This delightful book provides not only the story of a unique family in exile, but is a parable of the divine plan of redemption found in the work of Messiah and his Bride. It demonstrates how the Invisible Deity rules in the Kingdom of Men (cp. Isa. 51:22-23; 54:17; Dan. 4:17, 37; Rom. 8:31).

Three feasts are mentioned. The feast of Ahasuerus and its sequel: chs. 1-2. The feast of Esther and its sequel: chs. 3-4. The feast of Purim and its sequel: chs. 5-6.

The name of Yahweh is not openly expressed in the book, though His finger is felt guiding events and directing the lives of His people. The reality of the divine presence is seen, though His Person is hid from human eyes.

In this book of 167 verses, the king is mentioned 192 times, his kingdom 26 times, his name 29 times, but God is not named once. Typically, the events point to the time when Yahweh is hidden from His people (Deu. 31:16-18), though from the shadows He overlooks them for good. •

The divine Covenant Name expressed at the Burning Bush through Moses to the nation, guarantees the perpetuity of the Divine Purpose (Exo. 3), and occurs in a hidden form as an acrostic five times within the narrative (1:20; 5:4, 13; 7:7, 5), suggesting the silent, hidden working of the Hand of Providence in all the affairs of life (Psa. 121:3-4). The key verse is found in ch. 4:14. •

The book is the third in a trilogy of the books of the exile: Ezra speaks of Restoration; Nehemiah speaks of Reconstruction; Esther speaks of Preservation. • Esther ch. 1 presents the platform for the drama, and the Disgrace of Vashti, the stubborn and self-opinionated queen. •

[1] The Royal Feasts of Persia: vv. 1-8. The opening phrase, "Now it came to pass" always speaks of a time of trouble ending in blessing. • [2] Vashti's Feast for the Women: v. 9. It was a time of women's liberation, and the passion for self-expression, much like the attitude of many today. • [3] Vashti's Disgrace: vv.10-22.

The decree of the monarch brought the insolence of Vashti to an end, and asserted the authority of the King. Similarly, those faithless in Israel will be replaced by a new face: the spiritual Israel Bride of the future, who will honour the position of the Monarch and uphold the laws of Truth and Righteousness. - GEM, Logos.