Esther 9:1 ¦ Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the kingŐs commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)
Esther 9:2 The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon all people.
Esther 9:3 And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
Esther 9:4 For Mordecai was great in the kingŐs house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
Finally, came the day designated by both the decrees as authored by both Haman and Mordecai—the 13th day of the 12th month of Adar. On the day that was to mark the genocide of the Jews throughout the kingdom, they gathered together to defend themselves; and Ňno man could withstand themÓ because the people feared them. (And we know that GodŐs supernatural hand was at work.) All the military and governmental leaders helped the Jews because of their fear of Mordecai, who had grown stronger and stronger in power and influence. Gill suggested that it had also become well known that the queen was Jewish.
I am reminded of a verse in Proverbs.
Proverbs 16:33 ŇThe lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.Ó
I believe the LORD caused HamanŐs lot to fall on a date so far off that it would allow time for events to unfold and the second decree go out to counteract the first.
Esther 9:5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
Esther 9:6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
Esther 9:7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
Esther 9:8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
Esther 9:9 And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
Esther 9:10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
The Jews killed all their enemies and did as they pleased with all that hated them. In Shushan, a total of 500 men were killed including the ten sons of Haman. The Jews did not take any spoil from those killed as they had been authorized to do.
Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
Esther 9:12 And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the kingŐs provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.
The king was informed of the number of men killed in Shushan and informed Esther accordingly. He told her that the sons of Haman were among the dead and asked if he could do anything else to satisfy her desires.
Esther 9:13 Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this dayŐs decree, and let HamanŐs ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
Esther 9:14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged HamanŐs ten sons.
EstherŐs response was surprising to me. She asked that he allow the Jews in Shushan another day to fight against their enemies and that HamanŐs ten sons be hanged on the gallows. The king issued a command in accordance with her request.
I would assume EstherŐs heart was to be as sure as possible that there were no further security concerns at the palace. Hanging HamanŐs sons on the gallows would serve to as a deterrent to further evil.
Esther 9:15 For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
Esther 9:16 But the other Jews that were in the kingŐs provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
Esther 9:17 On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
So on the next day, the Jews in Shushan killed 300 more men; still they took no spoil.
Throughout the rest of the kingdom, the Jews killed 75,000 of their enemies, but neither did they take any spoil. They rested and celebrated with feasting on the next day, the 14th.
It seems that in some way the Jews had been instructed not to take a spoil of those they had killed, in spite of the wording of the kingŐs edict as crafted by Mordecai. I think it was a way of saying we are only defending ourselves; we are not killing with disrespect for human life to make a profit.
I cannot help but think of organizations like Planned Parenthood that are in the business of killing for a profit. They have no respect for God or His dictate that only He has the right to take a life or authorize the taking of a life.
Esther 9:18 But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Esther 9:19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
Esther 9:20 ¦ And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
Esther 9:21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
Esther 9:22 As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
The Jews in Shushan celebrated on the 15th day. The Jews outside Shushan celebrated the 14th with feasting and giving presents to one another. Mordecai made a record of these events and sent these letters to all the Jews throughout the kingdom. The letters established the 14th and 15th days of Adar as an annual time of celebration, a time when their sorrow had been turned to joy, a day of mourning into a good day. They were to be set aside for feasting, joy and of sharing their food with one another and the poor—much as we celebrate Christmas.
Esther 9:23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
Esther 9:24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
Esther 9:25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
The Jews accepted MordecaiŐs suggestion. In summary, Haman the Agagite, enemy of the Jews had cast lots (Pur) to determine an opportune time to kill them. Esther had gone before the king and was able to get a decree issued to counteract HamanŐs plans. Haman and his sons had been hanged on the gallows.
Esther 9:26 Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
Esther 9:27 The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
Esther 9:28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.
Because the day had been determined by the casting of lots or ŇPur,Ó they called the celebration Purim. This celebration was established as a yearly celebration. It was a time to remember how they had been delivered from destruction as a people.
Esther 9:29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
Esther 9:30 And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
Esther 9:31 To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
Esther 9:32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
Esther and Mordecai wrote a second letter confirming the festival of Purim. The letters of confirmation were sent to all 127 provinces in the kingdom with wishes of peace and stability. It is emphasized that this was a feast appointed by the people—not by God is implied. EstherŐs decree establishing Purim was recorded in Ňthe book.Ó This book? Another historical record?
Jews today still read the book of Esther in synagogue during Purim. JFB provides an interesting bit of information: ŇThe copy read must not be printed, but written on vellum in the form of a roll; and the names of the ten sons of Haman are written on it a peculiar manner, being ranged, they say, like so many bodies on a gibbet. The reader must pronounce all these names in one breath. Whenever HamanŐs name is pronounced, they make a terrible noise in the synagogue. Some drum with their feet on the floor, and the boys have mallets with which they knock and make a noise. They prepare themselves for their carnival by a previous fast, which should continue three days, in imitation of EstherŐs; but they have mostly reduced it to one day [JENNING, Jewish Antiquities ].Ó