An Excellent Plan
James Jordan is continuing his commentary on Esther in the Biblical Horizons newsletter. As always, he makes some interesting observations on Haman’s “prospectus” speech to the king in Esther 3, in which he describes the Jewish people:
The first thing to notice is that what Haman says is correct. The Jews do have different laws and customs. The word here is dat, which is a general word for laws and customs and mores. This much is quite true, and has been no problem in the Persian empire.
I shall make the point here that there is absolutely no reason to think that there was any prejudice against Jews for this. Other people had their customs also. We have no evidence and no reasons to think that the Jews were held in contempt by other people.
The second thing to notice is that Haman is correct in accusing the Jews of being rebellious and disobedient to the Great King. The Jews rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar for twenty years until finally that king destroyed their city completely. Haman can point to plenty of historical records to show that the Jews cannot be trusted.
This matter is central to the book of Esther. The Jews rebelled against the king God put over them (Nebuchadnezzar) and were exiled as a result. Now the Chief Jew, who is on the Supreme Court of Persia, openly defies the king God has put in charge. So, what will go do now in the face of this even greater rebellion? Perhaps He will raise up Haman to wipe out the Jews and start over with a new Abraham! Twice God had told Moses that he would wipe out Israel and start over with him (Ex. 32:10; Num. 14:12). On both occasions Moses interceded with God, and that is what Esther will do in this instance.
Excerpt from Biblical Horizons No. 227, April 2012. Subscribe at www.biblicalhorizons.com