Esther - Lesson Two - Day 1
- Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries
- 2008 4 Feb
In spring 483 BC, Ahasuerus (or Xerxes) entered the third year of his reign. He happened to be wintering in
Throughout these dramatic developments, God’s sovereign hand of providence was at work. This week we’ll meet our two protagonists (the heroes of the story) because of how these events transpired. Let’s look now at Esther 2, examining their entrance into the story. We will also see some important truths about what true beauty is in God’s sight, compared to mankind’s twisted conceptions of it.
DAY ONE: A Pleasing Plan
Please carefully read Esther 2:1-4 and answer the following questions.
1. The time period between Esther 1 and 2 was 481 to 479 BC when Ahasuerus carried out his failed war with
2. Ahasuerus’ anger and alcohol abuse led to foolish actions, and now, too late, he had regrets about this. Although he had concubines, he no longer had a wife to comfort and support him. His servants noticed his depressed mood and surmised what was wrong. What did they begin to propose, which obviously would catch his attention (v. 2)?
NOTE: Young as used here referred to young women around adolescence or marrying age.[ii] The word virgin, bethula, can mean either a true virgin or a young woman, depending on the context (for example, Joel 1:8 used this word to describe a young widow; those chosen here were eventually no longer virgins, but this term is used of them again in v. 19). Importantly, there is another Hebrew word for virgin, almah, which clearly refers to one who is a virgin sexually. This word was used in Isaiah 7:14, prophesying the virgin birth of the Messiah, confirming that both the Old and New Testaments claim Jesus’ birth was miraculously virginal (see Matthew 1; Luke 1).[iii]
3. What specific plans did they recommend that Ahasuerus command (v. 3)?
NOTE: Kings would use eunuchs to oversee the women of the household, and those chosen for this job were of outstanding character. Fittingly, the name Hegai means “venerable.”[iv] Beauty preparations referred to precious ointments, remedies, detergents, and soaps for bathing and purification.[v] The nasb calls these cosmetics.
4. What was the clincher of their suggestion, and how did Ahasuerus respond (v. 4)?
5. Sexual purity is truly beautiful in God’s sight. In fact, there is no more beautiful gift for young people to treasure than their virginity, but how easily people surrender that most precious of gifts that cannot be gained back again! The nlt states that “this advice was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect immediately.” In other words, he couldn’t wait to get at these young women and take away their precious treasure of virginity just to satisfy his own lusts, hopefully finding a wife along the way! Please read the following passages and record some of the things they exhort us about maintaining our sexual purity so we can shine God’s beautiful light to the world around us.
1 Corinthians 5:11; 6:13, 18-20
Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3, 4, 8
Colossians 3:5–6; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, 7
Scripture Memory: This week we will be memorizing Isaiah 43:1, about our being selected by our King. Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.
But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. Isaiah 43:1 (nkjv)
Click here for Day Two
© 2005 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2004-2005.