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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Esther 6

 

 

Verse 1

On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

The king ... commanded to bring the book of records of the Chronicles. In Eastern courts there are scribes or officers whose duty it is to keep a journal of every occurrence worthy of notice. A book of this kind, abounding with anecdotes, is full of interest; and it has been a custom with Eastern kings, in all ages, frequently to cause the annals of the kingdom to be read to them. It is resorted to, not merely as a pastime to wile away the tedium of an hour, but a source of instruction to the monarch, by reviewing the important incidents of his own life, as well as those of his ancestors. There was, therefore, nothing uncommon in this Persian monarch calling for the court journal. But, in his being unable to sleep at that particular juncture, in his ordering the book then to be read to him, and in his attention having been specially directed to the important, and as yet unrewarded, services of Mordecai, the immediate interposition of Providence is distinctly visible.


Verse 2

And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 3

And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

The king's servants that ministered unto him. In some places of the East, particularly Persia and Hindustan, watchmen are included among the officers who compose the household establishment of the grandees, and one of them (the number being generally four, corresponding to the watches of the night) is stationed near the bed of his master to guard it, and be ready, whenever he requires it, to tell him how far the night is advanced. Such officers, we are told by Josephus ('Antiquities,' b. 11:, ch. 6:, sec. 10), were in the court of Abasuerus. For on that night on which the king could not sleep, and on which he called for the records of his kingdom, there was read over to him the conspiracy which Mordecai had discovered; the Jewish historian adds, 'the king bade the scribe who was reading stop, and having inquired of those who were appointed for the purpose, "what hour of the night it was," and having been informed it was already day, he ordered that, if they found any of his friends were already come, and standing before the court, they should tell him, that he might instantly bestow some reward upon Mordecai.'


Verse 4

And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

Now Haman was come into the outward court. This was early in the morning. It is the invariable custom for kings in Eastern countries to transact business before the sun is hot, often in the open air; and so Haman was in all probability come officially to attend on his master.


Verse 5

And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 6

So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?

What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? In bestowing tokens of their favour, the kings of Persia do not at once, and as it were by their own will, determine the kind of honour that shall be awarded; but they turn to the courtier standing next in rank to themselves, and ask him what shall be done to the individual who has rendered the service specified; and according to the answer received, the royal mandate is issued.


Verse 7

And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 8

Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

The royal apparel ... which the king useth to wear - made of purple interwoven with gold (Xenophon, 'Cyropaedia,' b. 8:, ch. 3, sec. 13; Quintus Curtius, b. 3:, ch. 3:, p. 27; Justin, 12: 3). A coat which has been on the back of a king or prince is reckoned a most honourable gift, and is given with great ceremony.

The horse that the king rideth upon. Persia was a country of horses, and the high-bred charger the king rode upon, usually brought from Armenia, remarkable for beauty and symmetry (Herodotus, b. 7:, 40; cf. also b. 3:, 106; b. 4:, 189), acquired, in the eyes of his venal subjects, a sort of sacredness from that circumstance.

And the crown royal which is set upon his head - either the royal turban, or, it may be, a tiara, with which, in state recessions, the horse's head was adorned. In the Roman triumphal processions, horses were also crowned.


Verse 9

And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

Delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princess ... array the man. On grand and public occasions, the royal steed is led by the highest subject through the principal streets of the city; a ceremony which may occupy several hours.


Verse 10

Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 11

Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

Then took Haman ... This sudden reverse, however painful to Human as an individual, is particularly characteristic of the Persian manners.


Verse 12-13

And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 14

And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

Came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet. Besides the invitation given to an entertainment. a message is always sent to the guests, immediately at the day and hour appointed, to announce that all things are ready.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Esther 6:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/esther-6.html. 1871-8.

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