Esther 8

Introduction

‘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. The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate. Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him. “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favour 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. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?” Esther 8:1-6

The King’s Edict In Behalf Of The Jews

On the same day that Haman was hung, Esther 7:10, the king gave Esther the house of Haman, which would have included all his possession and his servants.

This was done according to the custom of the time, the possessions of a traitor were confiscated by the state and the possessions of Haman were given to the one he had wronged.

Mordecai had already proven his allegiance to the king by spoiling the plot against his life, Esther 2:21-23, and since he was the foster father of his queen, Esther 2:7, it made perfect sense to make him second in command in the place of Haman.

Esther goes ahead and makes Mordecai the head of Haman’s household and so he lived in his home and enjoyed the riches that he had. When she did this, this signalled to the king that she desired that Mordecai be exalted to the position that Haman had formerly enjoyed.

He was given the signet ring, which meant he now had the power to seal documents that couldn’t be altered even by the king. This was a great honour and it required great responsibility and Mordecai was certainly qualified for such a task.

We must remember that although Haman has already been dealt with, his evil decree was still in force. Earlier, the king said that he would give the queen whatever she wanted, up to half of his kingdom, Esther 5:3 / Esther 5:6, but since nothing had been done to stop the slaughter, Esther comes before the king crying this time.

Notice that the king once again held out his golden sceptre, which suggests that Esther once again went before the king without being invited, Esther 5:2.

‘King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and 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. 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.” At once the royal secretaries 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, 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. 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. 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. 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. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 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. 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. For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honour. 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.’ Esther 8:7-17

Esther pleas for the king to reverse the decree that was sent out, Esther 3:12-18, the problem is, once a decree was sealed with the signet ring, not even the king could reverse it.

However, the king made it possible for Esther to save her people because he gave her permission to send another decree that would make it impossible for the slaughter to occur. This new decree also had to be sealed with the king’s signet ring.

Around 2 months had passed since Haman had made his decree, but now a new decree was made by Mordecai that would protect the Jews. Now they would be allowed to rise up and protect themselves from anyone who tried to slaughter them.

Mordecai is dressed in all the royal clothing which proved that he was in control and had the favour of the king. The first Jews to learn about Mordecai’s new decree was the city of Susa and it caused the people to rejoice because now they had hope.

As the good news spread through the 127 provinces, Esther 1:1, all the Jews rejoiced and they had a great feast because now, they could protect themselves from the Haman’s decree.

As the new decree was made known, the other people became scared of what would happen to them, so many of the people became Jews by becoming proselytes.

They were obviously persuaded that because Mordecai and Esther were Jews and the God of the Jews was working in and through the Jews, Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Go To Esther 9

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