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Literary structure (chiasmus, chiasm) of Book of Esther

Chiasmus and Concentric Structure of divided by 3


3-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
1:5 At the end of this time the king gave a feast of seven days in the garden court of the royal palace for all the people, great and small, who were in the stronghold of Susa. (1:5)
Going to the king5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
4:16 "Go and assemble all the Jews who are in Susa; fast on my behalf, all of you, not eating or drinking, night or day, for three days. I and my maids will also fast in the same way. Thus prepared, I will go to the king, contrary to the law. If I perish, I perish!"(4:16)
2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
2:4 Then the girl who pleases the king shall reign in place of Vashti." This suggestion pleased the king, and he acted accordingly. (2:4)
Advice to the king4 Haman undertakes to destroy the Jews (3:1-15)
3:10 The king took the signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 3:11 "The silver you may keep," the king said to Haman, "but as for this people, do with them whatever you please." (3:10-11)

3-1-1

1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
  2 Esther becomes queen (2:1-18)
3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
Former halfRelationLatter half
1 Banquet of the king (1:1-22)
This proposal found acceptance with the king and the officials, and the king acted on the advice of Memucan (1:21)
Advices to the king3 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)

3-1-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
3 Contribution of Mordecai (2:19-23)
see 1-1-1
see 1-1-15 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
see 1-1-1

3-2

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
see 1-1
see 1-19 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
see 1-1
6 Esther's banquet (5:1-14)
see 1-1
see 1-18 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
see 1-1

3-2-1

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
5 Esther agrees to help the Jews (4:1-17)
4:9 Invoke the Lord and speak to the king for us: save us from death." Hathach returned to Esther and told her what Mordecai had said. (4:9)
Advice of Mordecai7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
6:2 the passage occurred in which Mordecai reported Bagathan and Teresh, two of the royal eunuchs who guarded the entrance, for seeking to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. (6:2)

3-2-2

7 The honor of Mordecai (6:1-14)
  8 Haman's downfall (7:1-10)
9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
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 Mordecai9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
8:2 The king removed his signet ring from Haman, and transferred it into the keeping of Mordecai; and Esther put Mordecai in charge of the house of Haman.(8:2)

3-3

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
9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
8:2 The king removed his signet ring from Haman, and transferred it into the keeping of Mordecai; and Esther put Mordecai in charge of the house of Haman.(8:2)
Promotion of Mordecai13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
10:3 The Jew Mordecai was next in rank to King Ahasuerus, in high standing among the Jews, and was regarded with favor by his many brethren, as the promoter of his people's welfare and the herald of peace for his whole race.
10 Pleasure of Jews (8:9-17)
8:10 These letters, which he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the royal signet ring, he sent by mounted couriers riding thoroughbred royal steeds. (8:10)
The documents are sent12 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)

3-3-1

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)
Former halfRelationLatter half
9 Esther saves the Jews (8:1-8)
see 1-1-2
see 1-1-211 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
see 1-1-2

3-3-2

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
11 Destruction of the Enemies of the Jews (9:1-19)
for Mordecai was powerful in the royal palace, and the report was spreading through all the provinces that he was continually growing in power. (9:4)
Glory of Mordecai13 The honor of Mordecai (10:1-3)
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)

Citations of the Bible are from New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version and New Jerusalem Bible.

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