Bible Survey on Esther – Lesson 8

We stopped with Haman being hanged upon the gallows that he made for Mordecai, and Mordecai then being put over the house of Haman.

Haman himself has been stopped.  However, the evil plan that he put in motion is still in motion.

Est 8:3  And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. 

Est 8:4  Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, 

Est 8:5  And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces: 

Est 8:6  For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred? 

We have a problem.  The law was cold and hard and unforgiving.  And once made they could not change it.

What Esther is asking for cannot be done.  She wants the king to have written letters to reverse the law that Haman devised.  That law stated that on the 13th day of the 12th month all Jews were to be killed.  That law is still on the books and it will still be on the books when the 12th month comes.

I like the way Esther handles herself here.  There is no, this is your fault.  There is no if you would have looked into things first this would not have happened.  There is no if you would have just asked me first.  She does not come asking with blame or shaming.

She comes with tears and not blame.  She comes in humility asking the one who has the power to help for help.  She does not come with an attitude that will achieve nothing.  She once again shows control and her wisdom.

Est 8:7  Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. 

Est 8:8  Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse. 

I don’t think that the king knew how to solve this.  I believe he wanted it solved.  I think that is clear, but how?

So he tells Esther and of course Mordecai would be involved.  Mordecai had the king’s ring. The king tells them to write a new law as it liketh you.  So handle this as you see fit, then seal it with my ring.  That is putting the king’s authority behind it.  And what you write also cannot be reversed.

Est 8:9  Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. 

It is the 3rd month on 23rd day.  So there is a little less than 9 months to put in place a solution.

Mordecai comes up with the solution.  And they write according to all that Mordecai commanded.  And they send it everywhere.

Est 8:10  And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: 

So what solution did Mordecai come up with.

Est 8:11  Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, 

Est 8:12  Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 

Since they could not undo the law to kill the Jews.  Mordecai puts a law in place that on that day the Jews can defend themselves.  On that day it will be legal for the Jews to kill those that would kill them.

The Bible does say thou shalt not kill.  That is talking about murder.  The Bible also allows for self-defense.  Under certain circumstances the Bible teaches it is ok to go to war.  Not over little things or silly misunderstandings.  Most wars in the history of the world have been fought over un-biblical things.

What we are talking about here is what is called genocide.  They were going to kill, murder in cold blood every single Jew alive.  From old people to the babies.  Everyone.  This is the kind of horrible thing that makes it justified to stand up and fight.

Est 8:13  The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 

Est 8:14  So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. 

The decree tells all the Jews to make preparation for that day.  They got only about 8 months.  They get busy.  They need to procure weapons and they need intel.  Who are the individuals that are prepared to kill them on the 13th day of the 12th month.

The threat is not gone.  But now there is hope.  Now they can have a chance to live.

Est 8:15  And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 

Est 8:16  The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 

This has been done out in the open for everyone to see.  Haman did this in darkness, hiding information and scheming.  But once that law was made.  It was all out in the open.  Everyone knew about it.  And now the law that Mordecai made is sent everywhere.  And everywhere it goes there is a big to do about it.

And something happens that is very important.  Not only to the story of Esther but it helps clear up the book of Joshua when they came into the land and those living there were defeated.

It also helps clear up Ezra.  If you remember many of the men of Israel that went back took on strange wives.  God has Ezra tell the men that they need to put away their strange wives.  On the surface both of those cases sounds harsh.  In Joshua’s day just lose everything and get wiped out.  And in Ezra’s day just leave my husband.

Est 8:17  And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them. 

There was another option.  This was always the goal.

Isa_49:6  And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

It was God’s plan that Israel would be a light to the lost world.  That they would share the Word of God with everyone and that they would share their faith with the Gentiles.  God’s Word and His salvation was always to be offered to everyone.  Yes the Jews were God’s chosen people.  But not chosen to keep God to themselves.

