Today's lesson is Esther and is divided into 2 parts. She is made queen this week, and we will have a feast next week! We act this lesson out, so there is not a craft. But there is a worksheet and Bible verse.
I set up one wall to look like a palace. This build-a-scene is Disney princess, but there are others to choose from. When I started doing this lesson years ago, I just threw blankets on chairs and a table to make the throne. The kids love it and it doesn't have to be extravagant. As the kids come in, I let them pick who they want to be. Everyone gets crown when they come in (purchased at the local teacher's supply store).
Bible Scripture: Esther
When King Ahasuerus (AKA Xerxes) had been king for 3 years, he had a feast for his officials and servants. He showed them how great his kingdom was. It lasted 180 days! When that feast was over, he had another feast that lasted 7 days. His queen, Queen Vashti, had a feast for the women in the royal palace. On the seventh day, the king was feeling happy and told some men to bring in Queen Vashti to him, wearing her crown, so he could show his friends how beautiful she was.
But, the queen refused to go to the king and he was angry! Nobody refuses the king! King Ahasuerus asked his wise men what he should do for this insult. They told him that she not only wronged the king, but the princes and the people. Her refusal would be known to all the women in the province and they will look down on their husbands.
They told the king to make a new decree. If the queen would not come to the king, then the king would give her royal position to another that deserves it more. So, King Ahasuerus sent out letters to the provinces in their own languages.
We filled these in during this part of the lesson. It can be anything, fun or serious. You can print these in color or black & white to put on color paper. I usually use paper that already looks like a scroll. (The font is Old English Text.)
The king’s servants gathered all the beautiful young women for the king to choose a new queen. Mordecai was raising his cousin (his uncle’s daughter [2:7]), Esther, because her parents had been killed. She was beautiful. She was taken with the other women for the king to see, and he liked her. King Ahasuerus moved her to the best place for the women in the palace. But she did not tell the king about her people. Mordecai had told her not to mention that her family was Jewish.Every day Mordecai walked in front of where the women were so he could learn how Esther was.
This table is between the king & queen chairs. We talked about it taking a year to go before the king. The kids took necklaces and rings to 'prepare' themselves to see the king. The boys even like doing this!
It took the women a whole year to get ready to go before King Ahasuerus! Once a woman went before the king, she couldn’t go before him again, unless HE called for her by name.
Now, in the seventh year (4 years later) of his reign, Esther gets to go before the king again. The king loved her more than all the other women. (2:16) King Ahasuerus put the crown on her head and made her the queen, instead of Vashti. He made a great feast and called it “Feast of Esther”.
After a time, when Mordecai was sitting out by the gate, he overheard 2 of the king’s doorkeepers talking. They were angry at the king and wanted to kill him. Mordecai told Queen Esther about this and she told King Ahasuerus what Mordecai had told her. When an investigation was done, they were both hanged! After that, Haman was made second in command to the king.
When Haman walked in the king’s gate, everyone bowed to him…except for Mordecai. This made Haman so angry, and when he found out that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman decided to kill all the Jews!
Haman talked King Ahasuerus into making a new decree to kill the Jews for not keeping the king’s laws. Haman told King Ahasuerus their laws were different and it wasn’t right to have their own laws. So King Ahasuerus gave his signet ring to Haman so he could write a new decree which they sent out into the provinces.
The scepters for next week! Click here to see how I made them.
Things to know for next week! The king will remember that Mordecai saved his life, and Haman will be even more angry at Mordecai. We talked about not being permitted to see the king, unless he asks to see you, and that is an important part of Queen Esther's work for next week. We will finish Queen Esther next week.
Click here to download today's worksheet.
Click here to see the worksheets for this quarter.