Authorship and Origin:

The author of the book of Esther is unknown, but it may have been her cousin Mordecai (see below), as it contains many technical Persian governmental terms. Persian records do not contain references to Esther or Mordecai, but the detailed descriptions of practices and customs in the book are archeologically and historically accurate. The action in the book would have taken place aroung 483-471 B.C..

Overview and Significant sections

The book of Esther has been called the book of 'Providential Care', and is named after it's principle character. The story told takes place during the era of the Persian Empire when most Jews are scattered outside the promised land. Most live in various urban population centers like Babylon. Esther is an orphaned Jewish girl who lives with her uncle Mordecai, who is a local official in the Persian court of Xerxes. Eventually Esther becomes a queen and helps save the Jewish people from being wiped out.

Significant sections:

For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available starting here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book. introduction of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.