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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Esther

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of whole text


1-1

1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
  2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
    3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
      4 Haman undertakes to destroy the Jews (3:1-15)
        5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
          6 Esther's banquet (5:1-14)
            7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
          8 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
        9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
      10 Pleasure of Jews (8:9-17)
    11 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
  12 The feast of Purim inaugurated (9:20-32)
13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
During the reign of Ahasuerus-this was the Ahasuerus who ruled over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia(1:1)
Power of Ahasuerus13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
King Ahasuerus laid tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea. (10:1)
2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
Let the king appoint commissaries in all the provinces of his realm to bring together all beautiful young virgins to the harem in the stronghold of Susa (2:3)
Commands to all the provinces12 The feast of Purim inaugurated (9:20-32)
9:30 when Mordecai sent documents concerning peace and security to all the Jews in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of Ahasuerus' kingdom. (9:30)
3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
both of them were hanged on a gibbet (2:23)
Death penalty11 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
9:6 In the stronghold of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. (9:6)
4 Haman undertakes to destroy the Jews (3:1-15)
3:13 Letters were sent by couriers to all the royal provinces, that all the Jews, young and old, including women and children, should be killed, destroyed, wiped out in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, and that their goods should be seized as spoil.
Letters of the king10 Pleasure of Jews (8:9-17)
8:11 In these letters the king authorized the Jews in each and every city to group together and defend their lives, and to kill, destroy, wipe out, along with their wives and children, every armed group of any nation or province which should attack them, and to seize their goods as spoil (8:11)
5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
4:8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction which had been promulgated in Susa, to show and explain to Esther. He was to instruct her to go to the king; she was to plead and intercede with him in behalf of her people. (4:8)
Petition to the king9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
8:8 you in turn may write in the king's name what you see fit concerning the Jews and seal the letter with the royal signet ring." For whatever is written in the name of the king and sealed with the royal signet ring cannot be revoked. (8:8)
6 Esther's banquet (5:1-14)
5:14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Have a gibbet set up, fifty cubits in height, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it. Then go to the banquet with the king in good cheer." This suggestion pleased Haman, and he had the gibbet erected.
Gibbet of Haman8 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gibbet which he had made ready for Mordecai, and the anger of the king abated. (7:10)

1-1-1

1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
  2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
    3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
      4 Haman undertakes to destroy the Jews (3:1-15)
    5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
  6 Esther's banquet (5:1-14)
7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
1:4 For as many as a hundred and eighty days, he displayed the glorious riches of his kingdom and the resplendent wealth of his royal estate. (1:4)
Displaying the honor7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
6:11 So Haman took the robe and horse, clothed Mordecai, had him ride in the public square of the city, and cried out before him, "This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to reward!" (6:11)
2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
Then the king gave a great feast in honor of Esther to all his officials and ministers (2:18)
The banquet of Esther6 Esther's banquet (5:1-14)
So the king went with Haman to the banquet Esther had prepared (5:5)
3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
When the plot became known to Mordecai, he told Queen Esther, who in turn informed the king for Mordecai (2:22)
Advices of Mordecai5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
Hathach returned to Esther and told her what Mordecai had said (4:9)

1-1-2

7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
  8 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
    9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
      10 Pleasure of Jews (8:9-17)
    11 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
  12 The feast of Purim inaugurated (9:20-32)
13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
Former halfRelationLatter half
7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
6:11 So Haman took the robe and horse, clothed Mordecai, had him ride in the public square of the city, and cried out before him, "This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to reward!" (6:11)
The honor of Mordecai13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
10:2 All the acts of his power and valor, as well as a detailed account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king promoted, are recorded in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia. (10:2)
8 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gibbet which he had made ready for Mordecai, and the anger of the king abated. (7:10)
Death of Haman12 The feast of Purim inaugurated (9:20-32)
9:25 Yet, when Esther entered the royal presence, the king ordered in writing that the wicked plan Haman had devised against the Jews should instead be turned against Haman and that he and his sons should be hanged on gibbets. (9:25)
9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
8:5 said: "If it pleases your majesty and seems proper to you, and if I have found favor with you and you love me, let a document be issued to revoke the letters which that schemer Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, wrote for the destruction of the Jews in all the royal provinces.(8:5)
The document is revoked11 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
9:1 When the day arrived on which the order decreed by the king was to be carried out, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to become masters of them, the situation was reversed: the Jews became masters of their enemies. (9:1)

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