Esther Began As Hadassah
Esthers birth name was Hadassah. She was of the tribe of Benjamin and lived during the time Israel was exiled. Tragically, Hadassah was orphaned at an early age.
After her parents died, she was adopted by her cousin, a man named Mordecai.
This is quite fortunate for Hadassah because Mordecai was a God-fearing man who loved her dearly and raised her well in the face of dreadful circumstances.
What Is The Main Message Of The Book Of Esther
The main theme throughout the book of Esther is how God hears our prayers if we rely on him to rescue us. We cant just say a quick prayer and expect quick results. Gods people steadfastly prayed, fasted, and begged God to intervene. And, he did with many surprises along the way including a you reap what you sow moment when Haman is hanged on the same gallows that he built for Mordecai.
Puritanism English Dissenters And Nonconformists
The Puritans were a group of English Protestants in the and , which sought to purify the of what they considered to be Catholic practices, maintaining that the church was only partially reformed. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some of the returning shortly after the accession of in 1558, as an activist movement within the .
Puritans were blocked from changing the established church from within, and were severely restricted in England by laws controlling the practice of religion. Their beliefs, however, were transported by the emigration of congregations to the Netherlands , and by evangelical clergy to Ireland , and were spread into lay society and parts of the educational system, particularly certain colleges of the . The first Protestant sermon delivered in England was in Cambridge, with the pulpit that this sermon was delivered from surviving to today. They took on distinctive beliefs about clerical dress and in opposition to the system, particularly after the 1619 conclusions of the they were resisted by the English bishops. They largely adopted in the 17th century, and were influenced by .
Episcopalian was re-established following the . A century later, non-conforming Protestants, along with the Protestant refugees from continental Europe, were to be among the primary instigators of the that led to the founding of the United States of America.
landing at in 1620.
Built in 1681, the in is the oldest church in America in continuous ecclesiastical use.
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What Is The Main Message In The Book Of Esther
The book of Esther is said to be only book of the Bible that does not mention God or his name.
Yet this story is one of the most popular that demonstrates how God will show up for those who trust Him and do their part.
God will fight for his people. If you find yourself in a battle right now, know that God has your back.
When Was It Written
The book of Esther describes events that purportedly took place during the reign of the Persian King Ahasuerus, probably a reference to Xerxes I or possibly Artaxerxes I or II . Given the language used, certain factual discrepancies, and the opening verse of the book that looks back in time, the book was probably written sometime between 400 and 150 B.C.E. This makes the book of Esther one of the latest writings of the Old Testament, close in time to two intertestamental books about women: Judith and Suzanna.
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Hamans Rage Against Mordecai
9 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the kings gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.
14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself. This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.
Esther Had Positive Influence
Another one of the characteristics of Esther in the Bible has to do with how she used her influence.
When Esther calls a prayer and fasting session, she does not do it alone.
She includes the women who serve her. I am not sure if they were Persian or Jewish but it is amazing how Esther included them in this spiritual adventure.
Not them only, but all the Jews. Esther used her influence wisely.
Imagine how peoples faith were rekindled and restored as a result of her inspiring spiritual leadership.
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Dating Queen Esther Of The Bible
As is the case in many situations regarding the Old Testament, the date of the Book of Esther remains a subject of debate amongst scholars. Queen Esther of the Bible became queen to King Ahasuerus of Persia. Two theories exist regarding the identity of this Persian king. The Septuagint and Josephus claim this king was Artaxerxes II. He reigned in Persia from 404 – 359 B.C.
Most scholars, however, agree that this king represents Xerxes I. His Persian name was Khshayarsha. Xerxes I reigned in Persia from 486 B.C. – 464 B.C. Queen Esther of the Bible is said to have ascended to the queenship in 479 B.C. This is founded upon Esther 2:16, which states Xerxes claimed Esther queen of Persia “in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign”.
Bible history.com states Queen Esther of the Bible ascended to the queenship ca. 478 B.C. They have an excellent list of the Persian kings and their dates as well.
Two lines of thought exist on the writing of the Book of Esther. Jon Bright, in his book A History of Israel, states that “Though many place it in the Maccabean period, a date late in the fourth century is not implausible”.
Michael Grant claims the book is not based on historical fact, and “may” date from the “second century B.C.” Yet, the date surrounding the Book of Esther remains uncertain and under debate. He argues no extra-biblical source mentions Queen Esther of the Bible.
