Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Esther 8:16

For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Joy;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Light;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Esther;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Garments;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Light;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Circumcision;   Esther, Apocryphal Book of;   Habdalah;   Light;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for June 26;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the Jews had light,.... Prosperity, as opposed to the darkness of adversity in which they had been, see Isaiah 8:22, or lightsomeness and cheerfulness of spirit, as explained by the two next words:

and gladness and joy; at the good news of their deliverance, so unexpected by them; thus light is explained by gladness, Psalm 97:11

and honour: among men; from their neighbours, who before were held in contempt, as a people doomed to destruction.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/esther-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The Jews had light, and l gladness, and joy, and honour.

(l) He showed by the words that follow, what this light was.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/esther-8.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

Joy — This explains the former metaphor by two words expressing the same thing, to denote the greatness of the joy.

Honour — Instead of that contempt under which they had lain.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/esther-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Esther 8:16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

Ver. 16. The Jews had light and gladness] "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun," Ecclesiastes 11:7. Such as have been long shut up in a dark dungeon, as Joseph, will surely say so. These Jews had for two months and more lain buried alive, as it were, in heaviness and horror, they walked in the very vale of the shadow of death, the darkest side of death; death, in its most hideous and horrid representations, stared them in the face.

Luctus ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago (Virg.).

Their motto at the best was that of the city of Geneva out of Job, Post tenebras spero lucem, after darkness we have some faint hopes of life. But now it was otherwise with them. Light was risen to these righteous, and joy to these upright in heart. Iudaeis fuit lux et laetitia (or, as Tremellius rendereth it, illustris laetitia, famous gladness), gaudium et gloria, unspeakable joy and full of glory, as St Peter phraseth it, an exuberancy of spiritual joy and inward comfort, fitter to be believed than possible to be discoursed. For we may not think, that the joy and gladness here mentioned was no more than that of profane and carnal people, upon the receipt of some special mercy, or signal deliverance. They rejoice (harlot-like) in the gift, but not in the giver; they nibble upon the shell, but taste not of the kernel. The joy that these Jews had was the fruit of fasting and prayer, according to that of our Saviour, Ask, that your joy may he full; pray, that ye may joy. The fountain of it was the light of God’s loving countenance; it was φεγγος σωτηριον, as Josephus hath it here, a salvifical light. The matter of it was the happy change of their late lamentable condition; and this as a pledge of that light of life eternal, see Psalms 23:5-6, the end of it was a testification of their hearty thankfulness to God for his inconceivable loving kindness, a breaking forth into those or the like words of the psalmist, "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death," Psalms 68:19-20.

And gladness] Habitual joy, solid and substantial. Crede mihi, res severa est, gaudium verum. Believe me, saith Seneca, true joy is a severe and solid business, that few men are acquainted with. It is indeed the just man’s jewel, such as the stranger may not meddle with, Proverbs 14:13, he is flatly forbidden it, Hosea 9:1. The wicked man’s joy is of another alloy than that of the righteous. The light of a candle is fed with stinking tallow, but the light of the sun hath influence from heaven to feed it, and therefore is not so soon blown out. Like as together with manna there fell a dew, so together with temporal mercies and deliverances there is a secret influence of God to a spiritual heart, as there was to these good Jews, and thence their so well-rooted gladness. It was such as did not only wet the mouth, but warm the heart, smooth the brow, but fill the breast; it was more inward, as the windows of Solomon’s temple were wider within than without. Whereas, on the contrary, the wicked’s joy is but in the face only, and not in the heart, 2 Corinthians 5:12, it is but the hypocrisy of mirth, like a counterfeit complexion. It is but a cold armful, φυχρον παραγκυλισμα, as Lycophron said of an ill wife; or, as Lamech’s second wife’s name was Zillah, that is, the shadow of a wife, so is this the shadow of gladness, the substance is wanting.

And honour] Heb. weight, account, esteem. The poor Jews, formerly slighted, were now highly honoured; chari et rari, as Isaiah 43:4, bright and glorious, as the word signifieth, Job 31:26, precious and ponderous, so that their name was much set by, as 1 Samuel 18:30. This was the Lord’s own work, for it is he that gives credit, and fashioneth men’s opinions; he, besides wisdom, gave Solomon honour.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/esther-8.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Light is oft put for

gladness, as 2 Samuel 22:29 Job 18:5,6 Psa 27:1, because light is pleasant and disposeth a man to joy, whereas darkness inclines a man to sorrow.

Gladness and joy: this explains the former metaphor by two words expressing the same thing, to note the greatness of the joy.

Honour, instead of that contempt under which they had lain.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Esther 8:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/esther-8.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

16.The Jews had light — The light (אורה ) of hope and salvation broke in upon their dark prospects, filling them with gladness and joy, and securing them honour and respect from many of the heathen.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/esther-8.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Esther 8:16. The Jews had light — Light is often put for gladness, as 2 Samuel 22:29, and Job 18:5-6, because it is pleasant, and disposeth a man to joy. And gladness, and joy — Here the sacred writer explains the former metaphor, by two words signifying the same thing, to denote the greatness of the joy. And honour — Instead of that contempt under which they had lain.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/esther-8.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

light. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), for joy.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/esther-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. The literal added to the metaphorical expressions explain the meaning the images are intended to convey, and the redundancy of expression indicates the greatness of the prosperity and rejoicing.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/esther-8.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
Jews
4:1-3,16; Psalms 30:5-11
had light
That is, prosperity and hope. The dark cloud which had so long hung over them was dispelled; and again the sunshine of prosperity beamed upon them.
9:17; Psalms 18:28; 97:11; Proverbs 4:18,19; 11:10; Isaiah 30:29,30; 35:10
Reciprocal: Psalm 34:5 - and were;  Psalm 118:27 - showed;  Jeremiah 2:23 - thou art a swift;  Acts 9:31 - were multiplied

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Esther 8:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/esther-8.html.