To date I have studied Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, John, Covenant and both books of Peter. I’ll more than likely have to go back and redo the studies so I can record what I’ve learned. Though I’m studying from the Precept studies I’ll be pulling from other commentaries and smaller studies as we go. So let’s get started.
Esther is the 17th book of the Bible. It is the last of the 12 books of history. There are ten chapters with 167 verses. The author is unknown.
The book of Esther takes place in the years 483-473 B.C. This is ten years in Ahasuerus’ 21 year reign. There is a timeline included with this study and you can see that the book of Esther takes place right in the middle of the book of Ezra. Specifically between chapters six and seven. Strangely enough, God is not mentioned once in this book. It’s written like a good story. It takes place in the citadel of Susa, or Shushan. This is in Persia. Let’s do some history.
Ahasuerus is the ruler of Persia and Media at the time of this book. Ahasuerus is also known as Xerxes the Great and from now on I will refer to him as such because Ahasuerus is longer and more difficult to type out. As we know from history and the book of Daniel, the Jews were in a 70 year captivity with Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar (fun to say, not to write out). In 2 Kings we learn that Jeconiah was exiled from Jerusalem and nine years later, Nebuchadnezzar laid siege. In the process, the temple was destroyed and all the treasures plundered. Later the ruler of Babylon died and Belshezzar took over. In Daniel 5 we learn that this new ruler decided to have a party and use the goblets that were taken from the house of God from which they were looted. Belshezzar witnessed a hand and forearm appear by the wall and start writing a language he was not familiar with. Daniel came and translated. Shortly after God divided the kingdom between the Medes and the Persians.
Darius the Mede (not Darius the I) ruled Media and Cyrus ruled Persia. Cyrus was anointed by God. He helped the Jews, but not all the Jews returned home. They were content in staying in Persia. BUT when Xerxes began his rule, he wrote an accusation against the people of Judah so the Jews kept quiet of who they were.
So now I think I’ve got you caught up on the history before Esther. We know what’s going on and where it takes place in history. Thanks for sticking with me this far. Next time we will get into chapter one.