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Esther Eight

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Esther 8:1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.

Esther 8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Esther 8:3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

Haman the Agagite. Agag was a district in Media. Another possibility, however, is that Haman was an Amalekite. The Amalekites, descendants of Esau, had been inveterate enemies of Israel, and Agag was apparently one of their greatest early kings (Numbers 24:7), as well as the name of their last and most cruel king (1 Samuel 15:8, 33).

devised against the Jews. Although Haman had been executed, his plan to destroy the Jews had the force of the unchangeable law of the Persians, so Esther pled for an offsetting decree to enable them to survive.

Esther 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,

Esther 8:5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:

Esther 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

Esther 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

Esther 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Esther 8:9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.

Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

mules, camels and young dromedaries. The meaning of these three words in the original is unclear. None are so translated anywhere else in Scripture, and may be of Persian origin. The main thrust in any case is that the couriers were riding on swift horses for the most part, possibly in relays like the pony express. Haman's couriers had a two-month head start (Esther 3:12; 8:9), and it was urgent that word of the compensating edict be spread through the empire as quickly as possible.

Esther 8:11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,

assault them, both little ones and women. It is likely that the intended sense of this edict was that the Jews were authorized to defend themselves and to slay those who essayed to “assault them, both little ones ... for a prey.” That is, the section beginning with “assault” and ending with “prey” was merely a quote from Haman's earlier decree (Esther 3:13). As far as the record goes, the Jews in defending themselves slew only the men (Esther 9:6, 15) and took no prey for themselves (Esther 9:10, 15-16).

take the spoil. The new decree granted the Jews not only the right to defend themselves against their enemies who were bent on destroying them, but also to slay those who would assault them and to take the property of their enemies for themselves. It is to their credit, however, that they did not take this spoil as they were authorized to do. Three times it is noted that they took no spoil from their enemies (Esther 9:10, 15, 16). They were thankful for their divine deliverance, and that was enough.

Esther 8:12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

Esther 8:13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

Esther 8:14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.

Esther 8:15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

Esther 8:16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

Esther 8:17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.