THE PERSIAN EMPIRE & QUEEN ESTHER
Themes In The Story Of Esther
There are many themes in the book of Esther. We see God’s interaction with man’s will, his hatred of racial prejudice, his power to give wisdom and help in times of danger. But there are two overriding themes:
God’s Sovereignty – The hand of God is at work in the lives of his people. He used the circumstances in Esther’s life, as he uses the decisions and actions of all humans to providentially work out his divine plans and purposes. We can trust in the Lord’s sovereign care over every aspect of our lives.
God’s Deliverance – The Lord raised up Esther as he raised up Moses, Joshua, Joseph, and many others to deliver his people from destruction. Through Jesus Christ, we are delivered from death and hell. God is able to save his children.
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Characteristics Of Esther In The Bible
When you think about a young, beautiful girl becoming queen to what some might call a tyrant, usually a teenage girl, doesnt come to mind. Because of practices of Middle Eastern culture, its probably safe to say Esther was about 14 or 15 years old when she was brought to the palace.
This speaks volume about this young lady and says a lot about her character. Lets take a look at a few of her many characteristics:
Esther was obedient to God.
She continued to obey Mordecai just as she did when she was raised by him . She could have said, Im the queen, I dont have to listen to you anymore.
She was also obedient to the king. She knew what the laws were, and she did not want to be the one to break them.
Esther Was Humble
The Bible says Esther found favor in the sight of all who saw her . When it was her turn to be with the king, Esther requested nothing except what was advised by Hegai, the eunuch in charge of the women. She quickly obtained favor in his sight. She and her maidens were given the best place in the kings palace.
Esther Was Wise
When Mordecai found out two of the kings chamberlains who kept the door near the kings gate desired to lay hands on the king, he revealed it to Esther. In turn, Esther revealed it to the king in Mordecais name . An investigation into the matter showed it to be true and the two eunuchs were hanged.
Mordecai found out about Hamans plan and sent message to Esther to go to the king. In walks more drama.
Who Is Esther In The Bible And Why Is She Important
Esthers story is one of courage and strength.
Esther, in the book of Esther, was a biblical heroine who saved the Jewish people. She is recognized mostly for her strength, bravery and dignity. She was chosen by the Persian King Ahasuerus to be his wife in a contest, not knowing she was a Jew. When the kings right-hand man, Haman, came up with a plan to kill the Jews, Esthers uncle found her and pleaded with her to spare Israel. Even though she was his wife, she knew she was not allowed to approach him without invitation, and if she did, it could end in death. But she believed she was chosen by God to save her own people and agreed to go in front of the king anyway and won his favor and her people were saved. She didnt let her fear or position stand in her way. Esther is also an incredible example of helping people in need, particularly those who are going through extremely tough and uncertain circumstances. Here are a few lessons from Esthers story.
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Lessons From Esther In The Bible
Esther, a beautiful young Jewess, is gathered to the palace along with nearly 400 other young women. She finds favor with all who sees her, including the king. Girl, please! Show us how you do that.
Sounds too good to be true? Oh, but it is true. Thats what makes the story of Esther so incredible.
Mordecai couldnt do what needed to be done to deliver Gods people. Neither were any of the other Jews in the over 127 provinces. Esther was the only one called, chosen, and appointed for the task at hand. She was brought to the palace for such a time as that.
God knew Esther would be able to do what needed to be done, because He put inside of her everything she needed to get it done.
He prepared Esther with faith, beauty, intelligence, wisdom, courage, a selfless and humble spirit, and so much more. Its no wonder she found favor in the sight of everyone who looked at her.
When we are willing to push our fears aside and trust God, He is faithful to do everything He promises to do.
Like Esther, we are called to do great things. When we have the faith to do our part, God will step in and do His.
Who was Esther in the Bible? Esther is the beautiful, young girl God uses to remind us that if we trust Him, He is able to provide all of our needs, slay our enemies, and give us favor in the sight of all who looks at us.
When Is Esther On The Bible Timeline
Esther became queen to the Persian King Ahasuerus traditionally identified with Xerxes I of Persia. Xerxes I of Persia reigned from 486 BC when he was 36 until he was assassinated in 465 BC. Xerxes figures prominently in the Greco-Persian Wars building the bridge across the Hellespont and taking part in the famous Battle of Thermopylae.
