MIDRASH RABBAH

Esther

Midrash Rabbah - Esther X:13

13. R. Berekiah said: The Holy One, blessed be He, had already recorded the deliverance of Israel in the Torah, as it is written, And if a stranger who is a settler with thee be waxen rich etc. (Lev. XXV, 47). ’A stranger who is a settler’ refers to Haman, who became great and rich and could afford to pay out ten thousand shekels of silver. He was called ’ A stranger who settled ‘ because he was of the seed of Amalek and he was a stranger in Media and Persia. And thy brother be waxen poor beside him (ib.): his refers to Israel who were poor and needy. And be sold1 unto the stranger (ib.): because Ahasuerus sold them to Haman to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish. Or to the offshoot of a stranger's family (ib.): because he set himself up as a deity, as it says, Bowed down, and prostrated themselves before Haman (Est. III, 2).2 After that he is sold he may be redeemed (ib. 48): because the Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed them from his hand and delivered them from his decree and ransomed them. One of his brethren shall redeem him (ib.): this is Mordecai of whom we read that He was accepted of the multitude of his brethren (Est. X, 3). Or his uncle, or his uncle's son shall redeem him (Lev. XXV, 49): this refers to Esther who was the daughter of his uncle and through whom Israel were redeemed. For I will utterly blot out [lit. ‘blotting I will blot out’] the remembrance of Amalek (Ex. XVII, 14): blotting out in this world, I will blot it out in the next. ’ The remembrance of (zeker) Amalek,’ this refers to Haman, the passage having been [erroneously] read, ' The males of (zekar) Amalek.’3 The patriarch Jacob also hinted at all this in the blessing of the tribes, as it says, Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey (Gen. XLIX, 27): this refers to Saul who was the morning of Israel, being the first of the kings, and who was from the tribe of Benjamin and smote Amalek and spoiled all their possessions. And at even he divideth the spoil (ib.): this refers to Mordecai and Esther who championed Israel in their exile which is like the shows of evening and divided the spoil of Haman who is compared to a wolf. For God raised him up to oppose the wolf, namely, the kings of Media and Persia who are compared to a wolf, as it is written, And behold another beast, a second, like to a wolf (Dan. VII, 5).1 In Babylon, however, they say: This refers to the kings of Media and Persia who eat like a bear and are restless like a bear and are shaggy like a bear. God raised up to confront them Mordecai and Esther from the tribe of Benjamin who is called ’A wolf that raveneth’.

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