This book is called the Book of Esther, because in it is principally spoken of her, namely, how the great and mighty king Ahasuerus, having in his fierce anger cast off his wife Vashti, (because she would not appear at his command before all the princes and mighty lords of the Medes and Persians), made choice of Esther to be his wife in her stead out of a great number of beautiful virgins gathered together unto Shushan, and advanced her to the royal dignity, and making to the honor of her a great and stately wedding or marriage feast. During this marriage of Esther with Ahasuerus, the exalted and presumptuous Haman (chiefly out of hatred against Mordecai) resolved not only to cause Mordecai, but also all the Jews, who were in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of king Ahasuerus, to be murdered upon one day, for which end and purpose he had already obtained the king’s consent. However, when all the Jews, yea, queen Esther herself, with all her ladies of honor, turned themselves unto God in prayer and by fasting, then God graciously answered their prayer and supplication, and not only hindered and prevented the wicked plot and bloody purpose of Haman, but also turned the same quite contrary to Haman’s design and purpose. For, he was forced to do exceeding great honor unto Mordecai, which he had intended would be done to himself, yea Haman at last came to be hanged on the gallows of fifty cubits high, which he had caused to be made to hang Mordecai the Jew, queen Esther’s foster father. Moreover, Mordecai comes to be in great favor with the king, and is advanced to a high status and dignity, while the Jews have been given permission to defend their own lives, and to be avenged on their enemies. This being done, the Jews kept great feasts of joy everywhere, and not only once, but Esther and Mordecai ordained that this should be done every year on the days of Purim, in remembrance of this wonderful and unexpected deliverance which God gave unto His people, saving and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies, when it appeared that no help was to be expected for them.
What is related in this book was done (according to the opinion of some) within the space of about twenty years, although some do account it being less.