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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 8

 

 

Verses 1-17

A SECOND EDICT CONCERNING THE JEWS

(vv. 1-17)

In all of the history we have considered, we cannot but discern the working of God as will be the case in the Great Tribulation period.Mordecai is a type of Christ, the chief object of the enemy's hatred, yet eventually triumphant.Esther is a faint picture of the intercessory work of Christ on behalf of Israel.Haman pictures the antichrist, exalting himself to the highest position possible, but finally abased, destroyed by the brightness of the coming of the Lord.

King Ahasuerus immediately gave Esther all the possessions of Haman.The enemy being spoiled left great spoil for God's chosen one.Esther also revealed her relationship with Mordecai to the king, and the king gave to Mordecai the signet ring he had previously given to Haman, thus virtually appointing Mordecai a prime minister of Persia (v. 2).Esther then committed to Mordecai the responsibility for the house of Haman.Thus, when the Jewish remnant is honored by the authorities of this world, they will transfer this honor willingly to the Lord Jesus.

However, the edict of Haman, sealed with the king's signet, could not be revoked, for the laws of the Medes and Persians were considered to be divinely ordered, and therefore unchangeable.What could be done about such a situation?Esther again ventured her life in coming before the king, but no doubt without the fear she had before, for he had proven his love for her.When the king held out his scepter to her, she implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman's scheme to destroy the Jews."For," she says, "How can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people?" (v. 6).

Certainly the heart of the king could not fail to be moved by his beloved wife pleading in this way.Therefore he spoke to both Esther and Mordecai, reminding them that he had given the house of Haman to Esther, and telling them to write a decree as they saw fit that would be for the protection of the Jews from harm (vv. 7-8). They could not revoke the previous decree, but they found a way to preserve the Jews in spite of it.This second decree was sent as widely as the first, throughout all the lands of the Persian empire, from India to Ethiopia, to every people in their own language.The message was written in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed with the king's signet ring, and sent by couriers on horseback, using thoroughbred horses chosen for their swiftness(vv. 9-10).

These letters authorized the Jews in all these places to gather together to protect their own lives, thus having permission to destroy, kill and annihilate any people who assaulted them on the 13th day of the 12th month, the day that the first decree had authorized the killing of the Jews(vv. 11-12).Thus, though the laws of the Medes and Persians could not be changed, the first edict was really rendered ineffective by the second, and done so legally.

This is a very striking picture of the way Israel will be preserved and blessed through the Tribulation.Her sins against God have by law merited the solemn sentence of death.But God in great mercy will intervene to give life instead of death.It is the same as regards all mankind today. The law of God has passed the sentence of death upon all men.But by sending His own Son to bear sin's penalty on Calvary, God has intervened for the blessing of all who will receive His Son as Savior and Lord.

The first decree would at least serve the purpose of exposing who were the enemies of the Jews, and when they took advantage of the that decree to attack the Jews, then the Jews would take advantage of the second decree to defend themselves and to kill their enemies. Though God's name is not mentioned, yet the Jews could depend on God to fight for them also.The couriers, in bearing their message, were impressed with the urgency of the matter, so that the Jews would be fully prepared for the crucial day (v. 14).

The king had Mordecai clothed in royal apparel of blue and white with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple (v. 15).Though Persia was no doubt ignorant of the significance of these things in God's eyes, yet scripture considers blue as the heavenly color and white as the purity of moral character.Therefore Mordecai is seen by scripture as a type of the Lord Jesus, the Man from heaven in whom is moral perfection. The crown of gold reminds us that Christ is far more than man, for gold speaks of the glory of God.Among the nations the practice of a king wearing a gold crown is common, but it is only an imitation of the glory that really belongs to God.The only man entitled to such glory is the Lord Jesus, for He is God.The garment of fine linen and purple symbolizes the fact that kingly glory (the purple) belongs to Christ, but united with the grace of perfect purity (the fine linen).The rich man of Luke 16:19 was clothed in purple and fine linen, but this was an empty show. Christ on earth was clothed in the garments of the poor, but He will soon have His rightful place, with garments of glory and beauty.

Consistently with Mordecai's exaltation, "the Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor" (v. 16), and this will be wonderfully true when Christ is recognized by Israel at the beginning of the millennium. The blessing of this was spread throughout all the land by the reception of the decree of the king, and the Jews were so greatly blessed that they called a holiday for celebration, and many of the Gentiles became proselytes, taking their place with Israel. While this may not be the case in the millennium, yet the rejoicing of the Gentiles over the blessing of Israel will be remarkably seen, such as is pictured in the rejoicing of the Queen of Sheba for Israel's sake when she came to visit Solomon (1 Kings 10:6-9).

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Esther 8:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/esther-8.html. 1897-1910.

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