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Esther 6

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Mordecai Honored (ch. 6:1 - 14)              


We see in verse 1 that the king could not sleep one night.  Once you know the whole story of Esther you will realize that God himself was behind the fact that Xerxes couldn't sleep.  That is often the case with us as well as with national leaders.  I'm not saying that every time you can't sleep is a divine message from God.  I think you can clearly see though in this case, Xerxes lack of sleep was God's will.


So, while he was awake, he had the book of the chronicles of his rule read to him.  This was a book, or possibly books, of historical events that took place during the king's rule, and at this time, scholars say that Xerxes was probably king for at least 12 years.  This would mean that there was a lot to choose from to read.


We see what might well appear to be a coincidence in verse 2, but I say again, it was no coincidence.  This was divine intervention.  It just so happened that part of what was read to the king took place few years earlier. You'll see this in Esther 2:19 to 23.  It was Mordecai that exposed the plot of two of the king's close officers to kill him.  As an aside, history, not Esther, tells us that Xerxes eventually was killed by two of his officers, but not these two.


Apparently there was no record of Mordecai being honoured in the chronicles, thus the reason for Xerxes asking what honour had been given to Mordecai.  The answer came, "no honour was given".  This would have been a bad oversight on the part of someone, and maybe even the king himself.


We see in verses 4 and 5 that about the same time that Xerxes was talking these things over, Haman appeared in the king's palace.  He was about to talk to Xerxes about the execution of Mordecai.  How ironic.  Of course, this irony is even divinely inspired. 


Note here as we've noted before, the word "gallows".  These are not gallows in the sense we know gallows where men are hanged from the neck with a rope.  This type of death was an impaling with a pole  The pole was then set upright on some kind of structure.  The person would die on the pole as a means of warning to those who passed him by.


Note that the gallows, the pole and that which the pole would be placed in, was already made and erected for Mordecai.  Haman was quite confident that the king would agree to his plan.  Haman didn't lack for confidence.  Of course, it was self confidence, and self confidence is not godly but humanistic. 


We see that in verse 6 that Haman didn't get a chance to talk to Xerxes about his plan.  As soon as Haman entered the room, Xerxes asked Haman how he should honour a man that should be honoured.


We see in verse 6 again just what kind of man Haman was.  He wasn't just self confident.  He thought of himself higher than he should have.  He thought that if the king wanted to honour someone, the only man in the kingdom that would fit the bill would be him.  How arrogant.  His arrogance would get him in trouble.  Pride goes before a fall, and Haman and his pride would soon fall pretty hard. Haman begins to plot his own demise without even realizing it.  This is often true for people, and even nations.  People in general don't understand what works behind the scenes, what the spiritual world is all about, or, what the consequences of their actions are.   


In verses 7 through 9 Haman answers the king with himself in mind.  That which he'd like to have done to him is what he suggested to the king.  At this point, Haman must have completely forgotten about Mordecai and the reason why he was coming to see the king.  He was about to be honoured in a way that he was about to suggest to the king, or, so he thought.


The honoured man should ware a robe that the king has worn, ride on a horse the king has ridden upon, and be led through the streets of the city as an honoured man by one of the top officials in the king's palace.  This would surely satisfy the pride of Haman. 


What transpires in verse 10 must have totally devastated Haman, must have almost given him a heart attack.  Xerxes told Haman to do for Mordecai exactly what he suggested, and do it immediately.  If Haman had ever been filled with rage, which we know he had been, this rage must have been unbearable.  I don't know if he was able to control himself in front of the king or not.  I'm sure if he did, it wasn't an easy task.


Note the term "Mordecai the Jew".  At this point we know that the king realized that Mordecai was a Jew.  The text is simply emphasizing the fact that Mordecai is a Jew and we know that Haman hates Jews. 


Also note that Mordecai sat at the king's gate.  We've seen this before. Many scholars say that Mordecai must have had some kind of official job by the gate of the king because he was often seen there. This is probably the case.


In verse 11 we see that Haman was the one who dressed Mordecai in the king's robe.  Haman led Mordecai through the street, proclaiming that Mordecai was a greatly blessed and honoured man by the king.  The irony in this is that Haman suggested that a top official be the one who leads the honoured one through the streets.  Of course, Haman thought he was going to be the honoured one, not the one doing the honouring.  This must have been extremely hard to Haman to do.


When it was all over, in verse 12 we see Haman running home with his head covered.  This appears to be a customary thing.  Covering one's head was seen as a symbol of being disgraced.  Once home, he told his wife, his friends, and his adviser, what just happened.  The advisers here seem to be the wise men we saw earlier in the book.  These were magi, the same system of wise men that came to Jesus in the gospel accounts as a child. 


In verse 13 Haman's wife and advisers tell Haman that his downfall was now in process, because Mordecai was a Jew.  Just why they said this is somewhat unclear, but it is almost prophetic.  Remember the Abrahamic Covenant.  He that blesses Israel will be blessed and He that curses Israel will be cursed.  This reminds me of the things Pilate's wife told Pilate about Jesus during the time when Pilate was trying to figure out the fate of Jesus.  Pilate's wife basically didn't want anything to do with crucifying Jesus because, in her estimation, that would be bad luck.


The chapter ends with Haman being "hurried away" to the second feast the Esther had prepared for him and the king  Just the day before, he was thrilled to be invited to the queens feast, but now, he probably would rather stay home.  I think the word "hurried" tells us something  I don't think that Haman was prepared to go.  He probably wasn't dressed right.  He had to hurry and get himself ready, thus everyone was rushing around so the king and queen wouldn't be kept waiting.



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