Bible Study Notes on Esther 6 – 20160902

Bible Study Notes

Esther 6:1  “…the king could not sleep…”
God’s providence.  Too much of a coincidence to be otherwise.  Reminds me of Proverbs 21.  “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, like the rivers of water.  He turns it wherever He wishes.”  Doesn’t matter that Ahasuerus wasn’t Jewish or that he didn’t follow God.  God is sovereign and supreme over all.  He gives us free will, but that doesn’t mean His will won’t be accomplished.

3  “…What honor or dignity…”
Good thing they wrote things down.  Odd that the king didn’t do something for him when it happened.  But could also be God’s providence again.  Like having another card to play in this game of the destruction of the Jews.

5  “…Haman is there…”
Commentary suggested that eastern kings conducted business in the morning hours while it was still cool, so it’s safe to assume the king’s advisors would be in the outer court waiting if the king needed them.  I’m betting Haman was probably the highest ranking advisor currently there.

6  “…What shall be done for the man…”
Commentary suggests that Persian kings didn’t decide themselves how to honor someone, but would ask the person of next rank to themselves and use their advice.  Didn’t give any further explanation for this practice or how they received the information.  Seems logical that a king, who usually had many advisors around him to give advice, would be in the habit of asking them if he had an important decision to make.  I wonder who would have been consulted if Haman had not been present.  Again, God’s providence is shown in everything that transpires.

6  “…Haman thought in his heart…”
Another step in the betrayal of his pride.  He’s created the gallows to hang Mordecai, now he’s setting himself up to fall before Mordecai and is totally blinded by his pride.

9  “…Thus shall it be done…”
Not a bad idea to ask a subordinate about how to honor someone.  All that person would need to do is relate how they would choose to be honored, what would be special or honoring to them.

10  “…Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate…”
This raises all kinds of questions.  Did the king know that Mordecai sat in his gate before this?  Had he ever taken notice?  Did he know beforehand that Mordecai was a Jew?  Mordecai had not made it a secret, but had the king ever noticed?  The king had just recently signed a decree to destroy all the Jews.  Did he not remember what he had decreed, and if he had, why honor one of those whom he was about to destroy?  A look back at Esther 3 shows that the Jews aren’t named specifically when Haman brings his petition to the king.  He just mentions a people.  And the king takes his pledge of money, gives Haman his signet ring, and tells him the people are in his hand.  The king may not have ever read the decree to see which people Haman intended to destroy.  The phrase used by the king was Mordecai the Jew.  Could either be that it was the common phrase used to refer to Mordecai or just the one that was written in the chronicles which had just been read to the king.  Haman uses that phrase when he tells his wife and friends how it bothers him that Mordecai won’t bow to him.  It just seems odd that the king used that phrase to refer to one of his own officers, and one whom he wants to honor, and doesn’t pick up that he’s about to destroy him and all others like him.

13  “…his wise men and his wife Zeresh said…If Mordecai…is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him…”
Another statement that raises questions, is of Jewish descent.  Is this a question?  They already knew Mordecai was a Jew.  Why was this now becoming a question or relevant to the situation?  My usual commentary was no help so checked others online.  All mentioned the main idea of how Haman’s wife and friends could read the writing on the wall, how Haman was about to crash and burn.  But several brought out the other phrase used, before whom you have begun to fall.  It was mentioned that the Jews were sometimes referred to as a weak people.  They weren’t very large in number nor did they occupy much space geographically compared to other peoples.  And they were currently in exile in a foreign country for the most part.  However, when another people were attacked by them, the Jews usually prevailed to the utter destruction of their enemy, as could be seen in Haman’s own ancestors.  As Haman had begun to fall before Mordecai, it seemed obvious this was one of those times the Jew was going to have the upper hand.  Not only would Haman not be able to prevail over Mordecai, he would be destroyed by him.

14  “…which Esther had prepared”
Little did Haman know, Mordecai wasn’t the only Jew he was about to fall before.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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