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  Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther Study Guides

EZRA, NEHEMIAH, ESTHER Daily Bible Readings

Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther Chronological

  Cross Reference Bible, and Bible Dictionary
Books on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther from

James | EZRA | 1Peter | NEHEMIAH | 2Peter | ESTHER | John 1-2-3, Jude | JOB

DateScripturesDaily devotional commentary
Jun 16: James
June 17:Ezra 1-4* Rebuilding Begins in Jerusalem, by D Sween
June 18:Ezra 5-7 * Babylon-Persia Recognizes The God of Heaven, D Sween
June 19:Ezra 8-10 * Repenting, Returning, Confessing, Correcting, D Sween
Jun 20-21: 1 Peter
June 21:Nehemiah 1-3 * Nehemiah, Cupbearer to the King, N Sween
June 22:Nehemiah 4-6 * Patience With A Purpose and A Plan, N Sween
June 23:Nehemiah 7-8 * The Joy of the LORD is Your Strength, N Sween
June 24:Nehemiah 9-10 * Worshiping the LORD's Justice and Mercy With Facts, N Sween
June 25:Nehemiah 11-13* The Revival and Post-Revival Cleanup, N Sween
Jun 26: 2 Peter
June 27:Esther 1-4 * Jews Serving the King of Persia, N Sween
June 28:Esther 5-10 * A New Celebration: Purim, D Sween
Jun 29: 1,2,3 John and Jude

* Prophets and Exile Timeline
* Timeline of Kings During Exile * Study Guide

Rebuilding Begins in Jerusalem

June 17 reading
Ezra 1-4
Ezra Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Babylonian kings and history
* Ezra
, Wikipedia
"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: 'The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.'" (1:2)
The book of Ezra is part of a continuous history of the Jews written after their exile (Babylon) consisting of 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. This book of Ezra records the first and second stages of the restoration of the Jews to their homeland. The book was written to show the faithfulness of God in returning a Jewish remnant from exile in Babylon.

Chapter 1 recounts the beginning of the first return of the exiles to Jerusalem. His heart moved by God, King Cyrus of Persia issues a decree allowing some exiles to return to Israel. (1:2-4) Chapter 2:1-63 contains a list of the exiles who returned. The group was led by Zerubbael (SheshBazzar 1:11?) Arriving at the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, free will offerings were taken for temple reconstruction.

In Chapter 3, a united group (vs 1) began to build the altar of the God of Israel. The Bible says "despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord... vs 2. Even though the temple had not yet been rebuilt, they made sacrifices for all the appointed sacred feasts. Another free will offering was taken for temple rebuilding. This temple construction was done under the supervision of the Levites. (vs 8)

Opposition to the rebuilding quickly mounts. An attempt to infiltrate the process from the Samaritans (probably) is turned aside. More serious opposition to the rebuilding occurs when a letter is sent to new King Artaxerxes, who forces them to stop.

The final verse of Chapter 4 says "Thus the work on the House of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill...."

Babylonia-Persia Recognizes The God of Heaven

June 18 reading
Ezra 5-7
Ezra Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Book of Ezra, A. Remmers
* Persian King timelines
"Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven. Why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons?" "Praise be to the LORD, the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king's heart to bring honor to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem in this way" (7:23,27)
Timeline of Persia: 538 BC - Cyrus II ruled Persia (ca 550-530 BC) and defeated Babylonian empire - Zerubbabel authorized to lead first group back to Israel to rebuild the temple (prophets: Haggai & Zechariah) | 521 BC - Darius ruled Persia (521-486 BC) | 479 BC - Xerxes I ruled Persia (486-465 BC) - Esther became his queen | 457 BC - Artaxerxes I ruled Persia (464-424 BC) - Ezra authorized to lead group to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple | 444 BC - Artaxerxes I ruling Persia - Nehemiah authorized to lead group to rebuild Jerusalem wall
Rebuilding the temple begins again under the prophetic ministry of Haggai and Zechariah. But the governor of the area decides to pass the buck and appeals to King Darius in the form of a letter. Verse 8 says "The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their directions."

