Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Esther 8:8

Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's signet ring may not be revoked."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Babylon;   King;   Persia;   Ring;   Seal;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adorning;   Ornaments;   Rings;   Seal;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Rings;   Seals;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Decrees;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Esther;   Persia;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Esther;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Governor;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Seal, Signet;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Like;   Ring;   Seal;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for June 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

May no man reverse - Whatever had passed the royal signet could never be revoked; no succeeding edict could destroy or repeal a preceding one: but one of a similar nature to the Jews against the Persians, as that to the Persians was against the Jews, might be enacted, and thus the Jews be enabled legitimately to defend themselves; and, consequently, placed on an equal footing with their enemies.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/esther-8.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Write … as it liketh you … - (See the Esther 1:19 note. Practically, Ahasuerus reversed the “device” of Haman).

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/esther-8.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Write ye also for the Jews as it liketh you,.... Whatever may be thought fit and proper for their safety and security:

in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; as the former letters were:

for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse; which is a reason both for the writing and sealing of the present letters in this manner, and why the former could not be reversed; nor does it appear that they were, but that, in virtue of them, the people had power to rise and kill the Jews on the day appointed, if they dared, or were so disposed; and these empowered the Jews to rise in their own defence, and kill all that made any attempts upon them, for which they had the royal authority; and these letters coming after the other, though they did not formally reverse them, which might not be done, yet rendered them ineffectual.

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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 8:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/esther-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal [it] with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may e no man reverse.

(e) This was the law of the Medes and Persians, as in (Daniel 6:15) nonetheless the king revoked the former decree granted to Haman for Esther's sake.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/esther-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Write … in the king‘s name, and seal it with the king‘s ring — Hence it is evident that the royal ring had a seal in it, which, being affixed to any document, authenticated it with the stamp of royal authority.

which … may no man reverse — This is added as the reason why he could not comply with the queen‘s request for a direct reversal or recall of Haman‘s letters; namely, that the laws of the Medes and Persians, once passed, were irrevocable.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/esther-8.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Reverse — For this reason he could not recall the former letters, because they were irrevocable by the law of the Medes and Persians. How much more prudent is our constitution, that no law whatever can be established as to be unrepealable? It is God's prerogative, not to repent, and to say what can never be altered.

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 8:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/esther-8.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Esther 8:8 Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal [it] with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.

Ver. 8. Write ye also for the Jews] Here was one syngram, or authoritative writing, crossing another. What could the people think of this, but that crowns have their cares, and it were a wonder if great persons, in the multitude of their distractions, should not let fall some incongruities. We must not think, saith Lavater here, if princes or states command things different from one another, that it proceedeth from lightness of mind; but that they make laws and set forth edicts according to the state and necessity of the times, and as the public good requireth. In the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign here (when men’s minds differed concerning religion, and reformation could not safely be wrought at once) it was by one and the same proclamation commanded, that no man should speak irreverently of the sacrament of the altar, and both kinds were permitted in the administration. Religion was changed without commotion by degrees; after that the Romish superstition had stood a whole month and more, after the death of Queen Mary, as afore. The sacrifice of the mass was not abolished till half a year later; nor images cast out of churches till two months after that. Here, then, let St James’s counsel take place. "Be swift to hear, slow to speak"; to speak evil of governors when they answer not our expectations, but seem to command contradictories. There are certain Arcana imperil, secrets of state, that most men understand not; and must therefore dedicate them to victory, as the Romans did that lake the depth whereof they could not fathom nor find out. Besides, we must know that there will be faults so long as there be men, and faults will slip between the best men’s fingers; as Bishop Jewel was wont to say. And as we endure with patience a barren year if it happen, and unseasonable weather; so must we tolerate the imperfections of rulers, and quietly expect either reformation or alteration.

As it liketh you] Having been so lately deceived in Haman, and by him miscarried to the ratifying of that bloody edict, he will no more trust his own judgment, but refers the managing of the Jews’ deliverance (which now he greatly desired) to their prudence, discretion, and faithfulness. Few kings would have yielded to have retracted, lest they should thereby seem light and inconstant, and confess themselves to have been in an error. Hence, right or wrong, their laws must stand; and if any demand a reason, Sic volo, sic iubeo, So I wish, so I order, must stop his mouth; and Quod ego volo pro Canone sit, Let my will be your reason and rule, as Constantius said to the orthodox bishops, refusing to communicate with the Arians. But God, who tameth the fiercest creatures, had, for his poor people’s sake, brought Ahasuerus to a better bent; so that rather than contract the stain and sting of such barbarous cruelty, he will run the hazard of being accounted inconstant; and not care though a Retraxit Retraction be entered against him; as is usually against the plaintiff when he cometh into the court where his plea is, and saith he will not proceed.

