20 Nov. Esther 8:1-14

20 Nov. Xerxes reverses the order to kill the Jews

“That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther everything Haman, the enemy of the Jewish people, had left when he died. And Mordecai came in to see the king, because Esther had told the king how he was related to her. Then the king took off his signet ring that he had taken back from Haman, and he gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of everything Haman left when he died.”

“Once again Esther spoke to the king. She fell at the king’s feet and cried and begged him to stop the evil plan that Haman the Agagite had planned against the Jews. The king held out the gold sceptre to Esther. So Esther got up and stood in front of him.”

“She said, ‘My king, if you are pleased with me, and if it pleases you to do this, if you think it is the right thing to do, and if you are happy with me, let an order be written to cancel the letters Haman wrote. Haman the Agagite sent messages to destroy all the Jewish people in all of your kingdom. I could not stand to see that terrible thing happen to my people. I could not stand to see my family killed.’”

“King Xerxes answered Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, ‘Because Haman was against the Jewish people, I have given his things to Esther and my soldiers have hanged him. Now, in the king’s name, write another order to the Jewish people as it seems best to you. Then seal the order with the king’s signet ring, because no letter written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can be cancelled.’”

“At that time the king’s secretaries were called. This was the twenty-third day of the third month, which is Sivan. The secretaries wrote out all of Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, to the governors, to the captains of the soldiers in each area and to the important men of the 127 areas that reached from India to Cush. They wrote in the writing of each area and in the language of each people.”

“They also wrote to the Jewish people in their own writing and language. Mordecai wrote orders in the name of King Xerxes and sealed the letters with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the king’s orders by messengers on fast horses, horses that were raised just for the king.”

“These were the king’s orders: the Jewish people in every city have the right to gather together to protect themselves. They may destroy, kill and completely wipe out the army of any area or people who attack them. And they are to do the same to the women and children of that army. They may also take by force the property of their enemies.”

“The one day set for the Jewish people to do this in all the empire of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. A copy of the king’s order was to be sent out as a law in every area. It was to be made known to the people of every nation living in the kingdom so the Jewish people would be ready on that set day to strike back at their enemies.”

“The messengers hurried out, riding on the royal horses, because the king commanded those messengers to hurry. And the order was also given in the palace at Susa.”

          (Esther 8:1-14)

 

 

On the death of Haman, all his estates were given to Queen Esther by the king, and Mordecai was appointed as her chief administrator.

Once again, Esther pleaded with the king for the lives of her people, and Xerxes agreed that Mordecai should send out another order in the king’s name to stop the slaughter of the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire.

Mordecai therefore issued another edict in the king’s name giving Jews in the empire the right to bear arms and to protect themselves from anyone who threatened to kill them.

This order was delivered across the empire by the king’s messengers, timed to arrive well before the date originally set to exterminate the Jewish people – the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.

The photo (by Chefallen) shows the first chapter of a hand-written scroll of the Book of Esther. You can read more of the story of Esther @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/35-the-exiles-return-to-judah/the-origin-of-the-jewish-festival-of-purim/


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