Book of Esther Chapter 1 and 2
The thing we should already know is that God is working behind the scenes to place people in certain situations that become a benefit to His people. The Jews (Hebrew) and also the Church. All those in the family of God!
Some question the reason the Book of Esther is included in the Old Testament Canon of the Bible. We may not know the actual man who used his pen to write the words of Esther, but our only concern should be that the Holy Spirit gave these words to us and we can learn from all the 66 Books of the Bible.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The Book of Esther was written to the Jews but again the Church can learn the workings of God!
Again we can see how we are placed in particular places of work, of communities, of nations, to be available for God’s use. Until that time comes, we are to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and be active in the Church.
In the end, the time of Esther is remembered as a national feast day called Purim.
Purim is remembered to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from Persia.
The main topic we should see is, that God is working in the world to keep His truth as is written in the Word of God.
God has a plan and that plan unfolds at the perfect time and will continues to do so, even after the Rapture of the Church!!!!!
*****Est 1:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
Est 1:11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
This king is named Ahasuerus in the Hebrew, but he is Xerxes in the Greek language. The title Ahasuerus is used somewhat like we use the title President. This Ahasuerus maybe the third King of Persia.
Those of us who might be ashamed of our past know that there is a big difference between intoxicated and sober. While intoxicated a person might be able to walk and to talk, but decision making may not be a wise thing to do while in this condition.
We must understand that God made mankind in His image. This may not mean in looks or in physical attributes, but it certainly means for us to have the characteristics of God!
Whatever instrument used to tarnish the glory of man or woman, whether it be alcohol, drugs, or immorality or any other such thing is a terrible sin in the eyes of God.
Whatever we do or say that is unbecoming of God’s character and anything we do that we would be ashamed of at a later time then comes from these evils and no only destroys our character or better said our integrity, can cause us sinful harm and cause injury to others!
The fact is drunkenness does not destroy responsibility!
We are always responsible for our actions when we have taken it upon ourselves to do these things!
We are accountable for our actions!
What does the Scriptures teach us?
Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
A chamberlain, men who were made eunuchs, were for the most part were grown children from high ranking nations that had been conquered by Persia.
Again God said it this way:
Isa 39:7 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
Some of these chamberlains were sent after Vashti who was the Queen of Persia at this time.
They went and Vashti said no.
*****Est 1:12 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.
We must understand the King had many other men with him and Vashti was a beautiful woman and the king was treating her as nothing but a concubine he could show off to a bunch of drunken men.
To be quiet honest, when a beautiful woman is paraded before a bunch of sober men, many of the men will commit the sin of adultery in their minds.
Mat_5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat_5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
In a room full of drunken men it would only make matters much worse.
This was no way to treat a wife and Vashti had every reason to refuse to do this thing.
But as drunkenness does, the mind reacts in anger when the pride of a drunken man is bruised.
Now we know that God did not set this thing up, but He did use it to be a part of His plan to help the Jews.
What do a bunch of drunks do?
*****Est 1:12 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.
We must understand that whatever is ruling our heart, whether it be, pride, vanity, anger, or lust or most other things will greatly display itself under the influence of alcohol or drugs!!
These men gathered not just for one day, but this thing went on for weeks, and no doubt that Vashti knew what was going on at these meetings.
The king would put on a show of just how powerful his nation was and show off the great riches of his monarchy.
The king was the sole ruler of this nation of 127 provinces and these men who he was drinking with were under his direct control.
In his drunkenness he could not allow Vashti to be disobedient.
Pro 31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Pro 31:5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
In truth, his anger may not have lingered if he was not urged on by bad councilors.
In all these things Vashti was right.
In Persian Law it was written that men should not cause their wife to be publicly on display before men.
In fact it is this time in history when Arabian women would wear all the things that could cover her up before other men and led to the ridiculous standard that some use for evil today.
Even without such a law, women should never be asked to such a thing as Vashti was ordered to do.
Vashti was right to refuse!
After the anger:
What is wrong with America today? In every facet of our life and our government we need man and women of strong moral character but what we see are men and women who are morally corrupt, insincere, dishonest, corrupt, unjust, abusive, overbearing, even wicked and evil.
Just this week I saw where a man who is a Governor, and claimed to be gay, married to another man he called is husband, but also claiming to be a Christian, questioning our Vice-President who is a Christian and lives trying to be like Christ, which is the meaning of Christian. He also questioned the sincerity of our President saying if he is saved he could be no more than a babe in Christ.
