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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Esther 8

 

 

Verses 1-17

SECOND SECTION

The Deliverance of the Jews

Esther 8, 9

A.—ESTHER AND MORDECAI PROCURE PERMISSION FOR THEIR PEOPLE TO STAND ON THEIR OWN DEFENCE

Esther 8:1-17

I. Esther and Mordecai receive authority to order all things needful for the deliverance of the Jews. Esther 8:1-8

1ON that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman, the Jews’ enemy, unto Esther the queen: and Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her 2 And the king took [removed] off his ring [signet], which he had taken [caused to pass] from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman 3 And Esther spake yet again [added and spoke] before the king, and fell down at [before] his feet, and besought him with tears [wept and supplicated to him] to put away [cause to pass] the mischief [evil] of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews 4 Then [And] the king held out the golden sceptre toward [to] Esther. So [And] Esther arose, and stood before the king, 5And said, If it please [be good upon] the king, and if I have found, favor in his sight [before him], and the thing [word] seem right before the king, and I be pleasing [good] in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters [books] devised by [of the devising of] Haman the son of Hammedatha [the Medatha] the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which[who] are in all the king’s provinces: 6For how can I endure to see [and (i.e., when) I see (i.e., look) on] the evil that shall come unto my people [my people shall find]? or [and] how can I endure to see [and (i.e., when) I see (i.e., look) on] the destruction 7 of my kindred? Then [And] the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen, and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows [tree], because [upon that] he laid [sent forth] his hand upon the Jews 8 Write ye also [And write ye] for [upon] the Jews, as it liketh you [is the good in your eyes], in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring [signet]: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring [signet], may no man [there is no one to] reverse.

II. Mordecai authorizes the Jews to make preparations for a common defence. Esther 8:9-14

9Then [And] were the king’s scribes called at that time in the third month, that Isaiah, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth [twenty] day thereof [in it]: and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants [satraps], and the deputies [pashas], and [the] rulers [princes] of the provinces which are from India [Hodu], [and] unto Ethiopia [Cush], a hundred [and] twenty and seven provinces, unto every province [province and (i.e., by) province], according to the writing thereof, and unto every people [people and (i.e., by) people] after [according to] their language [tongue], and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language [tongue]. 10And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus’ name, and sealed it with the king’s ring [signet]; and sent letters [books] by posts [the hand of the runners] on horseback [the horses], and riders on [of] mules [the steed], camels [the mules], and young dromedaries [sons of the 11 mares]: Wherein [Which] the king granted [gave to] the Jews which [who] were in every city [and (i.e., by) city] to gather [congregate] themselves together, and to stand for [upon] their life [soul], to destroy, to slay [smite], and to cause to perish, all [every] the power of the people and province that would assault them, both 12little ones and women, and to take [he gave] the spoil of them for a prey. Upon one day, in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth [thirteen] 13day of [to] the twelfth [twelve] month, which [that] is the month Adar. The copy of the writing, for a commandment [law] to be given in every province [and (i.e., by) province] was published [revealed] unto all people [the peoples], and that the Jews should [for the Jews to] be ready against [to] that day to avenge themselves on [from] their enemies 14 So the posts [runners] that rode upon [riders of] mules and camels [the steed] went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment [word]. And the decree [law] was given at [in] Shushan the palace [citadel].

III. Mordecai’s honor and the joy of the Jews. Esther 8:15-17

15And Mordecai went out from the presence of [before] the king in royal apparel of blue [violet] and white [linen], and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment [robe] of fine linen [byssus] and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced [shouted] and was glad 16 The Jews had [To the Jews was] light, and gladness, and joy, and honour 17 And in every province and in every city [and (i.e., by) city], whithersoever [which] the king’s commandment [word] and his decree [law] came [was approaching], the Jews had [was to the Jews] joy [gladness] and gladness [joy], a feast and a good day. And many of [from] the people [peoples] of the land became Jews [Judaized themselves]; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

It seems almost self-evident after what occurred in chap7 that now, next to Esther, Mordecai should also come to great distinction. Whether, however, they would be able fully to reverse the fate that threatened the Jews, remained uncertain in view of the difficulty of the situation. Even after Mordecai had taken his own protective measures, up to the very hour when success was assured, uncertainty continued. In chap8 it is to be shown first what authority he received and what measures of policy he adopted.

