This is not meant to be a scholarly tome.  It is not written by a scholar and it is not written for scholars.  There are virtually no footnotes.  It was written for everybody from the young Bible student studying Esther for the first time to the busy pastor looking for a few insights as he is preparing a sermon on Esther.  This is not a critical commentary presuming a knowledge of the Hebrew and even perhaps of some of the other cognate languages.  It presumes that the text is a faithful translation and only resorts to the Hebrew when a specific point is being made that is not clear in the translation.  If an alternate translation is better it may be quoted by way of elucidation, but it is the Authorized Version of 1611 is being commented on.  I have used only a few basic sources* and sought to spare the reader the details of scholarly debate that may rage over certain parts of the text.  My aim was to provide simple and logical commentary on the text that would clarify it and promote understanding.

I have not attempted to provide equal commentary on all the texts.  Some are so self explanatory that the reader requires no assistance in its comprehension.  Others require considerable comment to bring out the full significance of the text.  Other texts may be simple enough to understand but it may require an entire additional chapter to explore the ethical and logical implications of what the writer is saying.  I have sought to provide assistance where I thought it would be useful but not to insult the reader’s intelligence where it is obviously not required.

Esther is a marvelous book.  It shows that the world is not governed by chance or accident; that we are not the captives of fate and a brute reality.  It shows that there is a God, a God who governs history, working all things according to the counsel of his will.  And because he is God; and because he is sovereign and almighty, miracles still happen.  And because he is God this marvelous, miraculous tale of Esther is true. And as you study this story of God’s providence I pray that the truth of this book will truly speak to you and that you will accept it for what it is, a testimony to God’s covenant faithfulness.

Louis F. DeBoer

Saunderstown,  Rhode Island

September 2007

*  The main sources I have used are:

Dr. William Smith, Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1-4, Houghton, Mifflin and Co., Boston,  1883

  1. F. Keil, Commentary on the Book of Esther, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand                  Rapids, Michigan, 1976

Jay Green, The Interlinear Hebrew/Greek English Bible, Volume 2, APA, 1976

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