Est 9: "The faithful day had arrived! After twelve months of
drama, intrigue, prayer and preparation, the ultimate impact of the royal law
became effective. Because the law of the king (like the law of sin and death)
could not be removed, it had to be challenged and overcome through courage,
conviction and warfare against the sin-power. The type and antitype are
remarkable, and have great relationship to our personal circumstances in the
battle of life. The warfare is described in Rom 7, as the apostle Paul found the
law in his members fighting against the law of his mind. That issue is
demonstrated in the parable of Esther. So the record continues:  The battle
engaged: Est 9:1-11.  The conclusion of the contest: vv 12-19.  The Feast
of rejoicing established: vv 20-32" (GEM).
ON THIS DAY THE ENEMIES OF THE JEWS HAD HOPED TO OVERPOWER
THEM: Even after the execution of Haman, there were apparently some
anti-Semites who still hoped to launch a great pogrom against God's people on
the decreed day.
THE JEWS ASSEMBLED IN THEIR CITIES IN ALL THE PROVINCES OF
KING XERXES TO ATTACK THOSE SEEKING THEIR DESTRUCTION: They assembled in
accordance with the decree of Est 8:11.
NO ONE COULD STAND AGAINST THEM: Cp Zec 8:23; Isa
MORDECAI... BECAME MORE AND MORE POWERFUL: Cp Est
Vv 7-10: The Jews kill the 10 sons of Haman. (These would have
sought retaliation for their father's death in typical ANE fashion.)
Although the "father" of Sin had been destroyed, the effects
of Sin could be seen in his "children" as well -- and so they must be destroyed
GIVE THE JEWS IN SUSA PERMISSION TO CARRY OUT THIS DAY'S
EDICT TOMORROW ALSO, AND LET HAMAN'S TEN SONS BE HANGED ON GALLOWS:
Evidently Esther had learned of a plot in Susa to attack the Jews on Adar 14.
The purpose of hanging the bodies of Haman's 10 executed sons on the gallows was
to disgrace them and to discourage other enemies of the Jews from attacking them
(cp Deu 21:22,23; Num 25:4; 1Sa 31:8-12; 2Sa 21:6; Num 16:27,32,33; Jos
BUT THEY DID NOT LAY THEIR HANDS ON THE PLUNDER:
...Even though they had been given permission to do so (Est 8:11). As in vv
15,16 also. To illustrate that their interest was not in material gain (as was
Haman's: Est 3:9,11,13 -- and Saul's: 1Sa 15:3,19!), but merely in preserving
their lives and showing forth the glory of the God of Israel.
The deliberate decision not to enrich themselves at the
expense of their enemies would not go unnoticed in a culture where victors were
expected to take the spoil. The very novelty of such self-denial would be
remarked upon and remembered, and taken as proof of the upright motives of the
Cp the example of Abraham, who after winning a battle and
being offered spoils by the king of Sodom, protested: "I will accept nothing
belonging to you, not even a thread or the thong of a sandal, so that you will
never be able to say, 'I made Abram rich' " (Gen 14:23).
It is right that those who act against His people should be
removed and that this removal should be public and witnessed.
BUT THEY DID NOT LAY THEIR HANDS ON THE PLUNDER: See v
BUT DID NOT LAY THEIR HANDS ON THE PLUNDER: See v
Four banquets in Esther: Vashti's deposing (Est 1:3); Esther's
coronation (Est 2:18); Esther's petition (Est 5:4,8); and the Jews' celebration
WHEN THEIR SORROW WAS TURNED INTO JOY: This is the
keynote of the Feast of Purim, and of Yahweh's purpose with the Jews (Spa 126;
Isa 35:10; 60:16; 66:5).
THEREFORE THESE DAYS WERE CALLED PURIM, FROM THE WORD
PUR: "Purim" is the plural form of the Persian word "pur", meaning the "lot"
(cp Est 3:7; nsw Heb word for "lot"). The name "Purim" became a symbolic
reminder to the Jews of how God used circumstances, specifically casting the lot
(cp Est 3:7), to deliver them in 473 BC.
THE JEWS TOOK IT UPON THEMSELVES TO ESTABLISH THE CUSTOM
THAT THEY AND THEIR DESCENDANTS AND ALL WHO JOIN THEM SHOULD WITHOUT FAIL
OBSERVE THESE TWO DAYS EVERY YEARS, IN THE WAY PRESCRIBED AND AT THE TIME
APPOINTED: Evidently Mordecai issued the decree establishing the Feast of
Purim some time after the slaying of the Jews' enemies (v 20). His proclamation
united the two days on which the Jews had defended themselves (Adar 13 and 14)
into one holiday. During the inter-testamental period the Jews called Adar 14
"Mordecai Day" (2Ma 15:36, RSV), but they discarded this special designation
later. Modern Jews celebrate Purim on the evening of Adar 14 (March 8). It is
their most festive and popular holiday.
To this very day the Jews keep the feast of Purim and
celebrate the deliverance from Haman's wicked devices. This parallels the
deliverance from Egypt in that the nation was delivered from one who wanted to
wipe them out from being a nation. In a similar way Hitler tried to annihilate
the Jews -- and failed. Whilst these might seem to be natural deliverances we
should, on thinking of them, truly appreciate that God will not cast off His
people and will not break His covenant with the seed of Abraham.
QUEEN ESTHER... ALONG WITH MORDECAI THE JEW, WROTE WITH
FULL AUTHORITY TO CONFIRM THIS SECOND LETTER CONCERNING PURIM: Probably
Esther sent her decree confirming Mordecai's previous declaration of the
official Jewish holiday (vv 20,21) to encourage its firm establishment. Her
letter evidently began, "Words of peace and truth" (v 30). There was probably
considerable resistance within the conservative Jewish community to adding
another national festival to those prescribed in the Torah.