The Character of Esther in the Bible: Her Story and Courage

The story of Esther in the Bible is one of the most inspiring for us as women. As we reflect on the character of Esther in the Bible, we are encouraged and motivated to be better women who are committed to the work of God. Esther might have been a young orphan, but she rose to become a queen and hero because of her faith in God and her submissive and obedient heart. 

Esther’s story is a popular story in the Old Testament. The Book of Esther is one of the few books in the Bible named for and dedicated to a powerful woman of faith. Esther is a great example for us, and there are many life lessons we can take from her life. 

Esther had a heart for God and His people. She is an inspiring leader who could have used her power and position for her own benefit. Yet, she decided to help her people and save them from destruction. 

Her story shows us that God can use ordinary women to do extraordinary things in His kingdom. Just like other heroes and heroines of faith like Ruth, Sarah, Joseph, and Moses, her brave actions changed the course of history for her people. She is worth studying and following in her footsteps because she was willing to step out in faith and fulfill God’s purpose for her life. 

Esther’s story teaches us that God acts in mighty ways on behalf of His people. Esther opened her heart, surrendered to God’s plan, and was used in a mighty way to save her people and secure a bright future for them 

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young woman crown on head like the character of Esther in the Bible

The Character of Esther in the Bible – Who Was She?

The Biblical account of the story of Esther starts with the backdrop in Esther chapter 1. We are introduced to King Ahasuerus (also known as King Xerxes) who reigned in the Persian empire. He decided to show the riches of his glorious kingdom and had a great banquet for all the people in Shushan. The people drank, ate, and enjoyed themselves.

At the same time, his wife Queen Vashti also had a feast for the women in the king’s palace. The King of Persia then commanded his eunuchs to bring Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, to display her beauty to the people. But she refused to come which made the king very angry. 

King Ahasuerus was advised to declare a royal decree to find a new wife. Beautiful young virgins were brought to the king’s harem and underwent beauty treatments in the hope of being selected as the future queen. 

One of the young girls selected to go was Hadassah. She lived among her Jewish people with Mordecai who looked after her. Mordecai was Hadassah’s cousin who had taken her when she became a young orphan and raised her as his own daughter. 

When she went to the king’s harem, Mordecai advised her not to disclose her Jewish heritage since they were in a foreign land.

Upon her arrival at the palace, Hadassah was given a Persian name, Esther, which means “star.” The Hebrew equivalent means “hidden.” Esther would be the hidden star of her people, remaining hidden until time to guide them to safety.

While at the palace, Esther was put under the care of Hegai the king’s eunuch. She won favor in his eyes and received special treatment from him. 

Esther listened to his advice, and in the end, when she went before the king, she was selected as the new Queen of Persia. 

During this time, a man named Haman, a court official, was promoted to a higher position. He had a big ego, and all the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down to him as he passed by, except Mordecai. This greatly displeased Haman, so he sought a plan to assassinate the Jews.

When Mordecai heard this, he was filled with sorrow and despair, and in desperation told Esther of Haman’s plan. At first, Esther was afraid to act, but after Mordecai told her that she would not be spared from destruction, even though she was queen, she decided to act. 

Esther called on all the Jewish people to pray and fast for three days. She then approached the king, knowing this could cost her her life, since she had not been summoned. Instead of punishment and death, however, the king accepted her, even telling her that he would grant her request, up to half of his kingdom!

Esther requested the king and Haman attend a banquet that day that she had prepared. At the baquet, the king asked again for her request. Esther requested that the king and Haman attend a second baquet on the following day, promising to tell her request then.

During this second banquet, Esther requested that the king spare her life and the lives of her people, the Jews. She revealed Haman’s assassination plot to King Ahasuerus which angered the king.

scroll open ancient language writing

King Ahasuerus had Haman killed and then sent a decree thoughout all his empire reversing the decree that Haman had previously sent. So, instead of the Jews being killed, it was Haman who was killed. And Esther was able to save her people. 

What is Esther Most Known For?

