The Book of Esther, Egypt, and Syria

When Haman was able to convince Xerxes to annihilate the Jews, the end of Chapter 3 says this: “The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.”

Another translation read: the city was in an uproar. There was confusion.

Looking at the text notes of the NET Bible, I found this comment: This final statement of v. 15 is a sad commentary on the pathetic disregard of despots for the human misery and suffering that they sometimes inflict on those who are helpless to resist their power. Here, while common people braced for the reckless loss of life and property that was about to begin, the perpetrators went about their mundane activities as though nothing of importance was happening.

It doesn’t seem to matter the time period, there is a huge difference between those in power and those trying to live daily lives and make it. One big difference is the INdifference the powerful sometimes have toward the powerless. This verse highlights that. The powerful make a decision to wipe out a whole race, then sit down to eat.

This verse has significance as I read the news from Egypt and Syria. These are places we just don’t pay attention to, and when the news finally focuses on it, we whine because there isn’t enough coverage of the latest celebrity scandal.

But we are NUMB to these numbers. HUNDREDS in Egypt were killed last week in protests. Syria is now allegedly using chemical weapons on the rebels and to date, since the rebellion started, 100,000 lives have been lost. ONE. HUNDRED. THOUSAND.

In 1994 Rwanda exploded in genocide and over 100 days the world yawned while 500,000 people were slaughtered. I guess Syria doesn’t even come close. Oh, well.

But that doesn’t mean too much to us. It’s over there.

Somewhere along the line, it MAY start to hit us. I’m not sure. But until then, this verse out of Esther sure puts things in context. The powerful sit down to eat while the powerless are thrown into confusion. This is our world.

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