Book of Esther: The Unseen God

Verse by verse commentary on the book of Esther


Darius died leaving everything to his son Xerxes….the Old Testament Ahasuerus.

The book of Esther picks up in the third year of Xerxes’ reign, 484-483 B.C. (Esther 1:1-3)

As you recall captivity of Jews occurred by Babylon in (~604 to 586 BC). Babylon fell to Cyrus as prophesied 539 BC. Cyrus allowed the Jews to return home, but many stayed in the conquered lands. These are the Jews of the book of Esther some 55 years after the end of Babylonian captivity.

Esther is one of five books that are read during specific festivals of the year. They are collectively known as the Megilloth, which means “scrolls.” We will see why as we go through the book of Esther.

One of the objections and peculiarities of the book is the absence of a direct reference to God (and prayer some add). It seems like it was on purpose — maybe: because of the audience or the context for which it was written.

As a side note, acrostics for the name of God are found in the book — which some point to as proof God is in the book.  As we will see this is not necessary for us to see God within the pages and words of this book.

It is clear, though the direct references to God are omitted from the story, His involvement is evident.  Jews consider this one of God’s greatest interventions in their lives.

As for who wrote the book, no explicit statement is given. The author was acquainted with Persian culture, as the extensive descriptions of the palace complex attest to.  Shushan (called Susa today) and the domestic details about the reign of King Ahasuerus [Xerxes] indicate a certain familiarity that points to someone on the inside.  This being said, many have ascribed the authorship of the book to Mordecai. It appears that it was written after the king’s death which was in 465 BC.

Esther 1

Esther 1:1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),

Encyclopaedia Brittanica: The division of the empire into satrapies was completed by Darius I (reigned 522–486 BC), who established 20 satrapies with their annual tribute.

The word here does not denote a satrap, but more than likely divisions of the satraps

Esther 1:2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the citadel,

Modern day Susa, Iran; Persians; western boarder of Iran that divides them from Iraq

Esther 1:3 that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants—the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the princes of the provinces being before him—

484-483 B.C.

Gives perspective to other events in the book

Esther 1:4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent majesty for many days, one hundred and eighty days in all.

Showing off like this seems to be a part of their culture, even today.  Parading just this year that I can recall: torpedoes, destroyer, cruise-capable submarine, rockets, and drones

Esther 1:5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Shushan the citadel, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace.
Esther 1:6 There were white and blue linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of alabaster, turquoise, and white and black marble.

Shows some familiarity with the palace; insider information;

Esther 1:7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the generosity of the king.

Custom made drinking vessels

Esther 1:8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man’s pleasure.

Did not force them to drink; so it was not an insult to drink a little or not be drunk

Esther 1:9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.

The position of women, as is today in Iran, is one of submission and subservience

Elaborated on more later

Nonetheless they still had a feast in the royal palace, just separately

Esther 1:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,
Esther 1:11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold.
Esther 1:12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

The emphasis here seems to be on the fact that after seven days of drinking the King makes a request that is commensurate with his inebriation

When we read :11 we see that the King wants to show her off as she was no doubt very beautiful (which he prized)

But for some reason (lots of speculation out there) but I don’t want to speculate and put something into your mind that shouldn’t be there…she refused…which was a no-no

the kings word was law!

Esther 1:13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king’s manner toward all who knew law and justice,
Esther 1:14 those closest to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who had access to the king’s presence, and who ranked highest in the kingdom):

the top advisor’s in the kingdom

Esther 1:15 “What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she did not obey the command of King Ahasuerus brought to her by the eunuchs?”

So then the princes make the most of the opportunity:

Esther 1:16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: “Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the princes, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.
Esther 1:17 For the queen’s behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.’
Esther 1:18 This very day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say to all the king’s officials that they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be excessive contempt and wrath.

It seems like this is the sky is falling scenario; over reacting; perhaps to their own ends

Maybe there was another agenda.  This would call for speculation and since we do not know who Vashti was in history we will leave it at that

Esther 1:19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.

Daniel 6:8-17

Now, what we do see is that God is at work. The outcome of this situation, for whatever reason in the minds of the king and princes, would eventually lead to a designed outcome by God.

