Maybe you’ve noticed it, maybe you haven’t… but God isn’t mentioned in the book of Esther. Shocking, right? Why is Esther in the Bible? Is it really the inspired Word of God if it makes no mention of Him? These questions are answered (and more) in the article below, shared from the NIV Starting Place Study Bible.

Why Isn’t God Mentioned at All in the Book of Esther?

This question has been a source of controversy for centuries. Some have even questioned the book’s place in the Bible because of it. However, at several points in the narrative, the author alludes to God’s hand in the events.

  • For example, Mordecai’s contention that deliverance would come “from another place” (Est 4:14) was probably the author’s way of saying that the Lord would intervene for his people.
  • Esther’s request that all the Jews fast (see Est 4:16) was no doubt a reference to prayer to the Lord on her behalf.
  • The Jews’ refusal to plunder their enemies (see Est 9:10, 16) indicated that they fought for the Lord, not themselves.

Coincidence? I think not!

In addition, the author showed God’s involvement through an incredible string of “coincidences”: (1) Esther was selected from among many to become queen. (2) Mordecai “accidentally” discovered a plot against the king. (3) Esther defied the law to gain uninvited entrance to see the king. (4) Mordecai was given Haman’s position of power, by which he turned an unalterable law upside down and delivered the Jews. The reader is left saying, “Nobody could be so lucky. Something else must have been going on.” The story points to God as the one behind the scenes, orchestrating the events.

Esther fits the mold of other Old Testament heroes who were clearly guided by the Lord. Like Joseph (see Ge 39:1–50:26), Esther was imprisoned but found favor with her captors and rose to a position of power to save the Jews. In addition, Mordecai, like both Joseph (see Ge 41:41–44) and Daniel (see Da 6:3), came to a position of power second only to the king.

Was God Edited Out of the Book of Esther?

Still, the question remains: Did the writer deliberately edit God out of the story? We can only speculate. Perhaps the author was employing the literary device of understatement to emphasize that nothing short of God’s direct intervention in these circumstances could possibly explain the way things worked out. Or, since the book was written in Persia, the author may have been aware of certain laws against non-Persian religions or non-Persian religious literature and therefore may not have wanted to risk having the book destroyed by the government.

NIV Starting Place Study Bible

You’ve accepted Christ, and committed to reading God’s Word. Now it is time to take the next step: studying his Word and understanding how it applies to your life. The Bible’s depth can seem overwhelming, but within the pages of Scripture are words of peace, hope, and love. The NIV Starting Place Study Bible can be your guide as you start your lifelong journey of studying his Word, gaining understanding of God’s love for you and building a relationship with the Savior who longs to know you personally.  

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