I just began this study w/ some women at church yesterday: Esther - It's Tough Being a Woman - so I'll likely journal here some things now & then that "struck & stuck" from both the study & my own research - starting w/:
- Esther is one of only two books in the Bible to bear a woman's name as the title (the other is Ruth)
- There is NO mention of God in the the entire book tho' much can be learned about the nature of God & His activity in human history.
- In a survey of women who were asked about what's tough about being a woman, overwhelmingly the answers fell into three categories: 1) Yielding submissively 2) maintaining balance & 3) hormones
- I looked up the meaning of Esther's name here,:
Possibly means "star" in Persian. ...The Book of Esther in the Old Testament tells the story of Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of the king of Persia who saved the Jews of the realm from extermination. Her original Hebrew name was Hadassah.
SOoo - I looked up Hadassah & found that it means "myrtle tree" in Hebrew.
SOooo - I did a bit of research on the Myrtle Trees & learned that they will regrow from their stump & are also grown from their seeds. ( My note: Like the Book of Daniel, Esther is a diaspora story (Diaspora means to scatter seeds...)
In the Bible, the Myrtle tree is of special religious significance, representing fertility & life. (My note: - chuckled at how closely Esther sounds like estrogen! - & was struck that God used (chose!) Esther to preserve the Persian Jews as they faced extermination ... & - if the Jews had been annihilated at that time, our Savior, Jesus Christ (The Way, The Truth & The Life) would not/could not have been born.
...Myrtlewood is among the world’s most beautiful woods. The color is often influenced by the minerals in the soil & ranges from blond to black with many shades of honey, browns, grays, reds & greens in between & even some pinks & oranges. One description indicates that it's as if nature had formed a rainbow in the heart of this unique tree.The struggle or stress during the growth of the tree causes figurations. It often forms a design & the tree itself is so symmetrical it would seem to be carefully pruned & cultivated. When small, the tree looks/grows like a shrub & different stalks grow together to form the trunk. Mature trees are identified by four characterstics: very short /thick trunk topped by a wide crown of dense, lacey foliage; olive shaped, nut-likefruit; a pungent odor to it's shining green leaf; & a very long tender tap root.
and...one last noteworthy note for now ...that Beth Moore so eloquently stated & I scrawled ....Some of our biggest problems w/ being a woman are ... other women. hmm - Did I just sense a collective "Amen!"? :)