Having read the story before we can better see how all this came together and the odds of it “just happening this way” show more than chance occurred.

Esther 1:20 When the king’s decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.”
Esther 1:21 And the reply pleased the king and the princes, and the king did according to the word of Memucan.
Esther 1:22 Then he sent letters to all the king’s provinces, to each province in its own script, and to every people in their own language, that each man should be master in his own house, and speak in the language of his own people.

This decree is now the inviolable law of the land and the search is on for another who is better than she (Vashti)

Esther 2

Esther 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.

the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided…

May not refer to the situation at hand.  This may refer to the war campaign against Greece in 481-479BC

It lends credence to the fact that Ahasuerus was indeed Xerxes.  It would have been after the third year that we mentioned in 1:3 and before the seventh year mentioned later in this chapter

The Persians were not very successful overall.  One of the battles at this time was Thermopylae.  A few movies have been made about their battle.

Esther 2:2 Then the king’s servants who attended him said: “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king;
Esther 2:3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women’s quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king’s eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.
Esther 2:4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This thing pleased the king, and he did so.

You don’t get the feeling that they had much choice in the matter.  Nonetheless, it wasn’t the worst of situations and we know that God is at work here.

Esther 2:5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite.

This is 1,000 miles east of Jerusalem, such was the nature of the diaspora.  The bible doesn’t say where all the Jews were but when given the opportunity to go home by Cyrus MANY opted to stay and we know the kingdom of Persia extended to India (1:1) so perhaps another 1,000 miles.

So it seems they were content to stay where they were, taking local names and not returning to Jerusalem

There was another notable name in the Bible who came from Kish; Saul son of Kish.  We will reintroduce this again later.

Esther 2:6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

Kish a part of Benjamin was included in the southern kingdom of Judah. So when the Bible speaks of Judah going into captivity it also included Benjamin.

The kingdom was named for the more prominent tribe

Esther 2:7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

The introduction

Mordecai and Esther are Babylonian names

Marduk and Ishtar

Joseph – Egyptian name

Daniel 1:7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

Maybe they thought of it no more than we do of names like Diane or Helen

We still see this in our culture today. Call centers

Her given Hebrew name was Hadassah (myrtle) Esther (root means hide, hid)

Mordecai and Esther were first cousins – though a reasonably large age difference since there relationship was more like father and daughter.

We can only wonder how far back God was working with them in regards to the plan that we see unfold in the book of Esther.

Esther 2:8 So it was, when the king’s command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king’s palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.

was taken … doesn’t appear to be an invitation that was open to refusal

Esther 2:9 Now the young woman pleased him, and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

She was beautiful inside and out

Esther had a very nice way about her and she found favor chêsêd

this was also the same mercy and kindness that Ruth found

Esther 2:10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.

As we go through the verses we continue to see why something was done is not revealed. I think that if it would have been explained then perhaps we would focus on the wrong thing?

Instead what we should focus on is the unseen hand of God.

If she had said something about who she was then it is unlikely that the events that unfolded later on would have occurred in the way that they did. (specifically between Haman and Mordecai)

Esther 2:11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women’s quarters, to learn of Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.

He was not allowed to go in and apparently nothing could be seen from where they were allowed to go so like a doting father he paced back and forth

Esther 2:12 Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
Esther 2:13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.
Esther 2:14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.

This was her only chance to make an impression on the king

Esther 2:15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king’s eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.

She deferred to Hegai judgment

Esther 2:16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

This is where we get our next time frame

Third year of the reign to seventh year tenth month

Esther 2:17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

Just like that! Eshter goes from a life of being homeless, raised by her older cousin, to Queen of the world ruling empire of Persia.

How did SHE do that?

Esther 2:18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.

So it seems that the King’s wrath has been quenched and he is back to having a good time like at the beginning of the book.

Esther 2:19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, Mordecai sat within the king’s gate.

By this time it appears that Mordecai is promoted to a key position and it looks like Esther had nothing to do with it.

Rather, it is God that has seen fit to raise up Mordecai and He has done it for a reason that will be revealed shortly.

Esther 2:20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

It is still clear that no one knows that Esther is a Jewess OR that she is related to Mordecai.

