I had just read the NIV Application Commentary on Ruth & was digging the Old Testament women, so I decided to move on to Esther. I referenced Tremper Longman's Old Testament Commentary Survey to see which commentary he felt was the best. He gave Dr. Jobes' NIV Application Commentary on Esther 5 stars & said, "Without a doubt this is the best commentary to buy on Esther." Well, that recommendation sold me, so I picked it up and read through it. Since it only the first commentary I have read on Esther, I cannot say if it is the best, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As you probably know, Esther is the only book in Scripture which does not explicitly speak of God, and Dr. Jobes does well to speak in how in our contemporary situation, we quite seldom hear God speak & rarely witness a blatant divine miracle. So, Esther is really quite a contemporary book. Esther speaks of believers being used by God in secular positions - something that people are looking for today. How can I be used of God in my workplace, in my neighborhood, in my _______? Esther is quite a contemporary book.
I have mentioned what I enjoy about the NIV Application commentary before (in my review of Dr. John Walton's commentary on Genesis), so I will not go into that again. But what I specifically liked about Dr. Jobes' commentary on Esther is that she paints Esther and Mordecai as human. They are not necessarily role models (Esther wins her position based on her sexual prowess), but they are real people, struggling and God obviously works through them (even though it is far from obvious at the time). Dr. Jobes deals with tough subjects comprised within the book such as holy war, feminist issues, and trusting God when he is not seen.