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 The Horizons Bible study for 2001-2002 is

Esther's Feast
A Study of the Book of Esther

by Patricia K. Tull

Esther Scrolls are still available

Esther's Feast Bible Study Workshop


Patricia K. Tull

Ann Broom
Suggestions for Leaders




1 His Highness's Humiliation (1:1--22)..........6

2 A Persian Pageant (2:1--23)..........12

3 A Pogrom Plotted (3:1--15)..........18

4 Esther Takes Charge (4:1--17)..........24

5 Esther Takes Her Time (5:1--14)..........30

6 Swapping Places (6:1--14)..........36

7 Esther Tells All (7:1--10)..........42

8 A Royal Edict Reversed (8:1--17)..........48

9 An End of Violence (9:1--10:3)..........54

About the Authors..........Inside Front Cover


Further Reading..........62

Field Testing..........62

Future PW/Horizons Bible Studies..........62

Order Forms..........63

Using the PW/Horizons Bible Study..........Inside Back Cover


About the Authors

Patricia Kathleen Tull is associate professor of Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. While obtaining her doctoral degree at Emory University in Atlanta, she taught courses in Old Testament, Hebrew, and preaching, and served as adjunct professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), she was associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Sterling, Illinois, from 1985 to 1989.

Tull has contributed essays and articles to several volumes, including the Women's Bible Commentary (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998, rev. ed.), edited by Carol Newsom and Sharon Ringe, and To Each Its Own Meaning (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1999, rev. ed.), edited by Stephen Haynes and Steven McKenzie. Her own book, Remember the Former Things: The Recollection of Previous Texts in Second Isaiah, appeared in 1997 (Atlanta: Scholar's Press).

A native of Austin, Texas, she is the mother of twin teenagers, Ian and Claire. She enjoys globetrotting with them, as well as cooking, gardening, singing, and being outdoors as much as possible.

P. K. Tull speaking/workshop schedule for the Esther
Bible study

--April 27-29: St. Augustine Presbytery PW Spring Retreat at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center in Florida. Contact Betsy Berry (

--May 18-20: Stony Point Conference Center in New York. Contact Bill Pindar (

--June 11: Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Contact Mary Lee Talbot (

--June 14-17: Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Summer Gathering, Massanetta Springs Conference Center, VA. Contact Ruth Burkins (

--June 25-29: Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA. Contact Rick Dietrich (

--July 16-18: Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Louisville, KY. Contact Becky Ritchey (

--July 20-22: Synod of Living Waters Trienniel Gathering, Centre College, KY. Contact Ann Smith (annb1 @bellsouth. net)

--July 24-26: Mo Ranch Bible Study Conference, Kerrville, TX Contact Maria Shupe (

--August 11: Village Presbyterian Church, Prairieville, Kansas. Contact Diane Quaintance (

--August 12-16: Montreat Women's Conference, Montreat, NC. Contact Emily Odom (

--September 14-15: Presbytery of New Hope leadership conference in Smithfield, NC. Contact Marilyn Hein (

--October 26-28: Synod of South Atlantic gathering at St. Simon's Island, GA. Contact Annie Laura Kelly (113 Christopher Lane; Stockbridge, GA 30281.



Suggestions for Leaders

Ann Broom
is a certified church educator serving as associate executive for education and leadership in Foothills Presbytery. A graduate of Montreat College and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (PSCE), she has worked with congregations throughout the southeast. Ann also served the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) as a member of its national staff and as a missionary to Taiwan. More recently, she was a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s delegation to the United Nations Women's Conference in Beijing, China.


About the Cover

Rembrandt's Ahasuerus, Haman and Esther appears on the cover. In addition to painting select scenes from the book of Esther, Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn (1606--1669) portrayed myriad other subjects from the Bible. Numerous Old Testament figures, such as Esther, inspired him with their potentialities and strengths in the face of crisis. Despite Ahasuerus being a king and the visual center of the piece, Esther's bright skin, dramatic red gown, and position in the light claim the viewer's focus. Rembrandt offers a rich depiction with this painting; in addition to being an illustration of part of Esther's life, we have a portrait of an orphaned foreigner turned queen of Persia. Esther's bravery and intelligence demanded Rembrandt's attention as she does ours.

The setting of this painting is one of the tensest moments in the book of Esther. With King Ahasuerus's approval, Haman has condemned all Persian Jews to death. Secretly a Jew herself, Esther invites her husband and Haman to a feast where she will use her wits to save her people, defending herself and all Jews against the king and his vindictive minister. This painting, like the dramatic storytelling in Esther, leaves the viewer or reader in anticipation of the outcome of the feast.

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia/SuperStock

Still available:

Esther's Feast: A Study of the Book of Esther
English, HZN-01-100, $4.00
Spanish, HZN-01-110, $4.00
Korean, HZN-01-120, $4.00
English Large Print, HZN-01-150, $12.00
Braille, HZN-01-160, Free
Audiocassette, HZN-01-180,
CD, HZN-01-181, $10.00, $8.00
Bulletin Covers (pkg; of 100), HZN-01-195, $6.90
Poster Set HZN-01-195, $10.00
Flier, HZN-01-650, Free
Workshop Model, HZN-01-165, Free
Flier Korean, HZN-01-660, Free
Esther's Feast Flier Spanish, HZN-01-670, Free

To order this Bible study call 800/524-2612
Past and Future Bible studies are listed on other pages on our Web Site.

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