But as we will see it is clear that Mordecai is not hiding the fact that he is a Jew.

Esther 2:21 In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
Esther 2:22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name.
Esther 2:23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

These two were not very discreet in their anger and plans AND NOW because Mordecai had been promoted he was in the position to become privy to this knowledge and ACT on it accordingly.

So we do not yet know where things are going in the story, but this is yet another step in the process of what God is working out.

it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king…. and the point here is that it stopped at that and nothing more was done about the fact that Mordecai had saved the life of the King

So what we have here and are beginning to see is that God who is not mentioned in the book of Esther at all, is this unseen hand who is working behind the scenes, orchestrating events in the lives of Esther, Mordecai and others.

A lot of this is not and cannot be seen in the first run through, but becomes glaringly obvious on the second time through.

Esther 3

Another 4-5 years later (Esther 3:7 In the first month, twelfth year of King Ahasuerus (spring of 474 BC))

Esther 3:1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

We are introduced to the antagonist Haman. He is the bad guy in this story.  He held the position of something like a Vizier or prime minister and we are told of his lineage.

What is an Agagite

  1. could be district of the empire as some an ancient inscription mentions Agag as a district in Persia
  2. a descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites in the days of Saul (see 1 Samuel 15).

Josephus refers to Haman as being “by birth an Amalekite” and of course they were the “mortal enemy” of the Israelites as scriptures show:


1 Samuel 15:2 Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt


1 Samuel 30:17 Then David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men who rode on camels and fled.
1 Samuel 30:18 So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives.


1 Chronicles 4:41 These recorded by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and they attacked their tents and the Meunites who were found there, and utterly destroyed them, as it is to this day. So they dwelt in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks there.
1 Chronicles 4:42 Now some of them, five hundred men of the sons of Simeon, went to Mount Seir, having as their captains Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi.
1 Chronicles 4:43 And they defeated the rest of the Amalekites who had escaped. They have dwelt there to this day.

The Amalekites were in several places and persistent in their hatred toward Israel.

So it could have been both a place in Persia AND the lineage of Amalekites.  This could very well have been the ongoing problems stemming from Jacob and Esau, then to Saul and Amalekites and so on.

  • Abraham 2000 B.C. (Esau and Jacob)
  • Moses 1500 B.C. (Israelites coming out of Egypt)
  • King David 1000 B.C. (Saul and David and their battles)

So it is interesting that Haman seems to be from this same people and if we understand who they are today, then they continue to be a thorn in the side of the Jews.

Esther 3:2 And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
Esther 3:3 Then the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?”
Esther 3:4 Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.
Esther 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.

So now we see how all this could play into their history!

Esther 3:6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus—the people of Mordecai.

We see that there is something underlying here.  It goes from a disdain for just Mordecai to all Jews every where.  This is a big jump, unless there was previous history.

What we are beginning to see is that Haman is a tool of Satan. Satan has long sought to destroy the plan of God. If he can kill all the Jews, then Jesus cannot come as prophesied.

We also see why Mordecai was inspired to tell Esther not to reveal that she was a Jewess! If this is common knowledge then there is no way that Haman would have proceeded to do this.

Esther 3:7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

This was 4-5 years after Esther was made Queen.

Pur means lot or die/dice. Purim is simply the plural of this.

Lots can be Godly as in the example where it was used to replace Judas Iscariot.  Or it can be ungodly like it is here.  Even though ungodly, God had His hand in it.

In this process it seems like they had to keep casting the lot until they got all the way to the last month (12th).  For this to happen, it would certainly be against the odds.

Esther 3:8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people’s, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.

It does not appear that the king got the whole story from Haman.

The “Jew’s laws” have always caused them to stand out either from the moral aspect of it; it can appear to be self-righteous; stand in stark contrast to the way that others act and it is a reflection of those wrongful actions back towards them.

Esther 3:9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

After Haman mentions the money, I’m not sure that King Ahasuerus heard anything else :) This amounts to multiple millions of dollars today. 

So now there was nothing to stop the king from granting Haman’s request: they were law breakers and someone else is paying for it.

Esther 3:10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.

Esther 5:11 Then Haman told them … how [the king] had promoted him above the officials and servants of the king.

Esther 8:2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman….

