Arlen L. Chitwood
Haman’s Fall from Power
Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.
. . . If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. (Esther 5:13; 6:13b)
Haman, in Esther chapter five, is seen at the height of his power, with the Jewish people having been delivered into his hands. Then, matters in both respects began to suddenly and swiftly change. Through commands of the king, Haman was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; and there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about the matter. Then Haman found himself under the sentence of death and impaled upon a gallows because of a Jew; and, again, there was nothing whatsoever that he could do about the matter.
Then, if that wasn’t enough, all that Haman possessed — his house, and his position in the kingdom — ultimately passed into the hands of the Jews. And bringing matters to pass after this fashion was something completely out of his hands as well. Though he possessed power directly under the king, he was powerless to effect any type change in the direction that matters took at this time.
What precipitated Haman’s fall, particularly the manner in which it occurred? The answer is very simple. Haman made a fatal mistake upon his rise to power, setting in motion a particular course of events. Haman not only raised his hand against the Jewish people but, in the process, he went to extreme measures and sought to destroy all the Jews in the kingdom. And this not only sealed Haman’s fate at the outset, but it sealed Haman’s fate in a particular manner.
The laws of the harvest came into view for Haman at this time. A person not only always reaps the same thing that he sows — like for like — but he also always reaps more than he sows. As in Hosea 8:7, if he, in like fashion to Haman, sows “the wind,” he will reap “the whirlwind” (the word translated “whirlwind” is in an intensive form in the Hebrew text, pointing to a violent, tornado-like whirlwind).
And these laws of the harvest relate not only to curses but to blessings as well — “. . . I will bless those who bless you and I will curse him who curses you . . . .” (cf. Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25; 12:1-3; Proverbs 22:8; Matthew 13:8; Luke 19:13-24; Galatians 6:7-9). According to Genesis 12:3 (which has to do with the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob), in the light of the laws of the harvest, two things are in view: (1) God will abundantly bless individuals because of their positive treatment of the Jewish people, or (2) God will bitterly curse individuals because of their negative treatment of the Jewish people (cf. Matthew 25:31-46).
Thus, Haman could not escape reaping that which he had sown in this respect; nor can anyone else, for no one can escape set laws that God has established. Haman could not simply be removed from power, with that being the end of the matter. Rather, his fall must show a reaping in keeping with established laws of the harvest. He must not only reap that which he had sown but he must also reap more than he had sown, “in due season” (which points to another law of the harvest — reaping occurs at a set time, following the sowing).
In connection with a reaping of this nature, there is an irony seen in Haman’s experiences in the book of Esther, which will be duplicated in Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype.
Haman’s fall occurred “in due season,” resulting from that which he had sown. Haman, through anti-Semitism of the worst kind — attempted genocide — brought the Jewish people to the place where they, in turn, brought about his downfall. Instead of destroying the Jewish people, Haman brought them to a place that, because of the identity of and God’s promises to the people whom he had sought to destroy, resulted in his own destruction.
God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, delivered the Jewish people into Haman’s hands, for a time. And Haman, through attempted genocide, brought the Jewish people into the very place that not only resulted in their deliverance but in his destruction.
Haman brought the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout the kingdom arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, along with Esther appearing before the king on behalf of her people. Then, with the king acting on behalf of the Jewish people, things began to change. And this change was both sudden and rapid.
In the antitype, God, in order to bring His plans and purposes surrounding the Jewish people to pass, will deliver them into Antichrist’s hands, for a time (for three and one-half years). And Antichrist, through attempted genocide, will bring the Jewish people into the very position that will not only result in their deliverance but in his destruction.
Antichrist will bring the Jewish people to the place where Jews throughout his worldwide kingdom will have no choice other than to repent and turn from their disobedience (foreshadowed by the Jewish people in the type arraying themselves in sackcloth and ashes [cf. Jonah 3:5-10]); and the Jewish people in that day will call upon the God of their fathers for deliverance (foreshadowed by Esther appearing before the king and subsequently petitioning the king on behalf of her people).
When these things occur, the King will not only hear and remember but will also act on behalf of the Jewish people. And changes will then begin to occur, in a sudden and rapid manner.
Haman fell under God’s judgment at the very beginning, at the time he raised his hand against the Jewish people, with the magnitude of that judgment being determined by the laws of the harvest. And, through his anti-Semitic policies and practices, Haman, in the end — completely contrary to that which he had set out to accomplish — brought about deliverance for the Jews and destruction for himself.
