69. "And the people spoke out against Elohim, and against Moses..." (Bemidbar 21:5). This passage was explained in another place, with THOSE SCRIPTURE PASSAGES RELATING TO the waters of Merivah (Eng. 'dispute') against Moses and Aaron.
70. (A) Rabbi Yitzchak opened the discussion with the verse: "Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel (Heb. malchut)" (Esther 5:1). The scroll of Esther was said in the Holy Spirit and, therefore, it is written among the scriptures. "Now it came to pass on the third day." When the body energy was low and weak, DUE TO THE FASTING, she remained in her spirit without the body. Then, "that Esther put on Malchut." What is the meaning of Malchut? If you think it is glorious and purple garments, these are not called so, BY THE NAME OF MALCHUT. "Esther put on Malchut," MEANS that she was clothed in the supernal Holy Malchut. She was assuredly enveloped in the Holy Spirit, SINCE MALCHUT IS CONSIDERED THE HOLY SPIRIT.
(B) What is the reason that she merited this stature, MEANING MALCHUT? It is because she guarded her lips so as not to reveal anything. This is what is written: "Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people" (Ester 2:20). We were taught that whoever guards his lips and tongue is worthy of clothing himself with the Holy Spirit. And anybody who curves his lips to speak evil will be harmed by that matter of which he speaks, MEANING THAT IF HE SPEAKS THE EVIL TONGUE, LIKE THE PRIMORDIAL SNAKE, THEN THAT SNAKE DOMINATES HIM. AND THAT IS WHY WHEN YISRAEL SPOKE AGAINST ELOHIM AND MOSES, HE SET SNAKES AND VIPERS UPON THEM. If he does not, he is afflicted by diseases or leprosy, which is burning like a snake, as we have already explained.
71. "And the people spoke out against Elohim, and against Moses." They said slanderous things about the Holy One, blessed be He, according to the ARAMAIC translation of "MURMUR," and they quarreled with Moses. "Why have you brought us up?" (Bemidbar 21:5). They treated all aspects equally, BECAUSE THEY EQUATED ELOHIM TO MOSES, AND SAID TO THEM: "WHY HAVE YOU BROUGHT US UP?" This is why snakes that burned them like fire were sent upon them. The fire entered their internals and they dropped dead, as it is written: "and Hashem sent venomous serpents among the people" (Ibid. 6).
72. Rabbi Chiya said: Snakes would approach and their lips would whisper, and they would bite and die. What is whispering? It is as it says, "if the serpent bites and cannot be charmed (also: 'without a whisper')" (Kohelet 10:11). A fire would glow from their mouths, and they would bite and inject the fire into them. Their internal organs were burned and they died, and these items were defined somewhere else.