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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 3



Verses 1-15

Haman's Revengeful Design Against the Jews

1. The Agagite] It has been suggested that the name is an epithet meant to recall the Amalekite Agag hewn in pieces by Samuel (1 Samuel 15:33), and intended to indicate contempt and abhorrence.

2. Mordecai bowed not, etc.] In the apocryphal 'Rest of Esther' Mordecai explains in a prayer to the Almighty that he refused to bow down to Haman, 'that he might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of God.' Amongst many heathen peoples divine honours were paid to human beings.

7. Nisan] i.e. March-April. The twelfth year of Xerxes would be 474 b.c. They cast Pur, etc.] i.e. early in the first month they cast lots for every day of the year to find out which day would be the most favourable for the success of Haman's design. In the Assyrian calendars there are lucky and unlucky days; and the Persians doubtless entertained a like belief. To the twelfth month] The Heb. is probably defective, and the LXX gives a completer sense by adding, 'and the lot fell on the fourteenth '(an error for the 'thirteenth,' Esther 3:13) 'day of the month, which is Adar.' Adar corresponded to February-March.

9. Ten thousand talents] The Persian talent weighed 66 lb. That have the charge of the business] i.e. those whose business it is to receive money paid into the king's treasury.

10. Took his ring] For the significance of this see Esther 8:8.

11. The silver] The money which Haman had pledged himself to pay into the treasury the king confers upon him for his services in pointing out a serious danger to the kingdom (Esther 3:8).

12. The thirteenth day of the first month] Eleven months were thus to elapse between the issue of the decree and its execution.

Lieutenants] lit. 'satraps,' of whom, according to Herodotus, there were twenty.

13. Posts] Horsemen (cp. Esther 8:10) were posted at regular intervals of a day's journey along the main roads to transmit in succession the messages they received until they reached their destination.

15. Was perplexed] i.e. at the magnitude and arbitrary character of the contemplated massacre.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Esther 3:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

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Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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