The Book Of Esther

J. Deering,
Theme:  Providence and Preservation

I.    The Jew's Grave Danger  1-3
        A.    The background of the plot  1:1-3:5
                1.    The feasts and folly of Xerxes, Queen Vashti deposed  1
                        a.    The three feasts  1:1-9
                        b.    Vashti's refusal  1:10-12
                        c.    Memucan's advice and the King's decree  1:13-22
                (Interval of 3-4 years  1:3, cp. 2:16)
                2.    Esther, a Jewess, chosen Queen as Vashti's successor  2:1-20
                        a.    The King's remorse  2:1-4
                        b.    Mordecai and Esther  2:5-7
                        c.    The process of elimination  2:8-14
                        d.    Esther loved and chosen Queen  2:15-17
                        e.    Feast in Queen Esther's honor  2:18-20
                3.    Mordecai saves the King's life (but providentially goes unrewarded)  2:21-23
                        (Mordecai is Esther's cousin and guardian)
                        Interval of 4-5 years  (3:7, cp. 2:16)
                4.    Haman (recently exalted by Xerxes) is enraged by Mordecai's refusal to bow to him  3:1-5
        B.    The formation of the plot  3:6-15
                1.    Haman's pernicious plot against the Jews  3:6
                2.    Casting "lots" for "the Lucky Day"  3:7
                3.    Securing the King's permission for Jews extermination  3:8-15
                        a.    Permission cleverly secured  3:8-11
                                ($19,400,000.00 "chicken feed?!)
                        b.    Decree sent forth  3:12-15
II.    The Jew's Great Deliverance  4-10
        A.    The frustration of the plot  4:1-9:19
                1.    Esther identifies herself with her doomed people  4
                        (dies in heart purpose)
                        a.    Mordecai's great sorrow  4:1-3
                        b.    Esther sends him a new suit  4:4
                        c.    Hatach reports to Esther  4:5-9
                        d.    Esther's alibi  4:10-12
                        e.    Mordecai's warning and challenge  4:13-14
                        f.    Esther's courageous resolve  4:15-17
                2.    Esther's courage and cleverness in dealing with King Xerxes
                        a.    The first banquet  5:1-8
                                (1).    Esther obtains favor in King's eyes  5:1-5a
                                (2).    The banquet of wine and a postponed request  5:5b-8
                3.    (Parenthesis:  Haman's joy and sorrow  5:9-6:14)
                        a.    Mordecai spoils Haman's joy  5:9-14
                        b.    The King's providential insomnia  6:1-3
                        c.    Haman, arriving to request Mordecai's hanging is forced to honor his enemy instead  6:4-11
                        d.    Haman's friends predict his doom  6:12-14
                4.    The second banquet and Haman's doom  7
                        a.    Esther pleads for herself and her people  7:1-4
                        b.    The King amazed and enraged by news that Haman is plotting against Esther  7:5-6
                        c.    Haman pleads with Esther for his life  7:7-10
                5.    The second decree and the Jew's defense successful  8:1-9:19
                        a.    Mordecai put over Haman's house  8:1-2
                        b.    Esther with tears pleads reversal of decree  8:3-6
                        c.    King consents to new decree that Jew's may defend themselves  8:7-14
                        d.    Jews and many others rejoice (contrast 3:15)  8:15-17
                        e.    Jew's defense successful  9:1-11
                        f.    The extra day of defense at Shushan (Susa)  9:12-15
                        g.    Summary and day of gladness  9:16-19
        B.    The Sequel To The Plot  9:20-10:3
                1.    The feast of Purim instituted to celebrate the Jew's victory  9:20-32
                2.    Mordecai exalted next to King Xerxes in authority  10:1-3

Major Characters:
    1.    Esther (Hadassah, Myrtle) - Heroin - 2nd Queen
    2.    Mordecai - Esther's Cousin, guardian, step-father
    3.    Ahasuerus [Ah-has-u-eras] (Xerxes [zerk-zees]) - The King
    4.    Vashti - 1st Queen
    5.    Haman (Hay-man) - King's evil advisor
    6.    Memucan (Mem-ookan) - King's henpecked advisor