The plan to kill Ishmael (Jer 40:15-40:16)

“Then Johanan

The son of Kareah,

Spoke secretly

To Gedaliah

At Mizpah.

‘Please let me go!

Let me kill Ishmael,

The son of Nethaniah!

No one else will know.

Why should he

Take your life?

Then all the Judeans

Who are gathered

Around you

Would be scattered.

The remnant of Judah

Would perish.’

But Gedaliah,

The son of Ahikam,

Said to Johanan,

The son of Kareah.

‘Do not do such a thing!

You are telling a lie

About Ishmael.’”

Johanan toke Governor Gedaliah aside and spoke to him secretly. He wanted permission to kill Ishmael before he was able to kill the new governor. He said that no would have to know about it. Why should Governor Gedaliah die? If he died, then all the Judeans gathered at Mizpah would scatter. The small remnant of Judeans there would all die. However, Governor Gedaliah responded to Johanan in no uncertain terms. Johanan was not to kill Ishmael, because this story about the plot to kill him was a lie. Thus Governor Gedaliah dismissed the warning against his life.

The king asks Haman for advice (Esth 6:4-6:10)

The king said.

‘Who is in the court?’

Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to speak to the king about having Mordecai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him. So the king’s servants told him.

‘Haman is there, standing in the court.’

The king said.

‘Let him come in.’

So Haman came in. The king said to him.

‘What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?’

Haman said to himself.

‘Whom would the king wish to honor more than me?’

So Haman said to the king.

‘For the man whom the king wishes to honor,

Let royal robes be brought,

Which the king has worn,

Let him have a horse that the king has ridden.

Put a royal crown on its head.

Let the robes and the horse be handed over

To one of the king’s most noble officials.

Let him robe the man whom the king wishes to honor.

Let him conduct the man on horseback

Through the open square of the city.

Proclaiming before him.

‘Thus shall it be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor.’

Then the king said to Haman.

‘Quickly.

Take the robes and the horse,

As you have said,

Do so to Mordecai who sits at the king’s gate.

Leave out nothing that you have mentioned.’”

In a very interesting turn of events, who should show up as the king was trying to figure out how to reward Mordecai, but his mortal enemy Haman? Haman had been planning to kill Mordecai that very same day as he had come early to the king to get permission to hang Mordecai. Instead, he will end up honoring Mordecai because he thought that he himself was the honoree. When the king asked him how to honor someone, he assumed that he was the one to be honored. Thus he laid out plans to have a royal robe and a royal horse. He even said that a royal official should accompany him. Never did he realize that he was to be the royal official who would accompany Mordecai. What a revolting development for Haman and a reversal of fortune for Mordecai.