The Book of Esther teaches us the providence of God. The account of Esther takes place between chapter 6 and & of Ezra. while some Jews have returned to Jerusalem with the blessings of King Cyrus some years before,most have chosen to remain in voluntary exile. This undoubtedly grieved the Lord but not beyond His care.
Chapter 1-5 The anti-Semitic crisis. king Ahasuerus or Xerxes who was king over Persian empire,reigned over provinces from India to Ethiopia,total of 127 under his rule. Vasti was the queen and was ordered her to make an appearance to show off her beauty to a host of drinking men and when she refused and in their drunken stupor they made a decree to honor their husbands and set her aside and was looking for another queen. while Ruth was a Gentile girl married a Jew, Esther was a Jewess married a Gentile. Ruth became the ancestress of the Deliverer, Esther saved the people of Israel so that deliverer may come as promised. Esther the cousin of Mordecai was an orphan and was adopted by Mordecai. When King Xerxes had a beauty contest to look for his queen, Esther was chosen and was made queen after two years. Mordecai instructed her not to reveal that she was a jew. Mordecai was in the royal service of the palace and king knew him as Mordecai the Jew. Haman the agagite was also working for the King a man of pride. He hated the Jews because Mordecai would not bow before him. Thus the antisemitism started. He appealed to the king to kill all the Jews. King Ahasuerus gave permission and sent letter to all provinces. Mordecai asks Queen Esther for her help. Gods people were about to be destroyed but God used Esther to at the right time. the slaughter would have been similar to Holocaust.
Chapter 6-10. Providential over ruling of the crisis. Mordecai was Exalted because he saved the king from Hammans plot to kill him. Esther gets her wish granted. Haman prepared a gallows for Mordecai. When king heard about it and since Mordecai saved him once before , the gallows were instead used for Haman. The Jews are avenged. The feast of Purim is instituted, as Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews., for although they forgotten God ,God shows mercy and saves them. Mordecai was honored and becomes the Prime minister.
In this book Haman prefigures as the man of sin,in his name,power,pride,hate and in his doom. Esther prefigures as the church- in her beauty,her exaltation and intercession. Mordecai as the Jewish remnant through the tribulation. The providence of God is providing,directing,leading people who sometimes dont want to be led. Esther didn’t know it yet but the Lord had reserved a role for her in that mighty rescue.
The old Testament history closes after the account of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther.