This lesson is part 2 of a 10 part series on the book of Esther. In this lesson the children will learn about God’s intervention in the selection of the next queen for the king. You can print off this lesson plan to use in your children’s church or Sunday School. Be sure to change things up to fit your ministry context. As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section below. The estimated time for this Bible lesson is 20 minutes.
Note: The book of Esther can be difficult to relate back to Jesus and his Good News. One clear connection is the promise that the Savior would be born from the family of Abraham. The plot to eliminate the Jews (the promised family) was a threat to God’s promise. When God saved Esther and the Jews in Persia, he was also protecting the future birth of Jesus according to his promises. The saving work of Christ was directly tied to God’s saving work in the book of Esther.
Curriculum text: Esther 2:1-23
After this lesson, children will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the events in Esther chapter 2 by answering review questions.
Curriculum Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th
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- Bible: Esther 2:1-23 Prepare beforehand a copy highlighting all the important points in the lesson to ensure a specific explanation on them.
- Visual Aides: Pictures of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes), Esther, Mordecai, and any other pictures that can be found regarding the selection of a new queen during this time of history or the banquet held for Esther.
Children’s Church Teaching Plan:
Establish the lesson by briefly explaining who the key people to the story are by showing the pictures of King Ahasuerus, Esther, Mordecai, and any other pictures found showing the gathering of the harem or the banquet following Esther’s selection as queen.
Prior to reading the story, divide the group of children into two groups and ask one half to listen for what they learn about Esther and her family. Ask the other half of the children to identify the methods the king used to select a new queen.
Read (and Recap) Esther 2:1-23. Read with different voice inflections and stop to involve the children into the story. Reinforce the lesson by asking questions. Do you think the king missed his queen? Yes. Since he made a rule and couldn’t get her back, what did he do? He tried to find a new queen to replace her. Of all the girls chosen to come, whom did the king’s eunuch favor? Esther. How long did the girls have to go through a beautifying regimen before being present to the king? A year. Who was Esther related? Mordecai. What nationality was she? Jewish. Why didn’t Esther tell the king she was Jewish? Mordecai told her not to tell. Say to the children, “If you were a girl at this time, don’t you think this would be like a huge Miss America contest, and Esther was chosen as the final winner?”
When you’re finished reading the story, use the pictures to review the important people and events in the story.
Ask for a response from the children about their listening assignment. What did they learn about Esther and her family? What did they learn about how the king went about selecting a new queen?
Select some volunteers to demonstrate the lessons they learned about living at this time in history. Select a boy to be the king, the eunuch, and one for Mordecai. Chose a girl to play Esther and several others to be the rest of the girls for the king to examine. Have the children retell the story, prompting them with “What happened next?” when they get stuck on the story line. Have the girls try to emphasize some of the things they might do to catch the king’s attention for him to choose them. Be sure to point out the special interest the eunuch took in Esther and helping her be more presentable to the king.
Children’s Church Lesson Evaluation:
- Ask for a volunteer to explain the reason they believe Mordecai did not want the king to know that Esther was a Jew.
- Ask another volunteer to imagine being Esther and tell how they think they would have felt.
- Give a list of possible lessons and ask the children to raise their hand if it was from the story.
- Esther was Jewish but didn’t tell the eunuch or king. Yes.
- The king threw a banquet for 180 days. True, but not part of this lesson.
- It took a year for Esther and girls to be present to the king for him to choose. Yes.
- There was a man that hated Mordecai and wanted to get rid of him. True, but not part of this lesson.
- Esther found favor with the eunuch and then the king? Yes.
- Mordecai overheard a plot to kill the king. Yes.