Esther 3:8-9

Esther 3:8-9

to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice

July 04, 2019 – Thursday

Esther 3:8-9    NIV

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

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We read in chapter 3:1 for some reason – the reason or reasons are never given – After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles.  We are not told what events are being referenced, but if we turn back to chapter two we find two events. The first we know about, Esther became queen. The second is that Mordecai overheard a plot to  assassinate King Xerxes, reported it Queen Esther, who told the king while giving credit to Mordecai. So what did Haman do to earn the seat of honor given him? We are not told, it is a mystery.

However, we know about Mordecai from 2:5-6 that he was a a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,  who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachinking of Judah. We further learn he raised a cousin named Hadassah, who was an orphan. She was also known as Esther and is now the queen.

We still know nothing about why Haman was elevated to such a high position, something we never find out. But we do know why he hated Mordecai, because after Haman was given a position higher than all the other nobles in verse two, All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor. Eventually Haman learned of this his pride was greatly wounded.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

Esther 3:5-6

Thus we arrive at our verses for the day where Haman sought the king out to have all the Jews in the kingdom killed due to his vanity. While the king agreed to Haman’s idea, this chapter ends with his command going throughout the kingdom

15 The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.

Esther 3:15

Why were the inhabitants of the city of Susa bewildered?

The citizens of the empire knew Jewish people who lived among them, and they knew that they were good citizens who caused no trouble. Therefore, they were confused that such a decree came forth, declaring that these Jews were dangerous enemies.   Guzik

Tomorrow we will find out what happened, how Haman’s plan succeeded or failed. Or you might want to read the following chapters yourself (it is quite a story) or watch the recommended Bible Project video on Esther to see how it ends.

One thing for sure God remains in control.

RileyD, nwJ     (to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)

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