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Monday, July 15th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Esther 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6

Esther - Chapter 7

Haman Accused. Verses 1-6

So Haman was hustled off to Esther’s banquet without further ado, before he could reconcile his problem and frustration over the affair of Mordecai. The banquet appears to have proceeded normally, as the previous night, the food being eaten and the men imbibing their wine. Again, the king raised the question of Esther’s problem and again offering to grant her half the kingdom if she requested that.

This time Esther was ready to spring her trap. One wonders whether Haman may not have been anxiously apprehensive after the turnabout of affairs in his plans. Esther was very gracious in presenting her petition, showing thanksgiving to the king for his royal favor bestowed on her. Now if it pleased him she had two requests. First, she asked that her own life be spared, and secondly, that the lives of her people be preserved. She proceeded to say why. Her people had been sold, to be destroyed, slain, and to perish as a nation. To emphasize the reality of the danger she said that if it were no more than enslavement of her people that had been planned she would not have intervened, even though the gain the king might expect thereby would not offset the loss he would incur by their enslavement.

The naive king presumes to know nothing of what she is talking about, for he was still unaware that his beautiful queen was a Jewess. "Where," he asked, "was the man who would dare to even presume such an act as to kill the queen and her people?" Haman must have seen the hand of fate rapidly falling upon his guilty head. He must have been aware of what the queen spoke about. His demonic possession must have provoked terror in his heart when he heard Esther’s request, but there is yet a word to be spoken to seal his doom.

Esther proceeded at once to name the culprit. "It is this wicked Haman," she said. The artists have painted this scene, as it occurred in their eye, of king, queen, and Haman in the banquet hall. Esther is on her knees before the king, indicating by a motion of the hand the cringing Haman behind her at the banquet table. It was a climactic moment for Esther, and enlightening. instant for Ahasuerus, and a terrifying time for Haman! God will have the final victory over those who defy Him as Job said, "Who doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number" (Job 9:10).

Verses 7-10

Haman Executed, Verses 7-10

What raised the wrath of Ahasuerus to such a high pitch? Was not he himself involved in the plot against the Jews which now, he finds, threatens his beautiful queen? Perhaps that is the very thing which made him so angry. Haman had made a fool of him. The king had trusted his prime minister too far, and had not investigated the massive consequences involved. True, Haman probably never suspected the queen was a Jewess. He may never have realized the effects of Haman’s proposed genocide before. He had his own naivete to blame, and Haman had taken advantage of it.

In his anger Ahasuerus rushed outside to the palace garden to consider what should be done. Suddenly his chief minister is his enemy. A critical decision must be made promptly and he needed to get alone to think. Haman was desperately afraid, and took advantage of the time to appeal to Esther for his life. He prostrated himself on the couch where she was, hoping for her mercy. There he lay when the king came in again. Suddenly the evilness of the man must have registered on the king also. Certainly he did not believe Haman was attempting to seduce the queen, but he now realized the utter depravity of one who could consign hundreds of thousands of innocent people to obliteration. The king’s charge was in keeping with Haman’s character, and its utterance was the sentence of death.

They placed the hood of condemnation over the face of Haman. Harbonah, the chamberlain there, told Ahasuerus of the seventy-five foot gallows erected but the night before to hang Mordecai, who had done good to the king. Haman had digged a pit, and fallen into it himself. The king ordered the culprit hanged on his own gallows. (Cf. Proverbs 28:10.) So they hanged Haman on his gallows he had prepared for Mordecai, to suffer the slow, torturous death of a Persian crucifixion, and the king’s wrath was cooled.

Would it not have been gracious for Esther to spare Haman’s life? One might think so, but ft may not have been possible had she desired to do so. His offense was now against the king, who may not have been so forgiving even had Esther requested it. His condemnation was in keeping with ancient law. Even the law of Moses required the punishment of one with the penalty his false charges would have provoked on his intended victim (Deuteronomy 19:15-21). But in the present age of grace mercy is more apt to be applied as a demonstration of God’s mercy on men by Christ (Romans 11:29-32).

A few lessons to be gleaned: 1) in the end swift judgment will befall the wicked (Hebrews 10:26-27); 2) it is a dramatic moment when God gives His people victory over Satan; 3) listening to the wicked will make even great leaders appear fools; 4) only God can grant fullness of mercy, and only He can forgive the guilty.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Esther 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/esther-7.html. 1985.
 
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