Bible: Esther 6-11-13
The Turning Point: The King Honors Mordecai
6:1 Throughout that night the king was unable to sleep, 1 so he asked for the book containing the historical records 2 to be brought. As the records 3 were being read in the king’s presence, 6:2 it was found written that Mordecai had disclosed that Bigthana 4 and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, had plotted to assassinate 5 King Ahasuerus.
6:3 The king asked, “What great honor 6 was bestowed on Mordecai because of this?” The king’s attendants who served him responded, “Not a thing was done for him.”
6:4 Then the king said, “Who is that in the courtyard?” Now Haman had come to the outer courtyard of the palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had constructed for him. 6:5 The king’s attendants said to him, “It is Haman who is standing in the courtyard.” The king said, “Let him enter.”
6:6 So Haman came in, and the king said to him, “What should be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?” Haman thought to himself, 7 “Who is it that the king would want to honor more than me?” 6:7 So Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king wishes to honor, 6:8 let them bring royal attire which the king himself has worn and a horse on which the king himself has ridden – one bearing the royal insignia! 8 6:9 Then let this clothing and this horse be given to one of the king’s noble officials. Let him 9 then clothe the man whom the king wishes to honor, and let him lead him about through the plaza of the city on the horse, calling 10 before him, ‘So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!’”
6:10 The king then said to Haman, “Go quickly! Take the clothing and the horse, just as you have described, and do as you just indicated to Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king’s gate. Don’t neglect 11 a single thing of all that you have said.”
6:11 So Haman took the clothing and the horse, and he clothed Mordecai. He led him about on the horse throughout the plaza of the city, calling before him, “So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!”
6:12 Then Mordecai again sat at the king’s gate, while Haman hurried away to his home, mournful and with a veil over his head. 6:13 Haman then related to his wife Zeresh and to all his friends everything that had happened to him. These wise men, 12 along with his wife Zeresh, said to him, “If indeed this Mordecai before whom you have begun to fall is Jewish, 13 you will not prevail against him. No, you will surely fall before him!”
6:14 While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived. They quickly brought Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.1:1
The King Throws a Lavish Party
The following events happened 15 in the days of Ahasuerus. 16 (I am referring to 17 that Ahasuerus who used to rule over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces 18 extending all the way from India to Ethiopia. 19 ) 1:2 In those days, as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa 20 the citadel, 21 1:3 in the third 22 year of his reign he provided a banquet for all his officials and his servants. The army 23 of Persia and Media 24 was present, 25 as well as the nobles and the officials of the provinces.
1:4 He displayed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor of his majestic greatness for a lengthy period of time 26 – a hundred and eighty days, to be exact! 27 1:5 When those days 28 were completed, the king then provided a seven-day 29 banquet for all the people who were present 30 in Susa the citadel, for those of highest standing to the most lowly. 31 It was held in the court located in the garden of the royal palace. 1:6 The furnishings included linen and purple curtains hung by cords of the finest linen 32 and purple wool on silver rings, alabaster columns, gold and silver couches 33 displayed on a floor made of valuable stones of alabaster, mother-of-pearl, and mineral stone. 1:7 Drinks 34 were served in golden containers, all of which differed from one another. Royal wine was available in abundance at the king’s expense. 1:8 There were no restrictions on the drinking, 35 for the king had instructed all of his supervisors 36 that they should do as everyone so desired. 37 1:9 Queen Vashti 38 also gave a banquet for the women in King Ahasuerus’ royal palace.
Queen Vashti is Removed from Her Royal Position
1:10 On the seventh day, as King Ahasuerus was feeling the effects of the wine, 39 he ordered Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven eunuchs who attended him, 40 1:11 to bring Queen Vashti into the king’s presence wearing her royal high turban. He wanted to show the people and the officials her beauty, for she was very attractive. 41 1:12 But Queen Vashti refused 42 to come at the king’s bidding 43 conveyed through the eunuchs. Then the king became extremely angry, and his rage consumed 44 him.
1:13 The king then inquired of the wise men who were discerners of the times – for it was the royal custom to confer with all those who were proficient in laws and legalities. 45 1:14 Those who were closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These men were the seven officials of Persia and Media who saw the king on a regular basis 46 and had the most prominent offices 47 in the kingdom. 1:15 The king asked, 48 “By law, 49 what should be done to Queen Vashti in light of the fact that she has not obeyed the instructions of King Ahasuerus conveyed through the eunuchs?”
1:16 Memucan then replied to the king and the officials, “The wrong of Queen Vashti is not against the king alone, but against all the officials and all the people who are throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. 1:17 For the matter concerning the queen will spread to all the women, leading them to treat their husbands with contempt, saying, ‘When King Ahasuerus gave orders to bring Queen Vashti into his presence, she would not come.’ 1:18 And this very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media who have heard the matter concerning the queen will respond in the same way to all the royal officials, and there will be more than enough contempt and anger! 1:19 If the king is so inclined, 50 let a royal edict go forth from him, and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media that cannot be repealed, 51 that Vashti 52 may not come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king convey her royalty to another 53 who is more deserving than she. 54 1:20 And let the king’s decision which he will enact be disseminated 55 throughout all his kingdom, vast though it is. 56 Then all the women will give honor to their husbands, from the most prominent to the lowly.”
1:21 The matter seemed appropriate to the king and the officials. So the king acted on the advice of Memucan. 1:22 He sent letters throughout all the royal provinces, to each province according to its own script and to each people according to its own language, 57 that every man should be ruling his family 58 and should be speaking the language of his own people. 59