Esther 8:1-8. First, Mordecai’s authority. On the very day in which Haman fell the king presented the queen with his house. Justly enough the Targums understand by the term “house,” also the people in it, and the entire possessions belonging thereto. It was usual for Persian kings to possess themselves of the property of those who had been punished with death (Josephus, Antiq.XI:1, 3; 4, 6). Mordecai came before the king,i.e. he was made one of the officers who saw the face of the king (comp. Esther 1:10; Esther 1:4; Esther 7:9). He owed his position, not merely to his merit, as having himself been of service to the king, and now meriting the title benefactor of the king (Herod. VIII:85), but because of his relation to Esther ( Esther 2:7). Indeed the king took off his ring ( Esther 8:2, וַיָּפַר, as in Esther 3:10), his seal-ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai.הֶעֱבִיר מִן, as in Jonah 3:6; he made him prime minister ( Genesis 41:42; 1 Maccabees 6:15; comp. Esther 3:10).[FN1] In addition Esther placed him over the house of Haman, i.e. left to him the honorable and lucrative management of the large estate thus reverting to her, in fact made him her governor of the house. Both henceforth enjoyed a brilliant position; but they were not misled thereby into evil. The remarks with reference to the present prosperity of Esther and Mordecai are evidently made with regard to what followed. They did not take their ease at the expense of the needed care over their people; these were not forgotten. On the contrary they believed it incumbent upon them to do all in their power to make their people happy and prosperous. The mourning of Esther was still great; it did not cease until full deliverance came to them.

Esther 8:3. And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears.[FN2]—She thus caused him to understand distinctly that she was by no means satisfied with what had been done. In so far as Esther had implored him in a general manner to cause to be put away, to neutralize, to annul (הֶעֱבִיר) the mischief of Haman (which he expected to inflict upon the Jews), and his device that he had devised against the Jews (comp. Jeremiah 18:11; Ezekiel 38:10), the king showed his willingness to comply, and as in Esther 4:11; Esther 5:2, he again stretched forth the golden sceptre toward her, so that she could take courage to arise and stand before him. Still it was necessary to find out the ways and means how the thing should be begun.

Esther 8:5. Esther suggested: If it please the king (comp. Esther 1:19; Esther 5:4; Esther 5:8; Esther 7:3); and further on feeling the doubtful character of her proposition, she added: and the thing seem right, advisable to him. כָּשֵׁר = to succeed, to accomplish, and in this sense has reference to seed which has sprouted well ( Ecclesiastes 11:6, in the Hiphil, Ecclesiastes 10:10); it is a later word of which elsewhere we only find the noun בִּשְׁרוֹן ( Ecclesiastes 2:21; Ecclesiastes 4:4; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Let it be written, or commanded by an edict, as in Esther 3:9, to reverse the letters (לְהָשִׁיב, to cause to change from the state of being to non-existence) devised by Haman.—As is often the case, here the substance of a letter is indicated by an apposition, מַחֲשֶׁבֶת הָמָן (comp. Esther 3:8 sq. and 12 sqq.). But in order the more certainly to carry through this doubtful proposal, she adds in Esther 8:6 : For how can I endure to see evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?—With reference to the connection of אוּכַל וְרָאִיתִי, we may indicate that one of the verbs, instead of being in the Infin. (with לְ) is subordinate to the other as a finite verb (with וְ), comp. Ewald, § 285 c. Still לא אוּכַל itself means: “I cannot endure, it,” or “I will not be able to stand it” (comp. Isaiah 1:13), and the term וְאָרִיתִּי is equal to “when I shall have seen.” רָאָה with בְּ indicates to look upon some one with interest, be it that of pleasure, as is usual, or of pain or sorrow, as is the case here; comp. in this relation Genesis 12:1.