And in a parallel, previous type in the book of Exodus — the Israelites in Egyptian bondage, under an Assyrian ruler — exactly the same thing can be seen as set forth in the book of Esther. The books of Exodus and Esther simply present two word pictures of the same thing, from two different perspectives. And, in this respect, one will shed light upon and form commentary material for the other.
Note how matters are presented in the book of Exodus when the Israelites were brought into such dire straits that they had no place to turn other than to the God of their fathers. And the irony of the matter was the same as seen in Esther — the one persecuting the Israelites would ultimately be responsible for both their deliverance and his own destruction:
. . . they cried out; and their cry came up to God because of the bondage.
So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.
And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God acknowledged them.
And the LORD said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
So I have come down to deliver them . . . .” (Exodus 2:23b-25; 3:7, 8a).
God, as seen in the type in the book of Exodus, in the immediate future under Antichrist, will once again bring the Israelites into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to call upon the God of their fathers. And, when this occurs, the Jewish people have the promise that God will hear, remember, and act — as in the types, or as in God’s promises such as those in Leviticus 26:40-42 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Antichrist, as the Assyrian during Moses’ day, or as Haman during Esther’s day, will bring the Jewish people into such dire straits that they will have no choice other than to do that seen in the types — calling upon the God of their fathers, an arrayal in sackcloth and ashes, and a petitioning of the king on the behalf of the Jewish people (all foreshadowing different facets of that seen in Leviticus 26:40; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:16-19). And, exactly as in the types, God will then hear, remember, and act (as He has faithfully promised in Leviticus 26:42; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 1:25ff).
In one type, the Israelites were delivered, and the power of Egypt was destroyed. In the other type, the Israelites were delivered, and Haman, along with his ten sons, were slain.
And so will it be in the antitype. The Jewish people will be delivered; and Gentile world power, as it has existed for the past 2,600 years, will be destroyed through the overthrow of Antichrist and his ten-kingdom federation.
Christ, personally, will appear and overthrow Antichrist and those ruling with him. The “Stone” (Christ) will smite the “image upon his feet” (feet having ten toes, pointing to Antichrist’s ten-kingdom federation, the final form of Gentile world power); and through this revealed means, the whole of Gentile world power, headed up under Antichrist in that coming day, will be destroyed.
And Gentile world power, once destroyed, will “become like the chaff of the summer threshing floors,” which the wind will carry away. Gentile world power, in that day, will pass out of existence; and the Stone that smote the image at its feet will become “a great mountain [kingdom]” and fill “the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45).
In this respect, as in the case of the Assyrian in Egypt during Moses’ day, or as in the case of Haman in the Medo-Persian kingdom during Esther’s day, so will it be in that future day when the last Assyrian, the latter-day Haman, arises in the world. God, through delivering the Jewish people into this man’s hands, for a time, will use this man to bring His plans and purposes to pass. Then, as in all past anti-Semitism, God will judge this man in exact accord with that which He has set forth in His Word (cf. Genesis 12:1-3).
When things began to rapidly go awry for Haman, he was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew. And this was not humiliation at the hands of just any Jew. Rather, this was humiliation at the hands of the Jew who sat in the king’s gate, who had refused to bow and worship Haman. This was the Jew toward whom Haman had first vented his wrath, resulting in his ultimate fall and the Jewish people’s deliverance.
God used this particular Jew to first humiliate Haman as his rapid fall from power began to occur. The “due season” for reaping was at hand, and there must not only be a reaping but it must be in complete keeping with God’s set laws surrounding the harvest. Haman had sown “the wind,” and now he must reap “the [violent] whirlwind.”
Esther chapter three records Haman’s rise to power and his exhibited hatred for the Jewish people, carried to the point of attempted genocide. Chapters four and five record the action that the Jewish people took, because of that which Haman had done. They arrayed themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and Esther appeared before the king on the Jewish people’s behalf. Then, in chapter six, suddenly matters began to change rapidly.
Haman, in chapter six, is seen appearing at the king’s house early in the day in order “to speak unto the king” about impaling Mordecai “on the gallows that he had prepared for him” the previous day (v. 4). And he stood in the outer court at this time, making his presence known, awaiting a summons to appear in the king’s presence in order to make known his request.
