Esther, Chapter 7, 8:

Esther, Chapter 7, 8:

Esther, Chapter 7, 8:                                    March 2, 2019 

God Saves the Jews through Queen Esther 

Haman wanted to kill all the Jews, plan set in motion, in the Persian Empire.


  • Mordecai told Esther she will not escape what will happen to the Jews.
  • Who knows if you have come to your royal position for such a time as this
  • Esther said to Mordecai to fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, Esther said if I perish, I perish!”

This is a key lesson for each of us.  We are here, at this time of history, for a reason. 

Esther’s 2nd Banquet for king and Haman, Esther pleads for her own life and the life of her people

Esther 7:1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther.

They had to go to the Queen living quarters.

Esther 7:2  and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

This was the 3rd time the king put the question to her.  2 different things.

By now the king is really curious on what the Queen really wants.

  • In Persian feasts the solid dishes were few
  • The time was passed in drinking and eating desert, most of the time.

If Haman knew of the connection between Mordecai and Esther he may have been even more terrified at the prospect of attending this second banquet given by Esther.

Esther 7:3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request.

The King figures Esther petition would be for wealth or honor, or the preferment of some of her friends to some high post, but for her life and her countrymen from death and destruction.   What does it mean?

  • Her petition: {formally drawn request}          grant me my life   
  • Her request: {act of asking for something}   spare my people   

Knowing the ideal timing, Esther got right to the point and gave her petition and request: life for her and her people, were all she had to ask.

Notice, Esther did not immediately identify herself as a Jew, targeted for massacre – even as Haman also hid the identity of the group he targeted when he made his request  {Esther 3:8}

Esther showed Godly wisdom in how she framed her request. She appealed on a personal basis, knowing that she has never done anything but please the king.

This is going to stun the king.  What is going on and what does she mean.

Notice, Esther refers to the words of Haman decree which aimed at nothing short of their destruction. 

Esther 7:4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”  {or although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss}

  • We are sold refers to the bribe which Haman had offered the king for permission to destroy her people.
  • Haman ten thousand talents would not repair the king’s loss, in the customs and tributes which the king receives from the Jews, within his control, loss of so many subjects.
  • It was now clear to Xerxes what her nationality was, identity to King for the first time.
  • She explained that all her people had been sold to be destroyed
  • Showing her subservient position to the king
  • She said if they had merely been sold into slavery she certainly would not have bothered the king.
  • Esther did not know if the king would grant her request
  • Would fly into a rage, as he had done with Vashti

This is powerful pleading: she finally unites herself with her people

Esther 7:5 King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he; the man who has dared presume in his heart to do such a thing?”

  • King stands amazed at this and wonder who is this monster
  • Interesting, it was the King, but done in ignorance {feeling good}
  • He consented to these bloody orders and Esther could have said, you are the man
  • King at once makes her enemy, his, protected her.
  • A look of terror was on Haman’s face as he realized what happen
  • He was about to be exposed before the most powerful man on the earth

Esther 7:6  And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.

Haman was afraid when the queen was his prosecutor, the king his judge and his own conscience a witness against him and building in his own front yard the gallows, he did this to his himself and family.

The king is so shook by this, he has to get control of himself. 

Haman is Impaled 

Esther 7:7  The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

  • Now the king was filled with rage, decided Haman fate, no mercy
  • Apparently went into the garden in an effort to control his anger.
  • Do you think the King realized that Haman had played him for a dupe in getting his decree to kill the Jews in effect. {why he was mad?}
  • His conscience might have been bothering him too as he remembered his part in approving this terrible scheme.
  • He done this many times before, loses his cool while drinking.

Esther 7:8  Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining. The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?” As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.

It was a no-no to be found on the same couch of any member of the harem

This was a call to attendants to seize the culprit and execute him.

Their covering a condemned man was also a practice among the Romans.

How sudden the contrasts, turn around in 1 day:

Esther 7:9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.” The king said, “Impale him on it!”

  • Haman was probably hated by many people in the city of Susa, especially in government circles.
  • Many were probably glad to see Haman killed.

Esther 7:10 So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

  • He lost his life when he was close to reached the goal of his ambition;
  • He perished on the very stake that he had erected for his enemy.
  • He was characterized by boundless pride; ambition; and cruelty.
  • Now the tables been turned, but the Jews were still left with a major problem:
  • The king’s edict to kill them was still in effect.
  • Remember, a Persian decree even bound the king that gave it.
  • Per a Persian decree there would still be a great slaughter of many innocent people because of the wicked actions of a now-dead man.

It was now the third month, and there were nine months to go before the fateful day when the Jews could legally be slain. 

This is real drama and it really happenGod is always in charge.

Esther: Chapters: 8

Haman was dead.  The Remaining Challenge.  Esther has been Queen for 4 years now.

The tables had now been turned, but the Jews were still left with a major problem:  The King’s command to kill them was still in effect. 

