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ESTHER BIBLE VERSES STUDY
Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Bible Characters study program. This is our Esther Bible Verses study. The truth within this SON-derful Esther Bible Verses study will truly enhance your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
Hope you're ready for a truly interesting story
that we're about to study called The Book of Esther.
The story starts off with a grand celebration that the king of Media and
Persia was throwing. King Ahasuerus reigned over more than 127 provinces
from India to Ethiopia.
First a little bit of background, to bring you more information about the
setting of the story and to acquaint you with the king. As you may know, the
Bible is not all in chronological order, however, if you research some
things, you can usually figure out the general time frame of a story by some
clues given. Here are some things that give us a fairly good idea of when
the story of Esther took place.
In the Book of
Ezra 4:6, Ahasuerus was king during the rebuilding of the
temple in Jerusalem. That would make it somewhere between five and six
hundred years before Christ. In the Book of Daniel, it says that
Nebuchadnezzar ruled in Babylon in the 3rd year of king Jehoiakim,
which was 644 years before Christ. Then Nebuchadnezzar's son Belshazzar
reigned as king of the Chaldans after that, then Darius the Median who was
the son of Ahasuerus, took the kingdom after that, so that puts us in the
same general time frame. It's interesting to notice that the book of Ezra
and the book of Daniel are 12 books apart in the Bible, yet they cover the
The palace where king Ahasuerus' throne was located, was in a place
called Shushan, or on some maps it was called Susa. That pretty well covers
the setting, as for the people, I'll be introducing you to them as the story
Now, in the third year of his reign, king Ahasuerus held a feast for all
his princes, nobles and servants. He showed off the riches of his glorious
kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty for 180 days (that's 6 months
to you and me)! That was quite a long party!
After that, the king held another feast for all the people who
were present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, for 7 days in the
court of the garden of the king's palace. The palace was very elaborate with
fancy linens and furnishings and the guests were served royal wine
generously, in all different kinds of golden cups, as the king commanded. No
one contested the drinking because the king told all the officers of his
house to serve every man as much as they wanted.
In addition to the festivities that the king held, Vashti, the queen,
held a feast for the women in the royal house that belonged to Ahasuerus.
On the 7th day, when the heart of the king was merry with
wine, he ordered his seven chamberlains to bring Vashti before the king,
wearing the royal crown, to show the people and the princes her beauty,
because she was pretty. But Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment
by his chamberlains. This made Ahasuerus mad and his anger burned inside
He consulted with his scholars who knew law and the times, and his seven
princes of the kingdom asking them, What should we do to queen Vashti
according to the law, because she disobeyed the order of the king?
One of the princes answered, Vashti hasn't only done wrong to the king,
but also to all the princes and all the people of the provinces. What she's
done will become known to women everywhere. They'll despise their husbands
when they hear the news that the king commanded Vashti the queen to be
brought in before him, but she didn't obey. It'll cause too much contempt
and anger. If it please the king, let a law be written that can't be
changed, that Vashti never be seen again in the presence of king Ahasuerus,
and let the king give her royal position to another woman, better than her.
When the kings order is proclaimed throughout all his great empire, all the
wives will give their husbands honor, both great and small.
The king was happy with the idea and the law was written. The king sent
letters to every province in their own language that every man should rule
in his own house.
So, the contentious ways of queen Vashti caused her to be divorced from
the king and expelled from his presence forever. Next in our story, we'll
find out all about how Esther became queen in Vashti's place and about a
situation that arose when her cousin Mordecai stood up for his beliefs.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
In the first chapter we learned how queen Vashti disobeyed the commandment of her king, so she was expelled from the
palace and it was ruled that her royal estate would be given to someone more
worthy than her.
So, when the
king's anger subsided, he remembered what Vashti had done and what was
ordered against her. The king's servants suggested that there be a search
for beautiful young maidens for the king to be able to choose a new queen
from the group. The king liked the idea and he appointed officers in all the
provinces of the kingdom to bring all the beautiful young maidens to Shushan
the palace, to the house of the women.
