Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

- Esther

by L.M. Grant

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah have dealt with the remnant of Israel who returned to the land when the Persian king had given them permission for this. But there were still many Jews who chose to remain in Persia. If they had faith, it was so weak that there was no energy to get back to God's appointed place for them.The book of Esther then shows the way in which God dealt with these Jews in spite of their lack of faith.But it has been often observed that God's name is never mentioned in the book.Why not?Because Israel had not submitted to God's authority and were in such a condition that God did not publicly own them as His people, consistently with what He had said inHosea 1:9; Hosea 1:9, -- not My people."

Yet this book of Esther makes very clear that God Himself was working in miraculous ways on behalf of the Jews, but working behind the scenes. In this present day, the same fact is true.Israel has rejected their Messiah, and is in a state of being virtually disowned by God publicly; but He is still working among the Jews in obscure ways, preserving them through centuries of persecution and trouble, so that, though scattered among many nations, they have still retained their identity as Jews, and will in the future have their great sorrow and trouble turned into vibrant joy and gladness, such as is symbolized in their celebration of victory in Esther 9:18-19.

Esther's name means "I will be hidden," just as her identity was obscure even after becoming the wife of Ahasuerus; and just as God is hidden from view in the book of Esther. Mordecai, who was finally exalted as ruler in Persia, is at least a faint type of Christ when eventually exalted among the nations. Yet it is not known who wrote the book of Esther, but we know that God is its Author.

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