Class Notes on Sacred History
Volume II: First Samuel through Nehemiah.
J. W. McGarvey (1893)
Table of Contents
§ I. ESTHER BECOMES QUEEN OF PERSIA. i. 1-ii. 23.
1. The King Holds a Council and Gives a Feast. i. 1-9.
- Who was Ahasuerus? Cf. Rawlinson.
- What the purpose of this assembly? 4, 5.
- Why did it continue so long?
- Why was the feast held in the court of the garden? 5.
- How was this turned into a dining hall? 5-9.
- Why the rule about drinking?
2. The Queen Degraded. 10-22.
- Why her refusal? 12.
- Meaning of, "saw the king's face"? 14.
- Were the princes sincere? 17, 18.
3. A Device for Procuring Another Queen. ii. 1-4.
- Force of "remembered"? 1.
- Why this device? 4, cf. i. 11.
4. Mordecai and Esther. 5-11.
- What was Mordecai's motive?
- Why the eunuch's partiality? 9.
- How could Mordecai hear about Esther? 11.
5. Esther Is Chosen. 12-20.
- Why the purification? and why so long? 12.
- Difference between the two houses? 13, 14.
- Time since the degradation of Vashti? 16, cf. i. 3.
- What great historical event in the interval? See Rawlinson.
- Meaning of, "made a release"? 18.
- Why her nation not made known? 20.
- Why continue to obey Mordecai? 20. 
6. Mordecai Saves the King's Life. 21-23.
- Meaning of, "sat in the king's gate"? 21.
- How did he communicate with Esther? 22.
- Why did he not report directly to the king?
§ II. HAMAN MAKES A PLOT TO EXTERMINATE THE JEWS.
iii. 1-v. 14.
1. His Promotion and His Purpose Formed. iii. 1-6.
- Meaning of Agagite? 1.
- Why Mordecai's contempt and disobedience? 2.
- Why wish to kill as for the offense of one? 6.
2. A Day Selected, and the Decree Issued. 7-15.
- On what did they cast lots? and why? 7, cf. 13.
- Did Haman tell the truth about the laws of the Jews? 8.
- Whence the silver to come? 9, cf. 11.
- Why give the ring? 10, cf. Gen. xli. 42.
- What kind of "posts"? 13.
- Why was the city Shushan "perplexed"? 15.
3. Mordecai Mourns, and Informs Esther. iv. 1-9.
- Why this public outcry? 1.
- Why was the decree not already known to Esther? 5, 7.
- Why send her a copy of the decree? 8.
4. Esther Is Persuaded to Petition the King. 10-17.
- What the purpose of this law? 11.
- Why could not she escape? 13.
- Why think that relief would come? 14.
- Did he now think her promotion providential? 14.
- Why the fasting? 16, cf. Neh. i. 4.
- What was her motive in taking the risk?
5. Esther Is Accepted and Invites the King and Haman to a
Banquet. v. 1-8. 
- Why not state her request at once?
- Why invite Haman?
6. A Plot against Mordecai. 9-14.
- Why so elated by Esther's invitation? 12.
- Why make the gallows so high? 14.
- Were Ezra and Nehemiah then living? 7, cf. Ezra, Part II § I. 1; Neh. ii. 1.
§ III. THE DOWNFALL OF HAMAN AND THE DELIVERANCE
OF THE JEWS. vi. 1-x. 3.
1. Mordecai Is Honored, and Haman Is Distressed. vi. 1-14.
- Why could not the king sleep? 1.
- Why resort to reading?
- Why a crown on the horse? 8.
- Why the remark of Zeresh? 13.
2. Haman Exposed and Hanged. vii. 1-10.
- Why did the king take a walk? 7.
- Why cover his face? and why so quick? 8.
- What prompted Harbonah's remark? 9.
- Why so prompt an execution? 10.
3. Mordecai in Haman's Place, and Another Petition Granted.
- Why was Mordecai promoted? 1, 2.
4. A New Decree Is Issued. 9-17.
- Why were the king's scribes called? 9.
- How much time was left? 9, cf. iii. 12, 13.
- Why not reverse the first decree? Cf. 8.
- Whom were the Jews authorized to slay? 11.
- Why Shushan so well pleased? 15.
- How could many become Jews? 17.
5. The Jews Destroy Their Enemies. ix. 1-19.
- Why ask for another day in Shushan? 13.
- What hanging  of Haman's sons? and why? 14.
- Effect on the subsequent condition of the Jews?
6. The Feast of Purim Instituted. 20-32.
- Why mention two days? 21, cf. 17, 18.
- Why the feast called Purim? 26.
- Perpetuity of its observance?
7. The Power of Ahasuerus and the Glory of Mordecai. x. 1-3.
- How does Mordecai compare with Daniel?
- What other record of his career? 2.
- What became of Ahasuerus? [He was assassinated by the captain of his guard, B. C. 465.]
- Relative time of Esther's career and those of Ezra and Nehemiah?
- What the date B. C. of the reign of Xerxes? [Ans. 486-465.]
- Show the crisis of Jewish history brought about by Haman's decree?
- By what means was their extermination prevented?
- What was the effect on the subsequent condition of the Jews?
- What was the cause of Haman's decree?
- Why did Mordecai refuse to honor him?
- Why did the other princes inform Haman of Mordecai's refusal?
- How did Mordecai obtain authority to issue his decree?
- What was the immediate cause of his promotion?
- How had he escaped the gallows which Haman had erected?
- Suppose that Haman had  come to the king a few minutes earlier? or that the reader had been a few minutes later in reading the account of Mordecai's deed?
- What would have been the result, if Esther had refused to go to the king?
- What, if she had not been queen?
- What, if Mordecai had not presented her as an applicant?
- What, if Vashti had not been degraded?
- Trace the chain of providence from the king's feast to the deliverance of the Jews.
- Does the fact that God is not named in the book conceal his providence?
- How does this story compare with that of Joseph, as an exhibition of providence?