I certainly question his false doctrine!
Jesus Christ would never go along with the gay lifestyle because according to the Word of God it is the sin of fornication because only the marriage of one man to one woman is seen as the truth of the Scriptures. This is the world we live in today!
What happened after this king sobered up and taken time to reflect on his anger?
*****Est 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
He had given in to his passion and pride and treated his wife as a woman of low or no morals, when she had more morals the he and all his counselors but it was she who was penalized.
When we act under the influence of rage we will never do right. We may brag with our lips and speak eloquent words. but our wisdom will be far from us. We most certainly cause more harm than good.
We can also see this king did have some feelings for his queen, but his actions had broken this bond and it could not be mended because of some foolish law that could not be broken.
He had committed injury to himself along with causing this woman to suffer all her remaining days! There was no remedy!
The laws of the Medes of the Persians must stand or a precedent would be made!
This king would be four years without a queen and even this remedy was set up by other men.
It is this place where we can see the hand of God.
God was not involved in the party life nor the anger.
God is only involved in solutions!
We will also see where a poor Jewish girl who certainly was a beautiful woman could stand in the midst of worldly royalty and be chosen as the new queen.
The historian Josephus wrote that this king was so angered at his advisers that he had them put to death.
So what was the answer to this dilemma?
*****Est 2:2 Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
Est 2:3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
Est 2:4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
When this plan was conceived none of these men could realize how Jehovah would take this and make it useful to the restoring of the Jewish people to their native land the Promised land!
We already know that this king ruled over 127 provinces so there would probably more than this number originally chosen to come to Sushan the palace of the King.
This eunuch name Hege had the job of overseeing the harem of this king. In reality many of the kings including Jewish kings may have had only one queen but they would sometimes have many concubines.
Hege would look after these many virgins because they required more care and certainly protection and Shaashgaz would then look after the concubines of the king which we will see in a later Scripture.
The difference between a queen and a concubine was that only the queen was entitled to inherit the physical things of the king in some lands even the throne.
What we see in all these things is that the Word of God would be against all these things in seeking a wife.
I guess nothing was much wrong in the picking of the maidens except most of them would probably be no older than 16 and as young as 12.
The wrong certainly would come in the king’s selection process.
Most men might see this as delightful thing I personally do not. Sin is never the right process!
Let’s see how God intervenes.
*****Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
Est 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
Mordecai was a direct descendant of King Saul of Israel and a Benjamite. It would be Mordecai that God would use to to install Esther as Queen of Persia.
We must still understand that “all” Scripture is given to the Jew and to the Church for us to learn from.
Even if Mordecai was a baby when taken from his homeland by Nebuchadnezzar, he would be an old man by our standards, but he was not too old to be used of the Lord.
God chose him to be an intricate part of this plan for a Jew to win the heart of this king.
Sexual exploitation goes against the Word of God, but today we live in a world of lose morals and free sex and again there is nothing free in this life beyond the gifts of God.
There are consequences for all immorality!
No long term relationship between one man and one woman can depend on a physical relationship.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Eph 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Mordecai had raised his uncle’s daughter Hadassah, we know as Esther.
It was this Mordecai who by the inspiration of God, saw a way to help the Jewish people.
*****Est 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
The name Hadassah was her Jewish name, but her name would have to change if she was to be presented as anything but a Jew.
The significance of the name Hadassah was so called “because as the myrtle spreads fragrance in the world, she did spread good works, inspired by Jehovah God!
The King named her Esther.
The Holy Spirit will now teach us how a beautiful Jewish maiden won the heart of a king.
We begin to see another typology begin to develop.
She had neither a father, nor a mother but she was fair and beautiful.
Mordecai had already passed up two opportunities to return to his homeland.
Once when Zerubbabel and again when Ezra had returned, and we can only surmise that he was involved in the politics of Persia and was successful at it.
We see this today as many successful Jews in America remain in America rather than return to Israel as so many others have.
Remember many people are in place by the hand of God to be used as according to God’s plan as we will see in this story of Esther who could not have survived without her cousin Mordecai who treated her as his daughter.
Another thing we should understand is that if the Persian government needed someone for any reason, they just took them even if they were not willing.
Most of these women jumped at the chance to be Queen of Persia.
Esther was put forth by Mordecai and God knew she would be the chosen Queen!
