Esther 9-10: God Fulfills Promises Through Everyday Life and Humble People

As we wind down the epic story of Queen Esther, we see again how God humbles the proud and exalts the humble — another ironic reversal of fortune. Let’s dig in…

Esther 9 – Victory for the Jews

So on March 7 the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai. For Mordecai had been promoted in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces as he became more and more powerful.

So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. They killed and annihilated their enemies and did as they pleased with those who hated them. In the fortress of Susa itself, the Jews killed 500 men. They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha— 10 the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not take any plunder.

11 That very day, when the king was informed of the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa, 12 he called for Queen Esther. He said, “The Jews have killed 500 men in the fortress of Susa alone, as well as Haman’s ten sons. If they have done that here, what has happened in the rest of the provinces? But now, what more do you want? It will be granted to you; tell me and I will do it.”

13 Esther responded, “If it please the king, give the Jews in Susa permission to do again tomorrow as they have done today, and let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be impaled on a pole.”

14 So the king agreed, and the decree was announced in Susa. And they impaled the bodies of Haman’s ten sons. 15 Then the Jews at Susa gathered together on March 8 and killed 300 more men, and again they took no plunder.

16 Meanwhile, the other Jews throughout the king’s provinces had gathered together to defend their lives. They gained relief from all their enemies, killing 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not take any plunder. 17 This was done throughout the provinces on March 7, and on March 8 they rested, celebrating their victory with a day of feasting and gladness. 18 (The Jews at Susa killed their enemies on March 7 and again on March 8, then rested on March 9, making that their day of feasting and gladness.) 19 So to this day, rural Jews living in remote villages celebrate an annual festival and holiday on the appointed day in late winter, when they rejoice and send gifts of food to each other.

The Festival of Purim

20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes, 21 calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days. 22 He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.

23 So the Jews accepted Mordecai’s proposal and adopted this annual custom. 24 Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, had plotted to crush and destroy them on the date determined by casting lots (the lots were called purim). 25 But when Esther came before the king, he issued a decree causing Haman’s evil plot to backfire, and Haman and his sons were impaled on a sharpened pole. 26 That is why this celebration is called Purim, because it is the ancient word for casting lots.

So because of Mordecai’s letter and because of what they had experienced, 27 the Jews throughout the realm agreed to inaugurate this tradition and to pass it on to their descendants and to all who became Jews. They declared they would never fail to celebrate these two prescribed days at the appointed time each year. 28 These days would be remembered and kept from generation to generation and celebrated by every family throughout the provinces and cities of the empire. This Festival of Purim would never cease to be celebrated among the Jews, nor would the memory of what happened ever die out among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote another letter putting the queen’s full authority behind Mordecai’s letter to establish the Festival of Purim. 30 Letters wishing peace and security were sent to the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of the empire of Xerxes. 31 These letters established the Festival of Purim—an annual celebration of these days at the appointed time, decreed by both Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther. (The people decided to observe this festival, just as they had decided for themselves and their descendants to establish the times of fasting and mourning.) 32 So the command of Esther confirmed the practices of Purim, and it was all written down in the records.

Esther 9 NLT

Esther 10

King Xerxes imposed a tribute throughout his empire, even to the distant coastlands. His great achievements and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Media and Persia. Mordecai the Jew became the prime minister, with authority next to that of King Xerxes himself. He was very great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants.

Esther 10 NLT

God’s Ironic Twists

  • The Jews, who had been assimilated into the pagan culture of the Babylonians first, then the Medes and Persians, were now feared by the people so they converted!
  • They did not take plunder from their enemies. The king gave Esther Haman’s estate and Mordecai became its supervisor.
  • Mordecai gets Haman’s old job with an even better position.
  • It was an edict of death and the year of the Lord’s favor. Mordecai points to Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus, when He first introduced Himself at the synagogue in Nazareth, read from the Book of Isaiah…

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
    and recovering of sight to the blind,
    to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:18-21 ESV

What’s in a Name?

One of the Bible study plans in the free, YouVersion Bible app that I used for this series, offered an interesting look at the meaning of some of the names…

Esther’s Hebrew name, Hadassah was first mentioned in Chapter 2. The name Hadassah is derived from the Hebrew word ‘hadas’, a myrtle tree. Just as a myrtle has a sweet smell and a bitter taste, so too Esther was good and listened (sweet) to the righteous, and was adverse (bitter) to the wicked as we’ve seen in this chapter. It shows that she wasn’t just a pretty face, but she was zealous about the things that concerned her and her people and she would do anything to ensure their safety.

The names of Haman’s sons in Hebrew mean the following:

Parshandatha – ‘curious self’,

Dalphon – ‘self-pity’,

Aspatha – ‘self- sufficient’,

Poratha – ‘self-indulgent’,

Adalia – ‘humble self.’ Have you ever known someone who is proud of being ‘humble’?

Aridatha – ‘strong self’ or ‘self-assertive’,

Parmashta – ‘self-ambition’,

Arisai – ‘bold self’,

Aridai – ‘dignified self’ or ‘I am superior’,

Vaizatha – ‘self- righteous’.

All of these ‘selves’ were put to death. Isn’t that interesting? Self must die before victory is accomplished. Not only was Haman dead, but now all of his sons whom he arrogantly named after aspects of himself were dead. Haman’s downfall due to his pride was now complete.

The Esther Challenge:

Is pride holding you back?

It’s interesting that most of those “self” descriptions were, in my younger days, things you worked for. I remember striving to be self-sufficient and assertive. Those were the qualities of successful people. Today, I strive to be Christlike and give all Glory to God.

A Cosmic Spiritual Problem

This whole story depicts the long-standing rivalry between Jesus and Satan that started way back in Genesis 3. As we’ve been journeying through the Old Testament we see 2 distinct family trees always in conflict.

Demonic Conspiracy to Kill or destroy

It may look like it was all by chance, but it was the Hand of God. Haman may have rolled the dice (cast lots), but God controlled them.

  • Nothing is wasted, not time, thought, meeting or teaching.
  • No circumstance is meaningless.
  • There are no such things as coincidences.

Look back at your life. Everything you’ve done and been through has led you to where you are today. That’s why my tagline for this blog is “Sharing the Gospel Truth of the Salvation of Jesus Christ for Such a Time as This…”

My Testimony…

What about you?

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Next up: Ezra — the Jews return from exile to rebuild Jerusalem! Subscribe so you don’t miss out!

Top image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Overview: Esther

The Bible Explained: Esther

The Best Esther Movie!

Don’t bother with “One Night with the King” — it takes way too much Hollywood artistic license that is strays far from Biblical truth.

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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