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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 4

 

 

Verses 1-17

Esther 4. The Dismay of the Jews. Mordecai Overcomes Esther's Reluctance to Intercede with the King.—And now the gloom spreads. At this point, the LXX has a pathetic message from Mordecai to his niece, the queen. Surely the original had a passage of this kind: here the Heb. scribes have probably excised something that was very fitting because it spoke of Yahweh's omnipotence and His certain care for Israel. Such a passage would be true to Israelitish character, as we know it, from the time of Amos down to Jesus. The omission is unnatural, and is therefore the work of an editing hand. Mordecai cries, "O Esther, pray thou too to Yahweh for help, and plead with thy husband to save us." Mordecai says that Providence has set her in the queenly place to the end that she may now do nobly and stay the disaster; therefore she must undertake the sacred, though dangerous, task. It is probable, from the description of Persian courts as given by Herodotus, that the story exaggerates the danger of approach to the monarch; and so we may conclude that the writer lived long after the Persian empire had passed away, and no one was surprised that the real conditions of things were thus incorrectly described.

Esther replies that she will venture all (Esther 4:15 f.). And now the prayers of intercession offered are given in LXX, and very naturally so; whereas Heb. cuts out all this. Mordecai's prayer is full of faith that his fathers' God, Yahweh, is Lord of all. So He can save. Esther cries, "O Yahweh, do not let Gentile deities dethrone Thee." In this she is, no doubt, making a pointed allusion to Antiochus, who set up an image of Zeus in the holy place (p. 607).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Esther 4:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/esther-4.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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