This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In June, we’re reading the books of Esther and Ruth. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Esther 8:1-14 – The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews
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 scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor 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 impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in 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 the armed men of any nationality or province who 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, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.
Victory | Becky Newman
Esther begs for her people’s lives before the king and asks him to over-rule the edict Haman sent out to annihilate the Jews. But it appears from the king’s response that he is unable to do so since Haman’s edict was sealed with the king’s ring. The person who had use of the king’s ring had to be completely trusted by the king to do business on his behalf, not to go rogue and start annihilating people. He then gave this trust to Mordecai. The king knew he could trust Mordecai because of his loyalty to him in saving his life in the past and even through his raising of Esther to honor the king well and come before him respectfully and humbling–good parenting right there. Mordecai was given authority to write another edict to save his people. I hope he put a little stick figure picture in there of the fate of Haman who dared to scheme against God! All authority given to King Xerxes was by God, whether he recognized God or not; how awesome that God then orchestrated part of this authority to go to one of the chosen.
My Bible notes say, “Clearly this reversal is meant as a warning to the enemies of God’s people and as an encouragement to those on whom God’s promised protection rests.” If God is for us, who can be against us! It’s been a rough couple of weeks in the parenting of littles department, and the scheming is trying to get my goat so I lash out in anger and sin rather than my kiddos seeing Godly love and discipline. I am encouraged despite this small battle because I know You win. All of this scheming is to no avail.
Help me, Lord, not to fear evil scheming but to go forward with the chant of victory in my head. There will be fights along the way just like the Jews still had to defend themselves after Haman’s edict, but You are the Victor, and in You, I am also victorious.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.