They were put in
the care of the king's chamberlain, Hegai, to see that the customs of
purification were followed and the maiden who pleased the king would become
queen instead of Vashti.
Now, in Shushan,
there was a certain Jewish man named Mordecai who was of the tribe of
Benjamin, and he'd been taken away with the captives from Jerusalem when
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, carried them all away. Mordecai raised
his uncle's daughter (his cousin) Hadassah, which is Esther because her
mother and father had died and he took her for his own daughter. She was a
very lovely maiden.
When the king's
commandment was declared and many maidens were taken to the palace, Esther
was also brought to the king's house. She pleased the king and won his
kindness, and he readily gave her the things for purification which were
necessary out of the king's house, along with seven maids. He promoted her
and her maids to the best place of the house of the women.
Esther not to reveal that she was Jewish, so she kept it a secret. He walked
every day in front of the court of the women's house to know how she was,
and what would become of her.
The custom of
purification for women took twelve months. Six months was with oil of myrrh,
and six months with sweet odors and other things for the purifying of the
women. Then each maiden was presented to the king and whatever she desired
was given to her to take with her out of the house of the women to the
In the evening,
she went, and on the next day she returned to the second house of the women,
to the care of the king's chamberlain, Shaashgaz who cared for the king's
concubines. She was not allowed into the king's presence any more unless the
king liked her, and called her by name.
When it was
Esther's turn, she took nothing with her except what Hegai advised her, and
she won favor in the sight of everyone who saw her. Esther was taken into
the house of king Ahasuerus in the tenth month, which was called Tebeth, in
the seventh year of his reign. The king loved Esther above all the women,
and she obtained grace and kindness in his sight more than all of the
maidens, so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead
The king held a
great celebration for all his princes and his servants, called Esther's
feast and he made a holiday for the provinces and gave gifts according to
the state of the king.
When the maidens
were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's
gate. Esther had still not told of her heritage of being Jewish, as Mordecai
had advised her. She obeyed him as she did when she was brought up by him.
At that time,
while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains who
kept guard of the door, were angry with king Ahasuerus and plotted to kill
found out about it, he told Esther and she informed the king in Mordecai's
name. When the matter was investigated, it was found out to be true and the
two chamberlains were both hanged on a tree, and it was written in the book
of the chronicles that Mordecai, saved the king's life.
that's how Esther became the queen. Next in our story, there's some trouble
ahead for Mordecai.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
refresh your memory a bit, king Ahasuerus had a celebration to show the
kingdom his riches. Then he had another, smaller celebration for just the
people of the palace. When he asked his queen Vashti to make an appearance,
she curtly refused, so Ahasuerus divorced her and made a search for a new
The cousin of
Mordecai the Jew won the honor of becoming the new queen because of her
loveliness. Shortly thereafter, Mordecai heard that two of the king's
chamberlains were planning to murder the king, so he alerted Esther, who in
turn informed the king and the report was written in the king's book of
chronicles, but the king didn't know that it was Mordecai who saved his
That brings us to
where we left off. After that, the king promoted Haman, of the children of
Agag as his top prince above all the others. All the servants bowed and
respected Haman because the king commanded it. However ... Mordecai didn't
bow to Haman, or respect him. A Jewish man bows to none but God.
The servants of
the king asked Mordecai, Why do you disobey the king's commandment? They
asked him every day, and Mordecai didn't listen to them so the servants told
Haman, to see if this behavior would be tolerated because Mordecai told them
that he was Jewish.
When Haman saw
that Mordecai didn't bow or have any reverence for him, he was infuriated.
He refused to harm only Mordecai, because they showed him Mordecai's people,
so Haman planned to destroy all the Jewish people in the entire kingdom of
In the first
month, called Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, (Esther had been
queen for about five years now) they cast the lot, called Pur, in front of
Haman every day until the twelfth month, called Adar.
