Esther 7-8 B

I enjoyed Carly’s take on this last time.

To be perfectly honest, as much as I’ve studied this book, these chapters are when things start going over my head. Why is the response to encourage the Jews to defend themselves? Were they previously planning not to?

It seems to me like instead of devising a way to deescalate the violence, they kick it up several notches. If someone else is understanding this in a better, fuller way, I would love and welcome any explanation attempts. It feels like one of those things that skips in my brain like a broken record and never fully computes.

Why this? Why give the Jews support to murder and loot anyone who comes at them? I’m no political expert, and it’s not like I’m leading up to a point, I just wonder about it.

In any case, this new decree invokes great rejoicing and it’s certainly great news for the Jews.

A verse foreshadowing these chapters is a little funny to me:

“Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, ‘If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish origin, you will not overcome him, but will surely fall before him.’” (6:13‬)‭

As if they didn’t catch Mordecai’s ethnicity the day before when they suggested the plot against him (5:13). Now its, “oh if he’s a Jew, you’re screwed.”

This must be a comforting line in the Hebrew Bible. As a Jew, reading this story, they probably first quake with the familiarity of persecution, then swell with pride in the way they persevere. Corporate history is a powerful thing, and that is a huge point of this book: celebrating the different times and ways the LORD preserves His people.

Do you have a story (maybe within your family or community) where you can remember a way the LORD preserved you? Maybe even brought you out stronger than before? We will see tomorrow how victory leads to yet another holiday. What is the history of your victory? How do you remember it?

-Bethany

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