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Book of Esther - Chapter 4 - Verse 16

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.


In this verse from the book of Esther, Queen Esther is facing a perilous situation. She decides to take matters into her own hands and prepares to approach the king without an invitation. This action is extremely risky, as entering the king's presence without being summoned could result in her death. In response to this dangerous task, Esther calls for a time of fasting and prayer among the Jews in the city of Shushan. This period of fasting is a symbol of their deep devotion to God and their dependence on His guidance and protection. By fasting together, Esther and her people demonstrate their faith and unity as they prepare for this risky endeavor. Esther's words, "if I perish, I perish," shows her willingness to sacrifice her own life for the sake of her people and for what is right. This act of courage and selflessness ultimately leads to the salvation of the Jewish people. It teaches us the importance of trusting in God's plan, even in the face of danger, and the power of prayer and unity in times of crisis.

Theological Overview

The theological interpretation of this verse from the Book of Esther centers around the theme of faith and courage in the face of adversity. Queen Esther's decision to approach King Xerxes without being summoned was a risky move that required great trust in God's providence. By calling for a fast among the Jews in Shushan, Esther demonstrated her reliance on prayer and seeking God's favor before taking action. The word study of "fast" in this context reveals a solemn dedication to consecration through abstinence from food and drink as a sign of humility and dependence on God. Esther's willingness to risk her own life for the sake of her people illustrates her compassion, bravery, and ultimate trust in divine guidance. This story reminds us of the power of prayer, the importance of standing up for what is right, and the courage to face challenges head-on, even at the risk of personal sacrifice.

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