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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Esther 6

 

 

Verses 1-14

Esther 6:1. That night could not the king sleep, the reveries of his mind being excited by guardian angels. See on Psalms 34:7. The LXX read, “But the Lord moved the king that night by dreams.”

REFLECTIONS.

A new scene of providence is here presented to our view, full of wonders, and full of grace. While Haman was plotting the destruction of Mordecai; while the carpenters were sweating to erect the stage and lofty gallows, God, with perfect ease and sure counsel, was bringing on Haman the death designed for the afflicted Jew. That night the king dropped sound asleep at his usual hour; but awoke in alarm from strange and impressive dreams. He feared to be alone; and wishing for amusement, required his scribes to read, that he might be edified while awake, or composed to sleep again by the harmonious cadence of a pleasant voice. And among all the literary productions which adorned the library of Shushan, no work was more engaging than the history of his own reign. The tragic subject of Bigthana’s treason opened. The historian, more solicitous to draw his characters, than serve poor Mordecai, had however succeeded in his subject. The king felt his heart addressed, and animated with gratitude to heaven, as though he had that moment escaped the poignard; he enquired what had been done for Mordecai. On learning the omission of his duty, he resolved to repair the fault by the greater favours. Learn hence how safe it is to shun all privy conspiracy and rebellion, to revere the person of the king: nor should we abate that loyalty though neglected and oppressed, for the wheels of providence, however miry for the present the path may be, will eventually roll the honest man into a pleasant road. Hence also we should learn to be calm and content when suffering from ingratitude and neglect. Trusting in God, let us make no loud and noisy complaints: he knows how to overrule the ingratitude of men for our greater advantage. The chief butler forgot Joseph, and the seven counsellors did the same with Mordecai. This was their sin and shame, as the butler acknowledged. And how admirable was the conduct of providence in prompting their recollection in a propitious moment. God can never forget: his eye and his hand are always over us for good. From the part which Haman acted in this extraordinary affair, we learn that when providence has favoured the ungrateful with success in their designs, it takes delight in mortifying their pride. This man having entered the palace at the usual hour, was consulted what should be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour; and vainly judging that favourite to be himself, he devised a feast for his ambition; and he was so charmed with the unexpected proposal, that he deferred his request for the hanging of Mordecai. What then must have been his astonishment when told, that not himself, but Mordecai was the favourite; and when he was required to lead his horse while he rode in triumph through the street! What must have been his feelings, what must have been his countenance, to hear the shouts of the populace, while the gallows he had erected was overlooking the city? Surely his heart died within him at their shouts, and at the responses of a guilty conscience. Just so shall all the great, and all the proud who do wickedly, see the righteous sitting on thrones, while they are thrown into the shade, and biting their chains with envy and despair.

We learn farther, that the terrors of a wicked man’s conscience, in all desperate cases, are ominous of the humiliations which await him from men, and of the divine judgments suspended over their souls. So the wise and domestic council of this wicked minister augured: “If Mordecai,” said they, “be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail; but shalt surely fall before him.” There is no power that can resist his God; for when the princes conspired against Daniel, they all perished in the attempt. At these terrific words fresh billows of desponding terrors went over his soul, and he seemed already descending into hell under the frowns of an offended God. Hence, there is no peace to the wicked, neither in reflection, nor in the bosom of their own families. Oh that they would return to God by repentance, before, like Haman, their day of visitation be past.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Esther 6:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/esther-6.html. 1835.

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