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Chariots of Fire (17 of 18)
The Reaction of Revenge-Haman
Clarence E. Macartney
About two thousand years ago a man going early to work
in a vineyard in the suburbs of Shushan, the capital
of Persia, passed down one of the avenues and saw
hanging from a gallows near the royal palace a man's
body. The body was swaying to and fro with the morning
wind, and vultures were beginning to circle around it.
As he stood looking at this body hanging from the
gallows, another workman came along, and he said to
him, "Whose body is that hanging from the gallows?"
The man answered, "That is the body of Haman."
"What!" exclaimed the other. "You don't mean Haman,
the king's viceroy and prime minister, who lived in
yonder palace with the carved lions at the gate?"
"Yes," said the other, "it is the body of Haman, the
king's minister. He built the gallows for the hanging
of the Jew Mordecai, the foster father of the queen.
But the king yesterday commanded that Haman himself be
hanged on the gallows which he had built for
"So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had
prepared for Mordecai." That was the reaction of
Haman's plot for revenge.
The book of Esther is one of the most striking,
readable, and dramatic books in the Bible. With its
gorgeous palaces and its royal banquets it seems like
a page from The Arabian Nights. In Esther men rise and
fall; the proud are brought low, and the humble are
exalted. Princes and nobles drink and revel, while the
common people are perplexed. Plots and conspiracies
are hatched and frustrated. Love, hate, pride, fear,
revenge, faith-all these passions and emotions, worthy
and unworthy, which sweep with their winds the souls
of men, appear here in unforgettable incarnation. This
is one of the two books of the Bible in which the name
of God does not appear. But although God's name is not
here, his providence, his sovereignty, and his truth
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