On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head: And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
It’s interesting that Esther isn’t in this chapter at all except for a mention at the end to prepare us for her banquet with the King and Haman.
It’s interesting too that the chapter begins with Xerxes insomnia. It doesn’t mention why he couldn’t sleep, but that probably doesn’t matter much other than what he requested to maybe help him sleep. It’s fascinating to me that the King could have called in musicians (as Saul would call for David to play the harp for him), or a minstrel or any kind of diversion, but he asked for the book of Chronicles of all the doings and going’s on of the palace and empire to be read. Do we see God at work here, when the king is reminded of the Jew who saved his life?
Timing is everything with God. Had Mordecai been honored when the matter of the plot was told the king, the mention of his name on this night wouldn’t have been anything more than a narration with all the rest of the events listed. But no, timing said “Hey! You never did anything for that man Mordecai for saving your life. Better get on it. Better late than never!”
Timing is crucial, because if the King hadn’t remembered Mordecai, Mordecai would be the first of thousands of Jews to die, since Haman had the gallows ready.
So enter Haman, the king’s right hand man who also just happened to be in the palace at the time. I guess it’s not such a stretch that Haman would think that the king is asking what should be done for him since he has such a high and mighty view of himself, but I have to admit, my worldly self kind of smiles whenever I imagine his face when he finds out who the King does want to honor.
I wonder though what Mordecai thought of the kind of honor he received. I’d find it embarrassing to be made up and paraded like that, especially feeling like an impostor since I’m not royalty. Thinking of it just now, that kind of reminds me of when Herod’s robe was put on Jesus during the questioning before He was crucified, and made to parade around while people shouted hail the king of the Jews. And yet, Jesus was no impostor. He is the King of kings…
Whatever Mordecai thought wasn’t written of either, except for that afterwards; And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. Fanfare over, he went back to his usual routine.
Haman, as usual seethed over this, even though he had recounted in all the ways he had been blessed- and they were blessings, but he was too full of pride to notice. God causes rain to fall on the just and unjust, just as blessings fall on the humble and the proud. He refused to acknowledge God or be thankful for all he had. He only had arrogance and hate.
He couldn’t help but brag to his friends and family in the previous chapter about all he had, yet here he can’t help but lament to them now about this humiliation. It’s interesting that he approved of his wife’s advice in the previous chapter, but in this instance, she gives a chilling prophecy. I wonder if he paid it any mind.
Since he is leaving for his last earthly meal, I doubt he had much chance to think about it.
I know it’s not a very good Christian attitude to enjoy seeing someone get what they deserve, since we’re all sinners. And yet Christ died for all, even while we were enemies and we would do well to remember that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
Even though this book of Esther is one of my favorite stories for all the courage displayed in it, and the Hand of God throughout it, it’s actually a good study on what happens when pride, bitterness and hate are so ingrained in the heart, that it’s almost impossible to soften it.
But God is a gracious and merciful God. He can soften the hardest hearts if one can just open it to Him. Too bad for Haman that he never did let love break through.
Have a blessed day all!