It was now the 3rd month, and there were 9 months to go from throwing lots before the fateful day when the Jews could legally be slain.

There were about 15 million Jews among the estimated 100 million people in the empire.  This is the complete Persian Empire.

Just a thought, when Haman led Mordecai throughout the city proclaiming the man the King delights to honor, did this help the citizens easier to accept Mordecai in his new position.

Esther Saves the Jews – Bloody Reckoning

Esther 8:1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.

Xerxes learn that both Esther and Mordecai were Jews and they were also cousins: Xerxes and Mordecai were now relatives by marriage.

Haman was considered a criminal and his property, goods and estate was given or forfeited to the king which then the king then gave it to Esther.

Esther 8:2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over  Haman estate.

  • Mordecai was given Haman’s position as the Prime Minister, and will be in constant attendance on the king.
  • Mordecai now had the signet ring symbolized the power and authority that Haman previously had. Mordecai advances in power.
  • The signet ring is the king seal-ring, which is the force of law to royal edicts, taking place of the signature.
  • Signet ring, that with which he signed laws, edicts, letters, patents,
  • King made him keeper of the seals, first minister of the king:
  • Esther also put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s estates, as her steward or factor, to manage that large estate which gave him great wealth.
  • Not only the building and the furniture, but the household – the vast number of attendants of all kinds that was attached to the residence of a Persian noble.

Esther 8:3-4 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping {or tears}. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.  (4)  Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

  • Notice, she had put her life on the line again and go before the king.
  • The king was not reclining at table, but probably leaning back against the cushions and one foot under him.
  • Order to kill all the Jews was still in effect, something had to be done.
  • So Esther appeared before the king a second time without an invitation
  • Esther was still subject to death. 

Esther 8:5-6  “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces.  (6)  For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”  

{politics going on here}

Second Proclamation

  • Esther’s request was simple. She wanted a second decree written
  • Sent out which would override the first decree.
  • Notice, She cleverly ascribes the first decree to Haman,
  • Attempting to avoid a royal recant and blame the king.
  • Strangely, a simple reversing was not permissible under Persian law
  • She is now identity herself as a Jew: my people and my family

Esther 8:7-8 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up.  (8)  Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”

  • Esther and Mordecai now had the power and resources that previously
  • They should use that power belonged to Haman to their advantage.
  • Though Haman’s decree could not be revoked, Xerxes suggestion?
  • A second one could supersede it. That is the idea here.
  • Mordecai had the authority to write the decree any way he wished
  • A blank check in effect with the kings authority
  • Just wondering where did Haman family move to, with nothing left

Esther 8:9 At once the royal secretaries {or scribes} were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps {or lieutenants}, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.

  • The king makes a counter-decree, allowing the Jews the right to protect themselves on the day they were scheduled to be killed
  • Mordecai orders (Sivan: May – June) was a little over two months after Haman’s decree (Esther 3:12)
  • The Jews had over eight months to prepare themselves for the conflict
  • Huge job to put out the new orders, hundreds of languages

Esther 8:10-11 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.  (11)  The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies.

  • Since the previous edict could not simply be revoked, the strategy was to offset the first by the second.
  • The first had removed the protection of the empire from the Jews and had provided the financing for military action against them.
  • The second edict allowed the Jews to form their own militia groups and, in effect, withdrew the royal protection, and relieve the unhappy Jews from the death order they were under. Peace of mind.
  • The Jews would not be considered in rebellion against the crown.
  • This puts Haman’s people in the same situation as the Jews, making them targets that could be attacked without fear of reprisals from the government.
  • Jews were given permission to take away the property of their enemies
  • The Jews did not take any spoils and probably they spared women and children (Esther 9:10)

Esther 8:12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.

  • The Jews were given the right to protect themselves and the right to kill and plunder any group that fought against them, through the whole empire, not just the capital.
  • Haman order was on the 13th day of the 1st Month (Esther 3:13) One month before.

Esther 8:13 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province and made known {or published} to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

  • The king gave permission to the Jews to kill all who oppressed them.
  • Paul tells us not to avenge ourselves, God will repay. *Romans 12:19
  • Is this avenging ourselves or is God doing. 

Esther 8:14-15 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.  (15)  When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.

  • Under Haman’s edict the city of Susa had been “bewildered”.
  • Under the edict of Mordecai the Susa held a joyous celebration.
  • The royal colors identified him with nobility and high political station
  • It could only be worn by those closely associated with the king.

Esther 8:16-17 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor.  (17)  In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.

  • Is this all these people of the king do is eat, celebrate
  • The non-Jewish population could become Jews by conversion because of the potential benefits or association with the Jews
  • We see the Jews’ would have to fight to retain what was theirs.
  • They had to take part actively in their own deliverance.
  • The rest of the non-Jews people were filled with dread and did not want to be numbered among the Jews enemies and be slain by them.

Next week we will cover the last 2 chapter of Esther and see what really happens to her and the Jewish people.

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