But the king hadn’t been able to sleep during the preceding night; and, to pass the time and keep up with events in the kingdom that he ruled, he had “the book of the records of the chronicles” brought into his chambers. Reading through these records, he ran across events surrounding Mordecai and that which he had done following Esther becoming queen (6:1, 2). Mordecai had previously warned the king (through Esther) concerning a plot against him, recorded at the end of Esther chapter two (vv. 21-23).
The king made inquiry concerning that which had been done to reward Mordecai concerning this deed. And he was told that nothing had been done. The king immediately realized that the matter had not been handled properly at all, and he needed someone to rectify the existing situation.
Looking for such a person to carry out his wishes along these lines, he asked, “Who is in the court?” And he was told, “Haman is there, standing in the court.” Then, with Mordecai uppermost in both Haman’s thoughts and the king’s thoughts — though for entirely different reasons — the king said, “Let him come in” (6:3-5).
After Haman had entered into the king’s presence, the king, before Haman could make know his request, asked Haman a question. The king asked, “What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor?” And Haman, not knowing anything about that which had proceeded, thought the king had him in mind. Haman, self-centered in the whole matter of things occurring in the kingdom, thought in his heart, “Whom would the king delight to honor more than me” (v. 6)?
Haman had no idea that a Power far higher and mightier than existed in the kingdom — the source of all power — had begun a work that would reverse everything. It would lead first to Haman’s humiliation and death, and then it would culminate in the exaltation of the Jewish people.
The king hadn’t been able to sleep during the previous night. The king, during this time, asked for “the book of the records of the chronicles.” Then he found a particular place in the book where Mordecai’s deed was recorded. Why did this sequence of events occur at this particular time? The reason is evident.
God, in His sovereign control of all events and circumstances, brought these things to pass. “. . . He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4). Nor would He allow the king to sleep, in order that the king might read and be made aware of that which Mordecai had previously done on the king’s behalf.
And the king would not be allowed to sleep for another reason, seen in the type-antitype structure of the book. The king typified the One Who neither slumbers nor sleeps, with Israel in view in both the type and the antitype. And because of that seen in chapters three through five, God was about to act on behalf of the Jewish people, seen through the actions of the king.
In this respect, the “due season” for Haman to reap that which he had sown was at hand. And Haman, reaping that which he had sown, began his sudden and rapid fall early in the day, immediately following a night in which both the king couldn’t sleep and Mordecai’s act had been brought to his attention. Then, all in the same day, Haman was humiliated at the hands of a Jew and subsequently slain because of a Jew.
Haman, believing that the king was talking about him when asking what should be done for the man whom the king delighted to honor, answered with the same self-centered mind-set seen in Satan’s previous actions when he had sought to exalt his throne (Isaiah 14:13, 14). Haman, with himself in mind, said that the person should be arrayed in royal apparel, with a crown placed upon his head. Then he should be allowed to sit on the king’s own horse, with a noble prince leading the horse through the street of the city, proclaiming before the one seated on the horse, “Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor” (6:6-9).
Then, with the king’s next words, the bottom dropped out of Haman’s world.
Then the king said to Haman, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits within the king’s gate! Leave nothing undone of all that you have spoken." (Esther 6:10)
Haman had appeared in the king’s presence to speak with him about impaling Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him only hours before. However, because of the previous intervention of the One who never slumbers nor sleeps — typified by the king, being unable to sleep — the king was the first to raise an issue surrounding Mordecai (note God’s providential control of all things, typified by the king’s control of all things). Haman now had no choice other than to do as the king had commanded; and, being forced to follow the king’s command, Haman began his trip down a path of utter humiliation and no return — first, at the hands of Mordecai, and then because of Esther.
Haman, prior to his subsequently being removed from power via death, was forced to array Mordecai in royal apparel, see to it that he was seated on the king’s own horse, lead the horse through the street of the city, and proclaim before Mordecai, seated on the horse, that this was the one whom the king delighted to honor.
Haman was forced to do this for the one whom the king knew was seated at his gate, the very one about to replace him in the kingdom, the one whom he had sought to impale on a gallows that he had built for that purpose.
After Haman had done as the king commanded, two things are seen in the text:
Afterward Mordecai went back to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. (Esther 6:12).
