Commentaries on Esther

On this page you will find Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Esther. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Esther that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the text, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.

Top Reviewed Commentaries on Esther



Esther (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Joyce G. Baldwin


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Reviews and Accolades:

Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Esther

Tremper Longman: scored 5 out of 5 stars, “combines a keen literary and theological sense with a firm and intelligent opinion concerning the book’s historicity”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “Excellent, though brief, evangelical treatment.”

Keith Mathison: #2 ranked commentary on Esther, “Joyce Baldwin was among the most consistent commentators of the previous generation…Clear, concise, and to the point — always an asset in commentaries.”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.”



Esther (New International Version Application Commentary) by Karen H. Jobes


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “without a doubt this is the best commentary to buy on Esther”

Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Esther, “Karen Jobes has written the most engaging, interesting, and helpful commentary on the book of Esther presently available.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.



Ruth-Esther (Word Biblical Commentary) by Frederic Bush


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “very competent…gives a thorough discussion of all the technical issues”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Esther, “will be of benefit to seminary students and others doing in-depth study of the text”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (New American Commentary) by Mervin Breneman


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “a competent and readable commentary”

Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Esther, “for those seeking helpful summaries of the more technical work”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther (The Daily Study Bible Series) by J.G. McConville


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “excellent at both revealing the books’ meaning in their Old Testament context and explaining their relevance for today”

Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Ezra

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Invaluable for individual devotional study, for group discussion, and for classroom use, the Daily Study Bible provides a useful, reliable, and eminently readable way to discover what the Scriptures were saying then and what God is saying today.”



Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther (New Century Bible Commentary) by D.J. Clines


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “carefully and thoroughly researched…scholarly and clear”

John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “A well-done, though brief, commentary.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Scholarly and comprehensive in scope, The New Century Bible Commentary series has earned wide respect across theological traditions …Based on the Revised Standard Version, the commentaries are at once accessible and informed, containing clear verse-by-verse exposition and reflecting contemporary debate.”



Esther and Ruth (Reformed Expositional Commentary) by Iain M. Duguid


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Reviews and Accolades:

Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Esther, “careful and clear…a very helpful focus on contemporary application”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: The REC series has “four fundamental commitments. First, these commentaries aim to be biblical…Second, these commentaries are unashamedly doctrinal…Third, these commentaries are redemptive-historical…Fourth, these commentaries are practical…” All authors are “pastor-scholars.” See more about the Reformed Expository Commentary series.



Esther (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Debra Reid


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4.5 out of 5 stars, “smart, to-the-point interpretation of the book that does not lead astray”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Two features distinguish The Two Horizons Old Testament Commentary series: theological exegesis and theological reflection…The result is a paragraph-by-paragraph engagement with the text that is deliberately theological in focus.”



Esther (The Old Testament Library) by Jon D. Levenson


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 4 out of 5 stars, “readable and often-interesting interpretation of Esther”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.”



Esther (The JPS Torah Commentary) by Adele Berlin


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out of 5 stars, “Berlin is one of the best commentary writers around”

Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The JPS Torah Commentary series guides readers through the words and ideas of the Torah. Each volume is the work of a scholar who stands at the pinnacle of his field. Every page contains the complete traditional Hebrew text, with cantillation notes, the JPS translation of the Holy Scriptures, aliyot breaks, Masoretic notes, and commentary by a distinguished Hebrew Bible scholar, integrating classical and modern sources. Each volume also contains supplementary essays that elaborate upon key words and themes, a glossary of commentators and sources, extensive bibliographic notes, and maps.”



Esther (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Elaine Phillips


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: “one cannot find a better historically oriented commentary than this one”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.”



More Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors



Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther (For Everyone) by John Goldingay


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “John Goldingay, an internationally respected Old Testament scholar, authors this ambitious Old Testament for Everyone series. Covering Scripture from Genesis to Malachi, Goldingay addresses the texts in such a way that even the most challenging passages are explained simply. Perfect for daily devotions, Sunday school preparation, or brief visits with the Bible, the Old Testament for Everyone series is an excellent resource for the modern reader.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (The Preacher’s Commentary) by Mark D. Roberts


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”



Esther (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by Carol M. Bechtel


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.”



Esther (Teach the Text Commentary Series) by Andrew J. Schumtzer


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: The Teach the Text series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. By keeping the discussion of each carefully selected preaching unit to six pages of focused commentary, the volumes in this series allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. The text and its meaning are made clear, and sections dedicated to effectively teaching and illustrating the text help pastors prepare to preach.”



More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries



Esther (Evangelical Exegetical Commentary) by Anthony Tomasino


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary series incorporates the latest in critical biblical scholarship, yet each volume is written from a distinctly evangelical perspective. The authors explore the context and meaning of the biblical books while showing the value and truth of the texts in ancient times and today. These commentaries present historical and literary insights for understanding the text within the Bible’s larger story and applying it to everyday life.”



Esther (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary) by Linda Day


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries series offers compact, critical commentaries on all the books of the Old Testament. In addition to providing fundamental information on and insights into Old Testament writings, these commentaries exemplify the tasks and procedures of careful, critical exegesis so as to assist students of the Old Testament in coming to an informed engagement of the biblical texts themselves. These commentaries are written with special attention to the needs and interests of theology students, but they will also be useful for students in upper-level college or university settings, as well as for pastors and other church leaders.”



Esther (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Timothy S. Laniak


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary) by Gary V. Smith


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”



The Message of Esther (The Bible Speaks Today) by David G. Firth


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by Knute Larson and Kathy Daltlen


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”



Inconspicuous Providence: The Gospel According to Esther (The Gospel According to the Old Testament) by Bryan R. Gregory


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Gospel According to the Old Testament series illuminates the good news of our Savior in the Old Testament books. Here you will find thoughtful, Christ-focused theology at an accessible level.”



Esther and Daniel (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by George Sumner


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.”



Technical and Critical Commentaries



Esther (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Carey A. Moore


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.”



Social, Historical, and Cultural Background Commentaries



Esther (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary) by Anthony Tomasino


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “The idea for this series was refined over time by an editorial board who listened to pastors and teachers express what they wanted to see in a commentary series based on the [original] text…We arrived at a design that includes seven components for the treatment of each biblical passage”: Literary Context, Main Idea, Translation and Graphical Layout, Structure, Exegetical Outline, Explanation of the Text, and Theology in Application.”



 Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study



Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”



Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther (Ironside Expository Commentaries) by H.A. Ironside


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

Purpose: H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was an internationally acclaimed Bible teacher and preacher, as well as the author of more than sixty books. His writings include addresses or commentaries on the entire New Testament, all of the Old Testament prophetic books, and a great many volumes on other biblical topics. For eighteen of his fifty years of ministry, Dr. Ironside was pastor of the historic Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Ill.


Also see:

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