Time for a Daily
Bread Crumb! We've talked about how the Hebrews cast lots and this was a
means by which God revealed things to them. Well, the Persian word for this
practice was Pur, though it wasn't divinely inspired like casting lots was
for the Hebrews. They did this to find out which of the twelve months would
be the "luckiest" for Haman to accomplish his destruction of the Jews. Some
also think that in addition this was some kind of game that the people
played in front of, or with Haman daily to distract him from his ire until
the lucky day arrived or that it was some kind of determination as to who
would win the property of the more affluent Jewish families.
Then Haman said to
king Ahasuerus, There's a certain people scattered abroad and diving among
the people in all the provinces of your kingdom as well. Their laws are
different from all people, and they don't keep the king's laws either. It's
not profitable for the king to put up with them. If it pleases the king, let
there be a law written that they may be destroyed, and I'll pay ten thousand
talents of silver to those who are put in charge of the job, to bring it
into the king's treasuries. This was because Haman knew there would be a
loss of tribute with so many people perishing, so he was willing to pay it
out of his own pocket.
The king thought
this was a good idea, so he took his ring off his hand and gave it to Haman,
the enemy of the Jewish people. The king said to Haman, The silver is given
to you, and the people too. Do with them as it seems good to you.
Here's a little
Daily Bread Crumb! In ancient times, the king often gave his ring to someone
who he placed in a seat of honor. Joseph was given the ring of Pharaoh when
he put him in charge of Egypt as well. Now, about the ring itself. You may
have heard of it being called a signet ring. That's because it
was used instead of a signature for decrees and laws and such.
The ring usually had a gem or a stone that was engraved with some kind of
seal (called an intaglio) that represented official authority or
authenticity, so that an impression or engraving could be made with it.
secretaries were called on the thirteenth day of the first month and all
that Haman suggested was commanded in writing to the king's lieutenants,
governors and rulers of every people of every province, in their own
language, throughout the kingdom, and sealed with the king's ring.
The letters were
sent by messengers ordering to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, to
all Jewish people, both young and old, little children and women, in one
day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, called Adar, and to take
the spoil of them for a prey (take all their goods). This was to be done in
exactly eleven months.
A copy of the
writing was published for all the people so they would be ready for that
day. The messengers went out hurriedly by order of the king, and the decree
was given in Shushan the palace.
continue, we'll find out what happens when Mordecai finds out about Haman's
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
ended the last chapter, the wicked Haman, disgruntled because Mordecai wouldn't bow to him or
show him respect, talked king Ahasuerus into giving an order to kill all
Jewish people in the kingdom.
heard about this, he was so sorrowful that he tore his clothes and put on
sackcloth with ashes. Remember it was because he refused to bow that this
decree was given. But, he knew the law, he was not to bow to any but God. He
went into the middle of the city and cried loudly and bitterly. He even went
in front of the king's gate, because nobody clothed in sackcloth could enter
In each province
where the king's commandment and decree went out to, there was desperate
mourning among the Jewish people, and they fasted and wept and wailed. Many
of them wore sackcloth and ashes.
Esther's maids and
her chamberlains told her what was going on and the queen was deeply grieved
and she sent clothing for Mordecai but he wouldn't accept it. Then she gave
a message to one of her servants to take to Mordecai to find out what
happened and why. He took the message to Mordecai and Mordecai told him
everything that had happened, including about the money that Haman promised
to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jewish people, and to destroy them.
Mordecai gave the servant a copy of the writing of the decree to show to
Esther, and he told him to tell her to go in to the king and make a plea for
The servant went
back and told Esther everything Mordecai said and she sent him back again
with another message. It said, All the kings servants and the people of the kingdom
know that whoever comes into the inner court of the king without being
called, whether it is a man or woman, there is a law that says they are to
put them to death, except those that he hold out the golden sceptre, then
they may live, but I haven't been called to come in to the king for thirty
Mordecai sent his
reply, Don't think that you'll have a better chance to escape in the king's
house, more than all the Jewish people. If you don't speak up now, help and
deliverance will come from another place for the Jewish people, but you and
your father's house will be destroyed. And who
knows, maybe you were made queen of the kingdom for this very reason.
