Haman Persuades The King to Kill All Jews

The story is told of a young man who had been cruelly insulted by a former acquaintance. Full of indignation, he determined to go at once and demand an apology. A saintly gentleman laid his hand on his shoulder and said quietly, ASon, let me give you a word of advice. An insult i … More

Forgiveness

We are now introduced to the villain of the story, Haman, who becomes the archenemy of Mordecai, Esther, and the Jewish nation (v. 1). King Ahasuerus evidently didn’t like to perform the details of government so he had handed over to Haman the day to day work of ruling (v. 2). Since Haman had been promoted to a position of second in the kingdom, it was customary to show reverence to his position by bowing in his presence. Everyone was submissive to this authority and position except Mordecai. When the officials asked him why he disobeyed the king’s command, he said, “Because I am a Jew” (vv. 3-4). This made Haman very angry and caused him to plan the destruction of Mordecai (v. 5). He could have easily rid himself of that one unyielding Jew, but equated Mordecai with the whole Jewish race and decided to destroy Jews throughout the kingdom (v. 6).

Haman says the Jewish people are a threat to the entire kingdom and drafts a decree for their destruction, which the king seals with his ring (vv. 7-12). It was decided that all Jews were to die on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month and their property  taken (v. 13). Haman used the well-known Persian postal system, which was an ancient pony express, to get this message to the entire kingdom quickly (v. 14). The Kings command was obeyed and one of the letters was read to the people of the walled city of Susa. Many of the people were stunned by this shocking news (v. 15).

Application

God says I am to overcome prejudice in my heart and put away all wrath, malice, and slander. I should be kind to others, tender hearted, forgiving them, even as God, for Christ’s sake, has forgiven me. (Eph. 4:31,32)

Esther 3:1-15 (English Standard Version)


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