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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
Esther 6



Verses 1-3

Ahasuerus" insomnia6:1-3

The reading of the equivalent of the Congressional Record would have put the king to sleep under normal circumstances, as it probably had done on many previous occasions (cf. Malachi 3:16).

"Here is a remarkable instance of the veiled providential control of God over circumstances of human history. Upon the king"s insomnia, humanly speaking, were hinged the survival of the chosen nation, the fulfillment of prophecy, the coming of the Redeemer, and therefore the whole work of redemption. Yet the outcome was never in doubt; for God was in control, making the most trivial of events work together for Haman"s defeat and Israel"s preservation." [Note: The New Scofield Reference Bible, p566.]

Normally, this king quickly rewarded people who did him special services. Herodotus gave two examples of Xerxes doing this. [Note: Herodotus, 8:85,9:107.] Consequently, when he discovered that he had overlooked Mordecai"s favor, the king moved speedily to rectify the oversight.

Verses 1-14

2. Mordecai"s exaltation ch6

Mordecai"s exaltation was a secondary event that prepared for the utter destruction of Haman. There are at least five indications of God"s providence in the first five verses of this chapter: the king"s insomnia ( Esther 6:1 a), his choice of entertainment ( Esther 6:1 b), the servant"s choice of books ( Esther 6:1 c), the king"s delay in rewarding Mordecai ( Esther 6:2-3), and the timely arrival of Haman ( Esther 6:4-5). [Note: Wiersbe, pp733-35.]

Verses 4-10

Haman"s recommendation6:4-10

"Here the early bird is gotten by the worm." [Note: Moore, Esther , p64.]

Haman"s pride preceded his fall ( Esther 6:6; cf. Proverbs 16:18). He wanted, as much as possible, to appear like the king himself, in the honors he recommended for the person he thought would be himself ( Esther 6:8; cf. Genesis 41:39-45; 1 Samuel 18:4; 1 Kings 1:33). The crown was on the head of the horse, not its rider ( Esther 6:8; cf. Esther 6:9).

It was evidently "a special arrangement of the horse"s hair to form a topknot between the ears." [Note: Baldwin, p90. ]

Baldwin based this opinion on sculptured reliefs that archaeologists have discovered on a stairway at Persepolis. The king knew by now that Mordecai was a Jew ( Esther 6:10). However, the writer did not say Ahasuerus understood that Haman had aimed his pogrom against the Jews-until Esther revealed that fact ( Esther 7:4). Of course he may have known it already. It seems incredible that Ahasuerus would issue such a decree without finding out whom it would eliminate. Perhaps he planned to make Mordecai an exception and spare his life.

Verses 11-14

Haman"s humiliation6:11-14

Haman covered his head ( Esther 6:12; cf. Esther 4:1-2) as a sign of his grief (cf. 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:4; Jeremiah 14:3-4; Ezekiel 24:17). His friends evidently realized that unseen forces were maintaining the blessing that they had observed following the Jews (cf. Numbers 23:9; Numbers 23:21; Numbers 23:23; Numbers 24:9; Numbers 24:17; Numbers 24:19; Joshua 2:9-13). They saw in Haman"s humiliation before Mordecai, the powerful honored Jew, an omen of even worse defeat to come. The tide had turned.

Esther 6:14 means that Haman hastened to go to the banquet. He did not want to be late. It does not mean that he was reluctant to go and that the eunuchs needed to hurry him along. He evidently looked forward to the banquet as an opportunity to lift his spirits, little realizing that it would be the scene of his exposure and condemnation.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Esther 6:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, September 29th, 2020
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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