Esther is most known for her courage in the face of danger. When she heard that there was a plan to destroy all the Jews, although initially hesitant to act, she called for a three-day fast and prayer alongside her fellow Jews. Fasting for three days and three nights is now known as the Esther fast. 

She vowed to approach the king after the fast, even though no one was allowed to do so univited. Her declaration, faith, bravery, and boldness make her an inspiration to all believers. This is the most famous verse from the Book of Esther where she spoke with courage:

Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

Esther 4:16 

After this, she did approach the king, but her life was spared. She was able to save a whole nation. She is also known for being at the right place at the right time because it was her position and influence as queen that God used to carry out His plan to save the Jews. 

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Esther 4:14

10 Characteristics of Esther in the Bible

What made Esther so special? While Esther’s beauty is mentioned in the Holy Bible, it’s her character that shines above it all. It’s what she was remembered for. While physical beauty is important, it’s the inner beauty that gives a woman substance and makes her unique. 

Esther’s character was remarkable. While the story starts with her being an ordinary young orphan being looked after by her cousin in a foreign land, her rise to being a queen is evidence that she was an outstanding woman.

Esther’s leadership role extended throughout ancient Persia. She used that influence and position to lead the Jewish people to freedom, safety, and elevation. She is a refreshing and inspiring leader. 

These are the 10 Characteristics of Esther in the Bible from which we can draw rich lessons. 

1) Esther was humble. 

Despite being the woman with the highest position in the land, Esther was respectful, submissive, and humble When she was selected as one of the young girls to stay in the king’s harem, she won the favor of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women.

Esther was given special food, a special place, and special treatment even before she became queen, yet she remained humble. Beautiful women can sometimes become prideful, but not Esther, she remained humble. 

She listened to Hegai and respected him. When she appeared before the king, she asked only for what Hegai had recommended. She won the approval and heart of the King and became the new Queen of Persia. 

We also see her humility concerning Mordecai. When he told her not to reveal her Jewish heritage in the royal palace, she listened. Once she became queen, she didn’t let her power, position, and status influence her. Rather, she continued to listen to Mordecai and helped her people when they needed it most. 

2) Esther was wise. 

Wisdom comes from the Lord and is the ability to make the right decisions. It also means applying the knowledge we have. When Esther learned of Haman’s assassination plot, she wisely decided to turn to the Lord before acting. 

As she prayed and fasted, God’s plan was revealed to her, and she knew how to proceed. A woman who seeks God’s guidance, especially in difficult situations, shows wisdom. We, too, can ask for wisdom from the Lord, and know that He will gladly grant it to us. 

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:5

A woman who seeks God’s guidance, especially in difficult situations, shows wisdom.

3) Esther had faith in God. 

Esther’s story teaches us to have faith in God and believe in His goodness, faithfulness, power, and presence. When trouble arose for the Jewish people and Esther discovered that there was an assassination plot, she didn’t panic but turned to the power of prayer and fasting. 

She knew that this was beyond her power and that of her people. They needed divine help from the all-powerful and all-knowing God. She believed that He would rescue them from this difficult situation, and God sure showed up for them. When we have faith, miracles happen, and God is glorified. 

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:22-24

4) Esther was selfless. 

Esther was selfless. As the new queen of the Persian empire, she could have become selfish and just enjoyed her luxurious life. But she was down-to-earth and put the needs of others before her own. 

She was willing to put her life on the line for her people. This is similar to Jesus Christ who left the comfort of Heaven to die for us, so we could receive salvation. The Bible encourages us to always be willing to put the needs of others above our own. 

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philippians 2:3-8

5) Esther had great courage.

What made Esther so special was her courage and bravery. We first see this when she is a beautiful young woman placed in the king’s palace in a foreign land. She could not reveal her Jewish heritage even after becoming the new queen. She could have been discovered and faced punishment, yet she remained strong, respecting Mordecai’s instruction. 

Esther was willing to face risks and challenges head-on. She didn’t run away or hide in tough situations but acted despite the fear she had when Mordecai first told her of Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews. 

