The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 166 of 210
Index | Zoom
The Right Time.
"and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom
for such a time as this?" (Esther 4: 14).
pp. 212 - 217
The remarkable story of Mordecai and Esther is told in the book of Esther. King
Ahasuerus was displeased with Queen Vashti who has disobeyed him, and after careful
consideration a royal commandment was issued, declaring that Vashti was no longer
Queen. A search was then made for young and fair virgins from whom the king could
select one to be the next queen.
Mordecai was a Jew, being among those who were carried away from Jerusalem by
the king of Babylon. Esther was the daughter of Mordecai's uncle but her father and
mother were dead, and Mordecai had taken Esther and treated her as his own daughter.
She was one of the virgins selected, and eventually was taken into the royal house where
she made a favourable impression on the king, and all in the king's house. Esther found
favour in the eyes of King Ahasuerus, and in due course the crown was placed on her
head and she was declared queen.
In chapter 3: we read about Haman who found favour also in the eyes of the king,
and he was advanced to a position above all other princes.
Haman knew that Mordecai was a Jew and no doubt Mordecai knew that Haman was
an Agagite. The Agagites were a tribe of the Amalekites and there was enmity between
the Agagites and Israel. When the king's servants bowed before Haman and did him
reverence, Mordecai did not comply with the formality, no doubt because of the feeling
of enmity. When Haman realized the attitude of Mordecai, he began to plot against him,
and prepared the way in his conversations with the king. He told the king that there were
certain people who obeyed laws different from the laws of the kingdom which Ahasuerus
ruled; these people were disobedient, not recognizing his rule and should be destroyed.
The king agreed and gave Haman his ring, so that he had authority to pass laws to give
effect to his plan that the Jews would be exterminated. Scribes were told to prepare
letters setting out the instructions and they were to be circulated among the 127 provinces
from India to Ethiopia.
When Mordecai heard of Haman's plan and the order to kill the Jews, he put on
sackcloth with ashes and came before the king's gate, although it was against the law to
dress that way and sit at the king's gate. There was great mourning in every province
with fasting, weeping and wailing.
Esther could not understand why Mordecai was dressed in sackcloth and ashes, so she
sent messages to him. He sent her a copy of the decree so that she would know what had
happened. He also sent a message to Esther asking her to speak to the king on behalf of
the Jews.