Mordecai Is Honored
Text: Esther 6
Understanding What You Read
- Why was the king reviewing the chronicles of his reign?
- What was the king reminded of from the records?
- Why was Haman sent for?
- Why had Haman originally come?
- When asked about how to best honor a man, who did Haman think the king was talking about? Why?
- What task does the king assign Haman?
- When Haman told his councilors and wife about what happened, what did they predict?
- What was Haman rushed off to do?
- List out all the “coincidences” in this chapter.
By apparent chance, the king had trouble sleeping that night. He had the records of his reign read to him – what better way to get drowsy? The fact that he had them read, leads some to wonder if Ahasuerus was illiterate.
The reading included a mention of the assassination plot against the king that was foiled by Mordecai’s information (Esther 2:21-23). This had happened about five years ago. Not recalling, Ahasuerus asked what was done for Mordecai to show his appreciation. He learned that nothing was done, so he immediately ordered his nearest councilor to attend him.
Haman must have been up all night as well. He had attended a dinner with the king and queen, talked to his wife and friends at home, and arranged to have a 75-foot tall gallows built.
Thus, it just so happens that Haman was coming in to talk to the king about hanging Mordecai, so he was ushered in. The king asked him what should be done for a man that the king wished to honor. Haman instantly thought the king was planning to honor him because he could think of no one else more deserving of honor. Though Haman had not done anything deserving of honor, he thought he was entitled to it. Therefore, Haman suggested that the man be clothed in one of the king’s robes and crown and then paraded through the city square on one of the king’s horses personally led by one of the chief members of the king’s staff, who would proclaim that this is how Ahasuerus honors men.
The king thought Haman’s suggestion as an excellent idea and ordered Haman to personally manage the task of honoring Mordecai. The king emphasized that nothing was to be left out. Poor Haman. Not only did he not get a chance to arrange for Mordecai’s death, but he is also trapped into personally honoring the very man. His dream of honor became his nightmare. It isn’t as if Haman had a choice. If he objected, he would likely have been executed on the spot.
When they returned to the palace, Haman covered his head in shame and hurried home. He told his wife and friends what had happened. They predicted that since Mordecai was a Jew, if Haman was already beginning to fall then he would completely fall and there would be nothing to prevent it. The phrase “fall before him” in Hebrew usually means to prostrate before someone greater (Genesis 50:18; II Samuel 19:18). It is interesting that this should be mentioned now. They knew that Mordecai was a Jew when they suggested hanging him on a gallows (Esther 5:13-14). The implication is that they knew the God of the Jews was more powerful than their own gods. If God was taking a hand in these matters, they would not be able to stop Him.
Haman didn’t get to think about the matter further because it was time for his dinner with the king and queen. He was rushed off by the king’s eunuchs to attend the private banquet.
“Providence” refers to God’s foresight in arranging matters to happen at just the right times. So many seemingly small coincidences happen on this day that we realize that God had to have been behind them because they completely ruin Haman’s plans and thoroughly embarrass him in the process. While God is not mentioned in the Book of Esther, clearly He is at work.