4:16. “If I must perish, then I perish”. Esther’s most popular quote, probably the only statement we quote from this book. Many would agree, if it was suggested that the whole book of Esther rested on her willingness to save her people … sort of sacrificially.
Well, I think not. Whether she dies by the king’s order for breaking an existing law (ironic, isn’t it? Vashti broke no law and was punished!) or by Hamman’s own plot for being a Jewess, she would have died anyway. She just had to choose.
I think the big thing about Esther is that she was submissive; she allowed herself to be instructed and mentored. It appeared to be a mark of her personality (2:10, 15, 20). Her submission to authority and counsel eventually brought her to this critical point in a different way than she would have approached it if she was more like Vashti – self-willed.
Probably, this was what delighted the king (ch 2) and probably this kind of background thought made the king consider that her action in coming to him uninvited was not out of spite but out of genuine necessity since she would not consciously disobey him.