for such a time
as this
The last book in the historical section of the English Bible is the book of Esther. In the Hebrew
Bible, the book is among the Hagiographa.

Chronologically, the events of Esther take place at the time of the first part of the fourth chapter
of Ezra. Thus, Esther is out of chronological order. Its events take place in the reign of
Ahasuerus, king of the Medo-Persia Empire.

Esther holds a unique place in the Bible. It is the only book not to mention any form of the
name of God upon its pages. Yet, the presence of God is as strong, and stronger in this book
than any other in the Bible. It is a lesson in the preservation of the people of God. Although he
may not be seen, although he may not be heard, God is there. Moving and working through the
events that surround his people, God takes care of his own. It may not be through the great
miracles as he preserved the nation of Israel in bring them forth out of Egypt; but, just as
assuredly, God is in control to bring about what is best for his people. And, as God was with
Esther, Mordecai and the Jews in the days of Ahaxuerus; so he is with his people today.

Through the beautiful young woman Esther, God preserves his people Israel. In events that
seem removed from the purpose of God: a drunken feast that results in the dismissal of the
queen; the ability of God to utilize events to accomplish his purpose unfolds. For the dismissal
of the queen allows for Esther to become queen. In her position as queen, she is poised to
save her people from the evil plans of Hainan, who for jealousy wishes to destroy Mordecai
and his people, the Jews. But, Hainan's evil plans backfire on him; and, the gallows which he
had constructed to hang Mordecai, were used to hand him. For all the planning of evil men, it
cannot thwart the plans and pur­pose of God.

Following is an outline of Esther.
I. The Queen Disposed {1:1-22)
A. The feast (1:1 -9)
B. The queen's refusal (1:10-12)
C. The queen's punishment (1:13-22)
II. A New Queen Selected (2:1-20)
A. The decree (2:1-4)
B. Esther [Hadassah] raised by Mordecai (2:5-7)
C. Esther made queen (2:8-20)
III. The Plot to Destroy the Jews (2:20-9:32)
A. Mordecai saves the king from an assasination plot (2:21-23)
B. Mordecai refuses to bow before Haman (3:16)
C. Haman's plot to kill the Jews (3:6-15)
D. Mordecai and the Jews mourn upon hearing Haman's plot (2:21-23)
E. Mordecai urges Esther to intervene for her people (4:10-17)
F. Esther invites the king and Haman to a banquet (5:1-8)
G. Haman's plan to hang Mordecai (5:9-14)
H. Ahasuerus honors Mordecai for saving his life (6:1-11)
I. Haman's wife predicts his downfall (6:12-14)
J. Esther pleads for her people at her banquet (7:1-6)
K. Haman is hanged on the gallows prepared for Mordecai (7:7-10)
L. Mordecai is given Haman's position (8:1-2)
M. The king grants the Jews the right to destroy their adversaries (8:3-14)
N. The Jews rejoice (8:15-17)
O. The Jews destroy their adversaries (9:1-19)
P. The Feast of Purim established (9:20-32)
Q. The Position of Mordecai Under Ahasuerus (10:1 -3)