Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bible Women: Esther (conclusion)

In the dramatic conclusion of the story, all the pieces come together: Esther asks the king to spare her life and that of her people, and she denounces Haman for plotting to kill the Jews and even to kill Mordecai, who had earlier saved the king's life. Haman makes things worse for himself as he begs Esther for mercy and, in the end, Haman is hanged on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai.

During the festival of Purim, the Book of Esther is read in the synagogue, and there is a tradition that whenever Haman's name occurs, his name must be drowned out by shouts and noisemakers. You can read more about this Purim ritual at Wikipedia. Some people would write the name of Haman on the soles of their shoes and stamp their feet whenever his name was mentioned in the reading of the text!

[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Bible Women unit. Story source: King James Bible (1611): Esther 7 and Esther 8 [LIBRIVOX AUDIO].


(Esther Denounces Haman, by Normand)


Esther (conclusion)


So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, "What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom."

Then Esther the queen answered and said, "If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage."

Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, "Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?"

And Esther said, "The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman."

Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.

And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.

Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was.



Then said the king, "Will he force the queen also before me in the house?

As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, "Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman."

Then the king said, "Hang him thereon."

So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.

Then was the king's wrath pacified.

On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.

Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther.

So Esther arose, and stood before the king, and said, "If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces: For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?"

Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, "Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews."

Next: Susannah




(600 words)










No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments for Google accounts; you can also contact me at laura-gibbs@ou.edu.