About Jesus Steve Sweetman
King's Edict In Behalf Of The Jews (ch. 8:1 - 17)
verse 1 we note that the king gave Esther the estate of the late Haman.
This is obviously a blessing of the Lord.
lot is said in verse 2. First
of all we see the mentioning of the signet ring that Xerxes recovered
from Haman. You will
remember that the king gave it to Haman in an earlier chapter.
This ring was used as the official signature of the king.
To make something legal or official, the ring's imprint would be
stamped on a document. Xerxes
had given Haman the authority to use the ring, and now he gives it to
Mordecai. Mordecai thus
takes Haman's place as the second in command in all of the
also tells Xerxes that Mordecai is a relative.
The king now knows that Mordecai is a Jew, and that does not seem
to bother him.
commenting on verse 3, we must remember that the king's decree to kill
all of the Jews still stands. In
Persian law, once the king decrees anything, the decree cannot be
revoked. It stands.
So, Esther here falls before Xerxes in tears because she knows
all of her people, and probably even her, will be killed.
She therefore pleads with the king to change this.
as we saw earlier when Esther approached the king without being invited,
the king reached forth his gold scepter towards Esther.
This meant that she was able to approach the throne of Xerxes
with her petition. This was
the tradition of the Persians.
see how Esther pleads in verses 5 and 6.
She is extremely humble. Note
the word "if" all the way through verses 5 and 6.
"If it please the king …"
Of course, she can approach the king in no other way.
She must be humble or else she is in danger of losing her own
head right away.
in verse 7 the word "gallows".
As I've said earlier, this word should not be understood in the
way we would understand gallows today.
What is meant here is that a person would be impaled, stabbed
with a sword, and then hung on top of a long pole that would be stood up
in some fashion for all to see. This
was the forerunner to Romans called crucifixion, the way in which Jesus
was killed. So, the word
"gallows" here does not refer to hanging as we know it today.
verse 8 we see that Esther convinced the king to issue another decree.
It would not, and could not, void his first decree to kill the
Jews, but it was a decree issued to help them fight and save themselves.
the words "from
verses 10 through 14 we see the intent of the decree.
The Jews were given special privilege to kill and destroy anyone
who would attempt to follow through with the initial decree to kill
them. This would take place on the 13th day of the month of
Adar, parts of our February and March.
note in the last few verses of chapter 8 that a great celebration was
held throughout the empire by the Jews.
They had just experienced a miracle of their God, although the
text does not say so. Many
people feared the Jews at this point and actually became Jews.
Once again, Yahweh heard the cries of His people and responded.
When Israel, or the church seriously comes before the Lord in repentant prayer, He
will respond, as He did here.