Esther told them
to give Mordecai this answer, Go, gather all the Jewish people together that
are in Shushan and fast for me. Don't eat or drink for three days, night or
day. My maidens and I will do the same and then I'll go in to the king,
which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.
So Mordecai went
his way and did what Esther had told him.
our next segment, you'll find out more about Haman's hatred for Mordecai.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
Get ready because it seems that in
this chapter, Haman isn't the only one
with a plan in mind. Let's look in on Shushan the palace and see what's
As you recall,
Mordecai and all the Jews are fasting for three days and three nights, and
Esther and all her maidens are fasting too, in hopes that when she goes in
to talk to the king, she won't be put to death.
On the third day,
Esther put on her royal clothes and stood in the inner court facing the
king's house, and the king sat on his throne in the royal house, facing the
gate. When the king saw Esther standing in the court, he was happy to see
her and he held out the golden sceptre in his hand. This meant she was free
Esther went near
him and touched the top of the sceptre, and the king said to her, What do
you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? It will be given to you, even
up to half of the kingdom.
Well, Esther had
other ideas in mind and she answered, If it's alright with the king, I'd
like to invite the king and Haman to come to the banquet that I've planned.
So the king said, Tell Haman to hurry and do as Esther said. The king and
Haman went to the banquet of wine that Esther prepared.
At the banquet,
the king said to Esther, What's your wish, and it will be granted to you.
Esther answered, If I've found favor in the sight of the king, and if the
king wants to answer my request, I'd like to invite the king and Haman to
the dinner I've planned for tomorrow and I'll tell you my wish then.
Well, Haman left
that day joyful and with a glad heart, because HE was invited to dine with
the king and queen, but when he saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and he
didn't bow, in fact he didn't even so much as stand up, or even move for
him, Haman was full of indignation for Mordecai. Even so, Haman refrained
himself. When he went home, he invited his friends and called for his wife
Zeresh. He bragged all about the glory of his riches and about how many
children he had. He went on and on about all the great things that the king
had entrusted to him and how he was above all the other princes and servants
of the king.
said, the queen Esther invited no other man but me to have wine with her and
the king today, and tomorrow I'm invited by her again, with the king. Still,
all this brings me nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew, sitting at the
wife, Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Make a gallows 75 feet high
and tomorrow, ask the king if Mordecai can be hanged on it, then you can go
in happily with the king and enjoy the queen's banquet.
This idea pleased
Haman, and he ordered the gallows to be made.
Things are looking
a little glim for Mordecai, but Esther has something in mind ... Or is it
GOD who has a plan?
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
Sometimes things don't go
as people plan, and that's exactly the case with Haman in this chapter, in
fact, quite contrary to his plans, instead of bringing Mordecai down by
hanging him in the gallows that he had made, Mordecai was rather ...
Lifted up instead! Let's look in on them and find out the details.
It seems that the night before queen
Esther's banquet, the king couldn't sleep, so he ordered the book of the
chronicles to be brought and they were read aloud to the king. Well, it came
to the king's attention that Mordecai was the one who reported that the two
chamberlains of the king were planning to kill king Ahasuerus.
Is it coincidence that the THOUGHT
came to the mind of this king to read those chronicles after all this time
on THIS day. God's hand at work.
The king asked, What kind of honor
and dignity has Mordecai been given for this? The king's servants replied,
Nothing at all has been done for him. The king then asked, Who's in the
court right now? (Well, Haman had come into the outer court of the king's
house to speak to him about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had made
for him.) ... The servants said, Haman is in the court, so the king said,
Tell him to come in.
