Women in the Word

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8/27/2014 9:36 pm  #1

Esther Overview and Introduction

Do you have a study Bible that includes an overview or introduction to Esther?  Have you read any commentaties? 

Share your thoughts and insights into the purpose and background of Esther.

Here are my thoughts:  It has been a few years since I read the book of Esther. And it is interesting to think about the purpose of this book.  It certainly is a book that shows God’s providence in delivering and preserving the people of Israel, which was crucial to God fulfilling His covenant with Israel and His promise of a Messiah.
When I read the Bible I always try to consider the context, audience, and type of literature.  In the case of Esther, it is an historical account of how God specifically worked to deliver Israel.  I resist the urge to see the main theme to be that God will always miraculously deliver us.
There are several reasons for this thought.  First, scripture interprets scripture.  Meaning, when trying to understand a piece of scripture, look at where else in scripture deals with similar issues. Since scripture must be consistent, your interpretation of a passage has to be consistent with other passages.
Therefore, we see a long list of believers who were not delivered from physical destruction: Stephen, the first martyr in the book of Acts, Peter who history says was crucified upside down, Paul, beheaded, Phillip, actually all the apostles save John, martyred, many of the early believers were torn in sunder, feed to lions, set on fire, etc. 
[Hebrews 11:36-38 Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.  They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.]
Secondly, the book of Esther is an historical account.  Its purpose is to relate an historical event.  It is not necessarily a promise for future response by God in the lives of the Christian Church.
I think that what I am going to be looking for when I read the book is to gain insight into the character of God, to appreciate that He is faithful in honoring His covenants, and to learn that He will orchestrate acts, even behind the scenes, to bring about His purposes and plans.


8/31/2014 8:50 pm  #2

Re: Esther Overview and Introduction

John MacArthur has two great articles providing more insight into the book of Esther

1) Introduction to Esther
2) Esther: For Such a Time As This (Facinating history and insight into the key characters)

These are must reads.

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