Esther 3:11 And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.”

Sealed with the king’s ring was as good as the king saying it — and what he says is law.

Some take this to mean that the king would pay or not require Haman to pay but later verses confirm that it was Haman’s money

Esther 4:7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.

Esther 7:4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”

We should then view it more as “If that’s what you want to do with your money then go ahead.”

Now Haman had a free hand to do what he wanted!

Esther 3:12 Then the king’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded—to the king’s satraps, to the governors who wereover each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring.
Esther 3:13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.
Esther 3:14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.

c. March of 473 BC

Esther 3:15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.

Perhaps toasting their actions – all was well with them! But those of Shushan were wondering what was going on. This might lead us to wonder how much the king was privy to and how much leeway he had given Haman because of the trust that he had instilled in him.

Esther 4

Esther 4:1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
Esther 4:2 He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth.
Esther 4:3 And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

All of this happens very quickly now and we are still in the same time setting as the previous chapter.  Also all the affected people react very quickly to it.

A question that has to be answered: Why were they fasting?

People do not purposely fast for no reason!  Of course this was for beseeching God and pleading their case before Him.  Why do we bring this up? This shows God in the book and the process and the plan!

Esther 4:4 So Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.
Esther 4:5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.

Though many became aware very quickly, Esther was still in the dark.  She was not privy to the king’s business.  She could not just go before the king ask about the day to day affairs (Esther 4:11)

Esther 4:6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate.

He was promoted to a key position within the king’s gate (Esther 2:19), but because of the way that he was dressed could not proceed further (Esther 4:2)

Esther 4:7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.

(Esther 3:11)

Esther 4:8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.

Mordecai has some connections to be able to get this information — no doubt because of the key position God promoted him to (Esther 2:19).

What we have here now is that Mordecai sees a way out of this – through Esther! So he gives her all the info and background so that she may act.

Esther 4:9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
Esther 4:10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai:
Esther 4:11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.”

What we see here is a reticence on the part of Esther to go plead the case of the Jews.  Because even as special as she is, she had not been called in for a whole month and there could be deadly consequences.

Esther 4:12 So they told Mordecai Esther’s words.
Esther 4:13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.

This confirms her reluctance in Esther 4:11

The kings law is the kings law.  If Haman’s plan is put into action, she will not be safe no more than Daniel was in a similar situation (Daniel 6:14-15). As much as it would displease the king to kill her he would be bound by law to do so.

Esther 4:14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Mordecai then steps it up it another level saying you have the responsibility to do what is right. If you do not you will be cursed and God will save the Jews some other way as He has done in the past (Egypt etc).

who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this… Maybe we are looking at it in hindsight, but to me this really seems like it is obvious – this is exactly what God was doing with young orphaned Jewish girl.

Esther 4:15 Then Esther [now pricked in her heart] told them to reply to Mordecai:
Esther 4:16 “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

Fasting comes up once again (see notes on Esther 4:3).

Though there is still no mention of God, His intervention in their lives though hidden, is conspicuous and indisputable.

Esther 4:17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

Esther 5

Esther 5:1 Now it happened on the third day [of fasting] that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.

Esther was willing to sacrifice herself for the Jews. For three days she did not know if she would live after that time.

Esther 5:2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his sight, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.

What a relief! She found favor with God and the king.

Esther 5:3 And the king said to her, “What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you—up to half the kingdom!”

This appears to be idiomatic, something along the lines of: “tell me your request and I will do my utmost best to grant it”

Esther 5:4 So Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”

Esther had thought this through and had a plan. The banquet was not the request but merely a segue or transition to it (Esther 5:6).

Esther 5:5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly, that he may do as Esther has said.” So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
Esther 5:6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”

We see here that the banquet was not the actual request

Esther 5:7 Then Esther answered and said, “My petition and request is this:
Esther 5:8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

Why exactly she does this is not clear and not said, except to say that God had His hand in it and He had His reasons. Some of which we will see a little later. Once again we are not let in on what everyone was thinking and in turn this allows us to focus on and see God in the story.

Esther 5:9 So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.

Haman with all his wealth, power, status and position was still just a petty man. With his whole life (as far as he knew) going well this one little thing stuck in his craw.

