Est 8:1 -- Est 9:19: Even though Haman was dead the Jews were
not yet safe. This section records what Esther and Mordecai did to insure the
preservation of the Jews who then lived throughout the vast Persian Empire. Cp
Isa 61:6; Dan 7:18.
KING XERXES GAVE QUEEN ESTHER THE ESTATE OF HAMAN:
Esther received this probably to compensate her for her suffering.
HIS SIGNET RING: Cp Est 3:10: the royal seal of
authority. The king gave Mordecai Haman's place as second in authority (cp Gen
41:42). "The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to
anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men": Dan 4:17.
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... WHICH HE HAD
DEVISED AGAINST THE JEWS: Esther again had to argue her case, this time for
clemency for the Jews. Her request involved expense to the king. Esther would
not have been sure he would grant it. Ahasuerus could have spared the life of
the queen and Mordecai and let the rest of their nation perish. Esther's
commitment to her people, which jeopardized her own safety, was very selfless
and accounts for the high honor the Jews have given her since these events
LET AN ORDER BE WRITTEN OVERRULING THE DISPATCHES THAT
HAMAN... DEVISED AND WROTE TO DESTROY THE JEWS IN ALL THE KING'S PROVINCES:
But Haman's decree had been written in the king's name, and was thus
unchangeable (Est 1:19; cp Dan 6:17).
NOW WRITE ANOTHER DECREE IN THE KING'S NAME IN BEHALF OF
THE JEWS... FOR NO DOCUMENT WRITTEN IN THE KING'S NAME AND SEALED WITH HIS RING
CAN BE REVOKED: The laws of the Medes and Persians could not be repealed (cp
Dan 6:8). And so, instead, another decree would have to be written into law --
which, in its carrying out, would neutralize the effects of the first (and
Typically, this presents an interesting, and thrilling,
parallel: God Himself has issued decrees that cannot be repealed ("Thou shalt
surely die..."); so how to deliver HIS people without repealing this law? The
answer is Christ: a greater deliverer who can neutralize, and overcome the
effect of the previous "law" -- the law of sin and death -- without overturning
the law itself! Or, to put it another way, a God who can show mercy and forgive
sin, while at the same time upholding His own absolute holiness and
righteousness: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are
justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, [covering] through faith in his
blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had
left the sins committed beforehand unpunished -- he did it to demonstrate his
justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those
who have faith in Jesus" Rom 3:23-26. "Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the
Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was
powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending
his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he
condemned sin in sinful man [the flesh]" (Rom 8:1-3).
Thus, in type, God's death sentence hangs over a sinful
humanity, but He has also commanded a decree of salvation. Only by a knowledge
of, and a response to, the second decree [cp Est 8:9] of saving grace -- through
the Lord Jesus Christ -- can the terrible effects of the first decree of
universal condemnation for sin be averted.
The first decree to destroy the Jews had gone out on April 17,
474 BC (Est 3:12) [RA Parker and WH Dubberstein, "Babylonian Chronology 626 BC
to AD 75", p 31]. So, by the same reckoning, Ahasuerus published this decree,
allowing the Jews to defend themselves, on June 25, 474 BC. The Jews had over
eight months to prepare for the day their enemies might attack them, which was
March 7, 473 BC.
ESPECIALLY BRED FOR THE KING: "Bred from the royal
AND TO PLUNDER THE PROPERTY OF THEIR ENEMIES: But they
did not do so: see Est 9:10n.
ROYAL GARMENTS OF BLUE AND WHITE: The Persian kings
wore robes of purple and white. For the Jews, these would be colors of royalty
A LARGE CROWN OF GOLD: Not the sw as the king's "crown"
-- this should be "turban." Mordecai's clothing reflected his important position
in the government.
AND THE CITY OF SUSA HELD A JOYOUS CELEBRATION:
Evidently Mordecai read the second decree at a public meeting in Susa. Contrast
the Jews' reaction here with their response to the first decree (Est 3:15). God
had blown the dark cloud that had hung over their heads away.
JOY AND GLADNESS AMONG THE JEWS, WITH FEASTING AND
CELEBRATING: This was not the Feast of Purim but a celebration in
anticipation of it.
AND MANY PEOPLE OF OTHER NATIONALITIES BECAME JEWS BECAUSE
FEAR OF THE JEWS HAD SEIZED THEM: Many Gentiles became proselytes to Judaism
as a result of God's obvious blessing on His people. This is the only mention in
the OT that Gentiles "became Jews." They became religious Jews, not racial Jews
(cp Zec 8:23). This testimony to the fact that Gentiles' recognized God's
blessing on the Jews would have been a great encouragement to the Jews in the
post-exilic period (cp Ex 19:5,6).