The Book of Esther
On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.
Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand. But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,
On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
The Enemy Destroyed
The end of the day has come and the death toll reported to the king. The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in Susa the capital. The king then inquires, “What had they done in the rest of the king’s provinces?”–– anticipating similar reports from various parts of the empire. The king, desiring to please Queen Esther, asks again, “Now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further? and it shall be done.” Esther gave her request to the king, asking him to allow the people to defend themselves against the enemies of the Jews, one more day. Although Scripture does not say, she may have learned of a Persian plot to attack the Jews again in Shushan and wanted the Jewish people to be able to guard themselves against that attack. The queen also requested that the bodies of the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows in public display. The king gave permission for the hanging of Haman’s ten sons and the fighting resumed the next day. Another three hundred men were killed the following day in Shushan, bringing the total dead to 810, including the ten sons of Haman. Outside of Shushan, 75,000 men were killed on that one day of fighting, decreed by the king.
The Day of Rejoicing
The enemy has been defeated and now the Jewish people can rest, rejoice, feast and be glad in what has been accomplished. Those outside Shushan, rejoice with gladness, feasting and sending gifts of food to one another. Picture this day of rejoicing and celebration as you would Christmas, with joy, gift giving and of course, feasting. We could not have this joyous occasion without remembering the reason for this great celebration, the goodness of God and His gift to us, Jesus Christ.
Thought: When we celebrate as Christians anything, may we be encouraged to be thankful for everything that God has given to us, especially our freedom from the bondage of sin and death. The supreme gift given to us by God is His Blessed Son, Jesus Christ, our only hope of eternal life.