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Read Esther 10

The Greatness of Mordecai

10 King Xerxes imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores. And all his acts of power and might, together with a full account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king had promoted, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

Go Deeper

At first glance, Esther 10 might seem a bit unnecessary. What can we actually learn about God from three verses at the end of a book in which God is never mentioned? We can learn quite a bit, actually. 

In the first two verses, we find it harder to see anything to apply to our lives, but this is why Scripture is amazing. In verses 1 and 2, we read about King Xerxes, saying he “imposed tribute throughout the empire, to its distant shores.” This seems insignificant to us today, but here we see the scope of the power of King Xerxes. He holds the power to enforce a tax all the way to the edges of an empire that pushed the borders of modern-day Greece and India! The author, in verse 2, essentially tells the ancient readers to fact-check him in the records of Xerxes’ rule. 

Once the power of Xerxes had been firmly established in the reader’s mind, the author moves to point out that Mordecai, the Jewish man, was second in power only to Xerxes himself over this massive empire. Not only was he second in command, but he “worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.” Mordecai was given this power by God and he used it for the benefit of the people of God. Does this sound familiar to you? 

Way back in Genesis 41, we read of a guy named Joseph. Joseph, too, was Jewish, and he was named second-in-command to Pharaoh, King of Egypt, at a time when Egypt was as powerful as anyone in the world. The point of drawing this parallel is this: God protects and provides for His people. Both Joseph and Mordecai went through tremendous trial before ascending to their positions, and both were used by God in positions of power to provide for His people (Joseph feeding them in the famine) and protect His people (Mordecai halting and reversing the edict to kill the Jews). 

A final point from this section, as small as it is, is a reminder of the power of Scripture. Paul said it best in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Questions

  1. What stood out to you most in these verses? Was it the power of Xerxes? The position of Mordecai? Or something else? 
  2. Upon further reflection on your answer to question 1, what can we learn about God? 
  3. Has this study changed the way you view the “insignificant details” in Scripture? How will this change how you read the Bible? 

Keep Digging

Here is a link to an interactive map of the ancient world. If you’d like a visual of the size of the Persian Empire under King Xerxes, check out the map between 486-465 BC.

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3 thoughts on “Esther 10”

  1. What a fitting ending to such a powerful story! My focus in past readings of this book has been primarily on Esther; however, this time my eyes have been drawn to Mordecai. One who pledged allegiance to God, persisted against all odds, and was richly rewarded for his faith. There may have been no mention of God’s name throughout this book, but clearly He was working behind the scenes perfectly orchestrating each event. Today, wherever we are able, let’s follow Mordecai’s example and work for the good and speak up for the welfare of others.

  2. I, too, was enlightened about Mordecai through this reading and study of Esther. He dutifully cared for his orphaned niece, he clearly had a deep and caring relationship with her, he kept a careful watch over her, he paid attention, and he was always seeking for good to prevail for his people, and even for the pagan king. His faithfulness and vigilance serve to encourage us to stay the course and not lose heart.

  3. Loved reading the book of Esther, though I knew the story I learned so many new things. We today we definitely need to be Mordecai’s of the world . I truly enjoyed this reading.

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