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Esther 10

 

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Mordecai's Advancement Conclusion The Greatness of Xerxes and Mordecai Praise of Mordecai
10:1-3 10:1-3 10:1-3 10:1-2
      10:3

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired but it is the key to following the original author's intent which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: 10:1-3
 1Now King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land and on the coastlands of the sea. 2And all the accomplishments of his authority and strength, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia? 3For Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews and in favor with his many kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation.

10:1 "laid a tribute on the land and on the coastlands of the sea" Xerxes I lost the Aegean islands in his Greek campaign, but apparently retained some islands off of the coast of Europe and some off of the coast of Egypt and Palestine. However, this verse is meant to show the greatness of Ahasuerus in his taxing program (only here, later meaning of "tribute" [BDB 586 I], which originally meant "forced labor," e.g., Gen. 49:15; Josh. 16:10; 17:13; I Kgs. 4:6; 5:13-14; 12:18; II Chr. 10:18, cf. TEV, NET), which was desperately needed after the Persian wars. It is a closing comment on Mordecai as a good administrator (cf. v. 2). Mordecai helped his people, but also was a faithful servant of Xerxes (cf. v. 3) and helped the whole nation (like Daniel and his three friends).

In II Maccabees the feast of Purim is known as the feast of Mordecai (cf. II Macc. 15:36), which shows the historicity of the book of Esther and the greatness of Mordecai in Jewish tradition.

Mordecai was not second in command for an extended period of time (possibly only 8 years), if secular history is to be trusted.

10:2 "the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia" This does not refer to the biblical books of I & II Chronicles, but could refer to

1. the official court documents which were kept and archived ("Media and Persia" gives credence to this view)

2. a personal diary of Xerxes (cf. 2:23; 6:1)

3. a Jewish account of Jewish life in Persia (easier access to a Jewish leader)

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought provoking, not definitive.

1. What is the purpose of the king's signet ring?

2. Does 8:17 describe a large scale conversion to Judaism?

3. Why did the Jews not seize the plunder of those who hated them (cf. 9:10)?

4. How many people did the Jews kill? What was the Jewish loss?

5. What is the purpose of the chapters 9 and 10?