Esther 8:7-8. In order to indicate in advance that his good will abounds towards Esther and Mordecai, and that he would grant them all that the law would sanction in favor of the Jews, the king here reminds them of what he had so far done for Esther and Mordecai. Since, however, he could not directly annul his first decrees, but could simply make them powerless in effect, he commands them not to send new orders to the governors—in this manner a suspension or recall of the first edict could not be accomplished— but to send an edict to the Jews themselves, commanding them to prepare for their defence. The sentence: For the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse, may have the sense, and so it is generally held, that the simple recall of the first edicts was not possible.אֵין לְהָשִׁיב may indicate a reflection upon לְהָשִׁיב in Esther’s petition in Esther 8:5.[FN3] But since these words so nearly correspond to what precedes: “Let it be written in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring,” it is clearer and more natural to understand him to say: The new edict to the Jews will be just as authoritative and irreversible as was the former one to the governors. This must equally be obeyed with that. Of course the confirmation belongs still to the words of the king. The phraseology speaks only in an objective sense of the “king,” because it refers to a general rule. The infin. absol. Niph. וְנַחְתּוֹם is used instead of the perfect [by an ellipsis of the substantive verb].

Esther 8:9-14. These contain the measures of Mordecai.[FN4] In the same manner as did Haman ( Esther 3:12-15) on the 13 th of the first month, so Mordecai wrote to and “commanded the Jews and the rulers of the provinces,” on the 23 d of the third month, i. e. Sivan. This was fully two months later, although Haman’s fall must have occurred soon after the edict of extermination was published. No doubt Mordecai thought it expedient first to establish himself in his new position before taking such steps and proposing such measures. He wrote to the Jews, but so that the governors became acquainted with the nature of this order, and were obliged to forward it in their extensive provinces to every single Jewish community (comp. Esther 1:1).

The subject of וַיִּכְתֹּב in Esther 8:10 is the one transmitting or originating the writing, i. e. Mordecai. In order to speedily make known the edict so as to free the Jews from their anxiety, and avert the evil in time, he dispatched the messengers with the greatest speed. רָצִים, i.e. couriers, בַּסּוּסִים, i.e. on horses, by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, and young dromedaries.—רֶבֶשׁ, in distinction from סוּם, is the saddle-horse (dromedary), the race-horse ( 1 Kings 5:8), and is here used in a collective sense. אֲחֵשְׁתְּרָנִים ( Esther 8:10-14) are not “asses,” according to the modern Persian estar, which in the Sanscrit = acvatara, and hence may have been acpatara in old Persian; but they were princely, royal horses, hence belonging to the court, from kshatra, “royal,” king, according to Haug, in Ewald’s Bibl. Jahrb. V, p154. רַמָּךְ= the Syriac ramco, “herd,” particularly a herd of horses, with which we may also compare the word ramakat, “stud,” in the Arabic.

Esther 8:11. Mordecai wrote that the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life,i.e. to defend themselves (comp. Daniel 12:1), to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the power, which like an army would raise itself against them (חַיִל), of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.—This too was to take place on the day already designated in Esther 3:13, viz. the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. The reduplication of the expression “to destroy,” etc., refers to Esther 3:13. The same should be granted the Jews which, according to Haman’s edict, was allowed the heathen. The Jews were permitted to apply the jus talionis. The case then stood that the governors and other authorities were by no means obligated to assist in the preparation for the destruction of the Jews, nor yet to obstruct or hinder the resistance which the Jews would offer to their assailants, as might seem to be implied in the first edict. For then the second edict, which was equally authoritative, would have been little respected; but they could leave the case to the people, whether they would attack the Jews and risk a conflict, and they need not afterward punish such Jews as had slain their enemies. But still more. It was permitted the Jews to assemble and prepare and arm for their common defence in advance, so that they might act as one man against all the assaults and reverses, which in case of their standing disunited would surely have befallen them. לְהִקָּהֵל (to collect), placed in advance here, was especially important (comp. its prominence in Esther 9:2; Esther 9:15-16; Esther 9:18). Without this the Jews would not have possessed more than the simple right of self-defence, which, under any circumstances, they would have availed themselves of. Besides, even in the Persian empire the larger portion of the inhabitants seem to have possessed humanity enough to feel the disreputableness of an attack upon the Jews for the purpose of rapine, and they were little inclined to participate therein. On Esther 8:13 comp. Esther 3:14 b, and on Esther 8:14, Esther 3:15.

