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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 8



Verses 1-17

Esther 8. The King Decrees that the Jews may Defend Themselves.—We come now to one of the most important parts of the tale. Esther has seen Haman pass out to death—not, be it noted, at her request. Now, what does she seek further? Many have accused her of cruelty, her and her race. Not so the reality. She implores that the bloody decree be annulled (Esther 8:5), and thus, had she been heard, no blood at all would have been shed. But the Gentile mind is not of this kindly sort. Oh no. The king likes to see blood: he is a sportsman. "No, no, Esther," the king answers, "blood must flow. Ye Jews, defend yourselves. Fight!" So they are forced to take arms, directly against their own mind. LXX gives a supposed form of the new royal order, fanciful, perhaps, but based on fact. Away out the fast posts speed, to order this anti-massaore (Esther 8:10 ff.). One point in the LXX's decree is of much interest: Haman is called a Macedonian (see above), and understood to be a representative of the cruel dynasty, of Macedonian descent, with its Alexander the Great, Antiochus, and Nicanor. Now all Shushan is glad because Mordecai is made Vizier in place of Haman (Esther 8:15 ff.), and this pictures the joy in Palestine when Judas Maccabæus became ruler. Moreover, in view of the coming conflict, many Persians get themselves "circumcised" (Esther 8:17): this surely means a direct reference to the action of Antiochus in condemning to heavy penalties any person who bore the circumcision-marks (1 Maccabees 1:48; 1 Maccabees 1:60 f.).


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Esther 8:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.

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Thursday, May 28th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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