The Book of Esther is often criticized by some who like to emphasize that the name of God does not occur anywhere in the Book. A casual reading of the book in English does reveal this to be the case.
The time period of the book of Esther is during the Captivity, after the Jews had been removed from Jerusalem and taken to Babylon. They were then scattered throughout the kingdom of Babylon in an effort to remove their unique cultural and religious beliefs. The goal was to unify them to become one in practice, culture and beliefs with the Babylonians.
Because of this goal, the Jews were given names after the Babylonian gods, as you see in the book of Daniel. Daniel, for instance, was called Belteshazzar – named after the god Bel. The names Mordecai and Esther are also names after the Persian gods – Marduk and Astarte.
Another law imposed on the Jews in an effort to make them conform to the ways of Babylon, was to forbid them to mention the name of the Jewish God – the true and living God. This is the primary reason for His Name not being in the Book. Apparently, King Ahasuerus, a Persian, also had this same law in effect at the time.
While God is certainly under no obligation to conform to man’s laws, it seems that He went along with the lesser power in this matter. This would ensure that the book was able to be kept in the synagogues and homes of the Jews legally in the Babylonian provinces.
What some Bible scholars have discovered, however, is that the name of God does appear in the Book – in the Hebrew. It cannot be seen, though, by normal reading of the Hebrew, because it only appears when read backwards.
In Hebrew, the Name of God appears a total of eight times in the Book, each time spelled backwards. What is also most amazing is that each time His wonderful Name appears, it is when you would expect to find Him getting involved in the preservation of His people. This is evidence of inspiration. God’s working behind the scenes is just what is seen today, although often working invisibly in the world – yet He is there for those who know and love Him. He is real and He has not forsaken His own – as He promised.
In the KJV, it is very evident that God was protecting His people the Jews. In this case, the Jews were those who did not return to Jerusalem when the opportunity was given years earlier. The reversal of the evil scheme of Haman was exposed on time, planned against, and the enemies of Israel were destroyed. It is evident that God raised up key people such as Esther, where it was said: “thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). The Book reveals the origin of the Feast of Purim, which holiday the Jews still celebrate today. It would not be known where this holiday started except for the book of Esther.
As Christians, we also need to realize that we are the ones that God has put here on earth “at such a time as this,” who can bring deliverance to our nation. None of us are here by accident; nor are we here merely by chance. We are to be His witnesses, and we are to be in prayer for revival – as if our very future existence depends on it.