Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Esther: For Such a Time as This

Literature Study Questions

Esther 1

  1. In at least three full sentences, summarize what happened in this passage and your reaction to it.

Esther 2

  1. What are the positive character qualities in Mordecai's life?
  2. Why didn’t Mordecai want Esther to tell anyone that she was a Jew?

Esther 3

  1. What negative character qualities do you see in Haman's life?
  2. What do the words homage, edict, and annihilate mean?
Esther 4

  1. What is Esther’s first reaction when she found out what the problem was with Mordecai?
  2. Mordecai responded with this question: “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” What could this mean to you in the way you live your life?
  3. What did Esther ultimately decide to do? What preparations did she ask Mordecai to make before this?

Esther 5

  1. Why did Esther ask the king and Haman to come to a banquet instead of coming right out and telling the king her problem?
  2. What is Haman’s reaction to the banquet? What is still upsetting him?

Esther 6

  1. Look up these verses and tell how they apply to this story: Proverbs 16:5 & 18, Proverbs 26:27
  2. Haman being forced to honor Mordecai with the very privileges he had intended for himself is a classic example of IRONY. The plot is definitely turning in this story! What is your reaction to this part of the story?

Esther 7

  1. What does the king promise to Esther in verse 2?
  2. What does the king think that Haman is doing when he comes back into the room?
  3. Why did they cover Haman’s face?
  4. Verses 9-10 bring a second irony in this story. The first one (in chapter 6) was that Mordecai received the reward the Haman had planned for himself. Tell what the second one is here.
  5. In verse 10, we find that “the wrath of the king abated.” What does the word abated mean?
  6. If a cubit is about 18 inches high, how many feet high is a 50 cubit gallows?

Esther 8

  1. How does Esther continue to show honor to the king in his passage?
  2. What is the plan for the protection of the Jews?
  3. Draw a picture of Mordecai as he is described in verse 15.

Esther 9 & 10

  1. The next Purim will be celebrated on February 27, 2010. What is Purim, and how is it celebrated now? You can look here for your answers: www.biblicalholidays.com/jewish_customs.htm. Click some of the links at the bottom of that page, too.
  2. With information from the web site in question 1, list at least two other Jewish holidays that are still celebrated, and tell what they are about.
  3. Write a full paragraph about your overall impression of the story of Esther and how it applies to your life.

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