Esther 8:1 ¶ On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.
Esther 8:2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
That same day King Ahasuerus gave Haman’s whole estate to Queen Esther. Esther told the king of her relationship to Mordecai, who then came (by summons I am sure) before the king. The king took off his ring, the one he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai, effectively appointing him to replace Haman as his chief advisor. Esther appointed Mordecai to supervise her new estate.
Esther 8:3 ¶ And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
Esther 8:4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
Esther 8:5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king’s provinces:
Esther 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
Esther determined to approach the king once again to plead for her people. She fell down at his feet and begged him in tears to countermand the death decree against the Jews that Haman had set into motion.
The king again held out the golden scepter to the queen, encouraging her to stand before him. Once again she prefaced her request based on having found favor in his eyes and appealing to his sense of justice. She asked that he reverse the letters written by Haman that decreed the death of all Jews throughout the kingdom. She told him she couldn’t bear to see such evil against her people.
Esther 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
Esther 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.
Mordecai was present, having taken Haman’s position as the king’s favorite. The king reminded the queen and Mordecai that he had given Esther Haman’s estate and hanged him on the gallows for his actions against the Jews. He stated that he couldn’t reverse what had been decreed, but he gave them permission to write whatever they wanted on behalf of the Jews (to be able to defend themselves seems to be implied) in the king’s name and seal it with his signet ring. That would be as binding as the decree that Haman had issued.
Esther 8:9 Then were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
So in the 3rd month of Sivan (May/June) on the 23rd day (2 months and 10 days after Haman’s edict) at the command of Mordecai, a decree was written to the Jews and military and governmental leaders of the 127 provinces ranging from India to Ethiopia. It was prepared for every province in the language of the people of that province. The decree was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with his ring. It was then sent by messengers on horseback, mules, camels and young dromedaries (brood mares).
Esther 8:11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
Esther 8:12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
By order of the king, the Jews in every city were to gather together and defend themselves, destroying any that would choose to attack them or their families and to take possession of the property of those they killed. The day designated for this action—the 13th day of the 12th month of Adar, the same day in which the decree authored by Haman became effective.
Esther 8:13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Esther 8:14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
A copy of this decree was to be advertised and made known to the people of every province, so that the Jews could make themselves ready to seek vengeance against their enemies. The messengers were sent out post haste according to the king’s command, and was also made known throughout Shushan.
Esther 8:15 ¶ And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
Esther 8:16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
Esther 8:17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal attire of blue and white, a great crown of gold, and a purple robe of fine linen. It seems that the whole city rejoiced that he had replaced Haman. It was especially a time of great joy for the Jews throughout the kingdom.
Interesting note, many people converted to Judaism out of fear of the Jews. Sad to say, that is a principle upon which the spread of Islam is predicated. Many people identify with or convert to Islam out of fear. The only fear that should motivate one to become a Christian is the fear of being forever out of the presence of God and suffering in hell.
I liked Clarke’s comment: “It is only the Gospel which will not admit of coercion for the propagation and establishment of its doctrines. It is a spiritual system, and can be propagated only by spiritual influence. As it proclaims holiness of heart and life, which nothing but the Spirit of God can produce, so it is the Spirit of God alone that can persuade the understanding and change the heart. If the kingdom of Christ were of this world, then would his servants fight. But it is not from hence.”
Ironside also made a good application: “It is important to notice that it was the word of the king which brought all the grief and anguish of heart described in chapter four. The king had spoken. They believed his decree, and they were miserable. Now it is his word that gives them peace and happiness, and drives away their sorrow. Even so, God’s word as to man’s lost estate and the judgment hanging over him brings the soul to cry, ‘the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow’ (Psalm 116:3). But the message of grace and truth which has come by Jesus Christ, truly believed, the gloom is banished, and the exultant heart cries with joy, ‘Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling’ (Psalm 116:8).”