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©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 6:1-13 (ESV)

Posted on November 30, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 6:1-13 (ESV) - On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king. And it was found written how Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, and who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. And the king said, “What honor or distinction has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” The king's young men who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” And the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. And the king's young men told him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?” And Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor, let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse that the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set. And let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the king's most noble officials. Let them dress the man whom the king delights to honor, and let them lead him on the horse through the square of the city, proclaiming before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.’” Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry; take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.” So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he dressed Mordecai and led him through the square of the city, proclaiming before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.”

Then Mordecai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the Jewish people, you will not overcome him but will surely fall before him.”

Question to consider: Why did Haman think the king had intended to bless him with the royal robes and horse?

Because people have gleaned life lessons from Old Testament accounts, there are many that have a tendency to paint scripture as fable or allegory. This book more than others seems to unfold like the comedic origin story of the festival of Purim. Unlike the feasts instituted by God in the Torah, the festival of Purim was not a required celebration. I think this is one of the reasons it never mentions God in the text.

Stringing together a series of dramatic coincidences like this implicitly points to the providence of God which appears like a fateful outcome in the casting of lots. This story was grouped with four other books and referred to as megillot (which means scrolls). The other books in megillot are: Ruth, Lamentations, Song of Solomon, and Ecclesiastes. Like Ruth, who was the grandmother of king David, I believe that Esther provides a story-like account of an historical event and people. Not only does it speak to the origin of Purim, but it fits in with God’s protection of Israel from the nations surrounding Judea and lays the groundwork for Mordecai to end up with the caravan of nobles who make their way to Jerusalem.

One “coincidence” that happens in today’s passage is that king Ahasuerus had a realization that kept him up at night that he never did properly thank Mordecai for discovering the plot against him. The hubris of Haman shines through when we realize that the king’s desire to bless Mordecai was misinterpreted by Haman as being the target of that blessing. For Haman couldn’t conceive of another person in the kingdom whom the king would want to bless more than him.

Imagine the surprise of Haman when the one who was his sworn mortal enemy turned out to be the one the king desired to bless. Of course, he couldn’t show his anger at the situation so he was forced to dress Mordecai in royal robes and give him the royal horse. Afterwards, he mourned the task and told his wife, Zeresh, of the trouble. Instead of sticking up for him, she pointed out that his plan did not look like it would play out as he intended.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for bringing justice to Mordecai and foiling the plans of Haman to destroy him. May we be like Mordecai and leave justice in Your hands, knowing that all things will work out as You have intended. Amen.