When Haman came in, the king asked
him, What should be done for a man that the king wishes to honor? Now, Haman
thought in his heart, Who would the king want to honor more than me? He
actually thought the king was talking about Haman himself. Haman
answered the king, For the man that the king wishes to honor, Let the royal
robe that the king wears be brought and the horse that the king rides upon,
and the royal crown that is set on his head: And let this apparel and horse
be taken to one of the king's noblest princes, so he can display the man who
the king wishes to honor and lead him on horseback through the streets of
the city and present him. That's what should be done to the man who the king
is pleased with.
Ahasuerus then said to Haman, Hurry
and take the apparel and the horse, just as you said, and give this honor to
Mordecai the Jewish man, who sits at the king's gate. Don't leave a single
thing out of all the things that you said.
Oh, you KNOW this about knocked
Haman to the floor. But, he had already opened his big mouth so Haman took
the robe and the horse and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback
through the streets of the city, announcing, This is what will be done to
those who the king wishes to honor.
Mordecai went back to the king's
gate afterward, but Haman hurried to his house pouting, with his head
covered in shame. He told Zeresh his wife and all his friends all that had
happened to him. They told Haman, If Mordecai is of the seed of the Jewish
people, and you've begun to fall before him, you surely won't prevail
against him. (Why didn't they give him this advice earlier?)
While they were still talking to
Haman, the king's chamberlains hurried over to Haman's house to bring him to the
banquet that queen Esther had prepared. You almost forgot about Esther
having a plan too, didn't ya? If you think ole Haman ate some crow while
parading Mordecai around the city and honoring the man who he hates, wait
until the banquet Esther has planned! We'll find out if Esther plans to
serve crow as well.
Just a little Daily Bread Crumb to
end this story with! Where did the phrase eating crow come from?
Well, to crow is to gloat, brag or boast, so if you eat crow, it's
like eating your words, or accepting something that you previously fought
against. Another phrase used for this all too common occurrence is
sticking your foot in your mouth. You have to admit, Haman seems to have
an appetite for it.
Be sure to read on an
find out what happens as some plans fail and some succeed, in our next
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
Haman had just been humbled unbeknownst to the king, when he was ordered to
parade Mordecai around the city in honor of saving the king's life. Then
after going home and crying in shame to his wife and friends, he was
promptly picked up by the king's chamberlains to be brought to the banquet
of wine that queen Esther had prepared.
When the king and
Haman arrived, the king asked once again, What is your petition, queen
Esther and it will be granted to you. Whatever your request is, it will be
granted, even up to half of the kingdom.
If I've found favor in your eyes, O king, let my life and the life of my
people be spared. We've been sold to be destroyed. If we had been sold for
slaves, I would've held my peace, even though the enemy couldn't compensate
for the king's loss.
Who dares presume in his heart to do such a thing? Esther said, The
adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman! The king in anger, getting up and
leaving the banquet, went into the palace garden. Haman was afraid and he
stood up to beg for his life from Esther because he saw that the king
determined evil against him.
Haman threw himself on the bed where Esther was and just then, the king
returned from the garden to the banquet. Infuriated to see Ahasuerus laying
on the bed with his wife ... Said, "Will he assault the queen also, with me
in the house?" While the king spoke, they covered Haman's face.
Hungry for a
little Daily Bread Crumb? It was the custom of the kings of Persia, that
their servants covered the face of anyone the king was angry with, so the
king wouldn't have to look at him anymore. It was also a custom that the
Romans, the Macedonians and possibly the Persians commonly muffled the heads
of prisoners with a napkin or veil before executing them.
One of the king's
chamberlains told the king, There is a gallows, fifty cubits high, that
Haman had made, for Mordecai the man who saved the king, at Haman's house.
The king said, Hang him on it. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he
had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's anger was pacified.
Well, that wasn't
the end of the matter. Don't forget that Haman convinced the king to put in
writing and seal with the king's ring, that Mordecai and his people would be
destroyed. Although Haman has been hung, the writing was still standing.
