A Blood Feud Heats Up
Chapter two ends with a conspiracy foiled, the conspirators punished quite severely and the hero unrewarded. Chapter three open with the words “after these things”. When you see that phrase it is a good idea to look back and see what the author is trying to highlight. The importance of Esther 2:23b will become evident in chapter 6.
There is more to the background of Mordecai and Haman than revealed in the black and white words on these pages. Chapter 2 verse 5 gives a brief genealogy of Mordecai. We will zero in on one name “Shimei”. These men were in the same family as the first King of Israel, Saul. In 2 Samuel 16:5-14 is the record of Shimei’s not so nice encounter with David. He cursed David, pelted David and his men with rocks and David’s “mighty men” wanted to kill him. David wouldn’t let them. Mordecai was of this lineage of Shimei and Saul. What would have happened if David hadn’t spared Shimei? How would that have affected Esther? I suppose God would have found another to help save His chosen people but it is interesting to me that David’s mercy possibly saved Mordecai, Esther and even the Jews.
But wait! There’s more. Haman is a Agagite. So what, you say? So way back when Saul fought the Amalekites he was told by God through Samuel to kill ALL of them. Saul didn’t. For background on why God would order such a thing read the following verses; Deuteronomy 25:17-18;Judges 6:3 and 1Samuel 30:1-4. These are short passages that will give you an idea on the nature of the Amalekites. Saul took King Agag captive and even though Samuel eventually killed Agag it is obvious that some of these doomed by God escaped resulting in a Haman. Read it for yourself in 1 Samuel 15. Would there have been a decree against the Jews if the hatred of the Amalekites toward the Jews hadn’t continued to simmer? Satan may have found another Haman to do his dirty deed. History has proven that there are many “Hamans” waiting in the wings to do Satan’s will which is always against God’s people.
This is a long lead into Chapter 3 I know but it does add some understanding to the rivalry between Mordecai and Haman, Jew and Amalekite.
It is strange to me that nothing was done for the hero, Mordecai when he saved the hide of Xerxes but at least it was recorded. Trust me that will be an important little detail later on. A delicious twist in my opinion.
Read through chapter 3 with all this in mind. Note the over-the-top hatred of Haman and the extreme he goes to. This was demonic no doubt. I believe anti-semitism always is.
I am especially taken by his extreme. Haman wasn’t satisfied with just Mordecai’s death, he wanted the death of all the Jews. He wanted not just death but to “destroy, kill, & annihilate” them. Overkill I would say. Kind of like how I feel about spiders. I came across one just today and I sprayed it with bug killer, then I got a shoe and pounded it into the place where I found it. I HATE SPIDERS! It would be a joy to me if they disappeared off the face of the earth. To have that kind of attitude toward another human being is unbelievable. Haman did.
It was fortunate for the Jews that the Persians were a very superstitious people. The Pur (dice) were cast to plan this demented schedule and the Jews had a year to prepare for it. Reminds me of Proverbs 16:33 where it says the results of the lot cast is in God’s hands.
Xerxes puzzles me. He was so willing to hand power over to this maniac. He, in my opinion was not a very good king, not a compassionate one anyway. How could he allow a decree to totally wipe out a whole race of people without even looking into the truth of Haman’s accusations? I wasn’t the only one who was puzzled. After the decree was written and sent off to every corner of the kingdom, Haman and Xerxes sat down to drink and the whole of the kingdom was perplexed. Have you ever felt that way about something your leaders have done? I know I have.
Chapter four records Mordecai’s reaction and the request he made of Esther.
I’ve given you enough to chew on for now. I would love to see your response.
Blessings til next time.