“the times.” It was considered very important in ancient cultures to know when to do things. Later in Esther, Haman wants to destroy the Jews, but tries to determine the proper time to do so (Esth. 3:7). The ancient cultures had many different ways of determining what to do and what was a good time to do it. For example, Ezekiel mentions the king of Babylon using divination to find out what to do. He looks at the liver, shakes arrows, and consults with teraphim, which were personal gods of the household (Ezek. 21:21). The wise men who knew or could discern the times, and then who could give advice about what to do, were valuable and usually powerful men.