good of his people and interceded for the welfare of all his kindred.

IV. Outline
1. Ahasuerus’ tax
2. A historical note
3. Mordecai’s power, popularity, and Jewish commitment

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://www-news.uchicago.edu/releases/07/images/070615.persian-180.jpg

Esther 9 – “Jewish Revenge; The Holiday of Purim”

T312327AHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The Jews of the empire attack their enemies on the 13th and 14th of the month of Adar. Mordecai and Esther then institute the holiday of Purim for the 14th and 15th of Adar, the days when the Jewish people first experienced relief.

II. Photo
The origins of the name “Purim” is described in vv. 24, 26: “For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast pur — that is, the lot — with intent to crush and exterminate them… For that reason these days were named Purim, after pur…”

III. Important Verses
v. 6: In the fortress Shushan the Jews killed a total of five hundred men.
vv. 16-19: The rest of the Jews, those in the king’s provinces, likewise mustered and fought for their lives. They disposed of their enemies, killing seventy-five thousand of their foes; but they did not lay hands on the spoil. That was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar; and they rested on the fourteenth day and made it a day of feasting and merrymaking. (But the Jews in Shushan mustered on both the thirteenth and fourteenth days, and so rested on the fifteenth, and made it a day of feasting and merrymaking.) That is why village Jews, who live in unwalled towns, observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and make it a day of merrymaking and feasting, and as a holiday and an occasion for sending gifts to one another.
vv. 24, 26:  For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy the Jews, and had cast pur — that is, the lot — with intent to crush and exterminate them… For that reason these days were named Purim, after pur…
v. 28: Consequently, these days are recalled and observed in every generation: by every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim shall never cease among the Jews, and the memory of them shall never perish among their descendants.

IV. Outline
1-10. The Jews of Shushan kill their enemies on the 13th of Adar
11-15. The Jews of Shushan repeat the carnage on the 14th of Adar
16. The Jews in the provinces kill seventy-five thousand of their foes
17-19. A note about Purim’s observance
20-23. Mordecai institutes the Purim holiday
24-26a. The name “Purim”
26b-28. The Jews accept the holiday for all generations
29-32. Esther corroborates Mordecai’s decree

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://images.encarta.msn.com/xrefmedia/sharemed/targets/images/pho/t312/T312327A.jpg

Esther 8 – “A Period of Jewish Strength and Pride”

Satin_Royal_Blue_jpgHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Ahasuerus appoints Mordecai to replace Haman and to take hold of his estate. Mordecai issues a new decree in favor of the Jews, and the Jews enjoy a period of strength and pride.

II. Photo
Mordecai’s status is elevated in v. 15: “Mordecai left the king’s presence in royal robes of blue and white, with a magnificent crown of gold and a mantle of fine linen and purple wool…”

III. Important Verses
v. 2: The king slipped off his ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property.
vv. 10-12: He had them written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet. Letters were dispatched by mounted couriers, riding steeds used in the king’s service, bred of the royal stud, to this effect: The king has permitted the Jews of every city to assemble and fight for their lives; if any people or province attacks them, they may destroy, massacre, and exterminate its armed force together with women and children, and plunder their possessions — on a single day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.
vv. 16-17: The Jews enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and honor. And in every province and in every city, when the king’s command and decree arrived, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many of the people of the land professed to be Jews, for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

IV. Outline
1-2. Mordecai’s rise to power
3-14. Haman’s decree is repealed
15-17. Jewish pride and jubilation

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from http://www.cheapchaircovers.com/_images/ProductIcons/SatinLarge/Satin_Royal_Blue_jpg.jpg

Esther 7 – “The Death of Haman”

noose2Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Esther pleads with Ahasuerus on behalf of her people, and incriminates Haman in the process. Haman is subsequently killed on the same gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

II. Photo
Haman is hanged in v. 10: “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.”

III. Important Verses
vv.  3-4: Queen Esther replied: “If Your Majesty will do me the favor, and if it pleases Your Majesty, let my life be granted me as my wish, and my people as my request. For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, massacred, and exterminated. Had we only been sold as bondmen and bondwomen, I would have kept silent; for the adversary is not worthy of the king’s trouble.”
v. 8: When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet room, Haman was lying prostrate on the couch on which Esther reclined. “Does he mean,” cried the king, “to ravish the queen in my own palace?” No sooner did these words leave the king’s lips than Haman’s face was covered.
v. 10: So they impaled Haman on the stake which he had put up for Mordecai, and the king’s fury abated.

