Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Esther- Part II

After twelve months of purification, the virgins were brought before the king. When it was Esther's turn- everyone liked her- including the King.

Esther 2:15 and 17-

And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. And the
King loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his
sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head,
and made her queen instead of Vashti.

Mordecai, while at his duty watching the king's gate, found out about a conspiracy. Two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, were mad at the king and conspiring to kill him. Mordecai told Esther about it, Esther reported it- in Mordecai's name. When it was looked into- and found out to be true- the two were killed. All of this was recorded in the book of the chronicles.

Haman got promoted to be the King's chief of staff. He required, in his new position, that all the guards bow to him. Mordecai wouldn't bow to him. This really chapped Haman- "Haman was full of wrath"- the scripture says- and it didn't take long before Haman hated Mordecai. At first Haman was just going to kill Mordecai- but when finding out he was a Jew- he decided to have all the Jews throughout the kingdom killed instead.

So- Haman goes before the king- and tells him that there is a certain group of people (he doesn't name them by name) who have different laws. he tells the king that they are not keeping his laws- and it doesn't benefit the king to have them around. He should dispose of the people.

The king tells Haman- here is my ring- go ahead and do what you think is best. I picture his ring being a type of "stamp." I can see in my mind's eye- Haman writing a proclamation- and rolling it up- putting some hot wax on the closure- and stamping it with the king's ring. I don't know if that's really how it works- but that's how I see it playing out. In a later scripture- the message is "sealed with the king's ring." (E3:12) The word was spread to all the provinces- that the Jews were to be killed on this certain day.

Mordecai, of course, was very upset. He went before the king's gate in sackcloth and ashes, which is not allowed- but he didn't care. All of the Jews were mourning and fasting and weeping. Esther's chambermaids told her about Mordecai. She sent out clothes for Mordecai, but he refused them. Esther sent someone to go ask Mordecai what was going on. And via this messenger- Esther found out the fate of her people. Mordecai asked Esther to bring it up with the king, and see if she couldn't get him to change his mind.

This might seem easy enough- but appearing before the king uninvited was a risk to your life. If the king did not put forth his scepter to you- you were killed- as simple as that. Furthermore- the king had not summoned Esther in over a month.


All the king's servants and the people of that king's provinces do know that
whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court,
who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to
whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live; but I have
not been called to come unto the king these thirty days.

...to be continued

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