Period: c.460 B.C.
Title: The English, Hebrew, Greek and Latin versions all name this book after its chief character. Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah (“Myrtle”). The name Esther is either taken from the Persian word for “star” or from the name of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar. Eshter is one of two women (along with Ruth) to have a Biblical book named after her.
Summary: Esther is regarded as a historical book, written during the period of the Jewish captivity. It records the plot of Haman, the Prime Minister to the Persian king, who intended to exterminate the Jews. This plot is foiled by Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was a Jewess. This book also provides an account of the origin of the Hebrew Feast of Purim.
Queen Vashti divorced: Chapter 1:1-22
Esther made queen: Chapter 2:1-23
Haman’s plot against the Jews: Chapter 3:1-15
Esther’s decision: Chapter 4:1-17
Esther’s first banquet: Chapter 5:1-14
Haman humiliated before Mordecai: Chapter 6:1-14
Esther’s second banquet: Chapter 7:1-10
Mordecai’s counter-decree: Chapter 8:1-17
The Jews victorious and Purim instituted: Chapter 9:1 -10:3