After researching the archives of Babylon, King Darius issues an order that the temple construction continue and to be paid for by the royal treasury. Further he orders his governor not to harass the workers. Under these favorable conditions, temple construction was finished in 516 BC.

"A gap of about sixty years occurs between chapters six and seven, during which time the events recorded in the Book of Esther transpired in Persia." - Donald Stamps

In chapter 7, we learn "that after these things" (v 1) "Ezra arrives in Jerusalem in the fifth month" and that the hand of God was upon him (vs 9). The reason God's hand was upon him is found in the next verse. "for Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel." (v 10)

Artaxerxes gives permission for the Jews to return to Jerusalem with Ezra. In response, Ezra states - "Because the hand of the LORD was on me, I took courage and gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me." (7:28)

Repenting, Returning, Confessing, Correcting

June 19 reading
Ezra 8-10
Ezra Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Prophets and a Babylonian Exile Timeline
2nd Return, Stevenson
".. we have disregarded the commands you gave through your servants the prophets when you said: 'The land you are entering to possess is a land polluted by the corruption of its peoples. By their detestable practices they have filled it with their impurity from one end to the other. Therefore, do not give your daughters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them at any time, that you may be strong and eat the good things of the land and leave it to your children as an everlasting inheritance." (9:10-12)
Having received permission from King Artaxerxes and with the hand of their God on them (8:31), the Jews prepare to return to Jerusalem. They fast by the Ahava Canal where they "fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey." (8:21). They arrive in Jerusalem and sacrifice burnt offerings to the God of Israel. Finally the king's orders are distributed to the governors.

Almost immediately the sin of intermarriage with non-believers threatens to destroy the remnant. "But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant..." (9:8) "But now O our God, what can we say after this? For we have disregarded the commands... (9:10). "Therefore, do not give your daugters in marriage to their sons or take their daughters for your sons..." (9:12) "We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before youi in our guilt, ghough because of it not one of us can stand in your presence..." (9:15)

The people repent and make a confession of sin. They then issue a proclamation requiring all the exiles to assemble in Jerusalem. A decision is made for the remnant to obey God, and all the foreign wives are sent away.

June 20 and 21:     1 PETER - Daily Bible Readings and Commentaries

NEHEMIAH * Prophets and Exile Timeline * Timeline of Kings During Exile * Study Guide
Nehemiah, Cupbearer to the King
June 21 reading
1 Peter 5 and Nehemiah 1-3
Nehemiah Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* The beginning of today's reading
is on 1 Peter:5
PROMISE: "Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, 'If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.'" (1:8-9)
Timeline of Persia: 538 BC - Cyrus II ruled Persia (ca 550-530 BC) and defeated Babylonian empire - Zerubbabel authorized to lead first group back to Israel to rebuild the temple (prophets: Haggai & Zechariah) | 521 BC - Darius ruled Persia (521-486 BC) | 479 BC - Xerxes I ruled Persia (486-465 BC) - Esther became his queen | 457 BC - Artaxerxes I ruled Persia (464-424 BC) - Ezra authorized to lead group to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple | 444 BC - Artaxerxes I ruling Persia - Nehemiah authorized to lead group to rebuild Jerusalem wall
The political situation in Babylon had changed, with Persia taking over the Babylonian empire. Some of the Israelite exiles had already returned to Jerusalem, but others still in exile had jobs of great responsibility. This included Queen Esther, who was the wife of Xerxes (King of Persia from 486-465 BC) before Ezra returned to Jerusalem, and Nehemiah, who was cupbearer to King Artaxerxes I of Persia. It was not automatic that the Israelites who wanted to go back to their homeland were released from exile. Nehemiah got news that Jerusalem was in extremely poor condition, and he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed to the LORD, God of heaven.

