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Thursday, May 30th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Esther 3

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-15

Esther 3:1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

Esther 3:1 “Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite” Comments - While Mordecai’s genealogy is intentionally traced back to King Saul, the son of Kish (1 Samuel 9:1), his adversary Haman will have his genealogy traced back to King Agag (Esther 3:1). This narrative material clearly has the effect of building tension within the story, as any ancient Jew quickly remembers the story of Samuel instructing King Saul to destroy all remaining Amalekites. In Saul’s disobedience, he spared the life of King Agag (see 1 Samuel 15:1-35).

1 Samuel 9:1, “Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.”

Esther 3:1, “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.”

The Easton says Haman is called an Agaite because he was probably a descendent of a royal family of the Amalekites. Smith believes that Agag was a common name of the Amalekite kings (1 Samuel 15:8). This would help explain why Haman had such hatred towards the Jews.

1 Samuel 15:8, “And he took Agag the king of the Amalekit es alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.”

Amalek was the grandson of Esau.

Genesis 36:12, “And Timna was concubine to Eliphaz Esau's son; and she bare to Eliphaz Amalek : these were the sons of Adah Esau's wife.”

The Amalekites were the first hostile foes that Israel faced in the wilderness. Moses then chose Joshua to lead Israel in battle against them (Exodus 17:8-16). God later instructed Saul to destroy them through the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 15:1-35). Because Saul did not utterly destroy this anti-Semitic race of people as God commanded him, the Jews were almost again because of one of them during the time of Esther.

Esther 3:7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.

Esther 3:7 “they cast Pur, that is, the lot” Word Study on “Pur” - Strong says the Hebrew word “Pur” (H6332) means “lot.”

Comments - They cast lots for each day of the year and each month of the year until it was decided that the twelfth month was the correct time to destroy the Jews. They did this lot casting in one day, not daily until the twelfth month, because on the thirteenth day of the first month (Esther 3:12), the degree was signed.

Matthew Henry says, “ Haman inquires, according to his own superstitions, how to find a lucky day for the designed massacre!” [15]

[15] Matthew Henry, Esther, in Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v. 3.1 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc., 1993-2000), notes on Esther 3:7.

Esther 3:8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.

Esther 3:8 Comments - The same spirit that has tried to destroy Jewish people in Esther's time has manifested itself several times throughout history under men like Pharaoh, Islam, and Hitler.

Esther 3:9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.

Esther 3:9 “to bring it into the king's treasuries” - Comments - Haman intended on spoiling the Jews' possessions after their destruction as a means of obtains this money to bring into the king's treasuries (Esther 4:7).

Esther 4:7, “And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them .”

Brenton reads, “ If it seem good to the king, let him make a decree to destroy them: and I will remit into the king's treasury ten thousand talents of silver.” (Esther 3:9)

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Esther 3". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/esther-3.html. 2013.
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