|ESTHER Chapter Eight|
Esther Chapter Eight
On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Let’s start by back tracking a little bit… remember in Esther 7:4, she told the king that they had been “sold.” This signified Esther’s need for a redeemer.
In a nutshell, redemption is repurchasing something that has been sold, and it also means to set free. In Old Testament times, slaves could be redeemed (bought back) but only under certain terms.
Because Haman had betrayed the king by deceiving him, his entire house became the property of the king including the lives of the Jews that he had purchased. And so, the second verse is very significant as the “ring” is a symbol of mutual possession.
Jesus redeemed us by giving His life as a ransom for our sins. Those who believe are under His possession, and in return we possess something of value—a Savior. I wish I would have understood the symbolism behind the wedding ring when I got married as it would have made the ceremony that much more significant. But at least these are lessons I can now pass down to my children.
1. What other elements of a marriage ceremony do you see as typifying our relationship with Jesus Christ?
And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, and said, If it please the king, and if I have favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces: For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
Once again we see Esther’s passion that ALL of her people would be saved. She and her cousin Mordecai had already been redeemed by the king, but she couldn’t bear the thought of others losing their life.
She is an incredible example to believers that we must keep on praying for the unsaved. We can’t give up. It is not God’s will that even one should perish, but yet so many around us are still under bondage to Satan.
Think of some of the unbelievers in your life.
1. Do you pray for them enough?
2. Make a list of them and either put it in your prayer journal or keep it in your Bible, as a reminder to pray for them often.
Compare Esther’s attitude in the three verses above to that of Vashti’s in the first chapter.
1. What difference(s) do you find?
Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
Historically kings wore rings that had a unique stamp in them. These rings were used as a type of signature that when pressed into a soft surface such as wax, they left a distinct and binding impression. In these verses, the king is instructing Esther to send out letters of freedom marked with the binding seal of the king.
Compare the symbol of the king’s seal with the following verses:
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise. ~ Ephesians 1:13, KJV
Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:21&22, KJV
The "seal" is a mark that is put upon us the moment that we become His. It’s the gift of His Holy Spirit that literally becomes a part of who we are. The Holy Spirit dwells within each believer, which is our seal of ownership. Here is a short list of Bible verses concerning the Holy Spirit.
What do each of these say about the role of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life?
A. John 14:16
B. John 16:7-11
C. John 16:13
D. John 16:14
E. John 15:26
F. What fruit should be evident in a spirit-filled believer? (Galatians 5:22-23)
Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
Do you see how the king has given every Jew instructions to stand up against evil? This is the same commandment that believers are given as we struggle against sin:
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ~ Ephesians 6:13, KJV
The important thing to note however is that we are not left standing without protection from the King! Read Ephesians 6:14-17.
1. What does God offer in order to equip us for battle?
Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
There is so much to say about these verses, it’s incredible!! Mordecai’s outfit signifies that he was the temple of the Holy Ghost.
Compare the fabric to this scripture:
Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet. ~ Exodus 26:1a, KJV
It's interesting to note that while the tabernacle was made up of three areas: the outer court, the inner court, and the holy of holies, we each consist of three parts: body, soul and spirit. But that's a whole other study, let's get back on track here.
Purple dye was extremely expensive which is why it is usually associated with royalty. It’s really quite interesting when you research how the color purple was obtained in ancient cultures; check it out sometime when you have a minute. It was worn by kings and queens because it was so costly and hard to come by. Because Mordecai belonged to the king, he was dressed in the finest garments.
As we discussed in a previous chapter, the Bible talks about believers being clothed with a robe of righteousness. Note here that the person of Mordecai was helpless to help himself. Everything he had was a gift from the king. All was grace.
The golden crown is the crown of life given to all believers who endure temptation until the end:
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. ~ James 1:12, KJV
The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
If we look at this in context with Jewish history, we see that this was definitely a time of celebration for the Jews! We learned in our study of chapter three that the initial reason that Mordecai wouldn’t bow down to Haman was because the Amalekites were long-time enemies of God’s people, the Jews:
And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. ~ Exodus 17:15-16, KJV
Now finally the Jews were not only given their life, they were given honor and were exalted above the enemy!
When we recognize the symbolism of this victory we also have reason to rejoice. The rise of the Jews represents the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power that brings to all believers through Him. There is victory in Jesus!
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. ~ Romans 16:19&20, KJV