Later, back at work, the king and queen noticed Nehemiah's sadness. Hearing the problem, the king made arrangements with Nehemiah that he could go rebuild Jerusalem in a set amount of time. Then he was to return to the king.

So Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and began his inspections at night. With opposition from an Horonite, an Ammonite, and an Arab, Nehemiah answered them ("you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it") and laid out his plan in private before the Jews, priests, nobles, and officials who would do the work. Eliashib the high priest and other priests began repairing the gates and the wall around Jerusalem.

Patience With a Purpose and a Plan

June 22 reading
Nehemiah 4-6
Nehemiah Commentary
Dictionary and Books
Nehemiah sermons -
GUIDANCE: "Don't be afraid of them (opposition). Remember the LORD, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes." (4:14b)
Israel's return to the promised land after their exile in the Babylonian-Persian empire had little similarity to the triumph and joy of the first entry under Joshua. But one thing was the same - they still had opposition. Ezra wrote that some current area residents hired counselors to work against the returning Jews. (Ezra 4:4-5) Perhaps these included Sanballat the Horonite (some say he was a Moabite), Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab who were very opposed to anyone promoting the welfare of the Israelites (2:10) in the area. They were all under the same Trans-Euphrates government of the Persian empire, and Persian kings had ordered the return to Israel. So to discourage and indefinitely postpone the restoration of the wall of Jerusalem, Sanballat and associates first tried using insults, spreading assumptions, lies, and rumors. When this didn't slow down the Jerusalem wall repair project, they resorted to annoying Nehemiah with requests for meetings and even hiring Jews to scare him with prophesies of life threats.

What kind of man was Nehemiah who stood up to opposition and completed his rebuilding project in 52 days? Nehemiah was trained and skilled in authority, administration, and prayer. As cupbearer to the king of Persia, he had put his education, character, trustworthiness, and intelligence to use. As a prayer, he had put his faith to work. When worried, he prayed (1:5-11). Before speaking to the king, he prayed (2:4). When insulted, he prayed (4:4-5). When challenged, he prayed (4:9). And after prayer, Nehemiah acted. He looked things over. He made specific wall work assignments. He posted guards and set up a defensive plan for the workers to use while building. He set up traditional trumpet alarms. He also heard the Jewish people's complaints. Although it seems their former property rights had been restored, they were having problems coming up with money to buy food, pay taxes, and regain their mortgaged land and endentured children. Seeing that the Jewish nobles and officials were charging interest of fellow - but poorer - Jews angered Nehemiah. Nehemiah pondered then ordered changes in lending practices and his own taxation system. And entrusting himself to the LORD, Nehemiah prayed: "Remember me with favor, O my God, for all I have done for these people."

Insults and lies from the non-Jew neighbors hadn't stopped the wall rebuilding. So the harassment switched to logic and letters. Geshem the Arab claims the Jews plan to revolt! Why else would they build a wall? In fact, Geshem claims that by appointing prophets, Nehemiah wants to become king of Judah. When Nehemiah didn't slow down the work, threats were made on his life. But Nehemiah discerned insincerity, prayed (6:14), and continued the work on the wall to completion. Nehemiah learned that the nobles of Judah kept in close contact with Tobiah the Ammonite because he had Jewish relatives in high places. Tobiah's Jewish wife's nephew, Shemaiah, had worked on the wall, and he was the son of Tobiah's father-in-law Shecaniah. Tobiah's son, Jehohanan's father-in-law was Meshullam who had repaired the wall near Shemaiah. Small world.

