Esther 8-10 What is Worth Celebrating

WHAT IS WORTH CELEBRATING
Esther 8:1-10:3            February 25 2007

After Haman was executed, the king gave Haman’s
estate to Esther. He also gave Mordecai the signet
ring he had given earlier to Haman. Esther hoped
the king could revoke the decree that authorized
the attack on the Jews. The king replied that he
could not do so, but they could write a new decree
under his name, allowing the Jews to defend
themselves.

1.Deliverance Through Legal Mean (Esth. 8:3,6-8,11)

Esth. 8:3   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 the Agagite, which he had devised
against the Jews.  8:6   For how can I bear to see disaster
fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction
of my family?” 8:7   King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther
and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the
Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have
hanged him on the gallows.  8:8   Now write another
decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems
best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring —for no
document written in the king’s name and sealed with his
ring can be revoked.”  8:11   The king’s edict granted the
Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect
themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed
force of any nationality or province that might attack
them and their women and children; and to plunder the
property of their enemies.

Esther and Mordecai are secure (Esth.7:4-5), but
the irrevocable decree is still a threat to the rest
of the Jews. Themes and Literary Features. The
dilemma is the same as the one that confronted
Darius the Mede in Daniel (Da 6:8,12,15). The solution
is to issue another decree that in effect counters the
original decree of Haman without formally revoking it
(Est.9:2-3). The phraseology is taken from the parallel
in Esth.3:12-14. The extent of the destruction is the
same as that earlier decreed against Amalek (Esth.3:13).
(Esth.8:9) Twenty-Third day. . . Third Month. In Xerxes’s
12th year, i.e., June 25, 474 B.C., two months and ten
days after the proclamation of Haman’s edict
(Esth.3:13).
Thirteenth day. . . Twelefth Month. Mar. 7, 473 B.C.
(Esth.3:13). Some 15 years after this first Purim,
Ezra would lead his expedition to Jerusalem (Ezr 7:9).

2. Delivernce Through Victory (Esth> 9:1-2)

Esth. 9:1   On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month,
the month of Adar, the edict commanded by the king
was to be carried out. On this day the enemies of the
Jews had hoped to overpower them, but now the tables
were turned and the Jews got the upper hand over those
who hated them.  9:2   The Jews assembled in their
cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes to attack
those seeking their destruction. No one could stand
against them, because the people of all the other
nationalities were afraid of them.

The Jews carry out the edict of Mordecai eight
months and 20 days later. Tables were turned. The
statement that the opposite happened points to
the author’s concern with literary symmetry: He
balances most of the details from the first half of
the story with their explicit reversal in the second
half. An illustration of Ge 12:3. Confronted with
two conflicting edicts issued in the king’s name—
the edict of Haman and the edict of Mordecai —the
governors follow the edict of the current regime.

3. Deliverance Celebrated (Esth.9:20-22)

Esth. 9:20   Mordecai recorded these events, and he
sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces
of King Xerxes, near and far, 9:21   to have them
celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days
of the month of Adar9:22   as the time when the Jews
got relief from their enemies, and as the month when
their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning
into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe
the days as days of feasting and joy and giving
presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

Mordecai recorded these events. Some take this
as indicating that Mordecai wrote the book of
Esther; however, the more natural understanding
is that he recorded the events in the letters he
sent.

Summary:

We discover that the Jews had many enemies
throughout the king’s provinces. Had Haman’s plan
succeeded , the nation would have been annihilated.
We are not told how these enemies had been
Persecuting God’s people . But their day of reckoning
finally came . God kept his covenant promise to Abraham
(Gen. 12:1-3).
It is a good thing to set aside days for special
remembrance and celebration. We need to remind
ourselves of what the  Lord has done and show our
gratitude to Him. The Feast of Purim (pur mean “lots”
Esth. 3:7; 9:26) is a time of great gladness and
feasting. (Ps. 30)