The writer is unknown. He was possibly a Persian Jew who had access to ‘the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia’, Esther 10. 2. Others suggest it was written by Mordecai.
There are three specific date markers:
The book spans about twelve years, focusing on the period commencing in Ahasuerus’s twelfth year with the decree to destroy the Jews.
In chapter 3 verse 7, we read about ‘casting Pur before Haman’. This refers to Haman seeking guidance from diviners and astrologers, which possibly involved the casting of lots. This is how he arrived at the date for the destruction of the Jews.
There is a practical lesson here. Trying to understand the future through astrology and horoscopes is wrong. Christians must not be involved in such practices. Esther shows that the Lord is in control, so we need not worry about the future. It is completely safe in His hands.
Once a law was written in the king’s name and sealed with his seal, it could not be altered or reversed, Esther 8. 8. So it was not possible to cancel the decree ordering the destruction of the Jews, 3. 8-14; instead, a further decree had to be issued, 8. 9-14, which permitted the Jews to defend themselves on the day the earlier decree was to be carried out - note the wording of chapter 8 verse 13.
Effective, speedy communication is essential to government and this is evident in Esther in the form of letters, sealed with the king’s seal, distributed by runners, and mounted couriers. Note how comprehensive the descriptions are - every language was covered, and every part of the kingdom reached. The full machinery of state was used to trigger the genocide, but subsequently used to counter that.
Another lesson is that we are called upon to be subject to government, Rom. 13. 1, but that there may be laws contrary to the word of God that we cannot obey, which was Daniel’s experience, Dan. 6.
There are feasts and banquets throughout the book.
Some of these banquets ended with debauched behaviour because of the levels of alcohol consumed - a practical lesson for us as Christians is to avoid such events and, because of the dangers involved, to abstain from alcohol altogether!
Esther teaches us that despite outward appearances, world events, and even our own spiritual condition, the Lord is in control, moving faithfully and unfalteringly to protect His people and bring about His own purposes.
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