The characteristics of Esther in the Bible have been the subject of many movies and Bible study guides.
The story of Esther is a very very exciting one. In this post we will look at Esther’s character traits and what we can learn from them.
We will also look at some lessons we can learn from the book of Esther itself. There are some other interesting characters in the story who can teach us a great deal about life and relationships.
Facts about Esther in the Bible
#1 Esther’s name had been changed. Her original name was Hadassah. This was her Jewish name.
It comes from the word Hadas which means myrtle. In Jewish history, myrtle represents God’s forgiveness and acceptance of his people, the Jewish nation.
Esther’s name was changed by her cousin to hide her nationality. The name is Persian and it means star.
#2 Esther was an orphan. Both her parents had died so her cousin Mordecai adopted her and raised her as his daughter. Mordecai was the nephew of Esther’s father.
#3 Esther and Mordecai originally lived in Judah. But they had to move to Persia when the Babylonias invaded that land.
They could have gone back to Judah when the Babylonias left but by then, Judah was not considered a progressive place to live in. So they didn’t go back.
Characteristics of Esther in the Bible
Esther became the Queen of Persia after months of rigorous training and preparation.
But, before the eunuchs worked with her, Mordecai had already set her up for success.
Her character traits had already been honed and trimmed by godly training.
Esther was obedient
From the time we meet her, Esther followed the instructions of Mordecai. All the way to when the lives of the Jews were threatened, she listened to Mordecai.
By doing so, she submitted herself to God’s leading in her life.
Esther was a prayer warrior
When Esther realized that she had been called to queenship for that time, her first activity was to declare a 3 day fasting and prayer.
Two things stood against her:
#1 The king could execute her if she went to him without invitation.
#2 When the Persians passed a law it could not be changed.
Esther recognized that only God who puts up kings and removes them could address these issues.
And the best way to get his attention was through prayer and fasting.
Later in the New Testament Jesus said some spiritual battles can only be won through prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21).
This is perhaps one of the most powerful characteristics of Esther in the Bible that is extremely useful in spiritual warfare.
Esther was faith-filled
To know that she could lose her life is one thing. But to trust God to save her life was another.
After Esther prayed, she did the thing that accompanies faith.
Esther stepped out on faith. It would make no sense if she had prayed and sat in her chambers.
She prayed, had faith, and did her work by approaching the king and setting her plan in motion.
This particular characteristic of Esther in the Bible went very well with her being a prayer warrior.
Prayer without faith is like fire without light and heat.
Esther was bold
“If I perish, I perish”.
Esther walked forward with a kind of courage that makes her so admirable.
Esther is most known in the Bible for this level of fearlessness.
Although she knew the potential consequences of her decision, Esther kept moving.
These characteristics of Esther in the Scriptures formed the foundation for her outstanding leadership skills.
Leadership qualities of Esther in the Bible
Esther is one of the most popular female leaders of the Bible. What made her so outstanding?
Esther was decisive
Once Esther realized that this was her responsibility, she rose to the occasion.
She had made up her mind to tackle the situation and she did not look back.
The decision had been made and she forged forward. She acknowledged that this could be the end of her life but that possibility did not affect her mindset.
We see no evidence of her wondering or rethinking or wavering in her mind.
I’m sure this gave assurance and courage to those who were depending on her.
Esther had positive influence
Another one of the characteristics of Esther in the Bible has to do with how she used her influence.
When Esther calls a prayer and fasting session, she does not do it alone.
She includes the women who serve her. I am not sure if they were Persian or Jewish but it is amazing how Esther included them in this spiritual adventure.
Not them only, but all the Jews. Esther used her influence wisely.
Imagine how people’s faith were rekindled and restored as a result of her inspiring spiritual leadership.
Esther was a wise strategist
What made Esther a good leader was her ability to study people’s personality.
To counteract the evil and sinister plan of Haman, Esther knew she could not confront him and win.
Instead, she used godly wisdom to devise an elaborate plan. She started by appealing to the pride of Haman by inviting him to a private party with the king.
Esther knew that Haman would fall for this just because of who he was.
Esther was patient
The plan Esther had was elaborate.
Imagine having to pretend to enjoy dinner with someone you knew wanted to kill you.
Nevertheless, Esther waited patiently for her plan to unfold.
It took a few days but it eventually played out just the way she planned.
Esther was like a lioness hiding in the bushes, waiting for her prey.
Negative qualities of Esther in the Bible
Although Esther is most known for her courage and bravery, it is important to note that she was not perfect.
