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Esther-Detailed Outline
Esther 1 Vashti Divorced
Esther 1:1-9 King Xerxes hosts banquets: First banquet was for nobles, officials, army. Banquet lasted for six months. Second banquet was for everyone in city of Susa. Queen Vashti gave a banquet for the women.
Esther 1:10-22 End of Vashti: King commanded seven eunuchs to bring Vashti to put her on display. (King had been partying for seven days). She was to wear her crown (possibly nothing else). Queen refused to appear. King was mortified, embarrassed in front of everyone. Consulted with experts in law. Experts advised harsh response. Were afraid all women would hear and be disrespectful to husbands. King wrote decree. All men should rule their households. Vashti was dethroned.
Esther 2 Search For a New Queen, Esther Made Queen
Esther 2:1-4 Officials throughout the provinces were to scout out potential virgins. They would be given "Spa" treatments for 12 months. At the end of 12 months, the one who pleased the king would be made queen.
Esther 2:5-11 Esther is found. Mordecai (a Jew) was raising Esther who had been orphaned. Esther was taken to palace. King's eunuch, Hegai, immediately liked her. Hegai gave her special treatment. Mordecai told Esther not to reveal her heritage. Mordecai followed her to Susa, watched from courtyard.
Esther 2:12-14 Protocol for seeing the king. Maiden had to wait to be called.
Esther 2:15-18 Esther is chosen as queen. Esther was demure, naturally beautiful. King was immediately smitten with her. Search was over (after 10 months); Esther was crowned as Queen.
Esther 2:19-23 Mordecai hears assassination plot against King. Told Queen Esther about plot, king investigated and found it to be true. Potential assassins were hanged.
Esther 3 The Feud Between Mordecai and Haman, Haman’s Plot Against the Jews
Esther 3:1-15 Haman Plots to Kill Mordecai
Esther 3:1-6 King honored Haman, a noble, gave him a promotion. Mordecai did not pay him honor. Royal officials told Haman about Mordecai's insolence. Word came out that Mordecai was a Jew. Haman determined to destroy Jews throughout kingdom.
Esther 3:7-15 Cast lots to determine date of slaughter of Jews. Haman went to King to tell him some citizens were insolent. Haman offered to destroy them and to pay the soldiers who did it 10,000 talents of silver = 375 tons. King gave Haman his signet ring (symbol of authority). Said he could keep the money, do whatever he wanted with the Jews. Decree went out saying all Jews could be killed on 13th of March-April. People in the city were bewildered.
Esther 4 Mordecai's Plot to Save the Jews, Esther’s Decision
Esther 4:1-3 Mordecai tore his clothes when he heard about the decree. All the Jews mourned
Esther 4:4-17 Mordecai appeals to Esther. Esther saw him in mourning. Mordecai gave her a copy of decree. Esther had not been to see the King for 30 days. Anyone who went into the King’s presence, without being summoned, risked death. King could spare the person's life by extending golden scepter. Mordecai told Esther she would not escape decree despite being in palace. Suggested perhaps she had been chosen queen to be in this position. Esther told Mordecai to fast for three days. She and her maids would also fast, and then she would approach the King.
Esther 5 Esther's First Banquet
Esther 5:1-8 On the third day, Esther dressed up, went to see the King. He spared her life. Offered to give her whatever she wanted, up to half his kingdom. Invited him and Haman to a banquet later in the day. They went. During dinner, King offered to give her whatever she wanted. Invited King and Haman for another banquet the following day.
Esther 5:9-14 Haman's plot against Mordecai. Haman was in great spirits after the banquet. Saw Mordecai in courtyard; saw that he would not honor him. Haman got furious. Bragged to entire family how he had been given special honor with Esther. Family suggested he build gallows (75 feet tall) to hang Mordecai on it.
Esther 6 Haman Humiliated Before Mordecai
Esther 6:1-5 King discovers Mordecai's good deed. King was restless and couldn't sleep one night; began to read Chronicles of his reign. Found the place in Chronicles where Mordecai saved him from assassination. Asked what honor had been given to Mordecai. Was told nothing had been done. Asked for Haman (who had just come in to talk about the hanging).
Esther 6:6-11 Mordecai's honor. King asked Haman how to honor a man the King delighted in. Haman immediately assumed the King was referring to him. Suggested giving the man a new robe and the King's horse. A trusted noble could lead him through the city, proclaiming honor. King told Haman to do that for Mordecai. Haman carried out King's orders.
Esther 6:12-13 Haman's wife predicted downfall. Haman finished task, went home in mourning. His wife warned him against taking action against Mordecai. Predicted Haman would come to ruin.
Esther 7 Esther's Second Banquet.
King's eunuchs came to accompany Haman to banquet. King and Haman attended Esther's second banquet. King asked what she wanted, offered up to half his kingdom. Esther asked for her life…and for the lives of her people. Said they had been sold for destruction. King was outraged, wanted to know who dared to do such a thing. Esther identified Haman. King stormed out; Haman stayed behind to beg for his life from Esther. Haman was about to fall on Esther's couch when King returned. King accused him of trying to molest the Queen. Haman was arrested on the spot; attendants told King about gallows. King ordered Haman to be hanged on the gallows he built for Mordecai. Order was carried out.
Esther 8 Mordecai’s Counter-Decree
Esther 8:1-2 Mordecai's promotion. King gave signet ring to Mordecai. Esther made Mordecai in charge of Haman's estate.
Esther 8:3-14 Haman's decree overturned. Esther asked the King to overturn Haman's decree. King gave Mordecai and Esther authority to write new decree. Said they could write what they chose, gave signet ring to seal it. King could not write a decree that revoked a previous one. A new one could only neutralize what had been written. Mordecai immediately wrote a new decree. Gave Jews the right to assemble and protect themselves. Jews could fight back on the 13th day of March-April.
Esther 8:15-17 Reaction of the people. Mordecai began wearing royal garments. People in the city celebrated. Jews everywhere rejoiced, feasted. Many people converted to Judaism out of fear of what the Jews might do to them.
Esther 9-10 The Jews Victorious and Purim Instituted
Esther 9:1-10 Day of Slaughter: Jews were prepared for attack; no one could stand against them. Nobles and princes, officials were all on the side of Jews. Were afraid to go against Mordecai. Mordecai became very powerful. Jews were successful in eliminating enemies. But did not lay their hands on the plunder.
Esther 9:11-15 Vengeance in Susa: 500 were killed in Susa, plus Haman's 10 sons. King asked Esther what she wanted - up to half his kingdom. She asked that Haman's sons be hanged on gallows (They were already dead) and for an extension of one more day of slaughter. King granted her request; another 300 men were killed.
Esther 9:16-19 Celebration and killing in the provinces. 75,000 were killed in the provinces. Jews in Susa began celebrations on 15th (Had two days to destroy enemies). Jews in outlying areas celebrated on 14th. Celebration included feasting and exchange of presents.
Esther 9:20-28 Letter of Mordecai: Mordecai wrote that these days should be remembered and celebrated for all time. Jews agreed. Feast was to be called Purim (comes from word pur, meaning "lot" - though the casting of lots was not a main feature of the story). Feast would be celebrated for two days every year. Every family, in every province and city would celebrate it. Recap of reasons for the feast.
Esther 9:29-32 Confirmation by Esther: Esther, with full authority, confirmed the letter regarding Purim. Mordecai sent letters throughout the 127 provinces. Events were written in Chronicles of the King.
Esther 10:1-3 Mordecai elevated to second in command, next to King. Acts of power and might were recorded in annals of the King. Mordecai was held in high honor among the Jews.

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