Day 1: Esther’s Rise
The book of Esther is a challenging book for many historians. In fact, it’s likely that the book of Esther has received more historical criticism than any other book in the Bible. For example, the name of Xerxes’ wife, Vashti, doesn’t align with other historical records. But the Hebrew word translated as “Vashti” is similar to the Old Persian term for “beautiful woman,” indicating it may not have been written as a name, but as a description. For some Christian scholars, another challenge with the book of Esther is that the name of God is never mentioned.
Even though the name of God isn’t mentioned in the book, it is clear that God is at work in the lives of Esther, her uncle Mordecai, and the Jewish population in this time period.
Four main characters are highlighted throughout the story. King Xerxes (mentioned 29 times), Haman (mentioned 48 times), Mordecai (mentioned 54 times), and Esther (mentioned 48 times).
As you begin reading through this wonderfully written story, pay careful attention to each character, their decisions, and the outcome of their decisions. In what ways may their decisions and the outcome mirror some of your own?
What does this passage about Esther tell you about reality? About humanity?
In what ways does this help you to identify with the story of Esther?
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Read: Deuteronomy 8 & 9
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today? HEAR Bible Study Method
Heavenly Father, there have been times in my life when I have wondered about Your presence. There have been times in which I felt as if You were completely silent. As I begin reading through the book of Esther, may it be a wonderful reminder that even through the seasons in my life when Your name isn’t mentioned, still You are there. May it be a reminder that You have always been with me, are with me right now, and will continue to be with me. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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