Outline Analysis of the Books of the Bible

By Barnard C. Taylor



1. AUTHOR. — Not known; probably some one residing in Persia.

2. DATE. — Not known; perhaps soon after the events recorded, about 475 B. C.

3. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time that the Jews had defended themselves against the decree that they should be destroyed at the instigation of Haman.

4. LEADING TOPICS. — The elevation of Esther to be queen of Persia; her intercession for her people, whom Haman had sought to destroy; and the establishing of the Feast of Purim (or Lots), to commemorate the Jews ' victory over their persecutors.

5. CHIEF PURPOSE. — To show how God's providence prevented the destruction of his people, which Haman, in his rage, had sought.


(a) Esther succeeds Vashti as queen, Ch. 1, 2.

(b) Haman's purpose to destroy the Jews, Ch. 3.

(c) Esther intercedes for them, Ch. 4-7.

(d) The Jews permitted to destroy their enemies, Ch. 8–10.

7. POINTS OF ESPECIAL INTEREST. — The feasts of the king; the honor conferred upon Esther; Haman’s plot; his death; the letter sent throughout the kingdom; the Feast of Purim.

8. RELATION TO OTHER O. T. BOOKS. — The book is not closely related to the other writings of the Old Testament in either purpose or contents. It treats of the Jews outside of their chosen land, and does not directly show any stage of development of the Theocracy. It does, however, illustrate God's promise to make his people triumph over their enemies, even though it does not mention his name. Its teaching is similar to that of some of the Psalms.

9. MESSIANIC IDEAS. — Nothing directly Messianic.

10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The identity of Ahasuerus with Xerxes the Great; the proportion of Jews who did not return to Palestine; the character and extent of the reign of Xerxes.