9 The king’s order had to be carried out on the 13th day of the 12th month. That was the month of Adar. On that day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to win the battle over them. But now everything had changed. The Jews had gained the advantage over those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered together in their cities. They gathered in all of the territories King Xerxes ruled over. They came together to attack those who were trying to destroy them. No one could stand up against them. The people from all of the other nations were afraid of them. 3 All of the nobles in the territories helped the Jews. So did the royal officials, the governors and the king’s officers. That’s because they were so afraid of Mordecai. 4 He was well known in the palace. His fame spread all through the territories. So he became more and more important. 5 The Jews struck down all of their enemies with swords. They killed them and destroyed them. They did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 The Jews killed 500 men. They destroyed them in the safest place in Susa. 7 They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha. 10 They were the ten sons of Haman. He was the son of Hammedatha. Haman had been the enemy of the Jews. They didn’t take anything that belonged to their enemies. 11 A report was brought to the king that same day. He was told how many men had been killed in the safest place in Susa. 12 He said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed 500 men. They destroyed them in the safest place in Susa. They also killed the ten sons of Haman there. What have they done in the rest of my territories? Now what do you want? I’ll give it to you. What do you want me to do for you? I’ll do that too.” 13 “If it pleases you,” Esther answered, “let the Jews in Susa carry out today’s order tomorrow also. Stick poles through the dead bodies of Haman’s ten sons. Set them up where everyone can see them.” 14 So the king commanded that it be done. An order was sent out in Susa. And the king’s men did to the bodies of Haman’s sons everything they were told to do. 15 The Jews in Susa came together on the 14th day of the month of Adar. They put 300 men to death in Susa. But they didn’t take anything that belonged to those men. 16 During that time, the rest of the Jews also gathered together. They lived in the king’s territories. They came together to fight for their lives. They didn’t want their enemies to bother them anymore. They wanted to get some peace and rest. So they killed 75,000 of their enemies. But they didn’t take anything that belonged to them. 17 It happened on the 13th of Adar. On the 14th day they rested. They made it a day to celebrate with great joy. And they enjoyed good food.
The original decree of King Ahasuerus is now turned around and executed upon all those who hated the Jews throughout the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. A complete reversal of what Haman had originally intended, the only difference being the Jews took no plunder.
It’s a little hard to know exactly how it all went down – did the Jews actually go on the offensive and seek people to kill or where they just defending themselves against the original decree. Sometimes we get bogged down in the details feeling like we need to know or have the answers and we loose sight of the BIG picture … God protects, He defends, He cares, He raises His people up, He is in control – even when all looks overwhelming or lost.
Lord thank you for the big picture – the zoom out – you are in control of my life & situation even though the details can at times be overwhelming & not clear. Thank you for being the God who cares.
Written by Suzie Hodgson