The Serpent and the Seed: Week 4
The Battle for Christmas
Esther takes place after the decree to rebuild the temple, and before
the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
Xerces gathers an army of 5 million according to Heroditus, 2 million
according to other accounts. Only 5 thousand return.
- 1:3 Xerces called the feast to plan the invasion of Greece. It took
3 years to prepare for the war.
- 1:11 The Talmud identifies Vashti as the daughter of Belshazzar,
grandaughter of Nebuchadnezzar, rescued from the slaughter of the
- 2:1 Xerces is in a bad way.
- 2:5 2 Samuel 16 - Shimei curses David, David spares Shimei, descendent
of Saul and ancestor of Mordecai.
- 2:6 Kish carried away with Daniel.
- 2:7 Esther means "star", and is named after Ishtar, the goddess of
- 2:8 Hegai was a eunuch.
- 2:10 Hadassah means "myrtle tree", but also "hidden". Esther hides
her heritage. Coincidence is the hidden working of God. God and prayer
are not named in Esther (some point to acrostics). In Deuteronomy 32,
God predicts the faithlessness of Israel, and that he will hide His face
from them. But He continues to provide for them in secret.
- 2:16 7th year of Xerces. Xerces reigns for 21 years.
- 2:21 There was widespread talk of assassination after the disastrous
Greek war which bankrupted the empire. Xerces was, in fact, eventually
assassinated. In August 465 BC, Artabanus assassinated Xerxes with the help of
a eunuch, Aspamitres. Greek historians give contradicting accounts of events.
According to Ctesias (in Persica 20), Artabanus then accused the Crown Prince
Darius, Xerxes's eldest son, of the murder and persuaded another of Xerxes's
sons, Artaxerxes, to avenge the patricide by killing Darius. But according to
Aristotle (in Politics 5.1311b), Artabanus killed Darius first and then killed
Xerxes. After Artaxerxes discovered the murder, he killed Artabanus and his
- 2:23 There is no reward for Mordecai at that time. The reward will come
at the perfect time.
It is Jewish tradition to boo or hiss whenever the name of Haman is said.
Exo 17:8-16 Amalek will be utterly blotted out.
1 Sam 15 Saul instructed to destroy Amalekites, spares Agag
ancestor of Haman. Samuel kills Agag, but some of his sons
- 3:1 The descendent of Agag vs the descendent of Saul. The rematch.
- 3:3 Mordecai puts entire nation at risk.
- 3:9 Haman offers funds, because Xerces bankrupted the empire with the Greek
war (also attempting to eliminate a "troublesome people").
- 3:13 And, yet another attempt to destroy the Seed by wiping out all Jews.
- 3:15 The Greek war was bad enough, this new genocide seems senseless
even to pagans. It is Satanically inspired.
- 4:8 Mordecai tells Hatach about Esther's heritage. He keeps her secret.
The king does not find out until Esther reveals it
- 4:14 Deliverance will arise from another place. God has prepared ahead
of time a response to every possible human choice, and will always accomplish
- 4:16 Esther's attendants worship the God of the Jews also. How did this
Esther 5-7 The Long Day
Esther did everything she knew to please Xerces.
Esther approached the king on the basis of grace.