*****Est 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
Est 2:9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
Because of the humble grace and beauty of Esther she was not only taken because of the king’s commandment but she also found favor with Hegai and he knew that there was something about Esther that made her special.
Esther was taken to the king’s palace and began the year long purification process.
The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that there were 400 ladies chosen to take part in this process.
We can just imagine that most all these ladies were willing to have a chance to become queen of Persia.
The one thing that was hidden from all these people including the king was that Esther was a Jew!
Esther was a Jew, she was a virgin, and she had kept herself pure according to the Word of God, and not some Persian law which for the most case were immoral laws.
In these things we are reminded that Esther could represent a type of the Church, the Bride of Christ.
The steps used to please this king was in 3 steps.
1) Each one would be given 12 months of beauty treatments.
Six months of oil baths and massages.
Six months of perfume, and beauty treatments.
2) At the end of the first year each one would be selected to spend one night with the king.
In order to look their best they were given anything they requested that they thought would enhance their chances to please the king.
3) After spending that one night with the king, they were transferred to the king’s harem, where they were would live until they were called upon again by the king locked up from the outside world.
Let’s read more of Esther:
*****Est 2:14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
Est 2:15 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 favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
For one whole year each of these young ladies had prepared just to spend one night with the King of Persia. For these 12 months they got touch the luxuries of the kingdom. We are sure most every one of these young maidens would do everything they could to make themselves even more attractive.
Many do the same today, but most all are not aware that God looks upon the inside.
Each of these maidens may have had the hope of becoming the Queen but after only one night, all but one may live a life where there physical needs were met but they would never be called upon again and they could not return to their families nor have what most would call, “a life”!
The chamber of the concubines was nothing more than a prison with good food, all hope destroyed.
All in all there was nothing that happened in those 12 months that could make anyone clean, much less pure.
It takes the blood of Jesus to wash away all our sin!
When Jesus was dying on the cross and the beating, and the crown of thorns, caused the blood to run down into His eyes, as He looked through that blood to those on the ground He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”!
Just as those maidens found, there is little hope in this world, and powerful men keep most of the world locked into the prison of a life without benefits.
It is only the love of God that can satisfy the soul!
When each maiden had gotten her opportunity to spend that one night with the king, and suddenly that night was over, and she found herself in the house of the concubines.
It became Esther’s time to do this thing.
Esther requested nothing more than the advice of the King’s chamberlain, who knew the king better than anyone.
The beauty of Esther stood out because it was a natural beauty that the world could not improve upon!
You see being a child of God is to possess a beauty that cannot be improved upon by the world.
It is a beauty that is as a shining light that stands in a dark world!
Esther carried herself as that child of God that needed nothing from this world!
Esther was not only beautiful to the eye, but she was beautiful in her heart and carried herself having a strong character.
When Esther walked into a room, all eyes just naturally focused upon her!
Son 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.
Son 6:10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
It was Esther who pleased this king!
Son 8:10 I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour.
*****Est 2:16 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.
Est 2:17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour 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.
The Bible always slips in these little time lines which are always found to be true!
It was December, after all Shushan was the winter palace.
What happened? It was love at first sight.
King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) loved Esther above all women he had ever seen!
Another type we can see that Jesus loves the church.
Eph_5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
It was Esther who would be Queen of Persia!
There is a little parable that we are reminded of here.
Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Why were many more Jews released to go home?
*****Est 2:18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
Esther was certainly a beautiful woman, but her beauty far exceeded that of just looks.
Esther undoubtedly had characteristics that caused her to be attracted to the king.
She had pleased Hegai the king’s chamberlain on first sight.
Esther was wise, she had kept her nationality a secret and presented herself for who she was, a young beautiful maiden from the lands of Persia.
We can know the each of the maidens were sought for their differences. Persia was a conquering nation and ruled 127 provinces.
Makes us think of the Lord!
Joh_3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
In fact, it could be said that the entire plan of God, is based upon this one Scripture!
Esther was trustworthy, she was dependable, she was faithful, and we will soon see that Queen Esther was loyal.
Just like the First Lady of our own nation, Esther would have many official duties and she would never be asked to dance before drunken house guest.
The King had learned this lesson well!
What we should be able to see is how God has taken a situation, caused by evil men, and turned it into an opportunity to help the Jewish nation rebound from captivity!
The Plan of God is still working in this world!