1 Mordecai is promoted. 3 Esther makes case, lawsuit, to reverse Haman’s letters. 7 Ahasuerus grants to the Jews to defend themselves. 15 Mordecai’s honour, and the Jews’ joy.
Esther 8:1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
When a criminal was executed all his property was forfeited to the king, who disposed of it according to his pleasure. It pleased Ahasuerus to bestow upon Esther all the possessions of Haman, who seems to have been a man of vast wealth (see on ch. 3:9).
Enemy of the Jews. As Haman is stigmatised after this event. (see ch. 9:10, 24).
Mordecai was appointed to the position that had been Haman’s. He was made grand vizier, or prime minister—a high official who ministered to the king personally and was in constant attendance upon him.
Esther had told.
Apparently she had not done so before the emergency arose. There was no need of further concealment now that Mordecai had been recognized as a “king’s benefactor” (see chs. 2:21–23; 6:3–11), and since Esther had been compelled to confess herself a Jewess in order to save her people.
Esther 8:2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.
The ring had, of course, been taken from Haman and returned to Ahasuerus. This ring was a symbol of royal authority, and bore upon it the royal seal (see on ch. 3:10).
The possessions of Haman had been forfeited to the crown and assigned to the custody of Esther (see on v. 1). She was not at liberty to give away what she had received in trust from the king and held by virtue of her position as queen.
Thus Esther did not make Mordecai a gift of the house but set him over it. For all practical purposes this was equivalent to a gift. He was thus provided with a residence suitable to his new dignity as prime minister.
Esther 8:3 Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.
A gesture of complete submission, not worship, common in Oriental lands (see on ch. 3:2–5).
Implored him with tears.
Esther’s approach was still that of emotion; she appealed to the king based on his regard for her personally.
Counteract the evil of Haman. “Make void the evil plot.”
Though Mordecai was in possession of the royal signet, he would not dare to use it to give authority to a new decree that would countermand one already issued by the king personally.
Esther 8:4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,
The king probably extended his scepter on this occasion not only as a token of favor toward Esther and of willingness to give her an audience but also as an indication of willingness to do as Esther desired and thereby undo the evil effected by the decree of Haman.
Esther 8:5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.
In her petition Esther unites an appeal to the king’s sense of right and justice with an even more effective appeal to his regard for her personally. He would not refuse her request.
Esther 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”
Esther still bases her appeal on personal considerations, thus evincing, reveals regard for the bond that linked her interests with those of her people.
Esther 8:7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.
Ahasuerus proposes a solution, after first reminding Esther and Mordecai of evidence of his favourable attitude toward the Jews.
Esther 8:8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”
You yourselves write.
That is, in addition to and to supersede the one written by Haman (see ch. 3:12). The new decree was to be addressed to the Jews rather than to the Persians, as was that of Haman.
As you please . Or, “as you like it.”
Esther 8:9 So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.
In deference , respect to the Persian legal custom by which a royal edict was unalterable, Mordecai successfully devised a means of counteracting the effects of Haman’s decree without actually revoking it. The resulting decree was published in every language, copies being made by the royal stenographers , copyists (see ch. 3:12).
This, the longest verse in the Bible, contains 43 Hebrew words, or 192 letters.
Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.
Wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name. Compare ch. 3:12–15.
Esther 8:11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,
Gather together. Cooperative effort on the part of the Jews would make of them a formidable force. The Jews have sometimes been spoken of as aggressors on the 13th of Adar, but of this there is no evidence. The edict clearly allowed them to stand only on the defensive.
To destroy. Compare the words of Haman’s decree (ch. 3:13). Mordecai’s decree granted equal rights to the Jews by according, giving to them every opportunity to protect themselves.
The spoil. That is, the property. The former edict had given the same permission to the Jews’ enemies (ch. 3:13).
Esther 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
Esther 8:13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Verse 13 is practically identical with ch. 3:14, which speaks concerning Haman’s decree.
Esther 8:14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.
This verse repeats ch. 3:15, with a slight addition.
Esther 3:15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.
The posts bearing Mordecai’s decree were to be “pressed on” with greater urgency than those bearing Haman’s decree, perhaps in the fear that, in some instances, enemies of the Jews might take advantage of the provisions of Haman’s decree in advance of the time designated for their execution.
Esther 8:15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
The Persian monarch worn a purple robe and an inner vest of purple spots. Usually the robes of honour that he gave away were of other colours but of a single tint throughout. The one given to Mordecai seems to have been like that of the king.
Shushan rejoiced. That is, in contrast to the perplexity occasioned by the first edict (see ch. 3:15). This may infer that the Persians, in general, sympathized with the Jews. Perhaps, too, other national minorities also disliked the first edict, which set a precedent that might mean their own ruin at a future time.
Esther 8:16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honour.
Esther 8:17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.
That is, they applied for and were granted the full status of Jewish proselytes. Compare the attitude of some of the Egyptians toward the Hebrews at the time that they left Egypt (see Ex. 12:38).
NEXT TIME – CHAPTER 9
1 The Jews (the rulers, for fear of Mordecai, helping them) slay their enemies, with the ten sons of Haman. 12 Ahasuerus, at the request of Esther, grants another day of slaughter, and Haman’s sons to be hanged. 20 The two days of Purim are made festival.