The Joy of the LORD is MY Strength

June 23 reading
Nehemiah 7-8
Nehemiah Commentary
Dictionary and Books
Elephantine papyri: * Wikipedia * Oxford
* The Ark * Jews in Egypt
(only in PDF)
PROMISE: "Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our LORD. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'" (8:10)
With the wall of Jerusalem rebuilt and the doors in the gates installed, Nehemiah saw to it that the priests were appointed specific duties as gatekeepers, singers, and Levite priests. Governor Nehemiah put his brother, Hanani, in charge of Jerusalem along with Hananiah commander of the citadel, who was a man of integrity and feared the LORD. They oversaw that the gates were not opened until close to midday. Few people were living in Jerusalem, so God led Nehemiah to register the people who were there by genealogical records. Some, including Tobiah who had opposed the wall building, could not show their genealogy descending from Israel. The ones among the priests were not allowed to serve until a priest was there ministering with the Urim and Thummim (see more). As the people were registered and began settling in their own towns, some also made contributions to the work of rebuilding Jerusalem.

On the first day of the 7th month, the people assempled to hear Ezra the scribe read the Book of the Law of Moses. All who could understand were there. Ezra stood on a specially built high platform so all could see and hear him read. When Ezra opened the book, the people all stood. Ezra praised the LORD, and the people raised their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" then bowed down on their faces to worship the LORD. Several priests were there to explain the Law to the people. As the people heard the words, they began weeping. Eventually, Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites explained that the day was sacred, and for the LORD not for mourning. Go eat and enjoy and share food with others, they said. "Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." And the people understood, and went off to celebrate in great joy.

The next day, the heads of families questioned Ezra about living in booths during the feast of the 7th month. The people gathered branches to build the booths in Jerusalem, which they lived in during the festival. Ezra kept reading from the Book of the Law of God for 7 days, and on the 8th they had the prescribed assembly. Not since the days of Joshua son of Nun had the Israelites celebrated like this. Their joy overflowed.

Worshiping the LORD's Mercy and Justice - With Facts

June 24 reading
Nehemiah 9-10
Nehemiah Commentary
Dictionary and Books
* Cleaning House - The Way to Revival, Stauffer
* Chasidic songs and Worship music
WORSHIP: ".. Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise." (9:5)
Earlier in the month, the Israelites had heard the Law of Moses read aloud, and they lived in booths remembering the time their forefathers had lived in tents in the wilderness. The Law had shown them what the facts of their sin were. Now on the 24th day of the 7th month, they came back together together. After separating themselves from all foreigners, they fasted in mourning, stood before the LORD, and confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers. For six hours a day they stood, reading and hearing the Book of the Law of the LORD. Another quarter of a day they gave to confessing their sin and worshiping the LORD their God according to the Torah scriptures. The Levites stood on the stairs of the wall, calling to the LORD loudly. Other Levites called the people and led them in worship, describing the LORD, praising Him, going through the history the LORD had shared with Abram from Ur - and the LORD's covenant with Abraham - through the exodus from Egypt, to His giving them His law. They continued through the history of the people of Israel accepted good things from the LORD and turning arrogant and stiffnecked, rebelling away from the LORD and from their part of the covenant agreement. They remembered that clothes and shoes did not wear out in the desert. They remembered all the things the LORD did for them as they fought and defeated stronger nations and settled into land already planted, houses already built, wells already dug. They remembered breaking their part of the agreement over and over, and even killing His messengers the prophets until the LORD handed them over to disasters and to enemies. When they saw their sin and cried out to the LORD, He forgave them and brought them back to rest in great patience with continued warnings. Generations went by before the LORD stopped being patient, and turned Israel over to first the expanding Assyrian then the Babylonian empires. They came up to date with Persia defeating the Babylonians, and the Jews' current suffering under rules and regulations of the Persian empire as slaves.

So the people saw and understood that they were where they were because of the LORD's great mercy toward them, and their own great sin and wickedness at going back on their fathers' agreement with Him to be His chosen people. They made an agreement in writing to obey the LORD, signed and sealed by the Levite leaders, the priests, and all the people who were old enough to understand what had just been read and prayed. They agreed to follow the Law fo God, to carefully obey all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD their God. They promised not to arrange marriages with neighboring non-Jewish peoples. They agreed not to buy and sell on the Sabbath, and to cancel debts every 7th year. They agreed to make offerings for maintaining the temple and the priests. They would assume responsibility to bring in the firstfruits, first born, and other tithes as ordered in the Law. They would not neglect the house of their God.

