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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Esther 10

Verse 1

MORDECAI’S GREATNESS. Esther 10:1-3.

1. Ahasuerus laid a tribute This verse seems at first to have no special relevancy to the subject of this book. But as this additional chapter is evidently designed to point out the power and greatness of Mordecai, the writer introduces the subject by the mention of a fact which showed the vast resources of the monarch whose prime minister Mordecai was. When and for what special purpose the king levied the tribute here referred to we are not told. It seems to have been done after Mordecai became his prime minister, that is, after the twelfth year of his reign, and many have thought that it was designed to replenish his exhausted treasury after his disastrous expedition against Greece. But a general tax for that purpose would have been taken before the twelfth year of his reign, and the king’s language in Esther 3:11, does not indicate a want of money. It is better, therefore, probably, to take the verb laid ( וישׂם ) as designating customary or habitual action the king was accustomed to lay tribute, etc.

Isles of the sea It has been objected that Xerxes had no control of the islands of the Mediterranean after his war with Greece. This, however, is far from certain, for while many Greek islands revolted, Cyprus, Aradus, and the Isle of Tyre, and probably others, still remained in allegiance to the great king. But even had all his isles revolted, it would have been no strange thing for such a ruler as Xerxes to call for tribute where he had no power to collect it.

Verse 2

2. Declaration of the greatness of Mordecai A distinct statement of the power and authority to which Mordecai had been advanced by the king. The Hebrew word rendered declaration occurs elsewhere only at Esther 4:7, where it is rendered sum. See note there. An accurate record of Mordecai’s elevation to power was made in the same book that contained the record of all the acts of the power and might of Ahasuerus, and this fact was no small tribute to the honour and glory of Mordecai. This book of records is here called the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, and was, probably, identical with that mentioned in Esther 2:23; Esther 6:1; Esther 9:32. Mordecai’s acts were chronicled with those of the kings of the Medo-Persian empire. Elsewhere in this book, where Media and Persia are mentioned, (Esther 1:3) Persia is always, mentioned first; but here the order is reversed, because mention is made of records in which the Median chronicles preceded those of Persia. Compare note on Esther 1:3.

Verse 3

3. For Introducing the reason why the acts of Mordecai and Ahasuerus were recorded in the same book.

Next unto king Ahasuerus His grand vizier, or prime minister. Comp. Esther 8:2; Esther 8:9; Esther 8:15; Esther 9:3-4.

Great among the Jews Greatly distinguished and honoured by them.

Accepted of the multitude Or, acceptable to the multitude. The great mass of his kindred were pleased with his acts and his honours.

Seeking the wealth of his people Literally, seeking the good of his people; that is, seeking in all practicable ways to promote their happiness and prosperity.

Speaking peace to all his seed That is, saluting with most cordial salutation all those of his race and nation whom he met. Mordecai was no proud and puffed up courtier, who disdained to mingle with or recognise his own race and kindred. Though made the prime minister of Persia, he was still known as the Jew, and he hesitated not to use his high office and power to promote, in all proper and lawful ways, the interests of the people of God.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Esther 10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/whe/esther-10.html. 1874-1909.