The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Esther 7

Est 7:1

Est 7: Tensions must have been high as Esther's second banquet began -- Esther awaiting the best possible moment to press her cause, and Haman preoccupied and worried with the day's events. Only the king, content that his purpose to reward Mordecai had been accomplished, would have been relaxed and in good humor.

In a political sense, note how this type is seen in Joel 3:1-3,7,11; note esp v 3: the "lots", or "purim" (although not sw in Heb).

Est 7:4

I AND MY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SOLD: Implying that a bargain had been struck: Est 3:9; 4:7.

Now, for the first time, Esther takes a stand alongside her people -- revealing her true identity as a Jews. Esther was in a very dangerous position. She not only now identified herself with a minority group that Haman had represented to the king as subversive. She also accused one of his closest confidential advisers of committing an error in judgment.

DESTRUCTION, SLAUGHTER AND ANNIHILATION: Quoting from the very edict itself (Est 3:13).

NO SUCH DISTRESS WOULD JUSTIFY DISTURBING THE KING: Or, as the NIV mg, "the compensation our adversary offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer." Meaning: 'You have made a bad bargain, and [perhaps] God will punish you for how you propose to mistreat His people!'

Est 7:5

Vv 5,6: It seems that, for the first time, Xerxes understands that this has been done (by Haman) for personal revenge, and not for any prudent political policy.

Est 7:8

HAMAN WAS FALLING ON THE COUCH: "The irony here is that Haman, who had demanded that Mordecai bow before him, was at the feet of the Jew Esther" (Breneman). "One must remember that in antiquity very strong feelings and strict regulations centered on the harem... Had Haman knelt as much as a foot away from the queen's couch, the king's reaction could still have been justified" (Moore).

THE COUCH: A couch built on a raised platform along the wall (Str Scr 53).

Est 7:9

"Harbonah's suggestion that they hang Haman on the gallows he had built for Mordecai drove the final nail in Haman's coffin. Certainly Ahasuerus had not known of Haman's plan to execute the king's savior" (Const).

Est 7:10

SO THEY HANGED HAMAN ON THE GALLOWS HE HAD PREPARED FOR MORDECAI: So the very thing which Haman had maliciously plotted for an innocent man, fell instead upon himself: "The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The LORD is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands" (Spa 9:15,16). "He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head" (Spa 7:15,16). "May ruin overtake them by surprise-- may the net they hid entangle them, may they fall into the pit, to their ruin" (Spa 35:8). "They spread a net for my feet-- I was bowed down in distress. They dug a pit in my path-- but they have fallen into it themselves" (Spa 57:6).

Typically, pointing to Christ: the enemy of the Jews is crucified on the same stake which he had prepared for Mordecai: the death of Christ became the means of putting to death the "serpent" of sin and the flesh (John 3:14,15; cp Heb 2:14), and the law or decree that gave it strength (Col 2:14).

Not long after the wealthy contractor had finished building the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery. When convicted, he was sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was escorted into a cell of his own making he said, "I never dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day."

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