Overview of Esther – Part 2
By Dennis Huebshman
We now continue with our documentary. Personal note, leaving events right at a critical point reminds me of going to Serial Movies when I was a kid in the 1950’s. Usually there were about 15 parts, and only one part per week played. This is the final installment of this saga.
After 3 days, Esther dressed in her finest robes and went and stood in the inner court. The king saw her and extended his staff to her signaling he was pleased she was there. If she had displeased him, he could have had her killed at this point. He offered everything up to one-half of his kingdom if she so desired. (For emphasis, he made this offer three times.) She surprised him by stating she would like to give him a feast that day and Haman should attend as a guest. The king was very pleased with this. At the end of the feast, Esther told the king she would like to prepare another feast for him and Haman the next day.
Haman at this point was busting with Pride. As he left to go home to tell his family of his good fortune, he passed Mordecai who, as always, would not bow. He told his wife of the feast and about Mordecai. She told him to build a gallows 50 cubits high and hang him on it. This was about 75 feet. Haman decided he would build the gallows and speak with the king about it the next morning.
It just so happened that Xerxes could not sleep that night. He decided to go to the library and check the book of Chronicles that was stored there. He saw the entry about Mordecai saving his life and asks his young attendants what was done for Mordecai. They advised him nothing was done to honor him.
Haman enters the court the next morning planning on setting up Mordecai’s execution. Before he can speak, the king says to him there is someone who needs to be honored, and what should be done for that person.
Haman thinks it’s about him (again with the pride) and said the person should be dressed in one of the king’s robes, placed on one of the king’s horses, wear one of the king’s crowns and be led about the town having his glory proclaimed. He just about falls over when the king says it’s to be done for Mordecai, and Haman would be the one to do the proclaiming!
At this point, he has total humiliation take the place of his total pride.
Haman went home and told his family what has happened, and they tell him his days are numbered. Haman went to the second feast. Afterward, the king again asks Esther what her request is, and Esther tells the king she is Jewish, and Haman has condemned her and her people with annihilation. The king gets visibly upset that he had been used in this way and abruptly leaves the room. Haman tried to plead his case with Esther, but in his haste, he fell on top of her while she was on the couch. Just then the king comes back and accuses Haman of attacking Esther in his very presence. Before Haman could utter a word, the attendants put their hands over his mouth and take him out and hang him on his own gallows per the order of the king.
After this, Esther pleads with the king to repeal the proclamation. Xerxes says he cannot because of the laws of the Medes and Persians but allows her to issue a proclamation that the Jews are allowed to defend themselves and to destroy any forces that come against them. He even offers to supply the arms. This brings joy throughout the realm, and on the appointed day, the Jews totally defeat all their adversaries. Some of the local people even joined with them to help them defeat the forces. Overall, about 75,000 enemies were killed.
As for Haman’s family, his 10 sons are hung, and Mordecai is given all Haman’s property. Mordecai is promoted to Haman’s position and is implied all of Haman’s family are killed.
It should be noted, after the Jews defeated their enemies, they took no plunder whatsoever. Apparently, they learned from the experience of King Saul.
To commemorate this event, Mordecai established a two-day annual celebration called the Feast of Purim. During this feast, gifts are exchanged, money is given to the needy and the children dress up in costumes. The “Megillah” (scroll of Esther) is read in its entirety. Considering this started about 473 B.C, this tradition has been going on for about 2490 years.
After all this, we do not know what happened to Mordecai or Esther as historical data is not exact, but several scenarios are given. Xerxes was assassinated in 465 B.C. possibly by one of his sons Artaxerxes – a son by Vashti which probably was born right after her banishment.
Even though this whole story is about the Jews being saved from annihilation, there is a strong lesson in what damage pride can bring. God hates self-pride and will find ways to bring a person down. This was the major sin that caused the fall of satan. It doesn’t matter what race, creed or color a person is, this applies. As a confession, I have had to be brought down a time or two in my lifetime because of destructive pride. Now my pride is My Jesus, My Family and My Faith.
Also, the conflict of evil (satan) vs good (God) is very evident in this story. The plot started many centuries before with the sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. Their off-springs have been at odds and many times outright war since their beginning and right up to the present time. Though there are no traces of the Amalekites today, other descendants of Esau are present and causing most of Israel’s problems as they have all blended into other tribes.
We must never forget, God made a covenant with Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob and David. Their descendants are His chosen people. Christians are chosen when they accept Jesus. All are still to honor and respect the Jews and pray for their deliverance and the peace of Jerusalem.
Time is getting short as the midnight clock is moving ever closer. The Ezekiel 38/39 war could be just around the corner, especially with the latest proclamation from our President that Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel.
Final question – are you ready for the Call of the Savior to take His Church Home? Time may be shorter than we think.