Esther is known for her beauty, but she was also a woman of great courage. She was willing to do Gods will even though she risked her life. She had a deep understanding of the power of fasting and prayer.
The Amazing Bible Timeline
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Sacraments At The Service Of Communion
According to the Catechism, there are two sacraments of directed towards the salvation of others: priesthood and marriage. Within the general vocation to be a Christian, these two sacraments “consecrate to specific mission or among the people of God. Men receive the holy orders to feed the Church by the word and . Spouses marry so that their love may be fortified to fulfil duties of their state”.
The sacrament of consecrates and deputes some Christians to serve the whole body as members of three degrees or orders: episcopate , presbyterate and diaconate . The church has defined rules on who may be ordained into the . In the Latin Church, the priesthood is generally restricted to celibate men, and the episcopate is always restricted to celibate men. Men who are already married may be ordained in certain Eastern Catholic churches in most countries, and the personal ordinariates and may become deacons even in the Western Church . But after becoming a Catholic priest, a man may not marry unless he is formally laicised.
All clergy, whether deacons, priests or bishops, may preach, teach, baptise, witness marriages and conduct funeral liturgies. Only bishops and priests can administer the sacraments of the Eucharist, Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. Only bishops can administer the sacrament of Holy Orders, which someone into the clergy.
Esthers Three Days Prayer For The Deliverance Of Her People
Esther replied that none can enter into the kings inner court until the king holds out the golden scepter otherwise that person will receive the death sentence. Even the king also did not meet her for the last thirty days. So, it would be impossible for her to stand before the King .
But Mordecai reminded her that even she would not be able to save her life when everyone would know her real identity. Moreover, she might be placed in the palace because of this reason to save her people from the upcoming annihilation of the Jews .
At last, Esther agreed with the proposal of Mordecai and she asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Shushan to pray with fasting for three days and they were not to take food or drink.
At the same time, she also determined to fast with her maidservants for the three days so that she would be able to stand before the king. Esther had known that it was against the law of the king but she showed her courage to save her own people .
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Esther As A Figure In Literature And Art And Contemporary Legacy
Since Esther is an Iranian heroine, it is not surprising that Iranian Jews have preserved her memory with great devotion. A shrine in Hamadan, Iran, grew up around a tomb purported to contain the cenotaphs of Esther and Mordekai, which dates no earlier than the thirteenth century. It became a frequent pilgrimage destination for Iranian Jews. Esther’s memory is also preserved in two fourteenth-century Judeo-Persian epics, Ardashr-nma , and Ezra-nma by the Iranian Jewish poet Mowln Shhn. Familiar with both the biblical and rabbinic narratives, Shhn composed his own version of the Books of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah by creating an audacious link between Esther’s marriage and the fate of the Jewish people. According to Shhn, the purpose of Esther’s happy marriage to Ahasuerus was to give birth to Cyrus the Great , the king who issued the famous edict granting permission to many minorities, including the Jews of Babylonia , to return to their homeland and rebuild their Temple. Thus in Shhn’s account, Esther’s role as savior is much broader and fully justifies her marriage to a gentile monarch.
Why Did Vashti Refuse To Appear
Vashti may have thought she was being treated as a concubine, rather than as a wife and queen. She behaved with haughty dignity when she refused the kings command, but unfortunately her answer was given in front of the officers of the empire, and she paid the price for humiliating the king.
Esther: Middle Eastern woman with wedding headdress
What was the Kings reaction to his wifes refusal?
Ahasuerus, still half-drunk, acted hastily. On the advice of cowed and inept councillors, he made the situation worse by issuing a public decree that Vashti was to be banished. This drew even more attention to the fact that Vashti had flouted his command, and made him look a fool to all his subjects.
At this stage in the story, it becomes obvious that this is not a traditional story about a good king. Ahasuerus was a despot who was also a fool.
So a theme begins to emerge: unlimited power, exercised without wisdom, is a dangerous thing.
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The Search For A Queen
When Queen Vashti refused to come before King Xerxes and his drunken friends at a feast, she was banished. In search of a new queen, King Xerxes ordered all the beautiful women in the royal precinct of Susa to be brought to the palace so he could choose a wife.
During this time, there lived in Susa a Jewish man named Mordecai, who took care of his orphaned niece Esther, a girl of exceptional beauty. Esther was brought to the palace, and out of all the young women, she was selected as the kings favorite and declared queen. As Mordecai had advised her, she told no one of her Jewish heritage.