One negative quality of Esther was her initial reaction to Mordecai’s request to do something about the threat made against the Jews.
Esther was afraid of the king and afraid to lose her life.
For a moment there, Esther forgot the faithfulness of God and the power of her faith to move God’s hands to change things.
If Mordecai had not reminded her of who she was and of her calling, who knows what might have happened.
But Esther for sure pulled herself together and prepared for warfare.
Biblical Lessons from the book of Esther
There are some other very interesting and powerful characters in the book of Esther.
Let’s look at some lessons to learn from Queen Vashi, King Xerxes, Haman and Mordecai.
Lesson #1 – Know your worth as a woman
Queen Vashti was deposed because she decided to protect herself.
The king and his drunken friends were competing about which women were most beautiful.
For her to show her ‘beauty’, she would have to sacrifice modesty.
She had greater self-worth than that. Queen Vashti knew she was more than eye-candy and she was sure that life would go on.
Lesson #2 – God is in the business of uplifting the faithful
Esther was an orphan girl from a foreign country. By all accounts, she should not become queen.
The odds were already stacked against her just by the fact that she had no parents.
Esther’s story is one like Kate Middleton – commoner to royality.
Are you an ambitious woman but nothing spectacular is happen in your life now?
Keep working. Keep praying. Keep being faithful in the little things.
In His own time, God will lift you up!.
Lesson #3 – Disobedience can threaten generations
Haman and his family were descendants of the Amelakites.
This was the same group of people that God had told King Saul to destroy entirely.
But no! He just had to save what he thought was worthy of saving.
Generations later, they threatened the life of God’s people.
This is why Esther had his ten sons executed.
She finished the job that Saul had failed to complete according to God’s commands.
If God gives you specific instructions, follow them. The lives of future generations is at stake.
Lesson #4 – Stay away from insecure people
Haman was a proud and insecure man. These characteristics were his downfall. It was insecurity and narcissistic behavior that drove his hatred of Mordecai.
He was so blinded by wanting to be worshipped that he could not even see his wife was leading him to a dark place.
People like Haman will always go down. And if you are friends with them, you’re sure to go down with them.
But when people like these are harassing you, God will never allow such people to win against you.
Lesson #5 – Stay away from impulsive people
King Xerxes is among the many impulsive people in the Bible.
He never seemed to think about decisions before making them. And he didn’t seem to think for himself.
Notice he puts away Queen Vashti without a thought. He signed the edict against the Jews thinking only of the monetary gain.
And when he sees Haman begging Queen Esther for his life, he thinks this man wants to sleep with his wife.
Which man would want to do this with the husband standing a few feet a way?
Impulsive people will get you into trouble. Stay away from them.
Characteristics of Mordecai in the book of Esther
I can’t say for sure if there would have been an Esther without Mordecai.
He was the person behind her rise to prominence and her ministry in the palace.
Mordecai trusted God completely
When Mordecai realized that Esther was hesitant towards doing something about the threat made against the Jews, he expressed unwavering faith in God.
He was sure that even if Esther did not rise to take her place, God was never going to be out of options to save them.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)
Mordecai was loyal and respectful
When Mordecai discovered that there was a plot to kill the king, he went ahead and blew the cover off of the secret plot.
The king might not have been the best leader but Mordecai respected him and his position.
Mordecai saw that he did not deserve to lose his life, especially not to people who were just plain grudgeful.
When Mordecai got promoted, he served with the same level of excellence and loyalty that reflected how much he valued his relationship with God.
Mordecai was an ambitious visionary
The moment Mordecai learns that King Xerxes was looking for a new queen, he saw an opportunity.
Esther had the makings of the perfect queen. He no doubt envisioned her in that position.
He knew that if he could get her in the door, this was their ticket to leadership, service, wealth and influence. There was no progress in Judah. This was the place!
Mordecai represents the kind of person you want in your corner and your friendship circle.
Mordecai seized the opportunity and kept prayerful watch over it.
What is the main message in the book of Esther
The book of Esther is said to be the only book of the Bible that does not mention God or his name.
Yet this story is one of the most popular that demonstrates how God will show up for those who trust Him and do their part.
God will fight for his people. If you find yourself in a battle right now, know that God has your back.
Final word on the characteristics of Esther in the Bible
Esther is one of the outstanding women of faith in the Scriptures.
Her beauty pairs well with her obedience, faith, wisdom, patience, and decisiveness.
Her powerful leadership skills rescues an entire nation and finishes the job that Saul left incomplete generations before.
From the book of Esther I have highlighted some valuable life lessons for spiritual growth and relationships.