The Message of Esther
The book of Esther tells the dramatic story of how the destruction of the Jews was averted through the bravery of Esther, the wisdom of Mordecai, and the unity of the Jewish people. Yet Esther is a rather strange book to find in the Bible. Not only is it set entirely outside of the Promised Land, it also shows no interest in that land. More than that, Esther is the only book in the Bible that definitely does not mention God, and it avoids any obviously religious language.
Nevertheless, Esther does have a developed theology. In this BST volume, David Firth explores this paradoxically important book and its implications for our own context, where the reality of God's presence is experienced against a backdrop of God's relative anonymity and seeming absence. Using brilliant satire and subtle scriptural allusions, the book of Esther offers us a model for dealing with a world where Christians are frequently a minority voice. It calls us to courageously engage society and be at the forefront of standing for justice, all while trusting in the God who is always at work.
Part of the beloved Bible Speaks Today series, The Message of Esther offers an insightful, readable exposition of the biblical text and thought-provoking discussion of how its meaning relates to contemporary life. Used by students and teachers around the world, The Bible Speaks Today commentaries are ideal for those studying or preaching the Bible and anyone who wants to delve deeper into the text. This edition features lightly updated language and a new interior design.
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1. Some parties and their aftermath (1:1-22)
2. Providence in the passive voice (2:1-23)
3. Power and corruption in high places (3:1-15)
4. Risking all (4:1-17)
5. A tale of two banquets (5:1-14)
6. A funny thing happened . . . (6:1-13)
7. An awkward dinner (6:14–7:10)
8. Revoking the irrevocable (8:1-17)
9. Days of deliverance (9:1-19)
10. Remembering deliverance (9:20–10:3)