Israel was seeing that "to whom much is given, much is expected." (Luke 12:48)

The Revival and Post-Revival Cleanup

June 25 reading
Nehemiah 11-13
Nehemiah Commentary
Dictionary and Books
Nehemiah, the man
Today's Bible
PRAYER: "Remember me for this, O my God, and do not blot out what I have so faithfully done for the house of my God and its services." (13:14)
The leaders of the people settled Jerusalem and got others to move into the holy city by casting lots. Some men volunteered to move into Jerusalem and were commended, while others stayed in their ancestral towns and property. The process was highly organized, and lists of names are recorded in Chapter 11 from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. Lists were kept of the priests according to their heredical and current job assignments - as priests, Levites, gatekeepers. They listed priests and Levites who returned to Jerusalem earlier with Zerubbabel and Jeshua. As the dedication of the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem approached, the Levite singers learned King David's plan for two group responsive speaking and singing in worship services.

The dedication of the wall was a joyful celebration with priests throughout Israel coming to Jerusalem to play musical instruments and sing in the service. The priests purified themselves ceremonially, then they purified the people, the gates, and the wall itself. As governor, Nehemiah organized the leaders of Judah and the two choirs of priests to go up onto the wall to sing. Afterwards they all went to their places in the house of God where other priests played the trumpets. They rejoiced and offered many sacrifices to the LORD for the great joy He had given them. The women and children also rejoiced. Nehemiah took that opportunity to see that duties from the Law and from King David's commands for music were assigned to specific priests and Levites. So while Nehemiah was in Jerusalem, as in the days of Zerubbabel, all Israel contributed the daily portions for singers, gatekeepers, and other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron. (12:47)

Nehemiah had been governor in Jerusalem for 12 years when he returned to King Artaxerxes who was in the 32nd year of his reign. The king died about 6 years later, so sometime before then Nehemiah got permission to return to Jerusalem one more time. Sadly, without Nehemiah's leadership the temple had not continued to be governed in obedience to the Law of Moses. For example, the Book of Moses stated that no Ammonite or Moabite was ever to be admitted into the assembly of God. But high priest Eliashib had let Tobiah the Ammonite official live in a large room in the house of God that was for storing offerings, temple articles and tithes. Portions for the Levites weren't being given to them, so rather than singing and doing other work in the house of God, they were away from Jerusalem working their own fields. Eliashib was relieved of his storeroom duties and replaced with others who were considered trustworthy. Nehemiah warned and rebuked men working or buying and selling food on the Sabbath rather than keeping the day holy. Nehemiah saw Israel men with their non-Jewish wives, and many mixed marriage children didn't speak the language of Judah. Nehemiah beat some of the men and pulled out their hair, emphasizing that this was King Solomon's great sin. High priest Eliashib's grandson had even married a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite. So once more, Nehemiah purified the priests and the Levites of everything foreign, assigned them duties, and asked God to remember him with favor.

June 26:             2 PETER - Daily Bible Readings and Commentaries

* Prophets and Exile Timeline
* Timeline of Kings During Exile * Study Guide
* Timeline of Persia
* Chronological Esther

Jews Serving the King of Persia

June 27 reading
Esther 1-4
Esther Commentary
Dictionary and Books
A Queen Under Control,
Ray Stedman
PROMISE: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" (4:13b-14)
Xerxes of Persia had been king 3 years when he celebrated his empire building success with an 180 day open house for everyone of importance in his kingdom. Afterwards, he invited any man living in the citadel of Susa, the capital city, to a week-long feast, with all the wine they could drink. Meanwhile his wife, Queen Vashti, gave a banquet for the women in the royal palace. At the end of the week, the king wanted to show off his beautiful wife to the men, and sent for her. Vashti refused to come, and when asked, one of the king's advisors said her behavior would make all the women of the kingdom dispise their husbands the way she had - with disrespect and discord. The king agreed to issue an irrepealable decree stating that Vishti was never to enter his presence again, and her position given to someone else. The law proclaimed that every man should be ruler over his own household.

