Esther chapter 5 and 6


Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 22 May 2016


Sermon synopsis: Having found favour with the king, Esther was offered up to “half the kingdom”. Now if you were given a “blank cheque” by the king what would you ask for? Money? Possessions? Power? Privileges? Esther used the king’s open offer to benefit not herself, but others. She was there primarily to intercede for her people.
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The Book of Esther



Chapter 1 focussed on the invitation of the king. A king summons his wife to his banquet. She defiantly refuses to come and is subsequently banished from his presence. The banishment is irrevocable. A new replacement wife is sought.

These events are typical of Israel and the church.

But there is also a personal application for these types in Esther and Jesus’ banquet parable.

Chapter 2 is about the preparation for the king.

In Esther’s preparation and her eagerness to please the king, we saw some useful types regarding the preparation that we as believers go through for our heavenly king.


In Chapter 3 Mordecai foils an assassination attempt on the king’s life. Mordecai is a picture of the Holy Spirit while Haman is a type of the flesh. The conflict between Haman and Mordecai is typical of the ongoing battle we experience as Christians – the conflict between flesh and Spirit. But we also see Haman construct a decree of death aimed at eliminating the Jews.

In Chapter 4 the Jews mourn (a type of repentance) the decree of death (a type of the wages of sin) and Mordecai persuades the initially reluctant Esther to intercede to the king (a type of the king of kings) on behalf of her people.

In Chapter 5 (Part 1) we saw the significance of the third day in Scripture.

Esther 5:1-5 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the sceptre.


Esther put on her royal robes before she approached the throne. This is a picture of how we can now wear the “garments of salvation” and “robe of his righteousness” we have been clothed with, when we approach our king.

Isaiah 61:10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Because of what Jesus has done, we can approach the throne of our king with confidence:

Heb 4:16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.

If it pleases the king, let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.

Bring Haman at once so that we may do what Esther asks.

Having found favour with the king, Esther was offered up to “half the kingdom”. Now if you were given a “blank cheque” by the king what would you ask for? Money? Possessions? Power? Privileges? Esther used the king’s open offer to benefit not herself, but others. She was there primarily to intercede for her people.

Application: What do you ask God for? Things to benefit yourself? Or do you intercede on behalf of the needs of others?

Nevertheless Esther still seems to be too nervous to make her request outright, so she does it in a roundabout way by inviting the king and Haman to a private banquet.


5:5-8 So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.

Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.

My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favour and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfil my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.

Again Esther seems to be stalling as she puts off her real request till the next day.

Bear in mind that Haman had reached his position of privilege by gaining favour with the king – he was after all the king’s “right hand man”. Esther couldn’t be certain as to how the king would respond to her charge against Haman.

But again as we see throughout the book, God had his hand even in the timing of Esther’s real request.

The extra day (or rather the night) plays an important role in the thwarting of Haman’s plan. At this point in time the king has probably forgotten about Mordecai’s earlier act of loyalty to him – but things will be different by the next day.


5:9-10 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.


Ps 31:18 says of the wicked that “with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous”.

Sadly many today have embraced the “success” culture and even preach it from the pulpit:

Mal 3:14-15 “… What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’”

In contrast the Bible instructs us to preach the following:

1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.


We have no grounds for pride:

1 Cor 4:6-7 Then you will not take pride in one man over against another. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?

So do not despise those who are poorer than you, less educated than you or have a lower social status than you.

Rom 12:16 … Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

Matt 5:47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?


5:10-13 Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife, Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honoured him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials.

And that’s not all. I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.

Back home again, Haman entertains his wife and friends with his favourite topic – himself!

Haman is oblivious to Esther’s true intentions and misreads his presence at the two private banquets as yet another honour and a sign of his ever improving social status.

Prov 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.


Prov 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

Prov 3:34 He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.

Prov 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

E.g. Uzziah:

2 Chron 26:16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall…

E.g. Nebuchadnezzar:

Dan 5:20 But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory.


Ezek 28:17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour.

1 Tim 3:6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

E.g. Satan fell through pride:

Isa 14:13-14 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly… I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”


So too the coming Antichrist, of whom Haman is a type, is also characterized by pride.

Dan 7:8 … This horn had … a mouth that spoke boastfully.

