Esther 9: The first half of this chapter tells of the Jews retaliating against those who tried to kill them. They killed tens of thousands of people. We also see that Esther still has a considerable amount of power over the King. He offers to do whatever she wants. She tells him what she wants and he makes it happen. This all happens on the 14th and 15th days of Adar (the 12th month of the year).
Esther 7: They have the next feast that Haman bragged about and Esther reveals his plot to the king. The king is furious, begs for his life, and is finally impaled on the same 75 foot pole he prepared for Mordecai.
Esther 4: Esther learns of Haman’s plot to destroy all the Jews because Mordecai is dressed in mourning clothes outside the King’s gate. She initially tells him that she is safe, but he makes it clear that she needs to do something to stop this from happening. He even suggests that perhaps this is why she was chosen as queen, to stop this action.
Introduction to Esther: The introduction is interesting. I really enjoy reading two different versions of the bible. I learn something from each one and I feel I’m getting a more complete picture. For example, the intro in the CEB study bible identifies three themes: importance of proportion, the challenge of living a faithful life in an unfaithful world, and the importance of the written word (p. 765 OT – 766 OT). Among many interesting things in the NRSV version is this little gem: “Furthermore, both Esther and Song of Solomon celebrate, albeit in different contexts, the power of feminine sexuality” (p. 707). As I’ve said many times, it’s interesting how many of these readings are timely. In this situation, I’m starting this book on the same day as the women’s march (1/20/18). Here’s another interesting statement: “The story’s purpose is to entertain, but more importantly to demonstrate the inevitability of retributive justice and, paradoxically, the need for oppressed minorities to act shrewdly and boldly for that justice to prevail” (p. 708). We live in a time where the oppression of minorities is becoming even more prominent. This should be an interesting read.