Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:




Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:



Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior SectionReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext SectionRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list

OR Select a range of biblical books



OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'


Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
Multi-Verse Retrieval
Search KJV
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

John Brown :: Esther 1

toggle collapse


A. As we begin the book of Esther, it is appropriate to "set it up" by way of little history.

1. The book was written approximately 465 years before the birth of Christ!

a) That would put the events of the book somewhere between chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Ezra.

(1) By way of reminder, at that point in Ezra, King Darius has just made a search of the archives in Babylon and discovered that His predecessor, King Cyrus has issued a decree for the Temple to be rebuilt and paid for out of the royal treasury!!

(2) And so it was, and thousands Jews went back to their homeland in great celebration under the leadership of Ezra!

(a) But, there were many, many more Jews who had grown comfortable in the prosperous kingdom of the Kings of Persia!

(i) They did not return! And it is this group of people that the book of Esther encompasses and the events take place over a 10 year time period!

2. We do not know who wrote the book!

a) We do however know that he was a Jew by nationality and very personally acquainted with the reign of King Ahasuerus, the Persian empire, and the palace in Shushan!!

3. The book of Esther is different than most of the books of the Bible because the name of God is not even mentioned throughout the entire book!

a) But as you will see, God's sovereignty and providence is evident all the way through.

b) We will see God arrange everything necessary to keep His people, the Jews, from mass murder by the hand of a principle character named HAMAN.

c) So, Lets get started!


A. Esth 1:1 (NKJV) Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this [was] the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia)

1. Ahasuerus was the Hebrew name given to the king!

a) His real Persian name was Khshayarsha and the Greeks called him Xerxes!

b) Bible scholars believe this is the same king referred to in Daniel 11:2 as the 4th and richest of the Persian kings.

B. Esth 1:2 (NKJV) in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the citadel,

1. It is interesting to note that the city of Shushan (or Susa in Greek), was visited by Daniel in 551 B.C. in a vision according to (Dan 8:1-8). That was 86 years prior to the writing of this book!

a) In that vision he saw the rapid rise of the Medo-Persian Empire beginning with Cyrus - which, by the way, began 1 year after his vision!!

b) Something else worth mentioning, about 20 years after the events of the book of Esther, we find a guy by the name of Nehemiah serving in Susa (Hebrew = Shushan), as cupbearer to king Artaxerxes.

(1) So, these events occur before our last study of the book of Nehemiah.

(2) And we will see how the hand of God was working in a pagan society to prepare it for Nehemiah!

C. Esth 1:3...in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants--the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces [being] before him-

1. The Hebrew word for "feast" here means literally "a drinking feast."

2. Dr. J. Vernon McGee estimates that there were between 2 and 3 thousand guests at this party and that the cost was in the millions of dollars.

D. Esth 1:4 (NKJV) when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days [in] [all].

1. So, for 180 days he "puts on the feed bag" for a couple thousand people!

2. What's his motive?

a) He is about to launch a military campaign to capture Greece and make himself supreme ruler of the world and he wants their wholehearted support!

b) He wants them to know that he has the finances to support such a war and that they can count on victory!

(1) There is only one problem.God is against him! He cannot and does not succeed!

E. Esth 1: 5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king's palace.

1. When he was done with the guests, the last 7 days of the banquet he brings in thousands of the citizens of Shushan!

F. Esth 1:6-7 (NKJV) [There] [were] white and blue linen [curtains] fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; [and] [the] couches [were] of gold and silver on a [mosaic] pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble. 7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.

1. Archaeological digs of these palaces have proven the riches and opulence of this empire!

2. Xerxes proved his point. He DID have the money to pull off the war!

3. On a much smaller scale we see the same thing today in business!

a) Companies go to tremendous extremes to "wine and dine" those that have influence.

G. Esth 1:8 (NKJV) In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man's pleasure.

1. Evidently there was a law that did not require people to drink at this royal function!

a) Unlike the more "civilized" bosses of today who will sometimes even fire someone for not participating in their drunken orgies!

(1) You would think that corporate executives would want non-drinking people running their business.

H. Esth 1:9-11 (NKJV) Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women [in] the royal palace which [belonged] to King Ahasuerus. 10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, [wearing] her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she [was] beautiful to behold.

1. While the party was going on for the men, Vashti, the queen was hold one of her own for the women!

2. The king has displayed his opulence and his power, now in a drunken stupor, he wants to bring in his beautiful wife to display her like some kind of trophy!

a) But he gets a surprise!

I. Esth 1:12 (NKJV) But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command [brought] by [his] eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

1. Whether she was afraid to be in the presence of all these drunken men, or she simply had enough pride and dignity to not be treated like "property" we are not told. But she refused to show up!!!

a) Imagine the insult to the kings power in front of all these people he was trying to impress!

b) Don't you imagine that the men were saying, "What kind of military leader can he be if he can't even control the queen!"

(1) On one hand you have to give this woman credit for standing up for what was right!

(2) On the other hand, she gave little thought to the possible failure of this military campaign as a result of her actions!

J. Esth 1:13-15 (NKJV) Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this [was] the king's manner toward all who knew law and justice, 14 those closest to him [being] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king's presence, [and] who ranked highest in the kingdom): 15 "What [shall] [we] do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus [brought] [to] [her] by the eunuchs?"

1. It is hard for us to understand this today, but the queen's actions required an emergency cabinet meeting of the men closest to the king!

a) She had refused to obey a direct command of the king!

b) This was a serious issue but it seems that there was no precedence so there was no law they could exact for punishment!

(1) They needed to come up with one fast!

K. Esth 1:16-19 (NKJV) And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: "Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who [are] in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 17 "For the queen's behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, `King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.' 18 "This very day the [noble] ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king's officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus [there] [will] [be] excessive contempt and wrath. 19 "If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

1. Memucan, the chauvinist (and probably the most insecure) of the bunch, spoke first!

2. "She didn't just insult you king.She insulted your whole kingdom!"

a) "If we let her get by with this, it will spread to all the women and we will have revolt on our hands!"

b) "We won't get to do anything we tell them to anymore!"

c) Notice his proposal!

L. Esth 1:19-22 (NKJV) "If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.20 "When the king's decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small." 21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan. 22 Then he sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.

a) For this one act of rebellion, Vashti lost her royalty! She was queen no more and never allowed into the presence of the king again!!!

(1) I'm sure that women all over the kingdom, secretly praised her for her strength and courage. But what a price to pay!

(2) As the story unfolds, you will the hand of God more clearly in this forfeiture!

b) Notice that Memucan's proposal "pleased the king".

(1) This gives us an idea of the moral character of King Xerxes!

(2) Please keep in mind that this new law has nothing to do with God's spiritual laws!

(3) This was a pagan king in a pagan society who just enacted a pagan law to appease his pagan pride!

(a) It is now LAW that wives MUST respect their husbands!!

c) But, God is still at work even in this situation!


A. By the way, in God's economy, it is still advisable for a wife to respect her husband!!

1. Only now, as Christians, a husband shares that responsibility!!

a) Ephe 5:33 (NKJV) Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife [see] that she respects [her] husband.


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines


Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions





Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools


Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan


Video Tutorials


Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions


Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries


About the BLB

Statement of Faith




Ministry FAQs


Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites

BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters



Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible


Verse Tools Arrow

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username




Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name


[ Cancel ]


Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username


Return to Login

Close Login