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Chapter 8:1-8 (ESV)

Posted on December 02, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 8:1-8 (ESV) - On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said, “If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I am pleasing in his eyes, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming to my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he intended to lay hands on the Jews. But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.”

Question to consider: Why was there still calamity coming to the people of Israel despite the death of Haman?

The very day that Mordecai was set up by Haman to swing from a seventy-five foot gallows, there was a complete reversal of fortune. Haman was the one hung from those gallows, and his enemy, Mordecai, received his household and the power of the king’s signet ring.

The signet ring was used to enact a law for all of Media and Persia and was considered irrevocable. Why the king seemed so bent on giving this power away is a mystery to me, but maybe after his hasty and drunken use of it to get rid of queen Vashti, he would rather give it to someone he trusted to make good decisions. He seemed to select Haman based on his success and hubris, and when those turned out to be foolish criteria, he chose Mordecai, a near relative to the queen and someone who had demonstrated loyalty and discernment.

With that said, Esther spoke again to the king, for the original decree signed into the law of the Persians and the Medes instructed people in all provinces of the kingdom “to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.” (Esther 4:13) The decree was irrevocable so there was no way to write a new decree that canceled the one implemented by Haman. They couldn’t say, “That decree was technically written by Haman so it’s null and void,” because the signet ring made it an official decree of the king.

While it was a blessing that Esther and Mordecai were saved and given Haman’s entire estate, the thought of the rest of Israel being destroyed was unthinkable. Rather than offering a wise way around the original decree, the king basically said, “I’ve given you and Mordecai the signet ring. You figure it out.” Tomorrow, we’ll walk through Mordecai’s solution.

Prayer

Dear heavenly Father, thank You for giving us the ability to seek wisdom and discernment. May we use it to know and understand You better so that we may be useful to You in bringing Your kingdom to the nations. Amen.