Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

Timeline of the Bible

God creates the world. --- God destroys the world with the flood, but saves  Noah and his family.--- God chooses Abraham and his descendants to His people.
---Abraham's grandson, Jacob, has 12 sons who lead the 12 tribes of Israel.--- The Israelites become slaves in Egypt.--- God helps the Israelites escape and leads them to Canaan.
---The Israelites fight in wars and take control of Canaan.---Judges lead the Israelites, but the Israelites want to have kings instead of judges. --- David is Israel's greatest king.--- Israel divides into 2 parts: Israel and Judah.--- The people of Israel and Judah continue to sin and worship false gods.--- God allows the Assyrians and the Babylonians to take the Israelites out of Israel and Judah.--- The Israelites (Jews) live in Babylonia and then Persia.
--- This book of the Bible happens during this time ---When Persia defeats the Babylonians, the Jews go back to Judah.--- The Jews build God's Temple in Jerusalem again.--- Greece defeats Persia, and the Greeks control Judah (also now called Israel).--- The Jews become independent for 100 years.-- The Romans take control of Israel.--- Jesus is born. At age 30, Jesus begins his ministry. ---Jesus is crucified and then is resurrected. --- A Roman named Saul is converted to Christianity and becomes Paul.--- Christianity spreads. --- Paul write letters to Christians in other places. In the year, 70 A.D., God's Temple in Jerusalem is destroyed again.


The Book of  Esther

This book tells the story of a Jewish girl named Hadassah and the King of Persia. When the king looks for a new queen, Hadassah becomes Esther, the Queen of Persia.  After Esther becomes the queen, one of the king's helpers, Haman, has a plan to kill all of the Jews in Persia.  Esther is very brave and finds a way to save the her people, the Jews. 


Esther 8 - 10
The order to kill the Jews is reversed.
The Jews kill their enemies and then celebrate.
The Jews will celebrate Purim every year.



Map from

The Persian Empire covered many areas. It included the modern-day countries of Israel, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Turkey.

The Persian kings named in the Bible were Cyrus, Ahasruerus, Artaxerxes, and Darius.

Esther 8

The order to kill the Jews is reversed.

The Jews' enemy, Haman, was hanged. The same day, the king gave everything Haman owned to Esther.  Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. Mordecai came to see the king.
[1] On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.

The king had given his ring to Haman  in the past. Then he took it back. Now, he is giving his ring to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of the things that Haman owned.
[2] And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Esther talked to the king again. She got down on the ground by his feet and begged. She cried and asked him to take away Haman's evil plan to kill all of the Jews in Persia.
[3] And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

The king held out his golden sceptre to Esther. Esther stood up and stood in front of the king.  She asked him to please reverse the order to kill all Jews in Persia.
[4] Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
[5] And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:

Esther said she couldn't stand to see her people and her family killed.
[6] For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

Then King Ahasuerus talked to Esther and Mordecai. He said he has given Haman's belongings to Esther. Haman has been hanged because he tried to kill the Jews.
[7] Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.


This is sealing wax. It is like the wax that Mordecai used to seal the king's letter with the new law. He used the king's ring to mark the wax. Then everyone knew the letter was official from the king.

Graphics from

He told them to write a new law about the Jews. They should write it with the king's name and seal it with the king's ring.  Then, no one can reverse the law.
[8] Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

On the 23rd day of the 3rd month (the month named Sivan), the scribes (secretaries) came to Mordecai. Mordecai told the scribes the new law that the Jews should not be killed. The scribes wrote the new law. The law will go to the leaders in all of the areas of Persia. There are 127 provinces in Persia. There are many different languages in all of the provinces, so the scribes wrote the law in the many languages.
[9] Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.

After they wrote the law in the king's name, Mordecai sealed it with the king's ring. Messengers took the letters to all of the provinces. The messengers rode on horses, mules, camels, and dromedaries (similar to camels).
[10] And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

This was the law that Mordecai wrote. The law said that on the 13th day of the 12th month (the month named Adar), the Jews should meet together. They should defend themselves if anyone tries to hurt them. If anyone tries to hurt them, the Jews can kill them and take everything they own.
[11] Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
[12] Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

The law was sent to every area (province) to all of the people. The Jews should be ready on that day. They should be ready to defend themselves if anyone tries to hurt them.
[13] The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

The messengers hurried and traveled to all areas of Persia. They took the new law to all areas. The law was also given at the palace in Shushan.
[14] So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.

Mordecai left the king and went out of the king's palace. He was wearing royal clothes that were blue, white, and purple. He wore a gold crown. The people in Shushan were very happy.
[15] And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

The Jews were very happy and joyful. They had honor.
[16] The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

The Jews in all areas were happy when they heard about the new law. They had a big feast. Many of the people in Persia became Jews that day. They now were afraid of the Jews.
[17] And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Esther 9

The Jews kill their enemies and then celebrate.

