Simon Foster – Acrostics in Esther

Simon Foster – Acrostics in Esther

Yahweh (the name) is not anywhere in Esther. This in some people’s mind questions the validity of the book.

People have spent a lot of time trying to show where it is. People then look for YHWH at the beginning of words etc to try and show that it’s hidden.

5v4 is an example of this.

There are 300,000 words in Esther. You can find hundreds of acrostics for other words e.g. “light” has 150 occurrences.

Isa 44 v 16

yea, he warmeth himself

This shows that it’s a bit of a game.

Is it God’s intention that his name should be manufactured in the text like this, is this a necessary things to look at in scripture. Where are we shown that we should do this?

Should searches be made in only certain translations?

Does the absence of YHWH in a book mean it isn’t of God?

Eccles, S of S, loads of Psalms – don’t contain YHWH – in S of S, there is no YHWH even in acrostic form.

Esther 5 v 4

let the king and Haman come this day

Esther was trying to hide her kindred – would she have even spoken Hebrew at this time? – probably not!

If we believe God wrote this, then it is an intended absence!

What can we learn from Esther then?

Lots connected with the life of Joseph….

Circumstances in foreign lands

Taken there by seemingly unconnected events – obviously God’s providence…

Comes to prominence in the King’s court

Esther 1

3. In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:

4. When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

11. To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

12. But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

Vashti refusing to be shown off – this sets of a series of events that threatens the Jews in the land.

Her disobedience to the King is a threat across the Kingdom. Give her kingdom to another more worthy.

Joseph – Yahweh makes everything to prosper in his hand – he was doing these things.

He is described as a goodly person and well favoured.

7. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

With Joseph, this works against him initially, but works to God’s plan.

When Esther comes to the court, she pleases the keeper and obtains favour like Joseph.

Favour and mercy/kindness are matched up

There are wise men in each example. Eventually Joseph is the wise man that interpretes the dreams.

Haman also consults wise men

Esther 6

13. And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.

God is in control – is this different to Joseph? – We should expect Yahweh to be working here in Esther.

39. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40. Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

Esther 2

17. And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

18. Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, evenEsther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

Esther’s kindred is not known to the King. When Joseph’s brethren turn up, he interrogates them about their kindred.

There is a discovering of a plot against Mordecai – he is then elevated, his perpotraiters are hanged. The chief baker is hung.

Joseph is given a ring, in Esther, the ring is given to Mordecai via Haman.

In both examples, they are sent to preserve life.

Gen 45

6. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years,in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

Esther 8

5. And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces:

6. For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

7. Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew,Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

8. Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

There is a token given that the people might be saved and not reversed.

When we think of the emblems, we think of Rom 5.

Rom 5

6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

We see that God is working here in Esther, even though his name is not mentioned.


Although the name isn’t used in Esther – looking at the word “name” is interesting!

Esther 2 v 5

5. Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

“and his name, Mordecai” – it is prominent how it is laid out like this in the Hebrew.

This man Jahudi – this man of Judah.

The second use is in v14

12. Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other) things for the purifying of the women;

13. Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.

14. In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

He delighted in her “hephzebah” – and she will be called in name.

There is a specificity about this. Her NAME is important and how she is referred to and how the king will do this.

This feds back into v5 with Mordecai – this is important.


22. And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.

Heb – She said to the king in the name of Mordecai.

The idea of speaking in someone else’s name – this is interesting.

Mordecai’s name is critical as the King discovered it was him that had done the things to trigger his elevation.

Therefore Esther speaks in his name.

The teaching of “name” is shown here in this pattern – eg the apostles speak in the name of Jesus, preaching the gospel.

Esther 3

Picking up the ring and connection with Joseph.

12. Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.

Sense of this is to convey authority of the King. In his name and with his ring.

Counterpart in Esther 8

7. Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew,Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

8. Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

10. And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

One other occurrence is in Esther 9

26. Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,

The conspiracy that was going on – lets look at Esther 3.

Esther 3

8. And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

9. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.

10. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

The use of the name here was a way of bringing out what was hidden during the 12 month conspiracy.

Reflecting on this, the use of “the name” is used a lot and in a particularly way. Almost more so than you’d expect.

Name is really important here. It conveys authority and selection.