Esther 9 & 10
Chapter 9 Part 1… tells us about the 13th day of the 12th month when all over the provinces the Jews rose up against those that hated them. It even tallies up their kills and gives us a number – 75,000. In Susa, 500 men were killed including all 10 of Haman’s sons.
Then of course, being the rational and in charge King that he is…he asks Queen Esther what her petition is .. what more does she want? I mean, he’s already sanctioning a day of bloodshed for her and her people after sanctioning their initial extermination. He’s a very busy man!
And she tells him she wants another whole day for the Jews to kill off people in Susa, plus she wants the 10 sons of Haman to be hung on the gallows.
Instead of freaking out at her audacity, King A (Ahasuerus) says … yes dear, whatever you want and so the Jews get 2 whole days to kill off people who hate them in Susa. In the outlying provinces they only get the 1 day though.
I’m thinking Queen Esther has finally come into her own! She’s found her queenly “sea legs” at last!
Part 2 is the Feast of Purim Instituted…
So after the killing (with no plundering) .. very important to note that they didn’t take anything from the dead (important because it was told to us several times that they didn’t plunder)… Queen Esther and Mordecai, now a very important man, second only to the King, sent out instructions for celebrating the Feast of Purim now and every year, generation to generation.
Those in Susa would celebrate 2 days, the 13th and 14th of Adar. Those in the outlying provinces would celebrate only on the 14th day of Adar.
Chapter 9 really doesn’t read “right” to me. It’s a conclusion, the final battle chapter and also a recap summary that gives the feel of … .”and they all lived happily ever after”… except of course for the thousands that were mass murdered. But to be fair, those that were killed had murder in their own hearts! You can’t exactly plan a day of extermination and then whine about your prey fighting back, now can you?
King A was completely oblivious throughout all of this. Where was the hard nosed, feared King? This made it sound like King A just laid back drunk or drugged and turned over all command to his Queen? (not likely in that culture).. to Mordecai the Jew (perhaps, it certainly appears that way other than the fact that it is the Queen who the King grants wishes to). I don’t know.. the feel of these two chapters is hokey to me.
Chapter 10 doesn’t even make much sense. A very short chapter, all it says is that King A laid a tribute on the land. Basically, my take on this is that King A touted how cool Mordecai was and had all the exploits written and recorded in the Chronicles. It basically states that the King recognized Mordecai as one step under himself in importance.
Again, I don’t know who wrote the book of Esther but it doesn’t read like any of the other books of the Bible. It’s almost like the author wanted it to sound bigger and better than maybe it was… fish tales? I wish we had more information on who the author was because that would give us better insight into what they were trying to accomplish with this book.
Anyway, as with most Jewish feasts …and I’m taking this from a book I read about a Jewish family… when the little kids are asked what the festivals are about this is their answer…
Someone hated us… God saved us… Let’s Eat!
Please don’t think I’m being mean here. I just thought that was the cutest!