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Bible Commentaries

John Brown's Commentary on Selected Book of the Bible

Esther 8

 

 

Verses 1-17

John Brown

Esther 8

The Good News

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Last week in our study of the book of Esther , we saw wicked Haman get what he deserved.

1. He had built the75 ft. gallows for his enemy Mordecai, but ending up hanging on them himself.

2. When the queen revealed that it was Haman who sought to have her and all of her people annihilated, the king didn"t waste any time.

a) He had Haman executed immediately.

B. If you will remember, the King went out into the garden to think things over and Haman stayed inside to beg mercy from the queen.

1. He would have been better off if he would have gone outside with the king and begged for mercy, because when the king returned he saw Haman on the couch with his wife and that infuriated him even more.

2. Of course Haman had flung himself upon the mercy of the queen but it didn"t look good from where the king stood!

a) As we said last week, "Desperate men do stupid things."

b) Haman was fighting a battle he could not win because he was fighting against the Lord!

c) That is also a battle we cannot win.

(1) And when we find ourselves fighting against the Lord we become desperate men and women, and we do stupid things that usually end in our destruction.

C. Haman, the villain is gone, but the damage he did remains!

1. Because the "Law of the Medes and Persians" was irrevocable, the Jews would still be annihilated.

2. There needed to be another plan.

3. That is where our next study in chapter eight begins.

II. TEXT

A. Esther 8:1 (NKJV) 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.

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.

1. This is the first indication in the entire book that Esther let the king know that Mordecai was her "adoptive" father.

2. The king gives Haman"s possessions to Esther.

a) And Esther puts Mordecai in charge of it all.

3. Then the king then gives his signet ring, which he had formerly delegated to Haman, to Mordecai!

a) It seems that King Xerxes was pretty liberal with this "power of attorney" that his signet ring implied!

(1) Paul instructedyoung pastor Timothy Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people"s sins; keep yourself pure. 1 Timothy 5:22 (NKJV)

(2) I have found that it is much more difficult to revoke authority than it is to give it!

(3) Xerxes didn"t seem to be too concerned with either!

B. Esther 8:3 (NKJV) 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.

1. As we said earlier, the "Law of the Medes and Persians" could not be revoked!

a) Esther no doubt appreciated the king acting on behalf of her people and the gift of Haman"s household, but that didn"t solve the problem!

b) Esther"s tears are representative of the depth of her pain and helplessness.

C. Esther 8:4 (NKJV) And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,

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.

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?"

1. Once again, Esther is accepted by the king. And invited to speak.

2. She knows that he cannot revoke the letters devisedby Haman but she asks anyway.

a) She tells the king that the destruction of her people would be more than she could endure.

D. Esther 8:7-9 (NKJV) 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.

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."

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.

1. It was true, the king had been gracious with Haman"s possessions but that did not solve the problem for the Jews.

2. The king goes on to tell Esther and Mordecai that they can draw up whatever documents they want to deal with the problem and sign them in the king"s name.

a) Meaning they had the resources of the kingdom to deal with the decree against their people.

b) BUT, the decree could not be reversed!!

3. Mordecai doesn"t waste any time.

a) He immediately calls in the scribes and begins drafting the new documents and having them translated into the many languages of the kingdom.

E. Esther 8:10 (NKJV) 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.

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,

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.

1. The new decree gave the Jews the power do defend themselves against their enemies and to keep whatever possessions they obtained from their battles!

2. The old decree was not abolished!It would be fulfilled, but the victims were provided with a way of escape.

a) Here we see a wonderful example of salvation:

(1) God also has sent out a decree that stands as firm as the "Law of the Medes and Persians."

(a) Ezekiel 18:4 (NKJV) "Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

(b) And Romans 3:23 tells us that . . . all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(c) Therefore if all men stand guilty before the Lord, then all men need a Savior!

(2) In the Persian kingdom, the old decree could not be abolished so Esther and Mordecai needed to come up with a new decree.

(a) The Lord has also issued a new decree not unlike the first!

(i) 2 Corinthians 5:20 . . .be reconciled to God.

(b) But, like any good teacher, the Lord didn"t simply tell is what we needed to do. He told us how to do it!

(c) Acts 16:31 . . . . "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. .

3. This new decree was urgent news, so they saddled up everything they could be ridden and sent the message out.

a) It meant the salvation of all who would hear the "Good News"!!

F. Esther 8:13 (NKJV) 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.

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.

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.

1. Don"t you love it when the "good guys" win?

a) The "Good News" goes out and all who hear it will have a chance to be saved!

b) And little old Mordecai, who wouldn"t compromise and bow down to Haman, goes out of the palace clothed in the garment of the kingdom!

c) And the whole city rejoiced.

(1) When you and I decide to quit compromising with the world, and accept the "Good News" that Jesus is Lord and Savior, we too come from the palace of the King clothed in the robes of His kingdom!

(a) Revelation 4:4 (NKJV) Around the throne [were] twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads.

(b) Revelation 7:9 (NKJV) After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation [belongs] to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

(c) Revelation 19:11 (NKJV) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

Revelation 19:12 His eyes [were] like a flame of fire, and on His head [were] many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

Revelation 19:13 He [was] clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

Revelation 19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

G. Esther 8:16 (NKJV) The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.

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.

1. Getting right the Lord will always bring joy and honor and gladness!

a) The "light" expressed here is the light of Christ!

(1) The illumination that it was God who saved their lives!

(2) It was such a testimony of the sovereignty of God that many converted to Judaism!

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Brown, John. "Commentary on Esther 8:4". John Brown's Commentary on Selected Books of the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jbs/esther-8.html.

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