The Book of Esther - Part 1
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Now there was a king named Ahasuerus, and his queen was named Vashti. One day the king made a feast, and he commanded queen Vashti to come to the feast to show the people how beautiful she was, but Vashti refused to come, and the king grew very angry with her. So Vashti was put aside, and the king sent out letters saying that every man should be ruler in his own house.
And so all the beautiful young maidens in the land were gathered together and brought to the king's palace, to be prepared for one year, and whoever the king chose would be queen instead of Vashti.
Now in Shushan there was a Jewish man named Mordecai, and he had brought up his niece, whose name was Esther, after her mother and father died. And Esther was very beautiful. And so Esther was also brought to the palace, and she pleased the keeper of the woman so much, that she was given special things to make her more beautiful, and she was given the best place in the house where the woman were kept. But Esther did not let anyone know that she was Jewish, because Mordecai, her uncle, had told her not to reveal it.
And when it was time for Esther to go before the king, he loved her more than any of the woman, and Esther obtained grace in his sight, and he set the royal crown on her head, and she became queen instead of Vashti. Now Esther had still not told anyone that she was Jewish.
In those days, there were two men who desired to hurt king Ahasuerus, and Mordecai heard them talking, and he told Esther about it, and so those men were hanged, and it was written in the book of the king what Mordecai had done for him.
And there was a man named Haman, and the king made him more important than anyone else, and all the king's servants bowed before him and worshipped him, but Mordecai would not bow, nor would he worship him because Mordecai was Jewish. And Haman was very, very angry with Mordecai, and he wanted to destroy all the Jews that were in the kingdom.
And so Haman spoke to the king, and told the king that the Jewish people did not keep the king's laws, and that they should be destroyed, and he promised to pay the king very much silver to have the Jewish people destroyed. And so the king agreed, and he gave his ring to Haman. And the secretaries of the king were called to make a writing that on the 13th day of the 12th month, every man, woman and child, old and young, were to be killed in one day. And so copies of the writing were made, and the order went out, but the people of the city of Shushan did not know why this was happening.
Now when Mordecai heard this, he tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes, and cried very loudly. And with all the Jewish people, there was much weeping and wailing. And Esther sent someone to Mordecai because she wanted to understand why everyone was weeping and tearing their clothes.
And so Mordecai sent word of what had happened, and he said that Esther was to go before the king, and to plead for the life of the Jewish people. But Esther sent word to Mordecai that if one went to the king without being called by him, they might be put to death, but if he held out his golden sceptre, they would live. And so Mordecai answered Esther "Don't think that you will escape any more than any of the Jews because you are in the king's house. If you say nothing, then there will come to the Jews deliverance from another place, but you and your father's house will be destroyed. and who knows whether you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?"
And so Esther sent word "Go, gather together all the Jews in Shushan, and fast for me, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maidens and I will also fast, and then I will go in to the king, even though it is not according to law, and if I perish, I perish.
So Mordecai went his way and did everything that Esther told him to.
Memory Verse: Esther 4:14 "....who knows whether you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?"
1. Why was the king looking for a new queen?
2. Why was Esther chosen by the king?
3. Why was Haman so angry with Mordecai?
4. What did Mordecai say to Esther when she told him that you could not go before the king unless you were called?
5. What did Esther say when she made up her mind to go to the king?
1. Because queen Vashti refused to come and show everyone her beauty.
2. Because he loved her more than any of the others.
3. Because Mordecai would not bow down or worship Haman
4. He said that deliverance would come from somewhere else, but how did Esther know that she was not made queen for just this time?
5. She told Mordecai and the Jews to fast, and she said "If I perish, I perish."
(continued in Part 2)
Vicki C. Gross/Jan'03
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