Esther 8:15-17. The effect of this new measure was to produce great and general joy, and to bring great honor to Mordecai. He went forth from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white (comp. Esther 1:6), and with a great crown of gold, 5] and with a garment of fine linen and purple 6] (תַּכְרִיךְἁπ. λεγ., in Aramaic תַּכְרִיכָא). He was thus adorned doubtless to show what honor had been shown him by the king, but more particularly to make it manifest how he had succeeded in the matter of the Jews, and at the same time to publish his joyous feelings thereat. Importance attaches here not to the royal garment, which had already been given him in Esther 6:8 sq, but to the State robes of the first minister at court, which, it appears, Mordecai had not put on at the time of his elevation ( Esther 8:1-2), but which he put on after his care for his people was removed. Then the city of Shushan, i.e., its inhabitants one and all, and not the Jews alone, of whom there is separate mention made in Esther 8:16, rejoiced (צהל is not exactly to cry aloud, comp. Isaiah 24:14) and was glad.—Hence they had deprecated the massacre awaiting the Jews, and perhaps apprehended with fear the great disorders and dangers that would ensue. But the Jews, Esther 8:16i.e., those living in Shushan—for the others are mentioned in Esther 8:17, had light and joy in contrast to the darkening of their future fate (אוֹרָה, found in the fem. in Psalm 39:12; in Isaiah 26:19, pl. אוֹרֹת), and gladness, and joy, and honor.

Esther 8:17. So also the joy spread to those without, who were so exceedingly distressed through Haman’s edict ( Esther 9:3). They indulged in feasts, and in a good, joyous day, i.e., a holiday (comp. Esther 9:19; Esther 9:22). But this was not all. Many of the people of the land became Jews (מִתְיַהֲדִים, derived from יְהוּדִי, and found only here), because the fear of the Jews, and doubtless also of the mighty and powerful God of the Jews, ruling over their destiny, and not so much the fear of Mordecai and Esther, had fallen upon them (comp. Exodus 15:16; Deuteronomy 11:25).[FN7]

DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL

On Esther 8:1 sqq1. If in the present case the danger that threatened the Jews had not been so imminent and the disposition of both Esther and Mordecai so patriotic, then they might possibly have become proud in view of the wealth and high life and station that they now enjoyed, or they might have grown indifferent or reserved with respect to the distress of their countrymen. It is too frequent an occurrence that upstarts fear to lose caste by paying regard to former relations. Hence they are quick to forget and neglect their previous friends. There is no question that the attainment of honor and wealth will bring a blessing only when these become an incentive to good works, especially in promoting God’s kingdom. There is connected with their enjoyment sufficient discontent, envy and misery, and also enough trouble and curses. In general, Christians who have come to power are more timid in taking care of their friends than worldly people are. Hence the latter can more safely count on the applause of the great mass of men. But the world will not thank the former for their timidity, and God will hold them to account.

Feuardent: “We are taught by Mordecai’s example that even pious men sometimes come to the head of affairs, and are safely entrusted with the reins of government; and that God adorns with this glory on earth those whom He will afterwards crown in heaven likewise. They are promoted, however, not so much for their own sake as that they may aid and promote the church and people of God, and may free and console those in affliction.”

Starke: “We should have sympathy for oppressed brethren in the faith ( 1 Peter 3:8; Colossians 3:12; Galatians 6:10). The innocence of the guiltless should be protected ( Sirach 4:9; 1 Samuel 20:32). He who has no pity for the pious and innocent when they are in danger is not worthy of the name of a Prayer of Manasseh, much less that of a Christian; for we are members of one body ( 1 Corinthians 12:12).”

2. Although Haman had been removed and Mordecai raised to his present station, yet the people still stood in jeopardy of their lives. Since the edict issued against them was irrevocable, their case was still critical. There were not many perhaps who deemed it possible that any means could be found to avert the threatened calamity. Mordecai himself may have long been in doubt regarding the way to be pursued out of the difficulty. And even after it suggested itself to him, it may have seemed improbable that it should lead to success. All depended on the question whether the assailants would not be too numerous for the Jews to overpower. This could not be previously ascertained. It may afford us light to know that he waited two months after his elevation before he issued the new edict. The period until then was one of dark foreboding to the Jews. But the pious Jews doubtless knew how to comfort themselves. “God often delays help, not because He will render none, but in order to exercise our faith, and to stimulate us the more to call upon Him. Then also the help granted will make the deliverance more sweet, and transform a great distress into a great joy” (Berl. Bible).