Psa_22:27  All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

Psa_113:4  The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.

This goes all the way back.  When the Passover was started and the instructions given for it.

Exo_12:48  And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Let the stranger come.  Let him believe.  Let him take the Passover and he shall be as one that is born in the land.  Anyone could choose to believe and become one of God’s children.  Anyone could do what Ruth did and say your God will be my God.  Anyone could do what Rahab did and chose to believe.  And they would be accepted.

The people in the land when Joshua marched in.  Anyone of them could have been like Rahab and turned from their sin and false gods and get saved.  Anyone of those strange wives in Ezra’s day could have done the same thing.  They did not have to leave their husbands.  They only had to leave their false wicked gods.

In both of those cases the majority chose their sin over the true Loving merciful Creator.

But in Esther it is different.

Est 8:17  And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them. 

This time many people of the land became Jews.  Many of them chose to believe.  Many of them did what Ruth did and said your God will be my God and your people will be my people.

And this happened over and over again.  For many months.  And in every province and in every city.  The news would come, the Jews would have joy and a feast.  All the people who also lived in that city would see it and hear about it.  They are joyful and praising their God.

And God moved.  God brought conviction to go along with the proclaiming and the show of faith.  Having a feast and joy when still sentenced to death was definitely a display of faith and trust in their God.  Along with this display of faith, God brought conviction to the hearts of men.  It says for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.  That is God working.

So you have faith being shown forth, and the truth of God’s word, and then add to that God bringing conviction and working in hearts.  And the result was many turned to God.  God always wanted them to be a light to the Gentiles.  God always wanted to use them to bring others to faith in Him.  And here in Esther this happens.  They got to see this fulfilled.

God used Esther and Mordecai to bring this about.  God turned the wickedness of Haman around for good.  It was not Haman’s desire to increase the number of Jews.  Haman wanted to exterminate all of them.  But God turned it all around and increased the Jews number by people believing in faith.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 

I mean it all looked bad.  It looked like no way out.  And God turns it completely around and uses it all to see a great number of people saved.  The months pass as this is going on.  The preparation for fighting for their very lives is done.

Est 9:1  Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;) 

Est 9:2  The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people. 

That is God sent fear.  The same thing happened in Jericho.

Est 9:3  And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 

Est 9:4  For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater. 

Est 9:5  Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. 

They did not go after everyone.  Only those who hated them.  Now remember all this was not done in darkness.  It was not done in a corner.  Every one of those people who were with what Haman wanted could have changed their minds.  They could have come out in support of the Jews.  They could have put away their racism and hatred and they would have lived.

Est 9:6  And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men. 

Even after all that has happened.  The fall of Haman and being hanged on the gallows he made, and the rise of Mordecai.  Even after seeing God turn things around and seeing God bless the Jews.  Even those in Shushan the palace who saw it all up close.

500 men on that day in the palace still chose hatred.  And among those 500 are the 10 sons of Haman.

Est 9:10  The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand. 

Haman succeeded in one thing.  Haman succeeded in passing his hatred down to his sons.

Est 9:11  On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. 

Est 9:12  And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done. 

Est 9:13  Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. 

Est 9:14  And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 

A side note.  Notice that the sons of Haman were already dead.  Then they hanged them on the gallows.  They did not hang them to kill them.  They hung them after they killed them.

Kind of a way to advertise to others like them.  This does not have to be you.  So the next day the 14th.  The Jews again stood for their lives.

Est 9:15  For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand. 

Est 9:16  But the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey, 

Est 9:17  On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 

The Feast of Purim Inaugurated

Est 9:20  And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, 

Est 9:21  To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 

Est 9:22  As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. 

Est 9:23  And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them; 

Est 9:24  Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; 

Est 9:25  But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 

Est 9:26  Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them, 

Est 9:27  The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year; 

Once again God showed His Almighty power in the circumstances of life and His power to move in the hearts of men.

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