Esther Saves the Jews
8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.”
The king’s scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the letters by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king’s service, bred from the royal stud, saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. A copy of what was written was to be issued as a decree in every province, being publicly displayed to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance on their enemies. So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in the king’s service, rode out hurriedly, urged by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Susa the citadel.
Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a robe of fine linen and purple, and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. The Jews had light and gladness and joy and honor. And in every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict reached, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared themselves Jews, for fear of the Jews had fallen on them.
Esther 8 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Haman impaled on the very gallows he’d built for Mordecai still left a problem. The edict of the slaughter of the Jews was in place. According to Persian rule, no law could be revoked. But God had a plan, tying up the loose ends so His people would be spared. Esther pleaded before the king for something to be done. God moved in the heart of this pagan ruler who not only gave Haman’s estate to Esther but also gave carte blanche for the Jews to protect themselves against the previous edict and defend themselves, whatever it took. The new law went out across the 126 provinces. In a larger surprise, Mordecai was elevated within the government as a Prime Minister.
God is the problem solver.
Many times we think our role is to solve or deal with such matters that seem so impossible – but we can never fulfill the greatness of God or the wisdom He holds in such matters. There are things in our lives which point toward disaster. There are things and yes people who come against us where short of an intervention from God, nothing will change. Although the book of Esther is not finished yet, we see how Esther and Mordecai relied on the timing of God and moved when they were told. They never took things into their own hands.
Many of us may be facing tremendous problems at the moment. Some of these may seem beyond hope. God has a solution and as we yield to Him the reins, wait on His movement and wisdom to direct us, in time we will have to move or get involved in the situation. It may take risk. It may be one of the most frightening things we’ve ever done. It may take patience. But as God is the One to solve this issue our requirement in the process is to trust Him, lean on Him and then act when He tells us.
Esther 8 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Throughout the book of Esther, I have been drawing lines connecting Haman with Satan and this chapter is no different. Haman was defeated and eliminated but the King’s decree still stood over the Jewish people and it could not be revoked. Sound familiar?
Though our enemy Satan has been defeated, he is not the one who has the power to determine our fate. It is God who will judge and we stand condemned in our sin – a decree that cannot be revoked because our God is a holy God. But, just as the King proposed a counter-decree, so did God. He did not compromise on His first decree of judgment but used the counter to satisfy His wrath and set us free from the bondage of sin. It is a beautiful picture of Salvation and the parallels are fascinating.
“The speed with which the circulation of the royal decree was carried out is a rebuke to the Church of God which has been entrusted with the gospel of salvation. More than eighteen hundred years have passed, and still immense multitudes have never heard the name of Christ or the love of God. Let us at least strain every nerve to pass on the joyful news, overtaking the tidings of death.”F.B. Meyer
This counter-edict was granted somewhere around May/June. If you remember, back in Esther 3, God (through the casting of lots) had originally granted the Jews about 11 months to prepare for their destruction. They now stood 8 months away from both edicts simultaneously becoming effective. This was plenty of time to prepare for such an attack. The grace of God allowing time to spread the news and prepare is another amazing parallel to the Gospel.
I am unsure of exactly how this defense played out, but we can trust that proper authority was given by the King to the people in order to defend themselves from the original edict.
“…the assault mentioned here was expected to be directed against the men, women, children, and possessions of the Jews. Against such assault, the Jews were to arm themselves and make proper defenses.”Nelson’s Commentary