Her bravery inspires us to stand confident in the Lord and His strength. When we lean on God’s power and stay in His presence, we are assured of victory, just like Esther triumphed. 

For more help growing in your walk with God, you’ll want to be sure to check out all these Practical Ways to Get Closer to God Today!


6) Esther was discreet.

Esther’s story teaches us the importance of discretion. When Esther was chosen to go to the royal palace as a young woman, Mordecai told her not to reveal her Jewish heritage. 

Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.

Esther 2:10

Even when she was selected as the new queen, she kept this information to herself. If she had disclosed this, she would have been in big trouble since she was in a foreign land. 

Discretion is such a powerful theme we see with many people in the Bible. There is a place and time when information comes to the open, but discretion can save our lives. 

7) Esther was loyal. 

Esther was the new queen in a foreign land. She had a life of luxury, prestige, and status. In terms of material possessions, she had everything she needed. Yet, she remained loyal to Mordecai and her people.

When she saw that her fellow Jews were in danger she stood with them in their time of need. She did everything she could using her position and influence to help them. 

8) Esther was patient. 

We see Esther’s patience in so many instances in her story. When she was selected to go into the king’s harem, she went through twelve months of beauty treatments. Then she had to wait her turn to be presented before King Ahasuerus where she was selected as the new queen.

After hearing of the assassination plot, she committed her time to fasting and praying, which took patience and was another period of waiting for God’s plan to be revealed and for His guidance on what her next steps should be. 

She organized two banquets for the king before she actually informed him of Haman’s plan and asked the king to spare her people from assassination (Esther 5:4-8). With each banquet, she had to be patient for the right moment to wisely inform the king of the information he needed to hear to make the right decision.  

young woman crown on head like the character of Esther in the Bible

9) Esther valued unity. 

Esther could have prayed alone, with her maids, or with Mordecai only. But she knew the power of unity and corporate prayer. She knew that in difficult situations, we need to stand together as God’s people and cry out to Him. 

She unified her people spiritually as they fasted and prayed with one accord, one heart, and one request. God heard them and answered their cries. There is power, and God’s blessing is released when we work together and stand together. We also accomplish great things in God’s kingdom. 

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Psalm 133

10) Esther was a strong leader.

The leadership qualities of Esther in the Bible are important to look at. While some people choose to abuse their power, she uses it for good. She led the Jewish people in praying and fasting and seeking the Lord for her. 

Esther guided her people to ask for God’s help in a difficult situation. She also encouraged the Jewish community to trust and wait for God’s plan and guidance. 

Esther used her voice and led the discussions with the king which led to the salvation of her people. She changed the course of her people’s lives forever and was a force to be reckoned with. 

A godly leader knows when to ask for help and relies on the Lord for guidance to carry out their duties. This is what Esther did. When her fellow Jews were in danger, she called on God’s help. 

Learn More about the Story of Esther in the Bible

If you’d like to dive deeper into the story of Esther in the Bible, you’ll want to check out this free resource! 

FREE! Character Bible Study on Esther

Download these Esther Bible Study Questions for FREE! Included are 10 study questions and 5 reflection questions, along with the specific Bible passages to read her story.

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Resources to Learn More about Inspiring Bible Women

If you’d like to study the story and lives of other inspiring women of the Bible, you’ll want to check out this 30-day Bible reading plan and journal >> Inspiring Women of the Bible Study Journal – Digital & Printable!

Be sure to read more from our Women of the Bible Series!

The Holy Bible has many inspiring women of faith and Esther stands out as one of them. Her story shows how God uses women to fulfill His plans and purpose. 

While she was a beautiful woman, what made her special was her character. She relied on God above all else, making her a wise and brave leader. She inspires us as she shows how God uses even ordinary women like you and me to carry out His will. 

As you reflect on these 10 characteristics of Esther in the Biblemay you be inspired to grow in your faith in God and allow Him to use you to do great things in His kingdom. 

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Tinashe Jaricha is a child of God, saved by His amazing grace. Her passion is to encourage moms to grow in Biblical knowledge. She shares Christian living tips and resources at Our God Is With Us.

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