Mordecai, for his part, doubtless held fast to the thought that one must not despair of the salvation of God’s people, and that though the danger be ever so great, God is infinitely greater, and that it is man’s duty to do all in his power for himself. With respect to Esther, it was something extraordinary that she, although by descent nothing but a poor Jewess, should propose to the great king of the Persians, the mighty and proud Ahasuerus, that he would revoke in one way or another an edict whose irrevocable character as a Persian dogma was fixed. Really this was a demand to divest himself of that higher divine glory (δόξα) which the faith of the people had surrounded him with. It was to run the risk of unsettling the faith of the people in himself, and to expose himself to State disturbances. The difficulties surrounding him may even remind us of the problem that presented itself to Christ, when Hebrews, in the face of the sentence of condemnation upon the sinner on the part of justice, still made provision for grace. Esther might have feared that though her power over Ahasuerus had become great, still he might resent such boldness, and indignantly turn her away, refuse her request, and, if possible, become still more embittered against the Jews. Whatever considerations, however, may have arisen in her heart at the time, still she was doubtlessly incited by the predominant thought that the higher position one holds, the greater are the responsibilities connected therewith; that the more influence one wields, the greater must also be the courage to sustain it, so that one must not hesitate to strive after the highest aims and to tread the most difficult paths in the line of duty. But this correct view, this beautiful conviction, could not have been possible unless she had been first in possession of a pure love for her work. As is the case with men, so it was also with her, as a woman, that a true and correct conviction depended upon the state of her heart. If, in the following chapter, she manifests a sharp contrast with the heathen according to the Jewish Old Testament view, which threatened to cause her to err in the Christian view, and to bring vengeance and hate into play, yet, on the other hand, she reveals toward her people a love so strong, so self-sacrificing, and so bold, that it seems as if she had heard and apprehended the great question: “This I did for thee; what doest thou for me?” She here shows that mercy which is appropriate to him who recognizes how great the mercy was that met him.

3. It is a great and precious word which Esther utters in justification of her large and bold request: “How can I endure to see all the evil which will come upon my people, and how shall I bear to see the destruction of my friends?” She here openly expresses the fact that, though she is now greatly elevated, yet she is not able to sever the bond that unites her to her kindred. But, still more, she asserts that her life, though embellished with all the glory that Ahasuerus could bestow, has no value to her if she cannot also know that the lives of her kindred are safe from harm. All this was so well expressed by her that her word is very appropriate in pointing for our comfort to that Prince who in reality makes this sentiment His own—who, though in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but laid aside His glory, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. But it is also appropriate as an exhortation for us, which should impel us in our circumstances to more and more approach her in this duty. It would be little credit to us should we prefer only those who are alike spiritually-minded with ourselves, and should we neglect or ignore those who are related to us according to the body, and should we look upon the perdition of so many souls with indifference.

On Esther 8:7-14. The great excitement which now took place in Shushan, beginning among the scribes of the king and spreading through all the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the great Persian empire, from India to Ethiopia, by means of the couriers who rode the best and fleetest horses of the king’s stud, and which seized all satraps and governors, but particularly all Jewish communities, may, as a first effect, have provoked much inquiry respecting the meaning of the message, and then great astonishment at it. It Isaiah, however, hardly possible that any one already comprehended the significance of the event. What was visible was seemingly only a shell in which lay secreted a seed capable of infinite developments, a new universal law, or rather a new and glorious gospel which should henceforth rule over the world’s history and expand to ever increasing authority. The Jews were to have the right to arm themselves against the day of attack on the part of the heathen. This implied that though externally dependent, still among and in themselves they should have freedom and the right to observe their laws and religion. This again prophetically indicates that the kingdoms of the world, although outwardly powerful, should inwardly lay themselves more and more open to the power of the kingdom of God. The Jews should now be empowered to take their defence against their enemies into their own hands. Thus it was implied that, in spite of the restricted sphere to which they were consigned, they still had a right to self-exertion. This mode of action upon attack only left them in an externally insufficient position for successful defence. Yet even in this was contained the prophecy that the people of God are permitted, in an inward and higher sense, themselves to do the best for victory over their enemies, and this the more since the means of the world’s empires are here insufficient. Both the right to exist and to be active in the new sphere which they should enter, though as yet existing in embryo, was never sanctioned here. And if Judaism even today expects to find in the book of Esther that which will afford it joy, then we must go still further and apprehend its deeper and more glorious import for Christianity and the Christian church.