On the 13th day of the 12th month (the month named Adar), the Jews met together. It was the day that the king's new law took effect. The Jews now ruled over the people who hated them and wanted to hurt them. The Jews were now powerful because the other people were afraid of them.
[1] Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)
[2] The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.

All of the Persian leaders and army officers helped the Jews. They were afraid of Mordecai.
[3] And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.

Mordecai was now very powerful. He was famous in all areas of Persia. Everyone knew he was an important man in the king's palace.
[4] For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.

The Jews killed all of their enemies the same as their enemies wanted to kill them.
[5] Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.

In the city of Shushan, the Jews killed 500 men.
[6] And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

They killed Haman's 10 sons. Their names were Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha. They killed all of the sons but they did not take any of their belongings.
[7] And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
[8] And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
[9] And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
[10] The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.

That day, the king got the report about the people who were killed in Shushan.  The king told Esther that the Jews had killed 500 men in the palace at Shushan. Haman's 10 sons were killed. Out in the other areas of Persia, the Jews had also killed their enemies. The king asked Esther what she wants to do now.

[11] On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
[12] And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.

Esther said she wanted the Jews to continue to kill their enemies for another day. She also wanted the king to hang Haman's sons on the gallows.
[13] Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.

The king gave the order in Shushan. Then they hanged Haman's 10 sons.
[14] And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

On the 14th day of Adar, the Jews in Shushan met together. They killed 300 men in Shushan. But they do not take any of their belongings.
[15] For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.

The other Jews that lived in other areas of Persia also met together. They defended themselves and killed 75,000 of their enemies. But they did not take any of their belongings.
[16] But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,

The Jews in the other areas of Persia defended themselves on the 13th day of Adar. On the 14th day, they had a big feast and celebration.
[17] On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

The Jews in Shushan defended themselves on the 13th and 14th days of Adar. On the 15th day, they rested and had a feast and celebration.
[18] But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof; and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

The Jews that lived in the smaller towns made the 14th day of Adar a day for celebration and feasts. They sent food and gifts to each other.
[19] Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.

Mordecai wrote letters to all of the Jews in Persia. He said that from now on, they will celebrate this special time every year. They should celebrate on the 14th and 15th days of Adar. They will celebrate and remember that these are the days when a sad time turned into a happy time.  They should feast and be joyful. They should send food and gifts to each other and send gifts to poor people.
[20] And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
[21] To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
[22] As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

How Purim is celebrated now.

Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of Adar--usually in March.

First, there is a fast (no eating or drinking). Next, someone reads the Book of Esther aloud. When the reader says the name of Haman, everyone makes loud noises. They boo, hiss, stamp their feet, and use noisemakers. They do this to block out the name of Haman. 

Then they eat, drink, and have parties. They give gifts of food and drinks. They give gifts to people who need help.

A common food at Purim is  "hamentaschen". This means "Haman's pockets". They are triangle-shaped cookies. 

There are also carnivals, plays, and beauty contests during Purim.

Gift baskets given at Purim.

Photo from Wikipedia

The Jews did what Mordecai told them to do. They celebrated because Haman's evil plan did not work. Haman (his father was named Hammedatha and he was an Agagite) wanted to kill all of the Jews. He used Pur (cast lots, like a lottery) to pick the day to kill them all.
[23] And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
[24] Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

But Esther told the king about Haman's plan, and the king killed Haman and his sons instead.
[25] But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

They named the special celebration days Purim. The name Purim comes from the Pur that Haman used. He used the Pur to pick the day to kill all of the Jews.  Every year, the Jews will remember everything that Haman tried to do. Their descendants and other people who live with them will always remember this, too. They will celebrate Purim in every place where the Jews live.
[26] Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
[27] The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
[28] And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.

Esther wanted to make sure that everyone knew that Mordecai worked for the king. She wanted them all to obey the law he sent in the letter. So she wrote a second letter and sent it to all of the Jews in the 127 provinces of Persia. She wrote words of peace and truth. She confirmed that the Jews should celebrate and fast for Purim every year. They should celebrate Purim from that time on. The law about Purim was written in the book of laws in Persia.

[29] Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
[30] And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
[31] To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
[32] And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

Esther 10

King Ahasuerus made a new tax on the areas of Persia and its islands.
[1] And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.

The book about the kings of Media and Persia tells about all of the things Ahasuerus did when he was king. It also tells about Mordecai and how he was powerful. He was second in power to the king. The Jews honored and respected Mordecai because he always tried to help them. He wanted peace for all of the Jews.

[2] And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
[3] For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.


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