Esther 9:1-2 “…the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them…no one could withstand them”
Although they knew the Jews had the legal permission to fight back, some of the enemies of the Jews still tried to attack them. Apparently, none were successful.
3-4 “…all the officials…helped the Jews…For Mordecai was great…”
Enough time had passed from the second decree until now to allow Mordecai to become prominent within the kingdom. He had been promoted by the king and had used his position wisely and with fairness. The officials within the kingdom knew him and his reputation by now and did not wish to cross him. They also realized they would answer to him if they tried to harm any Jews.
6-10 “…the Jews killed…the ten sons of Haman…did not lay a hand on the plunder”
Appears Haman’s sons tried to avenge their father, but failed. The Jews killed all their enemies within the capitol, including the descendants of Haman, but didn’t take any of his possessions. Those had been given to Esther by the king and were administrated by Mordecai.
11-12 “…number…killed…brought to the king…what is your further request…”
Wonder what was going through the king’s mind. He’s basically telling Esther this is what’s been done thus far, anything else you need? Occurs to me, if I knew the decrees that had been made, both for destruction and for defense, and now realize that some have been so foolish as to continue with their attempted destruction of the Jews, perhaps more needed to be done.
13-14 “…do again tomorrow…hanged Haman’s ten sons”
Some concern that all of the enemies of the Jews within Shushan had not been destroyed, so the permission to defend was extended a day. Also, the bodies of Haman’s sons were hanged on the gallows for public display. Reason wasn’t told, but would probably have been a visual lesson and deterrent to the Jews’ enemies. Didn’t do much. Three hundred more were killed.
16 “…killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder”
Quite a few enemies of the Jews that tried to destroy them. Not sure why they didn’t take the plunder. Act of defense only, or to see that the plunder went into the king’s treasuries.
18-19 Jews outside the capitol celebrated on the fourteenth. Those within the capitol had an extra day of defense so they celebrated on the fifteenth.
20-32 The establishment of Purim after Pur, the lot. Haman had cast the lot to determine the day of the destruction of the Jews, but it had become the day of their salvation. Celebrated on both the fourteenth and the fifteenth.
Esther 10:1 “…King Ahasuerus imposed tribute…”
Why he did this is not stated. It’s not a local tax, but kingdom wide. Pure speculation, but its proximity textually to the statements regarding the celebration of Purim for all Jews in the kingdom gives me the idea that Ahasuerus established it as something of a token of remembrance for everyone else.
3 “…Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews…”
Interesting. The book ends by speaking of the results for Mordecai and not Esther. Commentary spoke at length of how the providence of God was clearly seen by Mordecai’s advancement to power and position, although history is replete with instances of folks going from pauper to prince. It was not so much his advancement, but the culmination of all the circumstances which led to it. There wasn’t a single movement up the ladder, but a tapestry of occurrences. God obviously had His hand in all that occurred. Perhaps that is the message of Esther. God isn’t mentioned explicitly, but the entire message points to Him.
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.