Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "OLD TESTAMENT POETIC BOOKS"
The Book of Esther
OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER (Scroggie adapted)

 

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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970


OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF ESTHER (Scroggie adapted)
Theme:  Providence and Preservation

 

  1. THE JEWS' GRAVE DANGER, 1-3

    1. The background of the plot, 1:1-3:5

      1. The feasts and folly of Xerxes.  Queen Vashti deposed

        1. The three feasts, 1-9

        2. Vashti's refusal, 10-12

        3. Memucan's advice and the King's decree, 13-22

          (INTERVAL of 3-4 years, 1:3, cp. 2:16, 12)
           

      2. Esther, a Jewess, chosen queen as Vashti's successor, 2:1-20

        1. The King's remorse, 1-4

        2. Mordecai and Esther, 5-7

        3. The process of elimination, 8-14

        4. Esther loved and chosen queen, 15-17

        5. Feast in Queen Esther's honor, 18-20
           

      3. Mordecai saves king's life (but providentially goes unrewarded, 2:21-23
        Mordecai is Esther's cousin and guardian.

        INTERVAL of from 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
         

    2. The formation of the plot, 3:6-15

      1. Haman's pernicious plot against the Jews, 6

      2. Casting lots for "the lucky day," 7

      3. Securing king's permission for Jews' extermination, 8-15

        1. Permission cleverly secured, 8-14
          $19,400,000 - "chicken feed!"

        2. Decree sent forth. 12-15
           

  2. THE JEWS' GREAT DELIVERANCE, 4-10

    1. The frustration of the plot, 4:1-0:19

      1. Esther identifies herself with her doomed people (dies in heart purpose) 4

        1. Mordecai's great sorrow, 1-3

        2. Esther sends him new suit, 4

        3. Hatach reports to Esther, 5-9

        4. Esther's alibi, 10-12

        5. Mordecai's warning and challenge, 13-14

        6. Esther's courageous resolve, 15-17

      2. Esther's courage and cleverness in dealing with Xerxes (first banquet), 5:1-8

        1. Esther obtains favor in king's eyes, 1-5a

        2. The first banquet of wine and postponed request, 5b-8

          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
           

      3.  The second banquet and Haman's doom, 7

        1. Esther pleads for herself and her people, 1-4

        2. The king amazed and enraged by news that Haman is plotter against Esther, 5-6

        3. Haman pleads with Esther for his life, 7-10
           

      4. The second decree, and Jews' defense successful, 8:1-9:19

        1. Mordecai put over Haman's house, 8:1-2

        2. Esther with tears pleads reversal of decree, 8:3-6

        3. King consents to new decree that Jews may defend themselves, 8:7-14

        4. Jews and many other rejoice (contrast 3:15), 8:15-17

        5. Jews' defense successful, 9:1-11

        6. The extra day of defense at Shushan (Susa), 9:12-15

        7. Summary and day of gladness, 9:16-19
           

    2. The sequel to the plot, 9:20-10:3

      1. The feast of Purim instituted to celebrate Jews' victory, 9:20-32

      2. Mordecai exalted next to king in authority, 10:1-3


 

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