How to Study Esther
Esther is a story of intrigue - a divinely inspired one. It reveals the sovereignty of God, although God is never mentioned in this book. As you read:
Consult the historical chart The Times of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, on attachment.
Observe the main events that occur in each chapter. Examine each chapter under the scrutiny of the "5 W's and an H": Who? What? When? Why? and How? Ask: Who was involved? What happened? When did it occur? Where did it take place and Why? How did it come about? etc.
List in the margin the major points you want to remember about each event under the heading you give that event. For example, Esther 1:3-4 could be titled: "King Ahasuerus's Banquet." Under the heading you could list these points: 1) attended by his princes, attendants, etc., 2) given to display riches, 3) lasted 180 days.
While the main event of each chapter will not always be a banquet, banquets play an important role in Esther. So mark in a distinctive way each use of the words banquet or feast. Ask the "5 W's and an H" about each banquet and list your insights in the margin.
Make sure you underline or mark in a distinctive way the main characters in each chapter. Study each person's character, as there is much to be learned.
Mark the key words: anger (angry), banquet, feast, edict (decree), fast, destroy (destroyed, destruction). When you mark Jew or Jews, mark the pronouns and synonyms, such as her people, my kindred, or people. Jew was a term used to describe the people who came from Judah.
Mark every reference to time with a clock ¹. This will help you quickly identify the timing of the events.
When you finish studying each chapter, record the theme of that chapter in the appropriate place on the Structure of Esther. Also record this in your Bible.
In your notebook, list all you learn about Esther and then list all you learn about Mordecai.
When you finish reading Esther, complete Structure of Esther. See if any of the chapters can be grouped according to events. If so, record these segment divisions on Structure.
Key Words in the NIV and KJV
Key doctrines in Esther
Purim as a celebration of God' faithfulness (3:7; 9:21, 22, 26-28, 31; Deut 16:11, 14; Neh 8:10, 12)
God's promise to preserve the Jews (4:14; 8:17; Gen 17:1-8; 2Sam 7:8-16; 2Chr 22:10-12; Ps 121:4; Isaiah 65:8-9; Jer 50:20; Matt 2:16)