Today’s passage: Esther 1
- The contents of the book of Esther take place during the reign of Ahasuerus (Or Xerxes I) who was king over the Persian Empire from 486-464 B.C.
- This book will tell the story of how God sovereignly preserved the Jews from extermination at the hands of a man named Haman.
- It has been criticized over the years for not mentioning the name of God, but He certainly was there. We also learn more about the history of the Jewish people after the exile and return from exile.
- This first chapter explains the means by which there came to be an opening in the role of queen, as Vashti is removed as a consequence for refusing to obey the command of the king.
Questions to consider:
- There are no commands and no promises given to the reader in this passage. This is simply history being recounted. How does keeping the genre of literature in mind help us to rightly interpret and apply when we read the Bible? If the contents of this chapter convinced a man that he had a right to divorce his wife because she didn’t obey his command to come and appear before his party guests, what interpretative mistakes would he be making?
- The king’s laws were not able to be repealed (Verse 19). What difficulties could come from this policy? If you are familiar with the contents of this book of the Bible, how is the author using foreshadowing to teach us the customs of the empire before later events in the narrative?
- The difficulties in relationships between husbands and wives started at the fall (Genesis 3:16). Would this attempt by the Persian king and his wise men “fix” the problem across their empire? When we try to solve the problems of sin our own way (Instead of God’s) what will always result?