IV. Outline
1-8. Esther blames Haman
9-10. Haman is killed

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://nicolen.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/noose2.jpg

Esther 6 – “Haman’s Humiliation”

horsecloseupHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
King Ahasuerus remembers the good deed that Mordecai did for him. He asks Haman, “What should be done for a man whom the king desires to honor?” Haman thinks that Ahasuerus is speaking about him, and suggests that the person be dressed in royal garb and led around the city. The king agrees, and Haman is forced to parade Mordecai around the city.

II. Photo
Mordecai is led around the city: “… let the man whom the king desires to honor be attired and paraded on the horse through the city square, while they proclaim before him: This is what is done for the man whom the king desires to honor!”

III. Important Verses
vv. 7-9: So Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor, let royal garb which the king has worn be brought, and a horse on which the king has ridden and on whose head a royal diadem has been set; and let the attire and the horse be put in the charge of one of the king’s noble courtiers. And let the man whom the king desires to honor be attired and paraded on the horse through the city square, while they proclaim before him: This is what is done for the man whom the king desires to honor!”
v. 13: There Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had befallen him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish stock, you will not overcome him; you will fall before him to your ruin.”

IV. Outline
1-3. Ahasuerus remembers Mordecai’s good deed
4-10. Haman unknowingly proposes that Mordecai be treated as a king
11. Mordecai is paraded through the streets by Haman
12-13. A bad omen for Haman
14. Haman is led off to Esther’s banquet

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://www.talismanfarmlv.com/images/horsecloseup.jpg

Esther 5 – “Esther’s First Banquet; A Plan to Hang Mordecai”

FofF_wine-glassesHebrew-English Text
I. Summary

Esther regales Ahasuerus and Haman with a wine feast. Although Haman is proud to have attended the banquet, he is vexed by Mordecai’s refusal to rise for him. Haman and his family subsequently decide to have Mordecai hanged.

II. Photo
Ahasuerus is delighted to attend Esther’s banquet: “At the wine feast, the king asked Esther, ‘What is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom, it shall be fulfilled!'” (v. 6)

III. Important Verses
v. 2: As soon as the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she won his favor. The king extended to Esther the golden scepter which he had in his hand, and Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.
v. 14: Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a stake be put up, fifty cubits high, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then you can go gaily with the king to the feast.” The proposal pleased Haman, and he had the stake put up.

IV. Outline
1-2. Esther is accepted by Ahasuerus
3-8. Esther regales Ahasuerus and Haman at a wine feast
9. Mordecai refuses to rise for Haman
10-13. Haman is vexed by Mordecai
14. A plan is made to hang Mordecai

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://www.flemingssteakhouse.com/Friends/images/FofF_wine-glasses.jpg

Esther 4 – “Esther Agrees to Help Her People”

GOLDSCEPTERHebrew-English Text
I. Summary
After attempting to shy away from her responsibilities, Esther is persuaded by Mordecai to see King Ahasuerus and plead that the Jews be spared. She and the people of Shushan fast for three days as a preparation for the high-risk event.

II. Photo
Esther describes the riskiness of approaching the king unannounced: “All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that if any person, man or woman, enters the king’s presence in the inner court without having been summoned, there is but one law for him — that he be put to death. Only if the king extends the golden scepter to him may he live…” (v. 11)

III. Important Verses
v. 3: Also, in every province that the king’s command and decree reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing, and everybody lay in sackcloth and ashes.
vv. 13-14: Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther: “Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”

IV. Outline
1-4. Mordecai and the Jews lament
5-11. Esther shies away her responsibility
12-14. Mordecai urges Esther to help
15-17. Esther agrees; The people of Shushan fast on her behalf

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Murphy, Wisdom Literature (Forms of Old Testament Literature)
Photo taken from  http://www.velvetchokers.com/images/GOLDSCEPTER.gif