Dan 11:36-37 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods… nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.”





A royal decree issued that everyone should bow to him (Est 3:2-3).

Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast…

Intends to kills dissenters (like Mordecai) who will not bow to him (Est 3:6).

Rev 20:4 … And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded… They had not worshiped the beast…

Brags of his wealth and influence (Est 5:11-12).

Dan 7:8 … This horn had … a mouth that spoke boastfully.

Haman is a type not only of the flesh, but of the coming Antichrist. Let’s see what he have so far:




Is four times called “the enemy of the Jews” (Est 3:10, 8:1, 9:10, 9:24)

Rev 12:17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman (Israel) and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring (the Jews).

Attempts to kill all Jews in the Medo-Persian kingdom (Est 3:8-9).

Kills two thirds of all Jews in his empire. Zech 13:8 In the whole land… two-thirds will be struck down and perish…

But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.


Despite his bragging, Haman admits that his numerous accomplishments are still tainted by the persistent refusal of Mordecai to show him any sort of honour.

Sure the day is coming when Mordecai and indeed all the Jews will be exterminated – thanks to Haman’s manipulation of the king and the resultant decree of death. But it may seem like a long time to wait while tolerating someone who doesn’t pay him the respect he feels entitled to.


Haman seemingly had it all - wealth, possessions, social status and fame, but still admitted that he was not satisfied. The things of the world give no lasting happiness.

Eccl 5:10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income…

Job 20:4-5 “Surely you know how it has been from of old, ever since man was placed on the earth, that the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.”

Heb 11:25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.


5:14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him:

Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.

This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.


Note that the Hebrew term for the mode of execution is ambiguous. The word translated “gallows” ('etz) in some versions is literally the Hebrew word for tree or wood - and “hanged” is not necessarily hanging in terms of our Western understanding. So he was to be hanged on a tree or on a stake of wood (implying crucifixion or impalement as alternative options for the means of execution).

Execution by hanging on a gallows (i.e. a noose around the neck) was not a form of capital punishment known in the ancient Near East, while impalement and crucifixion are very well known. It is believed that crucifixion probably originated with the Persians and the Greek historian Herodotus 1 indicated that crucifixion (or possibly impalement) was a typical Persian punishment.

1 The Histories, 1.128, 3,132, 3.159, 6.30


Thus it is more likely that the mode of execution Haman intended for Mordecai was in fact impalement or crucifixion. Hence the latest NIV translation (2011) renders the passage:

Est 5:14a His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it.”

The extreme height of the tree / pole of 50 cubits (75 feet) was probably because Haman wanted the spectacle to be viewed from as far as possible, making an example out of Mordecai and serving as a warning to those who would dare to cross him.


Haman (the flesh) wants to destroy Mordecai (the Holy Spirit).

Rom 8:5-8 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

The Book of Esther



Chapter 5 ended where soon (as in the next day) either Mordecai or Haman could have a death sentence pronounced on them.

Remember that this story is a picture of the conflict between the flesh (Haman) and the Spirit (Mordecai) and only one can rule in your life.

Gal 5:17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.




But who will it be? Will your fleshly lusts and pursuits dominate your life or will God, through the Spirit, have his way in your life? This is the most important decision you will make in your life.

If Haman (the flesh) prevails, then the result will be the decree of death. If Mordecai (the Spirit) prevails, the result will be life:

Rom 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live…


Nevertheless at this point Haman has a head start on Mordecai as he is preparing to ask the king first thing in the morning to let Mordecai test drive his new impalement pole.

In contrast Esther’s banquet (when she will intercede for the Jews) is scheduled for later in the day.

As the king’s decrees are irrevocable, Haman stands a good chance if he gets his request in first. And up to this point the king has granted his every request.

Likewise our sinful nature may seem to have a head start in the battle for our soul, because we are born in sin.

Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.



Today as many as 30 -35% of adults complain of insomnia. 1

Ever found that when you are stressed or angry, you can’t get to sleep? You’re not alone. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Other common emotional causes include stress, anger, worry, grief and trauma.

1 essentials-in-sleep/ insomnia


Now who do you think is most likely to sleep well?

Esther who is preparing (if she can muster the courage) to declare her nationality and expose the king’s right hand man at her second banquet the next day?

