Haman’s Evil Decree:
At the end of last week’s lesson Esther had requested that the Jews fast for a good outcome when Esther approaches King Ahasuerus to appeal to him about the decree of Haman.
ESTHER PART 2, CHAPTERS 5-10. Below are some of the highlights of these chapters. Note any additional thoughts or questions you have about these events.
- Esther goes to the King and King Ahasuerus holds the golden scepter to Esther. She requests a banquet with the King and Haman. At the banquet she requests a second banquet with the King and Haman which flatters Haman.
- Haman’s joy is ruined by seeing Mordecai refuse to honor him and his wife suggest gallows be built for Mordecai and he be hung.
- Overnight the king, unable to sleep, reads in his records about the plot against his life which was discovered by Mordecai (at the end of Esther chapter 2). He wants to honor him and asks Haman what should be done “for a man the king wants to honor”. Haman (assuming it is himself to be honored) suggests the man be paraded through town on horseback in a royal robe and praised as “the one who the king desires to honor”. Ahasuerus commands Haman to do this for Mordecai.
- Humiliated, Haman returns home. Learning all that has transpired, his wife knows that if Mordecai is a Jew, Haman is certain to fail.
- At the next day’s banquet Esther appeals to the King on behalf of the Jews (and reveals that she is a Jew). Haman is exposed as the perpetrator of the plot and is hung on the gallows he had made for Mordecai.
- The decree to exterminate the Jews could not be revoked so Esther appeals to the King for a second decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves. The decree is passed and they do defend themselves. Esther requests a second day of defending themselves. In the defeat of their enemies 10 sons of Haman are hanged on the gallows.
- The 13th and 14th day of the 12th month become the feast of Purim.
- Mordecai is promoted to 2nd to Ahasuerus in the Kingdom of Persia.
Using a concordance, how many times is the word “God” found in the book of Esther?
Would you say God is absent from the story?
What are some of the events that appeared to be incidental at the time that turned out to be crucial to the favorable outcome for the Jews.
What feast of the Jews celebrates the defeat of Haman’s evil decree?
Halley’s Bible Handbook suggests the following, if Haman’s plot had succeeded: “500 years before it brought Christ into the world, it would have made all the difference in the world: no Hebrew nation, no Messiah; no Messiah, a lost world”. Do you agree or disagree? What did Haman say about this? (Esther 4:14).