[Esther - General]

While the more faithful of the Jews had gone back to Palestine to repair its wastes and were rebuilding the Temple, the Lord was not negligent of the remainder of the people who had not been sufficiently zealous to return to "the land of promise" under the decree of Cyrus granting them the privilege. Hundreds of thousands of Jews resided in all parts of the Persian empire, which then included Babylonia and Persia and nearly all Asia, including India. While special lessons and peculiar trials were given to those rebuilding the Temple, the Lord's favor was upon the remainder of the chosen people to the extent that he permitted to come upon them a great trial, severe testing, which undoubtedly taught them a valuable lesson in their far-off homes. A record of this great testing is furnished us in the book of Esther. R3656:3, R1502:1

[Esther 1:1]

Days of Ahasuerus —Xerxes, king of Persia. This occurred about 40 years after the completion of the Temple. R3656:3; PD52/62 The Xerxes of secular history. R3656:3, R3659:1 Possibly typifying Christ. The name means "King.". R4018:5*

[Esther 1:9]

Vashiti —She was neither a Christian nor a Jewess, therefore without divine instruction or guidance. R4900:5

[Esther 1:10]

Merry with wine —This was probably Vashti's reason for ignoring the king's request. R4900:3

[Esther 1:12]

Queen Vashti —She was unwise when she met command with refusal. R4900:3

Refused —She should have relied upon her charm, tact, purity and her husband's love and care to rebuke any immodesty. R4900:3

[Esther 1:17]

Despise their husbands —In the opposite course of the two queens we find a lesson bearing on the suffragette question of today. R4900:3

[Esther 2:5]

Mordecai —Possibly typifying the Ancient Worthies. The word means "Dedicated to Mars." Mars is comparatively close to the earth. There is a suggestion in this that the Ancient Worthies may, after the close of the Millennial age, attain heavenly honors and stations. R4018:5*

[Esther 2:7]

Esther —Possibly typifying the Bride of Christ. The word means "The planet Venus." Venus is the most glorious of all the planets. R4900:2, R4018:5*

[Esther 2:16]

Esther was taken —Accepting her accession as of divine providence. R4900:6

[Esther 2:17]

She obtained grace —Noted for her beauty, she clothed herself with humility and with the most becoming of her fine apparel, making herself as agreeable as possible to the king. At this time she was 15. R4900:2,6

[Esther 3:1]

Haman . . . the Agagite —The last Amalekite mentioned in the Scriptures; possibly typifying the class that may try to take the power out of the hands of the Ancient Worthies in the end of the Millennial age. R4018:5*

[Esther 3:6]

All the Jews —Hundreds of thousands, in all parts of the Persian empire, including Asia and India. R3656:3

[Esther 3:8]

All the provinces —The Jews were scattered all over the Persian provinces and were living in a measure of temporal prosperity. R1502:1

[Esther 3:9]

10,000 talents —Their destruction and the confiscation of their property would be a large acquisition to the king's treasury, since so much was willingly appropriated. R1502:1

[Esther 3:10]

Ring —The emblem of authority, investing Haman with all the power and authority of the king. R360:4*

[Esther 4:1]

Sackcloth with ashes —Such an experience would do more to draw the hearts of the Jews to the Lord than would anything else that could have occurred. R3657:1

[Esther 4:11]

Unto the king —Xerxes was a notoriously cruel, bloodthirsty monarch. R3657:3
These thirty days —Queen Esther delayed using her influence to help rescind the order against the Jews because the king had shown a coldness toward her. R4900:6

[Esther 4:14]

Holdest. thy peace —Mordecai assured her that she was about to lose a great privilege of service for her people. R4901:1
Deliverance —This marked providential care is specially noteworthy, for these were the descendants of those Jews who failed to go to restore Jerusalem under Cyrus' permission. R1502:4, R3656:3
For such a time —Similarly, at the proper time, a Jew was premier of England. R351:2,4* Whatever we have of influence is so much of a stewardship granted to us by the Lord, for which we must give account to him. R3657:2

[Esther 4:16]

Fast ye for me —Including petitions to God for the deliverance of his people and for wisdom to guide Esther in her endeavor. R4901:1
Eat nor drink —Not complete abstention, but short allowance and avoiding luxuries. R3657:4
Night or day —With Esther 5:1, a proof that the term "three days and nights" is idiomatic for "till the third day." R3574:5*
And my maidens —Not all the Jews who had faith in the Lord had returned to Palestine. R3657:4
If I perish, I perish —We must be faithful even at the risk of losing our lives in the interests of the Lord's people and cause. R3657:2

[Esther 5:1]

That Esther —Her plans were well thought out, although she was only about 15 at the time. R3657:5 By appearing as attractive as possible she sought to cooperate with her prayers. Some of the Lord's people trust the Lord, but do nothing to forward the cause they wish to serve. R3657:4
Her royal apparel —To make as good an impression as possible. R3657:4
And stood —She thus risked her station, her life and everything for her race. R4901:1

[Esther 5:2]

Obtained favor —She charmed the king. R4901:1

[Esther 5:3]

What is thy request? —Wisely she refrained making it at that time. R4901:4
Half of the kingdom —Probably a mere formality indicating great interest. R3657:5

[Esther 5:8]

Will do to morrow —Esther's course is a good example of propriety. We should both watch and pray, labor and wait, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Meantime the Lord worked upon the king from another standpoint. R3657:5

[Esther 6:2]

Was found written —The king was guided in this matter by the Lord's providence. R3657:6

[Esther 7:10]

Gallows that he had prepared —"The wise are taken in their own craftiness." (Job 5:13; 1 Cor. 3:19) HG363:6

[Esther 8:1]

What he was —Esther was cousin to Mordecai. She was also his adopted daughter (Esther 2:7). R4900:6

[Esther 8:2]

Ring —The emblem of authority, delegated to one by him who owned it. R360:4*
Mordecai —Now the king's chief counsellor or, as we would say today, "Secretary of State." R3658:2

[Esther 8:8]

Also for the Jews —Since he could not rescind the first decree, he issued another which would in some measure at least, offset it. R3658:2, R4901:4

[Esther 8:16]

Joy, and honor —Such shall be the Church's joy in the morning of her great deliverance. R303:4*

[Esther 9:5]

All their enemies —But spiritual Israelites are instructed to love their enemies and to do good to those who hate, despitefully use and persecute them (Matt. 5:44). R3658:3 The heart of this lesson is respecting divine providence. When we note the providential care over God's typical people it increases our faith and trust that God is both able and willing to do as much and more for spiritual Israel. R3658:4,5

[Esther 9:28]

Memorial —The Hebrew word means "scent," a pleasant remembrance. R2125:3