Esther 5:10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home, and he sent and called for his friends and his wife Zeresh.

It is interesting that Haman had restrained himself up to this point here, because it is not what he wanted to do as we will see in the next verse. Haman did not say anything to him at this time though he was “dying to”, but instead he would vent to his friends and family.

Esther 5:11 Then Haman told them of his great riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the officials and servants of the king.

(Esther 3:11)

Esther 5:12 Moreover Haman said, “Besides, Queen Esther invited no one but me to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.
Esther 5:13 Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

The irony here is that while Haman was so upset by what Mordecai was doing, he was so pleased by what he thought Eshter was doing for him…another Jew! Had he known that she was a Jew, I do not think that he would have been excited about it or making the plans that he does in the next verse:

Esther 5:14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go merrily with the king to the banquet.” And the thing pleased Haman; so he had the gallows made.

He had no more of a clue about where his life was going than Esther did right before she was chosen as a virgin. From there she becomes Queen Persia and now we see Haman, who is #2 in the world ruling empire of its time, now moving towards his demise.

In both of these cases the Unseen hand of God at work!

Esther 6

Esther 6:1 That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

We will see:

  • A reason for the second banquet

  • Why Mordecai was not rewarded initially

  • God’s hand in all of this

Esther 6:2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.

This was five years ago, so we have to ask ourselves why something like this was overlooked in the first place when he saved the kings life?

Esther 2:23 written … in the presence of the king.

It should have merited something right away!  So then we have to ask why now? The obvious answer is God was working things out for this time. What we will see then is the confluence of events in a way that everything works out for the best.

Esther 6:3 Then the king said, “What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mordecai for this?” And the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.”
Esther 6:4 So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

So not only will God’s plan move forward, but the best laid plans of mice and men will not.

Esther 6:5 The king’s servants said to him, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.”
Esther 6:6 So Haman came in, and the king asked him, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?”

In this time before his fall, Haman remains prideful and blind to what is going on. If he would have possibly thought that for a second this could have been for any one else then he would have never said it – it could have been seen as a challenge to his position to bestow this honor on anyone else.

So the timing of him walking in to the court at the same moment the king is reading this section of the chronicles is both impeccable and providential.

Esther 6:7 And Haman answered the king, “For the man whom the king delights to honor,
Esther 6:8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, which has a royal crest placed on its head.
Esther 6:9 Then let this robe and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then parade him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: ‘Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!’ “

This is the pivot point of the whole story, this is when it turns on a dime.  Up to this point everything was seemingly going for Haman and against the Jews.  Now the momentum shifts and we see God’s plan beginning to manifest itself — the fruit of the labor of His unseen hand!

Esther 6:10 Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken.”

The king knew Mordecai’s lineage, which makes us doubt that the king was fully aware of the actual plan to kill Mordecai and the rest of the Jews.

Esther 6:11 So Haman took the robe and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!”

OUCH!!! What an ignominy!

Esther 6:12 Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.
Esther 6:13 When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him.”

She already knew that Mordecai was a Jew (Esther 5:13). So she is saying something else here when she says, “ If Mordecai…is of Jewish descent”

surely fall before him… Zeresh was able to see not just an unfortunate incident, but it appears that she sees the hand of God in it or at the very least something more is going on than meets the eye.

Esther 6:14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.

So now we some of the reasons why there was a second banquet, there were quite a few things still to be worked out before Esther could drop the bomb.

Esther 7

Esther 7:1 So the king and Haman went to dine with Queen Esther.
Esther 7:2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request, up to half the kingdom? It shall be done!”

So now she does not mince words or delay any longer – the timing is right to say what she has been building up to.

Esther 7:3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
Esther 7:4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have held my tongue, although the enemy could never compensate for the king’s loss.”

For we have been sold… a reference to the money that Haman paid.

Had we been sold as male and female slaves… a punishment for disobedience

(Deuteronomy 28:15, 68 “And the LORD will take you back to Egypt in ships, by the way of which I said to you, ‘You shall never see it again.’ And there you shall be offered for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.“)

Not only would the king lose the people, but would lose their taxes, and their industry and possibly their possessions and he would also lose Mordecai and Esther.  So perhaps the 10000 talents of silver was not such a good deal after all?

