Bible Study Notes on Esther 7 – 20160905

Writing
Bible Study Notes

Esther 7:2  “…on the second day…”
As the time of the action is already on the second day, it sounds like the banquet lasted more than a day.  But I think this is just a way to emphasize when it occurred.  Not during the first banquet Esther gave, but on the second.  Like saying and at this second banquet.  Commentary was no help.

2  “…What is your petition…”
The king asks again as he did before.  Having made him wait a day, Esther is assured of having his attention.

4  “…sold as male and female slaves…although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss”
Little confusing here as my thoughts differ from what the commentary suggests.  Could be an issue of translation.  Commentary suggests she is referring to Haman’s payment for the Jew’s destruction, that since they were sold for destruction instead of as slaves, Haman’s payment could not fully compensate the king for the loss of their destruction.  But the wording seems to put the focus on compensation for loss at them being slaves, that she would have stayed silent if they had been sold as slaves even though Haman’s payment would not cover that loss.  Checked other translations.  Apparently the Hebrew text is difficult.  Several of them mention the difficulty and suggest a couple of possible renderings.  I think the original commentary was correct, although it didn’t express it clearly, and the issue is one with English, how to clearly say in English what the Hebrew is expressing.  I believe she is saying they are marked for destruction.  If they had only been sold as slaves, she wouldn’t have bothered the king with that, but since they are marked for destruction, what Haman offers won’t compensate the king for his loss, so she is speaking up.  She is pleading for her people, but she’s also making the case with regard to the king’s financial interests.

5  “…who would dare…”
Strange words from someone who has earlier expressed little to no interest in the destruction of a people.  The situation changes when he realizes he has a personal connection with those people.  How dangerous it is to objectify people.  Men have always found it easy to do anything to anyone if they can cause their victims to become things rather than human beings.  In the past they used slavery.  Today they use labels.

7-8  “…Haman stood before Queen Esther…Haman had fallen across the couch…Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house…they covered Haman’s face”
Haman stood up to plead for his life before Esther after the king left the room.  Apparently he wasn’t having much success and had resorted to begging by the time the king returned, which is why the king found him lying on the couch where Esther sat or reclined.  The king’s statement indicates it looked like Haman was assaulting Esther, but I feel it was more of his attempt at getting as prostrate as possible in his urgent begging.  At any rate, his fate was sealed.  Commentary expounded more on the significance of covering Haman’s face, but it is obvious from the context that it was an act of finality.  Reminiscent of covering a dead body.  Haman was as good as dead.

9  “…one of the eunuchs…gallows…made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf…”
He didn’t just mention there were gallows to use if the king wanted.  He made sure the king knew who built them and why.  And lest the king not remember, Mordecai had already proven himself to be a loyal friend of the king.

10  “…they hanged Haman on the gallows…”
Final result of the betrayal of Haman’s pride.  Such a waste.  He existed although his people had been cursed by God Himself, and he had risen to great prominence in life.  He had it all, but threw it away for the sake of pride.

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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