Casting the Lot (Pur) | Esther 3:7-11 | Week 3 Day 4 Study of Esther

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Haman was incredibly methodical and deliberate with his planned holocaust. He wanted enough time to mobilize the people and resources it would take to actually annihilate a people that were scattered throughout an ethnically and geographically diverse empire. He cast lots for the month and day of the proposed holocaust.
Lots were generally pieces of pottery with the answers you want on them cast into your lap in a way that would always leave you with only one option. You could think of it like flipping a coin or rolling dice, but with information instead of just numbers attached to them.
When the day was chosen, Haman went to the king to get his permission to carry out his plan. He came with a plan that he thought would sweeten the deal for the king: Haman told him he would pay for the campaign out of his own pocket. This would be quite a large and costly military campaign, and he wanted to make sure the king didn’t let a thing like budgeting get in his way.
King Ahaseurus’ response probably shocked even Haman. The king was so done with having to make decisions and rule, that instead of granting Haman’s request, he took off his own kingly signet ring and gave it to Haman, essentially making him the ad-hoc king of the largest empire in human history up to that point! This is exactly what happened in the final days of Babylon when Nabonidus gave his rule over to his relative Belshazzar, but Daniel just called him king because for all intents and purposes, that’s what he was. And now, as far as all of Persia was concerned, Haman was essentially king.
Persia’s true king didn’t want to be bothered with such trivial day-to-day minutia like what ethnic people groups needed to be annihilated. That was now Haman’s job entirely.
Why do you think the king gave Haman such authority?
Esther is simultaneously a victory and a tragedy. In some ways, If you look at it through a modern lens, it should be called the Victory of Mordecai and the Tragedy of Esther. Esther loses her parents and then is taken into the harem of a despotic king to be used as he wishes. Mordecai ends up, like Daniel, a very high official and ruler in his expatriated land.
This will be a great study of Esther as we look at the emotions, the world and the meanings of one of the most cherished, and often misunderstood books of the Bible.
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