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" man should be ruler over his own household." <—-> Esther’s authority

November 9, 2007

I was reading Esther 4:11 ff, where Esther disobeys her husband, King Xerxes law and comes before him without being summoned. I was looking at her interactions with Mordecai. I’ve heard- on several occasions- the claim that Esther was “under the authority of a man”- Mordecai. Upon my recent reading and reflection, I don’t see that in the passage at ALL!!!.

It appears to me that Esther is under NO human authority.
It appears to me that she operates completely under God’s authority

Her interactions with (her uncle, who was her childhood guardian) Mordecai, while very loving, respectful, and concerned, are NOT of an inferiorly ranked person toward one “in authority over her”. To the contrary, Esther 4 portrays Esther as behaving with queenly authority toward Mordecai. Mordecai nowhere instructs her what to do, while she instructs him what to do at least once.


Esther 1 (excerpts)
“According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes …
the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, `King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ [18] This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.

Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”
The king … sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, proclaiming in each people’s tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.”

To my mind, the statement
“every man should be ruler over his own household”
seems to parallel
“your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you”

The latter was spoken by GOD
The former by a pagan King

IMHO, God was speaking “prophetically”
It was not a command, nor even a judgment.
The judgement of eating the forbidden fruit was Death.
“he shall rule over you” is a manifestation of the “death”

Xerxes was speaking as a fallen male
providing us with a vivid object lesson of the truth of God’s prophecy

While Esther,
under God’s authority,
provides a vivid role model of a woman who lives
with GOD given QUEENLY authority
and dignity
and strength
and influence
even in the most oppressive of worldly environments.

Esther disobeyed her husband, King Xerxes
while never violating wifely submission
Godly submission- understood properly- is a privilege and a blessing.

Think of Esther.
Here she was treated like not much more than a piece of meat, chattel.
Absolutely NO freedom in the world’s sense of the word.
But look what she accomplished as GOD enabled and empowered her to demonstrate godly submission toward her difficult husband (even as she disobeyed the law)!
She was a help MEET for the king.
Esther had the privilege of having a key role in GOD’s great redemptive plan.

She lived so far ABOVE the restrictions which mankind would place upon her!
She lived in humble, obedient, submission to GOD!

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