In Defense of EstherBy Pastor Boffey on Thursday, February 16, 2023.
In Defense of Esther A. Esther, and the Book of Esther, have been the objects of strong disagreement over the centuries. 1. Martin Luther objected to the Book of Esther, doubting its canonicity. He also had issues with Jonah, James, Revelation and was critical of Chronicles, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Hebrews and Jude. 2. Some modern professing Christian critics malign the Book and Esther. She has even been rashly called a murderous monster because of her influence in the destruction of the Jews’ enemies to plunder them. EST 8:11. a. Mind that the animosity of the Book’s antagonist, Haman, towards the Jews was such that it was another attempt to wipe out the Messianic seed line and God was previously very pro-active in frustrating such efforts. c/w EXO 1:16; 11:4-5; 2KI 11:1-2. b. Alternately, Esther may be viewed as a heroine who put her own life at risk for the salvation of her people. EST 4:15-17. 3. The Hebrew canon has consistently included the Book of Esther and assigned to it special honor as “the volume of Esther.” B. The Book of Esther treats of events in the era of the Medo-Persian empire which had previously given the Jews liberty to return to their land from Babylon and rebuild. 2CH 36:22-23. 1. There is some question as to the identity of the king Ahaseurus in this book. John Gill says almost all the kings of Persia are so named by one or another writer. 2. The king in Esther has been thought to be Darius Hystaspis, Xerxes, or Artaxerxes. Dr. Floyd Nolan Jones argues strongly for Darius Hystaspis in his book, The Chronology of the Old Testament (pp. 199-205). 3. There is more certainty of the identity of Mordecai and Esther than of the king. C. An argument against the Book of Esther is that neither the name God or Lord appears in it and this disqualifies it as Scripture. 1. Neither does God or Lord appear in Song of Solomon. Should we discard that also? 2. The name God or Lord does not appear in written form in creation either but the creation, like the Book of Esther, does declare His glory, power, providence. PSA 19:1. 3. It is interesting that both Esther and Song of Solomon are strong accounts of a great king’s love for his wife, a major theme of salvation in Christ. EPH 5:25. D. It has been conjectured that the Book of Esther is fiction, not historical. 1. Mind that historical information in EST 2:5-6 is confirmed in MAT 1:11-12. 2. This connection is also a tangent nod to the authenticity of the Book of Esther from the standpoint of its detail being confirmed under apostolic inspiration. 3. Archaeological excavations at Shushan (EST 1:2) have confirmed the name of an official there named Marduka (Mordecai) in that era. E. Another argument levelled against the validity of the Book and its principals is that the names of Esther and Mordecai are of pagan derivation. 1. The name of Mordecai also appears among the names of the Jews who returned from Babylon in EZR 2:2; NEH 7:7. Should we invalidate those books also? 2. The Holy Spirit used the new pagan names of Daniel’s brethren in DAN 3:16, 19, 30. F. Texe Marrs has even said that Mordecai pimped his adopted daughter, Esther, to the Persian king. EST 2:7-8. 1. “...the Jewish Queen Esther and her wicked, power grabbing cousin, Mordecai, persuaded the King of Persia to massacre 75,000 ‘enemies’ of the Jews. Esther, a whorish consort who influenced the monarch by her feminine wiles...” (Texe Marrs, Conspiracy of the Six-Pointed Star, p. 286) In Defense of Esther 2-16-23 Page 1 of 2 2. But this was not a beauty pageant by choice of the participants but by the order of the king (EST 2:3-4). What choice did Mordecai or Esther have in this matter? 3. Mordecai was a man of court (EST 2:5, 19, 21) and the likelihood of his adopted daughter’s existence and beauty being unknown in the palace was slim. And nothing indicates she was a Yentl who disguised her femininity. 4. Mordecai wisely used his influence with Esther after she was there. EST 2:20; 4:13-14. G. It has been argued that the Book of Esther was little more than a fiction to justify Jews killing their enemies, including women and children, just so they could plunder them. 1. Mind that their efforts were not military expansionism but self-defense! EST 3:13. 2. The law of the Medes and Persians could not be altered (EST 1:19; DAN 6:8) so some other remedy had to be concocted. 3. The remedial decree was not for universal genocide against the heathen but only against such as would assault them to destroy them. EST 8:11-13; 9:1-2, 5. 4. It was not a matter of Jews destroying those whom they hated but rather being authorized to resist those who hated them. 5. Mordecai and Esther had historical precedent for the destruction of wicked heathen. DEU 7:1-2; 1SAM 15:3. 6. Also, the Jews deliberately did NOT plunder their enemies. EST 9:10, 15-16. H. It has been insinuated that Mordecai was an apostate Jew who should have returned to Israel for the rebuilding project but instead chose a cushy government job among the heathen. 1. Mind that a Mordecai is listed as one who did return, as well as Nehemiah. EZR 2:1-2; NEH 7:6-7. 2. That they were both seen back at their government jobs is not a proof that they had no concern for the rebuilding project in Israel. 3. Further, the decree of Cyrus was that some might remain in Babylon but provide needed material support besides freewill offerings unto God. EZR 1:3-6. 4. “Those who do not further a good work by their persons should further it by their purses.” (Matthew Henry) I. Another argument is that the Jews’ ordaining the Feast of Purim to commemorate this national action and salvation is proof of their carnal, materialistic ways. EST 9:27-28. 1. This was not the first time that such a national deliverance was commemorated with a celebration. 2CH 20:26-29. 2. There is no mention in Scripture of the Jews making the Feast of Purim to be celebrated with temple rites like the feasts of LEV 23. 3. The Feast of Purim was a kind of July 4th celebration for them. J. Recognizing the scriptural and historical realities of apostate Jews is one thing but fabricating slanderous accusations and opposing the word of God is evil also. 1. We should remember that there is among them a remnant according to the election of grace. ROM 11:5. 2. We are warned against boasting against the Jews. ROM 11:16-24. 3. Salvation is of the Jews (JOH 4:22) by a Jewish Savior. 4. Our Scripture and church are from the Jews. ROM 15:26-27. K. The marriage of believing Esther to pagan Ahasuerus was honorable, permissible, and honored by God to the saving of His people. c/w ACT 16:1-3 c/w 2TI 1:5. In Defense of Esther 2-16-23 Page 2 of 2
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