Esther 9 (chapter 9 continued; KJV)
The celebration of the Jews in Persian and the Jews in Shushan had two different days of celebrations with what eventually became known as the Festival of Purim, i.e., the day the lot (pur) was cast. One might misinterpret the purpose of their celebration. They along with select Persian help had slaughtered 75,000 Jew hating enemies. Under this situation this would seem like a good enough reason to celebrate. However, there is more to it. We cover the rest of this with a verse-by-verse explanatory commentary of chapter 9, part two.
Esther 9:17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar (probably March). And on the fourteenth of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Esther 9:18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
What happened? Why two different days 24 hours apart? It seems the territorial provinces warred for one day and it was over. In the capital of Susa (Shushan) Jew hating citizens of Persia still existed. This helps explain why Mordecai and Esther wished the ten sons of Haman to be hung (suspended) for public view. They knew there were still enemies of the Jews within Shushan. Many were willing to challenge the decree from Mordecai the Jew and go by the initial decree distributed by Haman.
Esther 9:19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar with gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and for sending presents to one another. Their task had been blessed and their neighboring enemies eliminated. This does not mean all enemies, but it does mean the most vocal advocates of Jewish elimination.
The Feast of Purim Initiated by Mordecai
Esther 9:20-22 “And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, (v21) to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, (v22) as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.”
We can finally suggest with a high degree of confidence that the author of the Book of Esther is NOT unknown. (V20) “And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to the Jews.” If he wished that all Jews remaining in Mede-Persia would adopt this date as a yearly celebration, he would need to offer a sound explanation. It is probable that the Book of Esther evolved out of Mordecai reliving and explaining the significance of the “casting of pur,” meaning the celebration of Purim.
PROBLEM? The Jews of Persia were not representative of Israelis from all 12 Tribes. When Nebuchadnezzar captured and exiled Judah, it was a kingdom from which mostly Judeans and Benjamites lived. To some degree there were members from the Tribe of Simeon and straggler Levites, but not a preponderance of the other 10 Tribes of Israel. They were dispersed in 722 B.C., some 200 or so years before this time in the events described in Esther. America is only 245 years old at the writing of this commentary. We do not speculate because that is all it is. However, in the Book of Esther 200 plus years passed since the Northern Kingdom of Israel was dispersed; that kingdom was no more. The Jews of Persia (Benjamites and Judeans) in the time of Esther, would triumph over the Jew haters of the Persian Empire. It is 245 since the birth of America and the same problem exists. Think on it. A supposition only as food for thought and comparison. We are told in the New Testament to be prepared (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11). For the studious Bible student, go to https://bible-truth.org/1Thess5-1-11.html
PS: I cannot attest to his website grammar but what he writes is good.
We Teach – You Decide
Esther 9:23-25 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, (v24) because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; (v25) but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Once again in verse 23 we are told that Mordecai wrote to the Persian Jews. A good reminder is something found in the previous two chapter commentaries. An Agagite is a descendant of King Agag, an Amalekite. King Saul, a Benjamite, slaughtered the Amalekites by order of God. Mordecai and Esther were not of the Tribe of Judah but of the Tribe of Benjamin. The desire for revenge of a day is like a thousand years.
Haman’s ten sons were hanged (suspended) from gallows but had already died by the sword the day before. This is by order of the King carried out by order of Mordecai. Is it any wonder we read about the “fear of Mordecai” being in the empire of Persia?
Esther 9:26-28 “So they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, (V27) the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, (V28) that these 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.”
The Book of Esther is read during the Purim celebration even today “because of all the words of this (Mordecai’s) letter.” Mordechai authored the letter. We do know the author of Esther [Verse 26]. It was not Esther alone, but along with Mordechai.
The reason it is a two-day celebration was discussed in our previous commentary article on chapter 9, part one. Those Persians within the empire who wished the Jews ill-will and attempted to carry out the decree by Haman, died on day one. Those who refused the later decree by the King and Mordecai, those in the capital of Susa (Shushan) continued to confront the Jews. They were killed the second day. Therefore, Purim is a two-day Jewish celebration.
JIV: God sent not his son into this world to condemn the world but that through him people MIGHT be saved. Those who continue to refuse God’s salvation decree will on the second day suffer the consequences. This is not to mean a literal day one and day two. We us “second day” metaphorically. Day one is the crucifixion. Day two is the time of the Gentiles [Luke 21:24]. Judaism exists as the original decree of the Old Testament. The metaphorical day two is the New Testament.
Esther 9:29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. Here again is evidence of the authorship of the Book of Esther. Queen Esther with Mordecai…wrote with full authority. They must have consulted one another to fill in missing gaps of information in the memories of each. Therefore we have The Book of Esther.
Esther 9:30 “And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,…” The name Jews in this verse is specific. Strong’s translates of the Hebrew is yehûdı̂y. The definition means a specific tribe of Israel i.e. The Tribe of Judah. This is NOT a religion identified as Jews. That is Judaism. Two different identities and people. One is a tribe, and the other is a religion beginning with Abraham. Easily confused but not correct to make them tantamount to one another.
Esther 9:31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting. Again, we find consulting between Queen Esther and Mordecai to get the facts and events correct. Both are primary to the book. Both were needed to pull it together and have it sanctioned by Ezra and Nehemiah.
JIV NOTE: It was Ezra and Nehemiah who pulled the Old Testament into a single document of 39 books. The sacred books of Israel were inspired by God or, as the apostle Paul says, were “God-breathed”—it was imperative that the texts remain distinctly separate from secular or pagan writings. Numerous texts are known to exist alongside Scripture, Old Testament and New Testament.
Esther 9:32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book. What book? The Book of Esther. The authors were Mordecai and Esther.
Rev. Dr. Jstark