It was a troubling time for the Jews in the captivity of Persia, which had originally been taken by Babylon. By the mercy and grace of God toward His chosen people of Israel He designs their safe keeping, and keeps them from complete annihilation. God has placed a Jewish Queen within the court of Ahasuerus. Haman, an Agagite, a people from the days of King Saul, hated the Jews, and sought their demise.
Something to remember in reading and studying the book of Esther. The name of God is never used in the text, but you can see the hand of God at work in every chapter, and on every page.
“The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.” Esther 9:10 (KJB) Also see verses 15 and 16.
That phrase in bold letters is used in those other two verses. Usually when God’s mentions something like this more than once, in one chapter that means it is an important point.
The Jewish people following the destructive edict schemed by Haman was going to be done; but Queen Esther, urged by Mordecai her uncle made way for an alternative plan. The plan, and the edict written was given for the Jews to be able to fight, and defend themselves. They would also have the right to take the properties of those they killed. Yes, it was a violent thing. God’s people in all ages have the right to defend themselves against tyranny, and villianous activity. The Jewish people then defended themselves but did not take the spoils of war.
That is important to know because greed was not their motive.
Let us hear from some scholars of the past…
“but on the spoil laid they not their hands; though they were allowed by the edict to do it, Est_8:11, but this they did not, that it might appear that they did not take away their lives from a covetous desire of their estates, but purely in self-defence; and they might do this, the more to ingratiate themselves to the king, to whom the goods and estates of those men would be confiscated.” John Gill
“By which they declared that this was God’s just judgment on the enemies of his Church as they fought not for their own gain, but to execute his vengeance.” Geneva Bible Translation Notes.
A lesson for the Christian of 2018 could be that we are to do the Lord’s bidding without thought of seeking popularity, power, pomp, or prestige. When we have Jesus as our Savior and Lord, then none of the things of this world matter compared to the eternity that the Lord is preparing for us. Let us live that others may see what counts in our lives. Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again to give us life eternal.