Mordecai’s position at king’s gate portends regal power in the kingdom, which he was about to possess (ref. chapter 3 of this book); and this was portended in another respect by his being arrayed in royal apparel and being led through the street of the city on the king’s horse. Haman, before he was slain, was forced, by the king’s command, to openly demonstrate Mordecai’s connection with regality (the very power that he himself possessed) through carrying out that which he himself said should be done to the man whom the king delighted to honor.
Haman, through being forced to carry this out, suffered a degrading humiliation, which could only have been vastly different than anything he had ever come close to experiencing prior to this time. And this happened in the life of a man at the height of his power, ruling directly under the king.
Then, when Haman appeared at his home, mourning, with his head covered (humiliated in his own house), his wife and his wise men perhaps summed up and stated the whole of that which was occurring best:
If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before him. (Esther 6:13b)
Haman, because of that which he had done to the Jews, was on the way down. He was in the process of reaping that which he had sown. And his reaping would not only be in exact keeping with that which he had sown and how he had sown, but it would occur, as well, in a rapid and concluding manner.
2) Haman Slain
The next step in Haman’s fall is seen in chapter seven. Esther, through a sequence of events surrounding a royal banquet, brought about circumstances resulting in Haman’s death immediately after he had been humiliated at the hands of Mordecai. He was first humiliated at the hands of a Jew; now, later that same day, he was to be slain because of a Jew.
It was while Haman spoke with those in his home concerning events that had occurred earlier in the day that the king’s servants appeared in order to hurriedly escort him to a banquet that Esther had prepared (6:14). Because of that which Haman had done, necessitating his reaping the violent whirlwind, God wasted no time moving him from the place of utter humiliation to the place of death.
Haman, hurriedly escorted to the banquet, had another surprise awaiting him; and this again came at the hands of a Jew. This time though he wouldn’t be returning to his home with his head covered, to mourn. This time his lifeless form would be carried back to his house and impaled upon the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.
(The gallows was located “in the house of Haman” [7:9]. The term “house” is an all-inclusive term, indicating all which Haman possessed. The gallows was located somewhere on his property.
Also, the normal use of a gallows in that day was not as an instrument of death itself but as a place where those already slain were to be impaled, as an open display of guilt, humiliation, etc. [e.g., Esther 9:10, 13, 14]. Haman was apparently slain before being impaled on the gallows. And being impaled upon the gallows, especially this particular gallows, would simply be a continuation of the humiliation that Haman had previously experienced — humiliated in both life and in death, demonstrating publicly his guilt and shame.)
The record of Haman’s death begins later on the same day that Haman had led Mordecai through the street of the city, the day following his building the gallows for Mordecai. Haman was with the king at the second part of Esther’s banquet of wine. And it was here that Esther made known her petition to the king, which had its origin in her appearance before the king in chapter five.
The king had previously promised Esther that her request would be granted, even to the half of his kingdom (5:3). And Esther had told the king that her request would be made known at a banquet of wine that she would prepare for the king and for Haman. The first day, the king repeated his promise (5:6); but Esther delayed her request until the second day of the banquet (5:7, 8), which is where chapter seven begins.
Then, at the beginning of the banquet on the second day, the king again asked Esther about her request. And he once again promised that her request would be granted, even “to the half of the kingdom” (7:2).
And Esther then made known her request:
If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
For we have been sold, my people and I, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. . . .” (Esther 7:3b, 4a).
The king, apparently startled, then asked Esther:
Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?
And Esther answer,
The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman! (v. 6a)
The statement is short, simple, and concise; but it was all Esther needed to say. The one who had come “to the kingdom for such a time as this,” the queen herself, had spoken. And though God could have effected deliverance for the Jews through another means, had He chosen to do so, He chose to do it this way (4:14). Now Esther’s part was done; and the remainder was left to the king.
Haman, hearing this, was “afraid.” But seeing the king’s reaction, he could only have become terrified. The king arose from his place at the banquet and, exhibiting wrath, walked out into the garden. And such an act by an Eastern king in that day could only mean one thing for the person responsible for his wrath — judgment without mercy.
Haman knew this, and he knew that he had only one recourse — to turn to the queen herself, one now revealed to be among those whom he had sought to destroy. Haman fell down upon the couch where Esther was reclining at the banquet, to plead for his life. But when the king walked back in and saw this, matters only became worse. The king apparently interpreted this as an act of violence committed against the queen herself (7:7, 8).
