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Bible Commentaries
Esther 8

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-6

Esther - Chapter 8

Esther Intercedes, verses 1-6

The fall of Haman was complete. His property was confiscated and his house given to Esther. Zeresh and her friends who had promoted Haman were now destitute of supporters and prestige. Sin affects those one loves. Mordecai was brought before the king, the first time so far as the record goes that the two had come face to face. At last the relationship of the Jew and the queen was made known. Mordecai was already a proven valuable friend of the king, and now that he has become known as the foster father of Esther his standing is even greater. Ahasuerus gave Mordecai the position held by Haman, taking his signet ring and placing it on the Jew’s hand. This one so shortly before only a frequenter of the king’s gate is now elevated to become the chief counselor of the king.

But the battle was still not won. Vengeance had been wrought on Haman the perpetrator of the Jews’ trouble, but the law he had made still stood, to slaughter the Jews through the entire realm on the thirteenth day of the last month of the year. There doubtless remained thousands of Jew-haters ready to carry it out. So Esther must approach the king uninvited again. She fell at his feet and tearfully begged him to do something to counteract Haman’s "device he had devised against the Jews."

Again the Lord moved on the king to look favorably on Esther, though naturally he might have tired at her continual coming to him uninvited. He held out the golden sceptre to her and bade her rise to her feet. Esther was very solicitous in her request, using a series of phrases to elicit a favorable response, “"if it please the king,” “if I have found favor in your sight," “if it seems right to you,” “if I be pleasing in your eyes.”” They all mean about the same thing, but coming one on the other stressed the extreme importance Esther placed on the granting of the request.

The law against the Jews was, of course, irrevocable, but Esther wished the king to do something which would reverse the force of the decree: Otherwise the Jews of the provinces would be destroyed. Esther projected herself into the plea to. Ahasuerus, that his feelings of love for her might be used on behalf of the Jews’ salvation from extermination. "How could I stand by and see my people murdered?" she asks. "And how could my life continue if my people were destroyed?" Indeed her life might be terminated if she failed after all to save the Jews from so terrible a fate.

Verses 7-17

Mordecai Promoted, Verses 7-17

Ahasuerus spoke to Esther and Mordecai, agreeing to the request of the queen. He reminded them of how he had granted Esther’s previous request by having Haman put to death and giving his property to her. The reason he said, "because he laid his hand upon the Jews." Now to make amends for the decree against them issued by Haman he granted permission to Mordecai to enact a new law in the Jews’ favor. He was given freedom to draw up whatever decree pleased him and to seal it with the king’s ring. This was the same kind of license he gave Haman formerly, with the same binding force of the Medes and Persians that it might not be changed.

So the scribes were called in again to issue the new decree. This was the third month, Sivan, near the end, slightly over two months since Haman had issued the first decree by which the Jews were condemned (see Ezra 3:12). The decree was composed by Mordecai, and like that of Haman, it was addressed to the lieutenants, deputies, and rulers of the one hundred twenty seven provinces of the Persian Empire, which stretched from India to Ethiopia. It was issued in the script of every province and in the language of every people inhabiting each province. There was one additional language in which this decree was issued, that of the Jews themselves. Though they were the subject of Haman’s decree they did not need to be informed.

Mordecai’s decree went out in the name of king Ahasuerus, sealed with his ring. The same swift post was used to hasten it on its way, and the king’s urgent command went with it also. The letters were carried by horseback, on mules, camels, and dromedaries (KJV). The NASB translates this part of verse 10, "by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal studs;" the NKJV, "by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds." The changes come about by the progress in understanding of the Hebrew words in three centuries since the original KJV was printed.

The chief import of the new decree was to grant the Jews permission to arm themselves and defend their lives agains their enemies on the same day, the thirteenth of the last month of the year, which Haman had set for their extermination. As Haman’s decree had allowed the Jews’ enemies, so Mordecai’s decree allowed the Jews, to slay all who assaulted them regardless of age, or sex, and to take their spoil for a prey. This was published therefore in every province that the Jews might be apprised and stand ready on that day to fight for their homes and families. It would also serve to make the people realize that they would stand in jeopardy of their own lives if they attacked the Jews.

The decree of Mordecai was issued in Shushan for the palace. When Mordecai emerged from there he was regaled in the royal colors of Persia, the blue and white, wearing a crown of gold on his head, an outer garment of fine linen arid purple. The city rejoiced at this turn of events, glad for Mordecai’s Promotion. Especially were the Jews happy. They had "light," evidently meaning they became optimistic, were glad, joyful, and honored. In all the provinces, when they received the new decree, the Jews were gladdened. They proclaimed a feast "and a good day." Seeing the swift turnabout for the Jews many of the people of the land were afraid and professed conversion to the God of the Jews. They must have recognized that the great God of the Jews was able to move things in their behalf, and they were afraid to oppose them. Whether this was genuine conversion or not is unclear, but ft shows what fidelity to God on the part of His people can do by influence on unbelievers (Matthew 5:16).

From this chapter learn that 1) the humble servant of God is exalted by Him (1 Peter 5:6-7); 2) sometimes it takes perseverance to make one victorious (Luke 18:7-8); 3) God is able to turn back every act of Satan against His people (Ephesians 6:16); 4) God’s Word provides every need of His people to withstand the Devil (Ephesians 6:12 ff); 5) God’s children should have a sobering effect on the world about them.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Esther 8". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/esther-8.html. 1985.
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