Haman who is angry and depressed at Mordecai’s refusal to show him honour and who is preparing to ask the king a small favour – the execution of Mordecai?

The king who, oblivious to all of this, is simply looking forward to another banquet with his beautiful queen?

Logically the king would be the most likely one to have a good night’s rest and sweet dreams, right?


6:1-10 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.

Nothing has been done for him.

What honour and recognition has Mordecai received for this?

That crucial night, the king just happens to be the one unable to fall asleep. And in those days, if the king couldn’t sleep, why should anyone else in the palace? So the king gets his servants to read him a bedtime story – the history of his reign. If that won’t put him to sleep, nothing will.

And they just happen to read the account of how Mordecai saved the king from an assassination attempt.

The king also happens to note that his loyal subject Mordecai was never rewarded for his efforts. And as kings then were always watching their backs, Ahasuerus wanted to reward anyone who was looking out for him.


Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.

Who is in the court?

Haman is standing in the court.

Bring him in!

So providence is, “the divine intervention in the affairs of man within the confines of natural law to bring about God’s objectives.” 1

In contrast a miracle is when God circumvents the natural order of things to accomplish His will.

1 http:// providence-some-definitions-and-studies/




Obvious while happening e.g. the miraculous healings that Jesus performed.

Providence is best seen in hindsight. We rarely see it while it is happening to us.

Cannot be explained.

Usually can be explained.

Time and again in the book of Esther we see God’s providence at work behind the scenes, all of which will later play out to save his people.

The night before Haman wants to announce his plot to execute Mordecai to the king, the king just happens to be unable to sleep.

Those reading to the king just happen to stumble upon the account of Mordecai thwarting an assassination attempt.

The king just happens to ask if Mordecai was rewarded.

Haman just happens to be the only one around when the king asks advice on rewarding Mordecai.


Remember providence is God working behind the scenes on behalf of his people and his purposes.

It is God who kept the king awake when by all accounts he should have been the most relaxed that evening.

It is God who planted the thought in the king’s mind to have the book of records read.

It is God who directed the king’s eunuchs to choose the story regarding Mordecai, so that the account would be fresh in his mind when he later hears of Haman’s plot.

God does all this when Haman is in the building, so that in a most fitting punishment, he is the one chosen to honour Mordecai with the very honour he wishes upon himself. It also thwarts Haman intention to request the execution of Mordecai.


E.g. Joseph:

Gen 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

E.g. Augustus:

Augustus orders a census necessitating Joseph to return to his hometown. God in his providence is ensuring that the Messiah is born in Bethlehem to fulfil prophecy.

E.g. Esther:

“Nothing supernatural occurs, but what ultimately occurs in a miracle!” – Daniel Schaeffer, in Dancing with a Shadow


Is this something God used to do in the past, but has since stopped?

No! God still sets up circumstances in the lives of his people today. Surely there have been numerous times you have seen the invisible hand of God working on your behalf?

The same is true of us. God still providentially works in our lives. Even when we are totally unaware of it, he is still quietly acting behind the scenes.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.



What should be done for the man the king delights to honour?

Who is there that the king would rather honour than me?

For the man the king delights to honour, have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head.

Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!’

Go at once. Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.

Vindicate means: (1) to clear, as from an accusation, imputation, suspicion, or the like: to vindicate someone’s honour; (2) to afford justification for; justify: Subsequent events vindicated his policy. 1

Vindication is good, but it can only come after something bad, like being accused of something you didn’t do. If a teacher thought you cheated, but then announced to the whole class that you didn’t, you’re getting vindication. An accused criminal who is exonerated — cleared of the crime — gets vindication. If you believe something crazy — like that your underdog sports team could win a championship — and it comes true, that’s a vindication of your beliefs. 2

1 browse/ vindicate 2 https:// dictionary/ vindication


6:11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him:

This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!

6:12-14 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief, and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

Mordecai doesn’t revel after being honoured by the king but simply returns to his place of work, unlike Haman who brags whenever he has any honour bestowed on him.

Haman might have got up early but he didn’t reckon on the God of Israel who “will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps 121:4) and had beaten him to the mark by speaking to the king right throughout the night!

