Est. 8:9

Esther 8:9 The king’s scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. And an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews, to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language.

Exactly two months and ten days after Haman’s edict was distributed throughout the empire (cf. 3:12), Mordecai summoned the king’s scribes [the same men who transcribed the first one] to write down another decree. Thus, the two accounts, 3:12-15 and 8:9-14, end up paralleling one another. The main difference with the new edict was that the Jews would not be on the offense, but on the defense – they were finally allowed to defend themselves by order of the king!

One can only imagine how the political leaders who were gearing up for war took this news, but this is a mark that should distinguish God’s people from the rest of the world. Unbelievers are quick to become angry and spill blood, but saints should be quick to listen, show honor, submit, and use violence only when there is no other alternative [i.e. self-defense and the protection of others]. I heard a quote one time that I think is worth keeping in mind: “Violence is rarely the answer, but when it is it’s the only answer!”

This edict, just like the first one, was sent into all the world. However, this verse adds a small detail not found in chapter three. At the very end it says, “…and also to the Jews in their script and their language.” This might imply that Haman’s edict was not actually transcribed in Hebrew. If that is the case, then the Jews would have read it in other languages that their regions used for trading purposes.

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