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Esther

September 20, 2008

I’ve been reading Esther. (I know – shocking. Like me saying, “I was watching Luther …” I know. You’re hilarious.)

I’ve been reading Esther and really wishing that movie (One Night With The King) had been better. I wish they hadn’t butchered the storyline with the silly necklace. I wish they hadn’t tried to make it a love story, and I really wish they had better communicated the gravity of her decision to barge into the King’s inner court.

I know that the book is about intercession. Esther 101. But for the past couple days I’ve been noticing the details. It’s about intercession on a personal scale, and about Christ’s intercession on the cross. It’s cool. My new favorite part is the beginning of Chapter 5:

Verse 1: Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, across from the king’s house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, facing the entrance of the house.

Everybody knows that if you go into the inner court of the king’s palace without being called for, you are killed. Instantly and without a fair trial before a jury of your peers (because it’s a picture of the Old Testament temple where only the high priest could go into the inner court and only if he was without sin else he drop dead). Everybody knows, and yet here’s the king, facing the entrance of the house as though he’s waiting for someone to try it anyway.

What I noticed for the first time the other day, and what makes me love this, is the italics. I often forget, and so don’t really notice, that italics in the Bible means those words were added to make the translation sensible where there is no direct, word-for-word translation. Usually, you can go back and re-read a verse without the italic words, and get a deeper understanding of what’s going on.

For whatever reason (HS), I remembered that when I got to Esther 5:1 a couple days ago and I re-read. “Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on royal and stood …”

She put on royal(ty). I double-checked:

The Young’s Literal Translation says, “And it cometh to pass on the third day, that Esther putteth on royalty, and standeth …”

Esther prepared to stand in the inner court of the king and make a request of him, intercede on behalf of her people, by putting on royalty. (Jesus prepared to come to earth, to live and die in intercession for His people, by disrobing Himself of divine glory/royalty.) When I prepare to stand in the inner court of the King of kings, I put on the royalty that Jesus made available to me because I go wearing His Name and His sacrifice.

Fun. Mind the italics.

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