1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman's estate.
3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews.
4 Then the king extended the gold sceptre to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 If it pleases the king, she said, and if he regards me with favour and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces.
6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?
7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged him on the gallows.
8 Now write another decree in the king's name on behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king's signet ring— for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.
9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned— on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai's orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.
10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king's signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
11 The king's edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder the property of their enemies.
12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.
13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, raced out, spurred on by the king's command. And the edict was also issued in the citadel of Susa.
15 Mordecai left the king's presence wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.
16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honour.
17 In every province and in every city, wherever the edict of the king went, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.
So last week we saw the fall of Haman. Esther revealed who she was, Haman was revealed for who he was and everything seems to be working out. However, before they can sit back and relax, there is still the matter of the order to destroy the Jews.
(Read verses 1-6)
So, Haman had been overthrown and Mordecai was honoured in his place. However, we see that even before she is welcomed by the king, Esther starts to plead with him to save her people. She didn’t wait for the king to notice her and went against the normal protocol, weeping at the king’s feet showing just how important her request was. Haman may have been removed by the most important issue still remained: the problem of the order to annihilate the Jews.
(Read verses 7-8)
It seems silly that the first order wasn’t just torn up however to revoke an order would be to admit that the king had been wrong in the first place. Pride meant they didn’t want to be showing weakness and so this rule that no order sealed with the king’s ring could be revoked had been put in place. So now another decree was to be written and king Xerxes gave this job over to Esther and Mordecai. He was washing his hands clean of the matter and didn’t want to admit he was wrong.
We can be like that sometimes, not wanting to admit it when we’re wrong. However, covering things up and denying that we’re wrong can often be worse. It is much better to admit you’ve done wrong and to apologise. It may be hard but it’s a sign of strength and apologising straight away could avoid making the whole situation a lot worse.
(Read verses 9-12)
They couldn’t revoke anything in the first law so how would they sort the problem out? Well, Mordecai, in a wisdom that could have only come from God, wrote an order which stated that on that day the Jews could destroy anyone who attacked them, plunder the property of their enemies and protect and assemble themselves beforehand.
This is clever as, although they couldn’t initiate attack, they could defend themselves and prepare for attack. It would make people think twice before they attacked the Jews and also they would have had God with them every step of the way.
(Read verses 13-17)
The new order was sent throughout the whole land, to every province and in every language in the empire so that every single person would know what the order contained. As we see in verse 16, the order went down very well with the Jews and even non-Jews came to realise that it was not a good idea to go against the God of the Jews.
Just like the Jews, we are all facing certain death with no way we can save ourselves from the situation. There is no way we can save ourselves from the judgement our sin has brought upon us. However, Jesus has provided a way out for us. He died on the cross, taking the punishment we deserve so that we might be rescued and be given the opportunity of an eternal life with him. Our death order can be lifted if we just trust in Jesus.