The king asked, “Will he also assault the queen while I am in the house?” And as the words went out of the king’s mouth, “they covered Haman’s face” — an act which portended impending execution (v. 8b, NASB).
Then the king’s attention was called to the gallows that stood in Haman’s house, “which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king’s behalf.” And the king said,
Hang [impale] him on it! (Esther 7:9)
So they hanged [impaled] Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath subsided. (v. 10)
This was the manner in which God saw fit to bring matters surrounding Haman to an end. Haman was at the height of his power one day, and he ended that day by building a gallows on which to impale Mordecai. Then, the very next day, he was humiliated beyond degree and subsequently slain, at the hands of and because of the very ones that he had sought to slay. And that day ended with a continued humiliation by his being impaled on the very gallows which he had built for Mordecai.
And if that wasn’t enough, Haman’s ten sons (in whom he took great pride [5:11]) were later slain and impaled on the same gallows. And if that wasn’t enough, the book ends with Mordecai (whom Haman hated above all others in the kingdom) occupying all which Haman had possessed — his house, and his position in the kingdom.
Such is the manner in which God carries out that which He has promised and decreed. And as it occurred in the type, so will it occur in the antitype, which takes us to the fall of Antichrist and the elevation of the Jewish people yet future.
If one first views that which God has revealed about Haman’s end in the book of Esther, little really needs to be said about Antichrist’s end, for, in reality, it has already been said. The whole of the matter has been set forth in Haman’s experiences in the type, which foreshadow Antichrist’s experiences in the antitype. And the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.
Thus, viewing that which happened to Haman in the type, one has already seen that which is about to happen to Antichrist in the antitype. And the same holds true concerning the experiences of Mordecai and Esther in the book. Seeing that which happened to Mordecai and Esther, one has already seen that which is about to happen to the nation of Israel. It’s all recorded back in the oft-neglected book of Esther.
Antichrist’s end is seen numerous places in Scripture. He is seen destroyed in the Sea in Exodus (14:23-28); he is seen slain and impaled on a gallows in Esther (7:10); he is seen coming to a violent end in Daniel (2:34, 35, 44, 45; 8:23-25; 11:36-45); and he is seen destroyed by Christ at His coming in the New Testament (e.g., 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11ff).
Then, exactly as the Jews were delivered in Exodus, Esther, and Daniel, with regality in view (Exodus 14:30, 31; 19:5, 6; Esther 8:1-7; 10:2, 3; Daniel 12:1ff), so will it be yet future (Isaiah 1:25-2:5; Ezekiel 37:21-28; 39:25-29). Matters can end no other way for either the persecutor or the persecuted, for the type has been set; and, again, the antitype must follow the type in exact detail.
One section of Scripture will perhaps suffice to illustrate the end of Antichrist, apart from the types — Isaiah chapter fourteen.
Note that this chapter deals with the king of Babylon, the Assyrian (vv. 4, 25). And between these two descriptions of this man lie verses often attributed to Satan alone (vv. 12-17). However, Scripture sometimes uses verses of this nature in a dual sense, referring to more than one person (e.g., Isaiah 40:3 [of both John the Baptist and Elijah] or Hosea 11:1 [of both Christ and Israel]). And, from a contextual standpoint and that which is stated, this can only be the case in Isaiah 14:12-17. These verses can only be a reference to both Satan and Antichrist — two inseparably related individuals insofar as their goals, aims, ambitions, and aspirations are concerned.
The things stated in Isaiah 14:12-17 really couldn’t be said of any earthly king of Babylon unless Satan was ultimately in view. And, for obvious reasons, it could really be said only of the last king of Babylon. Though Babylon has been Satan’s earthly capital since time immemorial, and he has ruled through all of the earthly kings of Babylon in history, no earthly king of Babylon has ever occupied the type alliance with Satan that Antichrist will occupy — seated on Satan’s throne, exercising Satan’s power and authority.
In this respect, in verses that have Satan ultimately in view, the entire career of the last king of Babylon, the latter-day Assyrian, is outlined in Isaiah 14:13-17 — from his seeking to exalt himself as God (vv. 13, 14), to his utter humiliation and death (vv. 15-17). As it happened to Haman in the type, so will it happen to this man in the antitype, for the same reasons.
For you have said in your heart . . . I will be like the Most High.
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?”
Thus will this man come to his end — as Haman — with no one to help, for no one will be able to help (cf. Daniel 11:45).