8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
In an unusual act of delegation to the queen, the king trusted Esther to decide what to do with the house of Haman. Haman had earlier bragged about how many riches he had and how many sons he had, but now Esther put Mordecai in charge over his entire house. The king even gave him his signet ring, trusting him in terms of speaking for him. Esther had made it clear to the king that Mordecai was a relative and like a father to her. Given the king’s love for Esther, it only made sense that he trusted Mordecai also, particularly given Mordecai’s history of saving his life.
3 Then Esther spoke again to the king, fell at his feet, wept and implored him to avert the evil scheme of Haman the Agagite and his plot which he had devised against the Jews. 4 The king extended the golden scepter to Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king. 5 Then she said, “If it pleases the king and if I have found favor before him and the matter seems proper to the king and I am pleasing in his sight, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I endure to see the calamity which will befall my people, and how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?” 7 So King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given the house of Haman to Esther, and him they have hanged on the gallows because he had stretched out his hands against the Jews.
Esther had to go to the king yet a second time and risk her life again. She went weeping and mourning over the law that was still on the books concerning the annihilation of the Jews. The king needed to do something. Fortunately, he extended the scepter to her again and listened to her. Esther was again very respectful and deferential to the king by falling on the ground before him and only standing before him after he had granted her favor. She was very honoring to his authority by not ordering him or commanding him to act but by saying that if she had the king’s favor and if the king was deemed it proper that something should be done about the law to protect the Jews. She wisely reminded the king of Haman’s treachery and his association with the law so that the king would want to get rid of all traces of his legacy. She also shrewdly expressed that she didn’t think that she could continue on if annihilation was to come to her countrymen, and thus she was again appealing to the king’s adoration of her. While she and Mordecai had been protected, their countrymen were not. This needed to be fixed.
8 Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked.”
The king gave Mordecai permission to write in the king’s name and to use the king’s signet ring to make a new law as he saw fit regarding the future of the Jews. The old law could not be cancelled or revoked even by the king, but a new law could be put in place that could change the dynamics that the old law put into place.
9 So the king’s scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month Sivan), on the twenty-third day; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors and the princes of the provinces which extended from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to every province according to its script, and to every people according to their language as well as to the Jews according to their script and their language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud. 11 In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil, 12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar). 13 A copy of the edict to be issued as law in each and every province was published to all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 The couriers, hastened and impelled by the king’s command, went out, riding on the royal steeds; and the decree was given out at the citadel in Susa.
The new law allowed the Jews to assemble themselves to fight back and to plunder any who would attack them. Given that a Jew, Mordecai, was in a position of second in command, those who wished to opposed the Jews were much less than before. Even some of the princes, satraps, and governors assisted the Jews rather than choosing to fight against them. They were afraid of Mordecai because of how powerful and influential he had become (Esther 9:3). People even converted to being Jews because they were so afraid of their power and influence (v. 17). The day that had previously been a day of doom was now an opportunity for the Jews to, according to the law, avenge themselves on any who would use the old law to try and kill them. The law was spread throughout the land so that all could know and be informed about it.
15 Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a large crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor. 17 In each and every province and in each and every city, wherever the king’s commandment and his decree arrived, there was gladness and joy for the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for the dread of the Jews had fallen on them.
Upon getting this law passed and sent out, Mordecai exited the presence of the king in robes of royalty and with a large crown. It was clear that the Jews had been saved from an impossible situation and a certain annihilation and that a major power shift had been put into place. The city of Susa shouted and rejoiced, for the people rejoice when a good man comes into power but groan when the wicked rule (Proverbs 29:2). For the Jews in particular there was a burden removed, and gladness and joy returned. They were even viewed as having honor in the land rather than as oppressed, weak, and conquered exiles and slaves. Some even converted to Judaism out of fear given the influence of Esther and Mordecai in positions of power. As the news spread, the Jews celebrated a holiday and had a feast. Chapter one began with the Jews having been humiliated and conquered and living in a foreign land under foreign laws while the king and his nobles feasted and celebrated for 180 days. Now, it was the Jews’ turn to feast and celebrate, for God had shown Himself strong once again.