On Esther 8:15-17. Mordecai, after having attained all his requests, went out from the king clothed in royal garments, adorned with a large golden crown upon his head. And in all the land and cities, wherever the new law was promulgated, joy and rejoicing arose among the Jews. A great festival day had come for them. We do not know in how far their joy was pure. If it only arose because they could now make the necessary preparations to defend themselves from the attacks of their assailants, then no one will begrudge them their joy. It was certainly a time of deliverance for them. It is just such times as these that have made great impressions not only upon the Jews, but likewise upon the heathen surrounding them. As in the case of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt ( Exodus 12:38; Numbers 10:29), so also here many of the people of the land joined themselves to the Jews, indeed were converted to Judaism. Prophecies such as Isaiah 14:1; Isaiah 44:5 began to be in part realized. Periods of deliverance are chiefly periods of the extension of God’s kingdom. Would that we might realize this in our times of trouble! Since the time of sorrow must of necessity have an end and make way for a time of deliverance, we may very properly rejoice in prospect of the future growth in the church, however threatening the outlook may be. It is on this account that our Lord exhorts us to raise the head when all these things are in process of fulfilment.

The points most important in our chapter are given in brief terms closely following each other. There is God’s watchful and energetic care for His instruments for good. Esther and Mordecai are in advance established in their influential position, so that they may the more effectually execute His will. Then comes His care for His people, from whom He averts the threatening danger, and lastly the world is cared for.

Brenz: “What an example is here presented to us of the issue of the greatest dangers which may threaten God’s people or church. But what is said of the safety of the universal church, the same holds true of every private individual who is a member of the church. ‘I pray not for them alone,’ says Christ, ‘but for those who through their word shall believe in me.’ ”

Starke: “It is a small thing for God to turn the seasons of sorrow of the pious into hours of joy ( Psalm 30:12; John 16:20). God helps His people ( Luke 1:52) and causes them to rejoice over their enemies ( Psalm 92:12).”

Footnotes:

FN#1 - “A pleasure-seeking Persian king, like Xerxes, was glad to be relieved of the toil of governing, and willingly committed to one favorite after another the task of issuing and signing with the royal signet the decrees by which the government was administered. That the official entrusted with these high powers might be a eunuch, appears from Diodorus (XVI:50). Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#2 - From the statement of Esther 8:4 that the king again held out to her the golden sceptre, “we must understand that Esther had once more intruded on Ahasuerus unsummoned.” Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#3 - “The answer of Ahasuerus is a refusal, but one softened as much as possible. He first dwells on the proofs which he had just given of his friendly feeling towards the Jews ( Esther 8:7). He then suggests that something may be done to help them without revoking the decree ( Esther 8:8). Finally, he excuses himself by appealing to the well-known immutability of Persian law”. Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#4 - “ The suggestion of Ahasuerus quickened the inventive powers of Esther and Mordecai. The scribes were at once summoned, and a decree issued, not revoking the former one, but allowing the Jews to stand on their defence, and to kill all who attacked them. It has been pronounced incredible that any king would thus have sanctioned civil war in all the great cities of his empire; but some even of the more sceptical critics allow that Xerxes might not improbably have done so (De Wette, Einleitung, p198 a).” Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#5 - “Not a crown like the king’s (כֶּתֶר), but a mere golden band or coronet (עֲטָרָה).” Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#6 - “The tunic or minor robe of the king was of purple, striped with white (Xenoph. Cyrop. VIII:3, § l3; Plutarch, Alex. § 51; Q. Curt. III:5).” Rawlinson.—Tr.]

FN#7 - “Mordecai’s power might by itself hare caused some fear, but the chief alarm felt probably was lest the Jews, when the day came for revenging themselves, should account the large class of indifferent persons among their enemies. Persons of this class avoided the danger by becoming Jews.” Rawlinson.—Tr.]

 


Copyright Statement
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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Esther 8:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/esther-8.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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