Esther 7:5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?”

This king does not know or put 2 and 2 together what is going on. He does not draw the parallel between what Haman has been up to and what Esther is now asking of him.

Esther 7:6 And Esther said, “The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman!” So Haman was terrified before the king and queen.

It is important to understand Haman a type of Satan and no doubt a tool of the great deceiver

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Matthew 13:39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Esther 7:7 Then the king arose in his wrath from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, pleading for his life, for he saw that evil was determined against him by the king.

It was a lot to take in, Esther is a Jew, the Jews along with Mordecai whom he recently raised in status were going to be killed, and Haman was the one that talked him into doing all of this.

Esther 7:8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen across the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?” As the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.

In his begging for his life, the king makes it out to be something improper even though there were other people in the room that would have intervened (Esther 7:9). 

Nonetheless, this was a cue that it was all over for Haman.

they covered Haman’s face… He was not longer allowed the privilege to be in the presence of the king.– (KJV Esther 1:14)… which saw the king’s face… so they covered his face and removed him.

Very possibly an allusion to the future event when Satan (Haman, a type of the devil, Esther 7:6) will be removed from the presence of God and man for a 1000 years (Revelation 12:10; 20:1-3) and then ultimately forever (Revelation 20:10).

Esther 7:9 Now Harbonah, one of the eunuchs, said to the king, “Look! The gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf, is standing at the house of Haman.” Then the king said, “Hang him on it!”

The word translated gallows comes from a word that is most often translated “tree/trees” or “wood”; it is also translated as “timber” or “stick(s).” It was not this elaborate gallows that we see in the westerns, but rather it was some type of stake or pole that was erected. The idea that it was translated gallows probably comes from the English thought of what it meant to “hang him on it.”


Genesis 40:19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head from you and hang you on a tree; and the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

Word for tree is the same as the word for gallows in this verse and he is being hanged on it without a head.

So these things would explain how Haman was able to erect something so tall so quickly.

As to why it was so tall, we are perhaps given a clue here by the fact that they are in the palace and they can see the stake at Haman’s place. Perhaps Haman was looking forward to being able to view his handiwork while spending time with the king.

Esther 7:10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s wrath subsided.

Esther 8

Esther 8:1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
Esther 8:2 So the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Still the same day (:1) that Haman was brought down, justice continues to be served and Mordecai is raised up to be #2 in the kingdom only subject to the king AND also he is given everything that Haman once had.

What are the odds?

But this is just the beginning of the deliverance of God’s people by His unseen hand. We still have the rest of the matter at hand. 

We need to remember now that whatever was written by the king was law and irrevocable — not even the king could change it

Esther 1:19 If it pleases the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it will not be altered,

This throws a wrench in the works — how were they going to be able to save the Jews.

Esther 8:3 Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews.

They have to figure out a plan, there has to be a way.

Esther 8:4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,

She is still following the rules of protocol.

Esther 8:5 and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.

Revoke… reverse in KJV; shûb Hebrew; Repentance is the connotation, so we get a good idea of what it means to repent — also we see the need for a type of repentance in this wrongful action of Haman.

Even though the king bares a certain amount of responsibility in this, Esther places the blame mostly on Haman.

Esther 8:6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”
Esther 8:7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews.

He acknowledges what Haman was trying to do to the Jews.

Esther 8:8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring [which Mordecai now has 8:2]; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke.”

Once again we see that the law can not be reversed, but other plans can be made. In other words Haman’s evil plan will continue to move forward, but now they must see what we can do to make sure that the Jews are not destroyed.  They have to figure out a way to counteract the initial decree against the Jews.

Esther 8:9 So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.

Trivia: longest verse in the bible

A little over two months later and there is still just under 9 months until the initial decree was to go in effect.

Esther 8:10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.

In a similar manner as before, the decree goes out in the king’s name, but now here is what it allowed the Jews to do (Esther 3:12-13).

Esther 8:11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and protect their lives—to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,

protect their lives… defend themselves from those that would come against them.

both little children and women … This is not to say that the Jews were going to do to them, but this is a reiterating of :

Esther 3:13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.

assault them… Jews, little children and women, and plunder their possesions (the Jews possessions)

As we will see in chapter 9 only men killed and no possessions plundered (Esther 9:6, 10, 12, 15-16)

Esther 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

Esther 3:13  in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar,

Esther 8:13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
Esther 8:14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the citadel.