We'll find out more of what happened when God's divine hand assists Esther
and Mordecai in helping to save His people, in the next chapter.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
As we ended
the last chapter, Haman was just hung on the gallows that he had made
in hopes that Mordecai would be hung on it. His hopes were foiled when
Esther told king Ahasuerus that the people who Haman convinced the king to
have destroyed, were Esther's people.
That day, the king
gave the estate of Haman to Esther, and Mordecai stood before the king
because Esther revealed that he was her cousin. The king took off his ring
that he had taken from Haman and gave it to Mordecai, and Esther put
Mordecai in charge of the estate of Haman.
Esther spoke with
the king once again, falling at his feet and begging with tears to stop the
evil of Haman and the plot that he began against her people. Ahasuerus held
out the golden sceptre toward Esther and she stood up in front of the king
and said, If it's alright with the king, and if I've found favor in your
sight, let it be written to reverse the letters created by Haman to destroy
my people that are in all the king's provinces. How can I bear to watch the
evil that will happen to them or see the destruction of my kindred?
The king said to
Esther and Mordecai, I've given Esther the estate of Haman and hung him on
the gallows because he laid his hand to your people. You may write whatever
you like in the king's name and seal it with the king's ring, for anything
written in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring, may no man
Did you catch
that? That means that the writing that Haman made was also in the king's
name and sealed with his ring, so it was unlawful for any man, even the
king, to reverse it. However, the king didn't hesitate to say to Esther
and Mordecai, Sure, go ahead, write whatever you want in my name and put my
stamp of approval on it! That's because the hand of the Lord was intervening
to save His people. The Lord provided a way for the king to reverse the
order ... without reversing it!
The king's scribes
were called in on the 23rd day of the 3rd month,
called Sivan, and all that Mordecai wished was written to the authorities of
all 127 provinces, in king Ahasuerus' name and sealed with the king's ring.
The letters were sent by messengers on horseback, mules, camels, and young
Now, let's find
out what had to be written in order to thwart the devices that Haman had put
in place. Now remember that Haman's writing to destroy Esther and Mordecai's
people was to take place on the 13th day of the 12th
month, so they had 8 months and 23 days to get their message to the people.
The king's grant allowed the Jewish people in every city to gather
themselves together and stand for their life, to destroy, slay and cause to
perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them,
both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prize on the
13th day of the 12th month.
So, now there's an
order for the people to kill all of the Jewish people, and an order for the
Jewish people to stand for their lives and kill those who try and assault
them. A copy of the writing was published for all the people so they would
be ready for that day. The messengers went out hurriedly by order of the
king, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace.
this, because one man's pride was so strong that he couldn't bear it when
another man wouldn't bow to him. Now, as you may know, this all happened
after the children of Israel were scattered throughout these 127 provinces
after the carry out of Jerusalem. Perhaps this was one way that God used to remind
the Medes and Persians that although He allowed the captivity of His people,
they were still His people and His strength is still in them.
Mordecai left the
presence of the king dressed royally in blue and white with a great crown of
gold and a garment of fine linen and purple and the city of Shushan was no
longer bewildered, but they rejoiced and were glad. The Jewish people had
light, and gladness, and joy, and honor and in every province when they
heard the news, they had a feast. Many of the people of the land even
became Jewish because the fear of the Jewish people fell upon them.
As you've seen
many times before when God's hand was with the people of Israel during the
conquest of Canaan, nobody could prevail against them, just as Zeresh,
Haman's wife and his friends warned him. Who would you guess will be the
victors in this story?
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
CHAPTER 9 & 10
Ready for the conclusion of the Book of Esther? We left
our story when king Ahasuerus sent letters again to all the provinces of his
kingdom. This time it was a writing allowing the Jewish people to
gather together, stand up for their lives and lay hand on (defend themselves
against) anyone who tried to harm them on the day that Haman ordered that
they be destroyed. From the time the letters were sent until the time the
king's commandments were to be executed, Mordecai became more and more
honorable in the king's house and his fame spread through all the provinces.
