ON THE THIRD DAY ESTHER PUT ON HER ROYAL ROBES: She had
previously been clothed in sackcloth (Est 4:16).
THE KING WAS SITTING ON HIS ROYAL THRONE IN THE HALL,
FACING THE ENTRANCE: In a Persian pillared hall, the throne was in the
middle of the side opposite to that which had an entrance, admitting from the
inner court. Thus, the king, sitting on his throne and looking down the vista of
pillars, would be able to see those standing outside.
AND HELD OUT TO HER THE GOLD SCEPTER: Touched by the
unexpected appearance of his young and beautiful queen, he instantly held out to
her the gold scepter (Est 4:11).
SO ESTHER APPROACHED AND TOUCHED THE TIP OF THE
SCEPTER: This was a dangerous course of action, even for a queen. The king
would obviously realize that some serious problem had compelled her to take such
a desperate action.
UP TO HALF THE KINGDOM: Cp also Est 5:6; 7:2. The same
offer Herod made to his step-daughter, the daughter of Herodias, in Mar 6:22,23.
Similarities between two incidents: feasting and drinking, plotting the death of
others (ie Esther asking for the "head" of Haman, the Jews' enemy!).
- Esther -- an orphan become queen; Salome -- daughter of a queen;
-- asking favor in order to deliver God's people; Salome -- asking favor in
order to destroy God's prophet;
- (alternate) Esther -- asking favor in order
to be rid of Haman; Salome -- asking favor in order to be rid of John the
- Esther -- asking on behalf of Mordecai; Salome -- asking on behalf
- Esther -- had her opportunity because of the king's drunken
pride; Salome -- ditto;
- Ahasuerus -- offered the half of the kingdom because
he loved her; Herod -- offered it because, drunk, he wanted to show
Vv 4,8: Four banquets in Esther: Vashti's deposing (Est 1:3);
Esther's coronation (Est 2:18); Esther's petition (Est 5:4,8); and the Jews'
celebration (Est 9:17).
IF IT PLEASES THE KING...: "The king's heart is in the
hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases" (Pro
21:1). Likewise, cp Gen 39 -- 41; Ezra 1:1-4; Neh 2; Dan 2; 3; 4; 5; Acts
Vv 7,8: Esther must have had a very good reason for postponing
her request of the king (v 8) since delaying it opened the door to any number of
complications. The king's mood might have changed, or Haman might have
discovered the reason for the banquet. The purpose of the first banquet was
probably to ascertain the king's state of mind, before proceeding
HE NEITHER ROSE NOR SHOWED FEAR IN HIS PRESENCE:
Previously, Mordecai had only refused to bow (Est 3:2); now he does not
acknowledge Haman's existence at all!
HAVE A GALLOWS BUILT, SEVENTY-FIVE FEET HIGH, AND ASK THE
KING IN THE MORNING TO HAVE MORDECAI HANGED ON IT:...So that Mordecai might
be lifted up, and his shame and suffering be seen by all! It looks very much as
though Haman intended to CRUCIFY Mordecai (cp Est 2:23). Haman is the embodiment
and personification of the Sin Power: his determination was to destroy his great
enemy, but in reality -- as it worked out through the providence of Almighty God
-- the "cross" on which the enemy sought to kill the Jew became... the scene of
HIS OWN DESTRUCTION!
This is plainly typical of Christ: "Since the children have
flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might
destroy him who holds the power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those
who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death" (Heb 2:14,15).
"And so he condemned sin in sinful man [the flesh]" (Rom 8:3).