The story is over but there are three more chapters. It becomes the story of Mordecai’s career. Esther is given Haman’s estate, but she hands it to Mordecai, and he essentially gets Haman’s job. Esther pleas for the King to favor the Jews and Mordecai writes as the king a new edict that protects the Jews.
They have the right to avenge themselves on their enemies. There is great rejoicing around the cities, it’s a great day like the end of star wars.
It’s a very satisfying wrap up to the story.
It goes just that bit far for me, and I’ve read ahead and I know it goes further still. Non Jews start to fear the Jews and start to convert to Judaism.
I want to see a contrast, mercy in Mordecai where there was ruthlessness in Haman. There is only triumphalism as far as I can see.
Esther had a fairytale life, but showed bravery and selflessness to throw it all away to save her people. That is easier to admire.
And still no God, not explicitly. The thrust of the post exile bible books is god’s extraordinary power to ensure his people are restored from their punishment. But they are still not perfect. Its not enough. And of course, Jerusalem itself was not the Messiah, it wasn’t enough.