Comeuppance (Esther 9-10)

Comeuppance is one of my favourite words and one that I get to use all too rarely. In the last two chapters of Esther, the Jews get to give all the people who’ve recently thwarted them their comeuppance. It’s the most obvious kind of comeuppance: they kill them.

Yes, King Ahasuerus gives the Jews a rather loose lead and lets them kill five hundred of their enemies. And that’s just a warm-up – they go on to kill another seventy-five thousand, which is a noticeable spike in activity. I guess he’s trying to make it up to them for briefly passing those anti-Jew edicts. In my last post, I mentioned that the man behind those edicts, Haman, was going to be hanged. As it turns out, he not only gets hanged but gets hanged alongside his ten sons. It’s a real red-letter day for the Jews. I was amazed to learn that this – THIS – was the basis for the holiday Purim, a day of “feasting and GLADness” (early product placement) (Est 9:17). Don’t get me wrong: I’m not in love with soft stance of the New Testament. There’s something in the simplicity and toughness of the “an eye for an eye” rule that appeals to me.

Esther, who has her place in the Bible for championing the Jews, fixes the practice of Purim so that all Jews can celebrate the day they watched a man and his whole family die together.

This Irish baby is confused.

Published in: on January 8, 2012 at 3:54 am  Comments (1)  
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