When he was an attorney, Abraham Lincoln was once approached
by a man who passionately insisted on bringing a suit for $2.50
against an impoverished debtor. Lincoln tried to discourage him,
but the man was bent on revenge. When he saw that the man
would not be put off, Lincoln ag … More
As this chapter opens, we find two opposing parties ready to leap at each other’s throats. Haman’s decree had stated that on a certain day (13th day of the 12th month) anyone could kill the Jews and take their property (v. 1). This was the very day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to do away with them but now the Jews came together to attack their enemies and no one could oppose them (v. 2). The leaders were afraid of Mordecai and took sides with the Jews (v. 3). Everyone knew the king had given him a lot of power (v. 4). The Jews killed 500 people but they did not take their enemies’ possessions (vv. 5-10)..
Later that day, someone told the king how many people had been killed (v. 11). Later that day the king told Esther how many had been killed in Susa, including Haman’s sons (v. 12). After a day of fierce fighting Esther asks for a one-day extension to hunt out and destroy any further enemies. She also requests that the ten sons of Haman, who were already dead, be publicly hanged on the gallows (v. 13). Her requests were granted (v. 14). Gentle Esther, who wept and pled for her people, now wanted bitter humiliation for their enemies (v. 15). When it was all over the Jews killed 75 thousand enemies (vv. 16-17). The fact the Jews killed so many aggressors indicates that the threat of hostility against them had been increasing since the edict against them had be issued. It could be argued that Esther new of enemies who would kill the Jews if she didn’t have them killed first but it would appear that her real motivation was revenge.
The book of Esther does not describe how people should act but how they do act. We can see how the heart of man is desperately wicked. I would hope that I would not give in to vindictiveness. Instead, I want to love my enemies and pray for those who despitefully use me.
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Esther 6:1-14Mordecai Honored by King Xerxes
Esther 7:1-10Haman Hanged on His Own Gallows
Esther 8:1-9Haman’s Position in The Kingdom is Given to Mordecai
Esther 8:10-17The Second Decree to Protect The Jews Was Given
Esther 9:1-17Jews Took Revenge
Esther 9:18-32Feast of Purim Established
Esther 10:1-3Mordecai Promoted by Xerxes