Calamity Averted by Esther

4:4 to 9:19

The insubordination of Mordecai brought about the mortal threat that required Esther to disobey the king (4:11). Her natural desire to obey was confronted by the need to save her people from death. The obedience to king and husband had to give way to the overriding importance of saving the people of ADONAI. Once convinced that she must identify herself with the needs of the Jews, she acted with courage and became a leader who took the initiative and changed the dynamic.

Nothing has been said so far in the book to suggest either Esther or Mordecai were people of great faith in the LORD. But here it is revealed that they at least believed that God was concerned for the welfare of His chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6). In this climatic section we can see the providence of God working behind the scenes on behalf of His own. Although the name of ADONAI is not overtly mentioned (see Unique Characteristics in Ac – The Book of Esther from a Jewish Perspective), He is, none the less, surely in control.

The chiastic structure of the entire book is easily observable. This indicates the great degree of literary awareness of the human author. The turning point is the king’s sleepless night (6:1), around which the chiastic structure is constructed.57

A Opening and background (Chapter 1)

B The king’s first decree (Chapters 2 and 3)

C Haman tries to destroy Mordecai (Chapters 4 and 5)

D That night the king could not sleep (6:1)

C Mordecai’s triumph over Haman (Chapters 6 and 7)

B The king’s second decree (Chapters 8 and 9)

A Epilogue (Chapter 10)


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