Bible Discussion — Esther 9-10

July 30, 2008, 1:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Steve  | 1 Comment

This week, Bweinh.com finishes our discussion of Esther by addressing its last two chapters!

PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10
11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15 | 16-17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Esther: 1-2 | 3-5 | 6-8

 
INTRODUCTION:
David:
Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time “to gather stones together and a time to cast stones away,” meaning a time to commemorate events and a time to let things slip away into obscurity and be forgotten. This great deliverance of the Jews is to be commemorated and celebrated forever.

Connie:
It’s showtime. All the preparations were made to the best of everyone’s ability, but the actual battles still had to be fought.

 
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Chloe:
It says repeatedly that the Jews did not lay hands on the plunder of the men they killed. This harks back to Deuteronomy, when God told the Israelites to destroy the towns of the people living in Canaan, taking no plunder so that they might remain ceremoniously clean. In other words, what the Jews committed in Esther was not a massacre, but a holy cleansing.

Connie:
Just like in the other battles the Jews had waged, part of the victory was in the reaction of the enemy to God’s movement on their behalf. 9:3 says that the Jews were helped by government officials during these battles, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.

David:
The king’s garrisons in each province helped the Jews.

 
BEST BAND NAME FROM THE PASSAGE:
Steve: Can’t Touch Plunder
Connie: Casting Pur
Chloe: Distant Shore
David: The 10 Sons of Haman

 
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
Chloe:
Joseph in Egypt, of course.

Steve:
As Chloe points out below, it is quite similar to when the Jews entered the Promised Land and set about clearing out its previous inhabitants. This time, though, no one could wonder at their motivations, having narrowly escaped destruction.

 
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE?:
David:
In 9:1 — the way that the enemy makes a bold play to kill the Son of God, only to end up crushed under his heel.

 
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
Connie:
I was feeling a bit sorrowful over the loss of these 75,000 lives, wondering, “Why can’t we all just get along.” I prayed about this section and asked God why those enemies all had to die, why the king just didn’t decree the Jews off-limits.

The answer came immediately and related to ministry in deliverance. God spoke to me that those enemies were like strongholds we try to coexist with in our own lives. You cannot live peacefully with the enemy of your soul, because he doesn’t just have a difference of politics or theology — he wants to destroy your life and your family. He may hide for a while, but if you let him stay, eventually he will destroy you and everything you love. So instead of mourning over 75,000, we should be celebrating the freedom of the people they tormented!

 
RANDOM THOUGHT:
Steve:
The Jewish people do a lot of things very well, including celebration of traditions. How many other holidays have been honored for 2500 years in close accordance with their founder’s wishes?

Chloe:
Esther is one of two times in the Bible where the Jews really triumph over their enemies. The first is throughout the establishment of Israel.

Connie:
I thought it was strange that none of the ten sons of Haman were killed before they were hanged the next day. In all the killing confusion, not one was whacked…sounds like God might’ve had a hand in that.

David:
I like how the king enters the room in 9:12, and effectively tells Esther, “The Jews are up by 500 here in Shushan; I\’m gonna watch FOX to see how they\’re doing in the rest of the provinces.”

 
VERSE TO REMEMBER:
Steve:
9:1b — ” . . . On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.”

David:
9:28 — “[T]hese days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.”

 
PORTION YOU WOULD MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
Steve:
Why didn’t somebody think about thanking God in this book?

Connie:
What’s with not touching the plunder?

 
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
David:
Specific to these chapters, the best theology that I see is the witness of the Jews to the world in defending themselves, yet refusing the spoils due them under the law.

Connie:
Listen to God. You may think you have little to offer, but it may turn out to be huge. Obedience is the key, perfection is not.

 
CONCLUSION:
Connie:
What a great book!

Steve:
A brief book, and peculiar in its silence toward God, but all the more striking for that silence while the intensity of His care for His people shines throughout its dramatic plot. God can and does use anyone to carry out His will; it is our part to be ready and open.


Comments

1 Comment to “Bible Discussion — Esther 9-10”

  1. Connie Maxon on July 30th, 2008 1:53 pm

    I like that you, Chloe, happened to touch on my “what’s with not touching the plunder” question. The reason I asked is because unlike the Deut. reference there is no clear directive in this passage. Your insight was great though, and now I don’t have to wait until heaven and all. Thanks!

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