a study of the book of Esther

ONE NIGHT WITH THE KING is a study of the unique book of Esther, using the 2006 film of the same name. The events take place at the winter residence of King Xerxes, the Persian emperor. Esther (formerly known as Hadassah) is a Jewish heroine, who by her courage and devotion to her people, saves them from annihilation by the Persians.

The book of Esther, although only 10 chapters long, contains just about everything you could imagine: A wild party with an open bar, a reigning queen who gets banished, secret plots, a harem, eavesdropping, a beautiful new queen with a big secret, intrigue at a beauty school, an evil villain, chaos in the streets, and what adventure would be complete without eunichs?

The book of Esther is remarkable on several counts - not only is it regarded as the greatest short story in Jewish literature, it makes no mention of God at all! The account is the basis for the festival of Purim. And the protestant and catholic Bibles differ in content - the protestant Bible has the short version - while the Catholic Bible has the full version* It will be handy to have a catholic Bible for the group to look at.

This study is presented in four one-hour sessions. In each session, there is a 15 minute review of the Biblical account, a 30 minute segment of the film corresponding to the Bible readings, and a 15 minute period for discussion questions.

Please note that some minor characters have been added to the film who are not found in the Bible. This study will concern itself only with the biblical cast.

Study guides

*The New American Bible , a catholic Bible, explains the difference this way: The text of Esther, written originally in Hebrew, was transmitted in two forms: a short Hebrew form and a longer Greek version. The latter contains 107 additional verses, inserted at appropriate places within the Hebrew form of the text. A few of these seem to have a Hebrew origin while the rest are Greek in original composition. It is possible that the Hebrew form is original throughout. If it systematically omits reference to God and his Providence over Israel, this is perhaps due to fear of irreverent response. The Greek text with the above-mentioned additions is probably a later literary paraphrase in which the author seeks to have the reader share his sentiments. This standard Greek text is pre-Christian in origin. The [Roman Catholic] church has accepted the additions as equally inspired with the rest of the book.

Home • Revised June 27 2016 by Rick Mills rickmills9@gmail.com • This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.