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Esther
A Jewish girl named Esther was chosen to be the new queen.

Esther

Esther looks at the returns from exile by the Jews.

The Book of Esther is the seventeenth book in the Bible and the second of only two which are named after women (the other one being the Book of Ruth). It is set between the first return of Jews from exile, led by Zerubbabel and the second return led by Ezra. Whilst the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah tell us about the Jews who returned to Judah, the Book of Esther deals with the vast majority of Jews who remained in the land of their captivity.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
1.
The Book of Esther opens with the King of Persia, Ahasuerus, holding a banquet. Who roused the king's anger when they refused his command to attend?
His Queen, Vashti
His Prime Minister, Haman
His son, Darius
His Chief General, Xerxes
Esther 1:11-12
"to bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him."

The king and his friends were drunk and Vashti did not want to be in a room filled with drunken men. She paid heavily for her refusal. She was banished and Ahasuerus sought to find a new queen
2.
A Jewish girl named Esther was chosen to be the new queen after what event?
After a baking contest
After God sent a dream to the king
After a beauty contest
After God spoke to the king's counsellor
The king had all the unmarried young women brought to him from all the provinces in his empire. From amongst all of these he thought that Esther was the most beautiful and he chose her to be his new queen.

Esther 2:17
"And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti"
3.
A plot to kill the king was discovered by a Jewish man called Mordecai. What relation was Mordecai to Esther?
Mordecai was Esther's grandfather
Mordecai was Esther's brother
Mordecai was Esther's uncle
Mordecai was Esther's cousin
Esther 2:7
"And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter."

Mordecai overheard two of the king's chamberlains planning to kill the king. He told Esther about the plot and she told the king who had the villains hanged
4.
The king's Prime Minister, Haman, asked the king to allow which race of people to be killed?
The Samaritans
The Jews
The Philistines
The Egyptians
Mordecai had refused to bow before Haman and so Haman wanted to wipe out all the Jews. He tricked the king and did not name the race. Instead he referred to them as 'a certain people' who do not obey the king's laws.

Esther 3:8-9
"And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries"
5.
Mordecai encouraged Esther to use her position as queen to help the Jews, saying that she was probably... what?
The only one who can save the Jews
Lucky to be where she was
Made queen in order to save the Jews
The only Jew who would survive
Esther 4:14
"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

This is a beautiful verse which shows us that God can use us to help others, but if we choose not to, then God will find another way, and we shall not be saved
6.
Esther agreed to speak to the king and asked Mordecai to do what for three days, to give her the spiritual strength for the task?
She asked Mordecai to pray for three days
She asked Mordecai to sing for three days
She asked Mordecai to fast for three days
She asked Mordecai to be silent for three days
Esther asked Mordecai and the Jews to fast for her, and she and her servants would do likewise. Then she would speak to the king and persuade him to save the Jews, or else die in the attempt.

Esther 4:16
"Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish"
7.
Haman saw Mordecai sitting at the king's gate and this angered him. He plotted to have Mordecai killed in what way?
He planned to have Mordecai hanged
He planned to have Mordecai drowned
He planned to have Mordecai poisoned
He planned to have Mordecai stoned
Haman's wife, Zeresh, advised him to build a gallows to hang Mordecai from.

Esther 5:14
"Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made"
8.
When the king heard of Haman's plot to kill the Jews, what did he do to Haman?
He had Haman imprisoned
He had Haman stoned
He had Haman banished
He had Haman hung
Haman was hung on the very gallows he had made to kill Mordecai!

Esther 7:9-10
"And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified"
9.
Which item, that had belonged to Haman, did the king give to Mordecai?
The king gave Mordecai Haman's watch
The king gave Mordecai Haman's ring
The king gave Mordecai Haman's crown
The king gave Mordecai Haman's chariot
The ring was a symbol of the office of Prime Minister. As well as this, Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman's estate.

Esther 8:2
"And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman"
10.
The saving of the Jews from the plot of Haman to destroy them is remembered in the Jewish feast of Purim. What does Purim mean in English?
Rings
Lots
Gallows
Dice
Haman had cast lots to destroy the Jews and so Mordecai decided that each year their escape should be remembered at the feast of Purim.

Esther 9:22-24
"as the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them"

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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