Bible,  Preaching Notes

Notes on Preaching Esther

Over the first few months of 2023, I plan to preach through the book of Esther.

Below are my notes, resources I found worthwhile, and other things that I found useful.

This is a work in progress – feel free to recommend resources to me!

Structure

Structure:

  • A | The King’s glory and banquets (Esther 1:1-22)
  • B | Esther’s appointment (Esther 2:1-18)
    • Rest from taxes – Est 2:18
  • C | Mordecai saves the king, leading to an execution (Esther 2:19-23)
  • D | Haman’s rise, the first royal decree (Esther 3:1-15)
    • Est 3:8 – rest
  • E | Mordecai reveals plan to Esther (Est 4) 
  • F | [= Esther’s first banquet (Est 5:1-8)
  • G | Haman’s boast (Esther 5:9-14)
    • Est 5:1014 – Zeresh
  • >> On that night, the King could not sleep (Esther 6:1-3) <<
  • G’ | Haman’s humiliation (Esther 6:4-14
    • Est 6:13 – Zeresh
  • F’ | Esther’s second banquet (Esther 7:1-6)=]
  • E’ | Esther reveals plan to Ahaserus (Est 7:7-10)
  • D’ | Esther’s decree (Est 8)
    • Chapter 3 verses are repeated
  • C’ | The Jews are saved, leading to a feast (Est 9:1-19)
    • Est 9:16171822 – Rest 
  • B’ | Purim’s appointment (Est 9:20-32)
  • A’ | Mordecai’s glory and banquets (Est 10:1-3)

On either side of the turning point are repeated phrases, some reiterated in reverse order and unusual idioms used three times (first half, second half, and in Esther 5:11-6:3. Note also that entire verses from Esther 3:10-15 are repeated in chapter 8.

Recommended Reading

Articles

Duguid, I. M. (2006) “But Did They Live Happily Ever after? The Eschatology of the Book of Esther,” Westminster Theological Journal, 68

 Firth, D.G. (2010) “When Samuel Met Esther: Narrative Focalisation, Intertextuality, and Theology,” Southeastern Theological Review, 1(1), p. 25.

Leder, A. ‘Historical Narrative and Wisdom. Towards Preaching Esther “for Such a Time as This”.’ Acta Theologica 31, no. 2 (14 December 2011): 135–58

Books

Berg, S.B. The Book of Esther

Dunne, J.A. Esther and Her Elusive God: How a Secular Story Functions as Scripture

Grossman, J, Esther : the outer narrative and the hidden reading

Radday. ‘Chiasmus in Antiquity’, ‘On Humor and Comic in the Hebrew Bible

Sun, C.T. (2021) Conspicuous in His Absence: Studies in the Song of Songs and Esther

Sermon Series

You can listen to the sermon series I gave here.

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