Haman, Esther, & A King’s Decree

A Second Feast Begins: Chapter 7

Esther had already held one banquet for the King and for Haman. It wasn’t until this second one, however, that she finally made her real request known:

Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request:

Esther 7:3

Her grace and tact in her request showed great wisdom. Her appeal came through her personal relationship with the king, in asking that the king would grant her appeal IF she had found favor in his eyes and IF it pleased him. She knew she had never done anything but please him, and the king’s reaction made that clear.

When the king asks who this wicked man was, that would dare to do such a horrible thing, Esther wastes no time in pointing him out. Of course, she could have pointed the finger at the king for his role in all of this. But the truth stood. It was wicked Haman, “an adversary and enemy” that orchestrated the whole event.

Haman had no idea that Esther was a Jew! His terror sets in as he realizes, before both the king and the queen, that his plot would have included the death of the king’s own wife. It’s evident now, why Esther had invited BOTH men to attend these banquets.

The End of Haman

As the initial implication set in, the king was so fiercely angry, he left the room and went into the garden of the palace. Haman, instead of following the king, began to plead for his life before Queen Esther. He knew the king had nothing good in store for him, but rather, quite the opposite!

The scene that takes place while the king is in the garden is not spelled out plainly:

Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of win; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house?…

Esther 7:8

There is some lapse of time between verse 7, in which “Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen” and verse 8, where we see him “fallen upon the bed where Esther was”. It looks bad, doesn’t it? Well, the king thought so too!

When the king walked in on the Haman’s furious pleading, it looked like he was trying to force the queen, or assault her in some way. So, they covered Haman’s head for his impending execution.

Haman is Killed

It was one of the king’s servants, Harbonah, who pointed out the gallows built for Mordecai still stood at the house of Haman. And the king thought it a proper way to punish Haman for his deed.

And so the king made a verbal decree that Haman should hang on the same gallows that stood 50 cubits (75 feet) high.

This is reminiscent of David’s words:

Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.

Psalms 7: 14-16

It’s also a kind of foreshadowing, so to speak of the fact that Satan thought his victory was imminent with Jesus’ crucifixion. The truth was, the cross was the victory that overcame the enemy once and for all!

It was only after Haman’s death that the king’s wrath was abated.

In contrast to the guilty dying in the innocent’s place with Mordecai and Haman, Jesus, the innocent, was crucified in place of us, the guilty.

The Aftermath of Haman: Chapter 8

After Haman’s death, his home was given to Queen Esther, and his position became Mordecai’s. Haman had spent his entire life in pursuit of position, accumulation of wealth, and hope of fame and glory. In the end, he didn’t even have a house to pass on to his descendants. Even his signet ring was removed from his hand and placed on the hand of Mordecai.

Now that Esther had received a pardon for herself and for Mordecai, she fell at the king’s feet, in tears. Her next request was that the king would revoke the decree that Haman had demanded, for the extermination of the Jews.

Of course, you might think it would have been best that Esther would have made this request known the first time the king asked. As it stood prior to her tearful request, the king’s decree still stood, legal and binding. At this point, the Jews were still in danger of annihilation. But God’s wisdom was with her, and the graceful staging of her greatest request was solidified before the king.

Since a decree from King Ahasuerus was binding, it was also irrevocable. The king realized this and quickly created a counter-decree. This decree made it possible for the Jews to protect themselves from any and all assailants.

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,

Esther 8:11

How the Death of Haman Relates to Us

Just as the Jews had to deal with the king’s decree, which could not be altered, so we must contend with a decree that rightfully expects our own death:

Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Ezekiel 18:4

Our enemy, satan, stands against us at every turn, but then again, so does the decree of our righteous God stand against us. But God’s uncompromising stance did not mean that He couldn’t issue His own counter-decree as well. The punishment we rightfully deserved, God placed on Another:

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:26

When the couriers took off on royal horses to make sure the king’s command arrived in time, there was great urgency in the mission. This important message had to reach the people before the time was up.

As Christians, we should go forth with the same urgency, as Ambassadors of the Kingdom. We can declare the satisfaction of our guilty judgment through Jesus, and His plan for our salvation.

From Haman to Mordecai

Mordecai went forth in the royal apparel of the king, having taken Haman’s place. In much the same way, when we start on our path of Truth, God clothes us with righteousness to go forth and declare the Gospel message of salvation.

God cast satan out of heaven for his betrayal and desire for greatness, even above God Himself. Now, we can stand in that place of ultimate worship! God had reserved satan for worship, but now we assume that position, and the great joy that comes with it.

As Chapter 8 Closes…

As Esther’s 8th chapter closes, we a great joy come to the Jews. The interesting part is that it came BEFORE the actual attack had happened. Their joy was in the king’s decree, knowing they could have their assurance long before the actual battle ever took place.

Our salvation is not yet complete. We still have a road to walk, commandments to follow, and a light to shine brightly through the kingdom, in the great and mighty Name of Christ Jesus.

However, our rejoicing should be loud and clear for all to hear! Our confidence is not in ourselves, but in our own great King: Jesus!

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 1:6

What things truly stand out to you through these two chapters of Esther? Was it her amazing courage in the face of her enemy? Maybe it was the way she went on to plead for her kinsman even after the king had spared her own life?

In either case, I’m sure you have some ideas of your own. Share them in the comment section to join the discussion!

Lord Jesus, grant me even a fraction of the courage Esther had through this massive ordeal! Teach me to speak only when and what You have told me to. Give me favor and grace to speak Truth and nothing less. I’ll never fail to give You all the glory and honor, in Jesus mighty Name, Amen.

In Case You Missed It

To catch up on Blogging Through The Bible posts you might have missed, check out the links below:

Angela’s static page for her Blogging Through The Bible entries

Esther 3-4; Devotional – Tammy’s latest entry for Blogging Through The Bible

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