Esther Chiasm

From the last lesson, you will recall that a Chiasm is a literary structure based on the Greek letter chi (X). A Chiasm presents a structure where words, phrases or other elements, such as singular or plural forms of words, create a mirror image where A = A’, B= B’, et cetera. The chi, or X, in the center demonstrates the focus of the Chiasm.

The Book of Esther is about the plot of an evil man, Haman, to have all the Jews in the Persian Empire killed. The entire Book of Esther can be summarized in one Chiasm, seen below. The focal point, “X,” is the turning point of the story. A series of “coincidences” causes the wicked Haman to be required to honor Mordecai the Jew, whom he hates, and his plot to destroy all Jews is thwarted.

In addition, there are Chiasms in the Book of Esther within this one large Chiasm!

A. King’s feast (1:1-22)
  B. Esther finds favor and becomes queen (2:1-18)
   C. King’s life is saved (2:19-23)
    D. Haman’s plot (3:1-4:3)
     E. Mordecai and Esther work against Haman’s plot (4:4-17)
      F. Esther’s first banquet (5:1-14)
       X. The unrewarded deed of Mordecai leads to Haman’s downfall (6:1-14)
      F’. Esther’s second banquet (7:1-10)
     E’. Mordecai and Esther given Haman’s estate (8:1-2)
    D’. Haman’s plot foiled (8:3-17)
   C’. Jews’ lives are saved (9:1-10)
  B’. Esther finds favor and gains a second day of deliverance for the Jews (9:11-19)
A’. Jews’ feast of Purim (9:20-10:3)

Is not the Word of God amazing? Praise His name for preserving it for us down through the centuries. Praise His name always and ever!

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