Eventually commissioners went throughout the kingdom to find and bring beautiful girls into the king's harem in Susa. Mordecai, a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin from Jerusalem, lived in Susa. He was raising a young cousin, an orphan who was not only beautiful in form and features, but obedient, intelligent, and socially pleasing. Named Hadassah, she was called Esther. Mordecai took an opportunity to serve the king, and Esther went with a eunuch to enter the king's harem. She was served special food and given special treatments with oil of myrrh (for 6 months) and of perfumes and cosmetics (for 6 months). Anytime after 12 months, each girl had a turn to go to King Xerxes in the evening. Another eunuch in charge of the concubines would come for her the next morning. Esther's turn came 4 years after Vashti lost her thone. The king eventually chose Esther to be his queen, and gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials to see her. Esther continued obeying Mordecai not to reveal her nationality.

When Mordecai overheard a plot to kill the king from his seat at the king's gate and told Esther, she reported it to the king, giving Mordecai credit. But later it was observed at the kings gate that Mordecai wouldn't bow to Haman, King Xerxes' top noble. Insulted, when Haman heard that Mordecai was a Jew, he presented a plan to the king to kill ALL the Jews in the kingdom. The king approved, and Mordecai and the Jews went into loud mourning in sackcloth. Esther heard of Mordecai's distress and sent a eunuch to find out what was wrong. Mordecai sent the man back with a copy of the edict to explain it to Esther and tell her to go to the king to beg for mercy. She sent Hathach back to explain how dangerous it was to approach the king without being summoned. Even the queen would be put to death unless the king wanted to see her. If you are silent, Mordecai told her, deliverance will arise from somewhere else, but you and your father's family will die. Could this be why you came to a royal position at this time? Esther agreed to try, if all the Jews in Susa would fast 3 days and nights for her first. She and her maids would also fast. "When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And," she said, "if I perish, I perish."

A New Celebration: Purim

June 28 reading
Esther 5-10
Esther Commentary
Dictionary and Books
Purim, wikipedia | Modern day lessons of Esther
Purim and Sage Comments
FACT: "In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them." (8:17)
In Chapter 5 Esther requests a banquet which the King agrees to hold. Esther prepares the banquet asking that both Haman and the King attend. The King, wanting to grant her petition, asks her to state it. Instead, she asks them to attend another banquet the following day. Haman, leaving the banquet, meets Mordecai who does not bow or scape before him. Angered, Haman plans Mordecai's destruction.

Being unable to sleep, the King decides to honor Mordecai, and orders Haman to do it -- Haman enraged, is forced to attend the next day's banquet.

Esther asked for her petition, saying "...grant me my life - this is my petition. And spare my people. For I and my people have been sold for destruction and slaughter and annihilation." (7:3-4) When the King discovers that Haman is the guilty party he orders Haman hung on the gallows that Haman intended to use to kill Mordecai.

King Xerxes then overrules the previous edict (intended to destroy the Jews) and issues a new edict intended to protect them. The Bible says "for the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor." (8:16)

Mordecai established the Feast of Purim (9:20-28) a two day festival celebrating God's deliverance of his people from Haman's sinister plot of Jewish genocide.

"Though God's name appears nowhere in Esther, his providence is everywhere evident. No other Bible book illustrates as powerfully God's providence in preserving the Jewish people in spite of the demonic hatred of their enemies." - Donald Stamps.

Tomorrow's reading: 1 JOHN

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* Daily reading calendar * Today's Bible blog
* Ezra - Nehemiah - Esther Study Guides
* Prophets of Israel and Judah * Bible Dictionary * OT Study Guides
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