In his arrogance Haman assumes the king is talking about him when he asks about the most fitting reward for a man the king wishes to honour. And in so doing Haman chooses the reward he desires, but which will in fact be bestowed on his mortal enemy whose execution he has just come to finalise.

Prov 25:27 (NLT) … it’s not good to seek honours for yourself.

Prov 18:12 Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honour.


Imagine Haman’s fake smile as he has to put the royal robe on Mordecai and lead him through the streets of the city, while acting as his praise singer!

Worse still he is now worried that the king may learn that he was intending to execute Mordecai, a man that the king acknowledges a great debt of gratitude to.

Application: One day God will eventually vindicate and honour you before your enemies.

Ps 23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Luke 18:7 “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?”


There are many Biblical examples of God vindicating his people.

After being warned by God about the flood and told to build the ark, Noah preached a message of righteousness to his generation (2 Pet 2:5, Heb 11:7).

It would only be after many years that his message would be vindicated when the flood judgment came and his family was spared.


But Job is vindicated when he still follows God though faced with trials and when it becomes apparent that his trials are not as a result of sin, but a test of his integrity.


Satan accuses Job of only serving God for what he can get out of it.

Job’s friends accuse him of sin when God allows Satan to test him.

Later he is vindicated when he becomes second only to Pharaoh in Egypt. He holds a position of power far higher than his former master who imprisoned him without a trial and on the evidence of one witness.


Because of his integrity, Joseph refuses to sleep with his master’s wife. The jilted seductress falsely accuses him of attempted rape and he is sent to prison for years.

But Moses is vindicated when the Egyptians are judged and the Hebrews are delivered from slavery.


Moses obeys God, telling Pharaoh to “Let my people go”. Pharaoh responds by increasing the workload of the slaves. As a result the slaves are beaten and they curse Moses (Ex 5).

But David is vindicated when later he is crowned king of Judah and then of all Israel.


David is anointed by Samuel to be king. But in the successive years, he is constantly on the run for his life from Saul, often having to sleep in caves.

They pledge allegiance to God, irrespective of whether he delivers them or not, but are vindicated when God delivers them from the flames.


Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego defy the king’s command by refusing to bow down to a graven image. They are subsequently thrown into the fiery furnace.

Daniel’s devotion to God is vindicated when God shuts the mouths of the lions. Like Haman, his enemies become victims of their own plot, suffering the fate they intended for him.


Daniel refuses to obey a law (which was instigated by his enemies) that prohibits him from praying to God. As a result he is thrown into the lion’s den.

Deut 32:36 (ESV) For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free.

Psalm 34:21-22 (ESV) Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

Psalm 37:32-33 (ESV) The wicked watches for the righteous and seeks to put him to death. The Lord will not abandon him to his power or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

Psalm 135:14 (ESV) For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.


Gabriel salutes Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured!” But subsequently her fiancé wants out of the relationship (Matt 1:19) and she undoubtedly received judging stares and may have been ostracized by some of her family and friends.

But Mary is vindicated when her son is revealed to be the long awaited Messiah.


John the Baptist ends up in prison, seemingly doubting his own calling of being the forerunner of the Messiah (Matt 11). He is executed on the whim of a king trying to impress his party guests.


But John’s vindication comes from Jesus, who says of him, “among those born of women there is no one greater than John” (Luke 7:28).

But successive years have vindicated Paul’s message, as billions of Gentiles now claim allegiance to Jesus.


Paul is called by God to take the gospel to the despised Gentiles. As a result his own people criticise him, persecute him and repeatedly try to kill him.

But he is vindicated when after three days in the grave he is raised from the dead and subsequently exalted to the right hand of the Father.


But the greatest vindication of all is undoubtedly seen in Jesus. He is rejected by the religious leaders and handed over to the Romans for execution.

Remember how Joseph was eventually honoured by his brothers who had wanted to kill or enslave him?

The day will come when you are publically displayed and honoured and praised by God Himself. But don’t set your heart on it in this life! There is something of Haman in each of us that because of pride, desires the honour and admiration of our peers here and now. But now is not the time for such things. If God so chooses to honour you now then fine, but in actuality all honour should now be reserved for Jesus. 1

1 studies/online/ Esther6.htm


Isa 54:17 “… no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD.

Isa 35:4 … say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”



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