Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Esther: Detailed Outline

5. The parts of the book are two: I. The rise of Esther from the condition of a ward to Royal marriage with Ahasuerus (Esther 1; 2). II. The deadly counsel of Haman unto the destruction of the Jews undertaken, and by the grace of God evaded by the vigilance of Mordecai and the prudence of Esther, recoiling upon the head of the conspirator (Esther 3-10). A Synoptic Table, and the Interpreters of the book, Ancient, Reformed, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, and Hebrew.


This history principally describes two things: First, the elevation of Esther to Royal wedlock (Esther 1; 2): Second, Haman’s deadly conspiracy against the Jews, undertaken, and evaded by the vigilance of Mordecai and the prudence of Esther, through the singular grace of God, and recoiling unto the destruction of Haman himself (Esther 3-10). Which we hence briefly cover in a bipartite division.


I. The elevation of Esther from her orphan state to Royal marriage with Ahasuerus, Chapters 1; 2. See:

1. The occasion of this elevation, namely, the pride of Vashti, who, with Ahasuerus furnishing a public feast for his own, having been summoned before the end of it for the sake of demonstrating her beauty, having been commanded to furnish this shameful spectacle to the eyes of men, refuses (verses 1-12). The soul of the King, disturbed by this affront, cast her out, both with respect to marriage and the Palace (verses 13-22): chapter 1.

2. The elevation of Esther, who, when a young woman is sought for marriage to the King in place of Vashti (verses 1-16), is found to excel all the others in beauty, is married to the King, and in short captures his whole heart (verses 17-20). Mordecai also reveals a plot against the King, undertaken by two eunuchs (verses 21-23): chapter 2.


II. Haman’s deadly conspiracy against the Jews, undertaken, evaded by the vigilance of Mordecai and the prudence of Esther, by the grace of God, and recoiling upon the head of the conspirator, Chapters 3-10. See:

1. Haman’s contrivance, having been provoked, because Mordecai, one out of all, disdained to adore him (verses 1-4): for which reason, he, obtaining a commandment from the King, circumvented by fraud, concerning the slaughtering of the Jews by all in the Kingdom, promulgates that through the whole Kingdom, from India to Ethiopia (verses 5-15): chapter 3.

2. The mourning of Mordecai, who, with his garments rent, is covered in sackcloth, and sprinkled with ashes: chapter 4:1-4.

3. Haman’s counsel evaded, and the liberation of the people. See:

a. The means of liberation:

α. The vigilance of Modecai, who reveals the counsels of Haman to Esther through intermediaries, and with gravity advises her of his counsel: chapter 4:5-17.

β. The prudence of Esther in evading the plot of Haman. See:

א. The banquet prepared by her for King Ahasuerus and Haman (verses 1-4), at which the hatred of Haman against Mordecai, refusing to rise before him, further breaks forth (verses 5-14): chapter 5.

ב. The gratitude of Ahasuerus toward Mordecai, on account of his recollection of his uncovering of a treasonous plot (verses 1-6): with Haman compelled to transport him through the streets, which his domestics interpret as an evil omen (verses 7-14): chapter 6.

ג. The second banquet prepared by Esther from the King and Haman, during which Esther begs relief from the coming destruction of her people: chapter 7:1-6.

b. The denouement of the hostile contrivance, with respect to:

α. Haman, whom the King, seeing him embrace the knees of Esther, ablaze with anger, and crying out that the queen has been assailed, commands to be hanged from the gibbet prepared for Mordecai: chapter 7:7-10.

β. Mordecai, whom the King honors with dignities, and grants to him and Esther, that by their words they might secure the Jews, and see that they are armed against the day of slaughter appointed by Haman (verses 1-14), whence there was great joy among the Jews, and the study of defense rising (verses 15-17): chapter 8.

γ. The enemies of the Jews, who are slaughtered by the Jews in great numbers, rising against the Jews on the same day on account of the decree of Haman: chapter 9:1-17.

c. The gratitude of Mordecai, instituting on account of the preservation of the people the feast of Purim, or of lots, on the fourteenth day of the month Adar, which is confirmed by the Queen: chapter 9:18-32.

d. The enlargement of the dignity of Mordecai, to whom the King commits authority and the administration of the tribute imposed by himself (verse 1), in which he gratifies and looks after his own (verses 2, 3): chapter 10.

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