Similar to the way it was done initially.

Esther 8:15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
Esther 8:16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.

Burden lifted for the Jewish people, so naturally they were happy.

Esther 8:17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.

because fear of the Jews fell upon them... A choosing of sides begins to take place knowing what is coming.

In Exodus 12 provisions were made if the stranger wanted to become a Jew

Exodus 12:48 And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.

This reminds us of a future event:

Zechariah 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.’
Zechariah 8:23 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ‘ “

Eventually all will become spiritual Jews/Israelites

Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;
Romans 2:29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

The people here in Esther’s time are seeing a change of tide or a swinging of the pendulum: Haman is demoted; Mordecai is promoted (by the king); the Jews numbers increase; a bigger “army” is forming.

They see the handwriting on the wall, from the hand of God and they see Him working and saving His people…even though there is not mention of Him in this book.

Esther 9

Esther 9:1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. 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.

Almost 9 months have passed at this point from Esther 8:9 (Sivan 23).

This delay that occurred by the casting of lots gave plenty of time for many things to happen in particular for the Jews to prepare and to figure out who was for them and who was against them.

Esther 9:2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all people.
Esther 9:3 And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.

If you were someone considering going against the Jews you would have to think twice knowing that the Queen who found favor with the king was a Jew and the king’s number 2 was a Jew. What kind of fallout would there be if they went against the Jews? There could be reprisals at the very least.

Esther 9:4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai became increasingly prominent.

Something else that happened in the intervening 9 months, that no doubt played a part in all of this.

Esther 9:5 Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.

So not only did God keep them safe, he got rid of their enemies! There was no way for the Jews living under the Persian reign to rid themselves of their enemies and live in peace and safety.

This sequence of events happened because of what Haman did — but really GOD DID THIS!

Esther 9:6 And in Shushan the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
Esther 9:7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
Esther 9:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
Esther 9:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha—
Esther 9:10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews—they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

Now there would be no one to take revenge either and this perhaps finished off the Amalekites, the mortal enemy of Israel.

Esther 9:11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the citadel was brought to the king.
Esther 9:12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done.”

The king is more than willing to help out and expedite Esther and the Jews

Esther 9:13 Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.”

Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows … Who were already dead. So we see more of the purpose of the gallows was for display

Esther 9:14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.
Esther 9:15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

This finishes off the enemies of God’s people.

Esther 9:16 The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.
Esther 9:17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

the remainder of the Jews...had rest from their enemies… These were the people in the outlying area (:19). Remember they did not fight on the second day, only those in Shushan fought a second day.

Esther 9:18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth [to fight]; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth… Those at the citadel fought one more day

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.

celebrated the fourteenth… The first day after they quit fighting

Esther 9:20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus,

Mordecai wrote these things… Why authorship of Esther is sometimes ascribed to Mordecai; or he is at least a prominent source of information.

Esther 9:21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar,
Esther 9:22 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.
Esther 9:23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,

This is where the feast of Purim comes from and also why it is not on par with the commanded feast days of Leviticus 23.

The reason for the feast and its name:

Esther 9:24 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;
Esther 9:25 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.
Esther 9:26 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,
Esther 9:27 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,
Esther 9:28 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.

Purim is celebrated today with a lot noisemaking and partying. They typically read Esther and act it out with a lot of hissing for Haman and cheering for Mordecai.

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.

Queen Esther… She gave it her stamp of approval as well

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,
Esther 9:31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their fasting and lamenting.

This is called the fast of Esther and it is typically celebrated the day before Purim since no date here is specified.

Esther 9:32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.

Esther 10

Esther 10:1 And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.

Often this was done on the neighboring lands to the empire in exchange for not conquering them. Money to keep the king at bay – and it even extended to some islands.

Obviously God sets up kings and grants favor, but a lot of it was attributable through Mordecai.

Esther 10:2 Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?

This may have been the context in which this story was written which may account for the style that the whole book of Esther was written in.

Esther 10:3 For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his countrymen.