In the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring] He was well persuaded of their fidelity, piety, and prudence. Otherwise it had been too great a weakness in this prince (who had been so lately abused by Haman) to have trusted his whole power in the hands of strangers. But natural conscience cannot but stoop to the image of God, wheresoever it meeteth therewith, and have high thoughts of such, as Pharaoh had of Joseph, Nebuchadnezzar of those three worthies, Darius of Daniel, &c. Surely, when men see in the saints that which is above ordinary, or beyond their expectations, they are afraid of the name of God which is called upon by them, Deuteronomy 28:10, and will intrust them more than any other whatsoever. It is a problem in Aristotle, why man is credited more than other creatures? The answer is, οτι θεους νομιζει μονον, because he alone reverenceth God, therefore you may trust him: honesty floweth from piety.

For the writing which is written in the king’s name, &c.] Therefore you must not take it amiss that I reverse not Haman’s letters; for I also am under a law (whatever my predecessor Cambyses held to the contrary), neither need you doubt but that what you write in my name and sign with my seal will be authentic, and pass for a current countermand, fear it not.

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

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For the Jews; on their behalf, to the governors and commanders of the king’s forces, or to whom you please.

Seal it with the king’s ring; I offer you my authority and seal to confirm whatsoever you shall think fit to write.

For the writing which is written in the king’ s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse: this reason may belong either,

1. To the writing of these present letters; and so the sense is, These letters will be most effectual, being no less irrevocable than the former, and coming last will repeal the former. Or,

2. To the former letters, as a reason why he could not grant their desires in recalling them, because they were irrevocable by the law of the Medes and Persians. And this sense, though rejected by many, seems to be the truest, because here is no mention of reversing Haman’s letters, which Esther had desired, Esther 8:5, and the king denied for the reason here alleged; and because the following letter doth not contain one word about the reversing of the former, nor doth it take away that power which was given to all rulers to destroy all the Jews, Esther 3:12,13, but only gives the Jews power and authority to stand up in their own defence, Esther 8:11, which, all circumstances considered, was sufficient for their preservation.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Esther 8:8". 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

8.Write ye’ as it liketh you — He commits to them the task of devising some counter measure that will protect their people, and excuses himself from further action on the ground of the immutability of Persian law. No edict, however hasty and foolish, can be recalled, but there may be a most fearful conflict of laws. See note on Esther 1:19.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "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 8:8. Write ye also for the Jews — On their behalf, to the governors and commanders of the king’s forces, or to whom you please. In the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring — I offer you my authority and seal, to confirm whatsoever you shall think fit to write. The writing which is written in the king’s name, &c., may no man reverse — This reason may belong, either, 1st, To the writing of these present letters; and then the sense is, These letters will be most effectual, being no less irrevocable than the former, and, coming last, will repeal the former. Or, 2d, To the former letters, as a reason why he could not grant their desires in recalling them, because they were irrevocable by the laws of the Medes and Persians. And this sense, though rejected by many, seems to be the truest, because here is no mention of reversing Haman’s letters, which Esther had desired, Esther 8:5, and the king denied, for the reason here alleged; and because the following letter doth not contain one word about the reversing of the former, nor doth it take away that power which was given to all rulers to destroy all the Jews, Esther 3:12-13; but only gives the Jews power and authority to stand up in their own defence, Esther 8:11, which, all circumstances considered, was sufficient for their preservation. How much more prudent is our constitution than that of the Persians, that no law whatever can be so established as to be unrepealable. It is God’s prerogative not to repent, and to say what can never be altered.

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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

This. Hebrew, "no one may reverse the letter," &c.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/esther-8.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

liketh = pleaseth. Compare Esther 3:11.

may no man reverse. But Compare Esther 3:12, and see App-23.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "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

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Write ... in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring. Hence, it is evident that the royal ring had a seal in it which, being affixed to any document, authenticated it with the stamp of royal authority.

Which ... may no man reverse. This is added as the reason why he could not comply with the queen's request for a direct reversal or recall of Haman's letters-namely, that the laws of the Medes and Persians, once passed, were irrevocable.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/esther-8.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Write ye. . . .—Esther’s device is seen through, and the king shrinks from taking so decisive a step as the revocation of a decree once issued. Such a writing “may no man reverse.” Still he will do what he can. It may be possible to meet the difficulty, and save the Jews, without actual reversal of the decree. The king then refers to the proofs of his goodwill, as shown by hanging Haman for his scheme against the Jews, and giving his property to Esther, and bids Esther and Mordecai “write concerning the Jews according to what seems good in your eyes.” Give, that is, any orders you please about them, short of repealing the former order. The result of this permission, whether the idea was suggested by the king, or occurred to Esther or Mordecai, was that authority was given to the Jews to defend themselves.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Esther 8:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/esther-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
in the king's name
3:12; 1 Kings 21:8
may no man reverse
No, not the king himself; and this was the reason that the king was forced not to reverse, but to give a contradictory decree; that if the Jews, pursuant to the first decree, were assaulted, they might legitimately, by virtue of the second, defend themselves, slay their enemies, and even take the spoil.
5; 1:19; Daniel 6:8,12-15; 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 6:17,18
Reciprocal: Genesis 41:42 - his ring;  2 Chronicles 30:5 - established;  Esther 3:10 - took;  Daniel 6:15 - Know;  Colossians 2:14 - the handwriting

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