On the 13th day of the
12th month, the enemies of the Jewish people who hoped to prevail over them,
couldn't withstand them because the Lord caused everyone to fear them.
All the kings officers, deputies, lieutenants and rulers of the provinces
helped the Jewish people because the fear of Mordecai fell on them. The
Jewish people struck all their enemies with the stroke of the sword,
slaughter and destruction to all those who hated them. In Shushan
alone they killed 500 men.
They also slew the
ten sons of Haman, but they didn't lay a hand on their property. You
noticed that the word slew was in italics, so let's have a little
discussion about that word. The word slew doesn't always mean to put
to death. Sometimes it simply means to strike, overwhelm or affect
overpoweringly. You may recall that in the story of David and Goliath,
David slew Goliath with a stone first, then cut off his head and slew him
with his own sword,
1 Samuel 17:50-51. Did David kill the giant twice!
That's quite impossible, so David must have struck him with the stone, then
killed him with the sword.
Now, back to the story.
That day, the number of people slain in Shushan was reported to the king,
and the king told Esther, Your people have slain and destroyed 500 men in
Shushan and the ten sons of Haman, imagine what they've done in the rest of
the provinces. Now, what else do you wish and it will be granted to you.
Esther said, If it please
the king, let it be granted to the Jewish people that are in Shushan that
according to today's decree, let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows
tomorrow. The king granted Esther's request and they hung Haman's ten
sons. Now, if you wanna look at eeeeevery possibility, if you read the
text in your Bible, they could have been slain (as in killed) and then hung
afterward as well sort of as a public display, and perhaps this was just
sort of a flashback after the author previously stated that they were slain.
The people in Shushan
continued to fight against the Jewish people on the 14th day of Adar, and
300 more Medes and Persians were slain, but not a hand was laid on their
belongings. (Did you notice that the author made it a point to mention
twice that the Jewish people didn't take any spoil or loot or prey?
Perhaps to point out that the prize of liberating God's people from this
horrible curse of Haman's was what it was all about, not how much stuff they
could come away with.) In the rest of the provinces, the Jewish people
had rest on the 14th day because their enemies surrendered, and they made it
a day of feasting and celebration, but the Jewish people in Shushan feasted
and celebrated on the 15th day. They also sent gifts to one another.
these things and sent letters to all the Jewish people of the kingdom, both
near and far, to establish among them that they should keep the 14th and
15th day of the month Adar as a memorial celebration day every year
throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city.
The name of these feast days are called Purim, after the word Pur
because Haman conspired against the Jewish people to destroy them and had
cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, but when Esther came before the
king, he commanded that Haman's wicked idea be returned upon his own head.
The Jewish people enacted
and took upon them, and upon their descendants and anyone who joins
themselves to them, and that it shouldn't fail, that they observe these two
days according to their writing and their appointed time every year so the
remembrance of it is never forgotten. The second letter of Purim was
confirmed and sent to all the Jewish people in all the kingdom with words of
peace and truth and it was written in the book of the chronicles of the
kings of Media and Persia.
The king promoted Mordecai to greatness and all their accomplishments were
also written in the chronicles. Mordecai was made second in command to
the king and he was great among the Jewish people, and respected greatly by
all, acting for the good of his people and speaking peace.
All things work together
for good to them that love God, says
Romans 8:28. Why was Esther
orphaned? Why was she put in her cousin Mordecai's care? Why was
she beautiful? What are the chances that she would become queen of a
kingdom that wasn't even of her people? You can bet God has things in
mind, even when they don't make sense to us at any particular time.
Remember, that Esther wasn't the picture of courage at first. She was
afraid of approaching the king about saving God's people at first, but
Mordecai's words of truth, and the hand of God turned her fright into
virtue. Do you think Esther knew the last two verses of
If not, Mordecai sure taught it to her. Favor is deceitful and beauty
is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the
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