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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Esther 3

 

 

Introduction
1Haman, advanced by the king, and despised by Mordecai, seeks revenge upon all the Jews.
7He casts lots.
8He obtains by calumniation a decree of the king to put the Jews to death.

Verse 1
After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
A. M. 3551. B.C. 453. promote Haman
7:6; Psalms 12:8; Proverbs 29:2
Agagite
Numbers 24:7; 1 Samuel 15:8,33
above all the princes
1:14; Genesis 41:40,55; Ezra 7:14; Daniel 6:2

Verse 2
And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
the king's servants
Dr. Shaw, speaking of the cities in the East, says, "If we quit the streets, and enter into any of the principal houses, we shall first pass through a porch, or gate-way, with benches on each side, where the master of the family receives visits, and despatches business; few persons, not even the nearest relations, having admission any farther, except upon extraordinary occasions." These servants were probably officers who here waited the king's call; and it is likely that Mordecai was one of them.
2:19,21
bowed
Genesis 41:43; Philippians 2:10
bowed not
Yichrâ welo yishtachaweh, "bowed not down, nor prostrated himself," or worshipped him. Had this meant only civil reverence the king would not have needed to command it; nor would Mordecai have refused it; there was, therefore, some kind of divine honour intended, such as was paid to the Persian kings, and which even the Greeks refused, as express adoration.
1,5; Exodus 17:14,16; Deuteronomy 25:19; 1 Samuel 15:3; Psalms 15:4

Verse 3
Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
Why
2; Exodus 1:17; Matthew 15:2,3

Verse 4
Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
when they spake
Genesis 39:10
that they told
Daniel 3:8,9; 6:13
he had told
Ezra 1:3; Daniel 3:12,16-18,23-30; 6:20-28; Jonah 1:9

Verse 5
And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
that Mordecai
2; 5:9
full of wrath
1:12; Genesis 4:5,6; Job 5:2; Proverbs 12:16; 19:19; 21:24; 27:3,4; Daniel 3:19

Verse 6
And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
sought
Psalms 83:4; Revelation 12:12

Verse 7
In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.
the first month
Nehemiah 2:1
in the twelfth
1:3; 2:16
they cast Pur
9:24-26; Proverbs 16:33; Ezekiel 21:21,22; Matthew 27:35
Adar
9:1,5,17-19,21; Ezra 6:15

Verse 8
And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
scattered abroad
Leviticus 26:33; Deuteronomy 4:27; 30:3; 32:26; Nehemiah 1:8; Jeremiah 50:17; Ezekiel 6:8; 11:16; Zechariah 7:14; John 7:35; James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1
their laws
Ezra 4:12-15; Acts 16:20,21; 17:6,7; 24:5; 28:22
for the king's profit to
Heb. meet, or equal for the king to, etc.

Verse 9
If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
that they may be destroyed
Heb. to destroy them. and I will pay. Heb. and I will weigh.
Genesis 23:16; Here Haman is obliged to acknowledge that there would be a loss to the revenue, which he was willing to make up out of his own property. Ten thousand talents of silver, counted by the Babylonish talent, amount to 2,119,000£.; but reckoned by the Jewish talent, they amount to double that sum. In those days, silver and gold were more plentiful than at present; and we have many instances of individuals possessing almost incredible riches. Herodotus relates, that when Xerxes went into Greece, Pythius the Lydian had 2,000; talents of silver, and 4,000,000; of gold darics, which unitedly amount to nearly 5,500,000£. Plutarch tells us, that after Crassus had dedicated the tenth of all he had to Hercules, he entertained the Roman people at 10,000; tables, and distributed to every citizen as much corn as was sufficient for three months; and, after all these expenses, he had 7,100; Roman talents left, which amount to more than 1,500,000£. Lentulus the augur is said to have possessed no less than 3,333,333£. 6s. 8d. Apicius was worth more than 916,671£ 13s. 4d.; and, after having spent in his kitchen 833,333£ 6s. 8d. he considered the remainder too little for his support, and poisoned himself!
ten thousand
Matthew 18:24

Verse 10
And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
took
8:2,8; Genesis 41:42
enemy
or, oppressor.
7:6

Verse 11
And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.
to do
Psalms 73:7; Jeremiah 26:14; 40:4; Luke 23:25

Verse 12
Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.
Then were
8:9-17
scribes
or, secretaries. according.
1:22; 8:9; 9:27
in the name
1 Kings 21:8; Daniel 6:8,12,15
sealed
8:2,8,10

Verse 13
And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
by posts
8:10,14; 2 Chronicles 30:6; Job 9:25; Jeremiah 51:31; Romans 3:15
both young
1 Samuel 15:3; 22:19
in one day
8:12-14; James 2:13
the spoil
8:11; 9:10; Isaiah 10:6

Verse 14
The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.
The copy
8:13,14

Verse 15
The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
hastened
Proverbs 1:16; 4:16
sat down
Hosea 7:5; Amos 6:6; John 16:20; Revelation 11:10
the city
4:16; 8:15; Proverbs 29:2

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Esther 3:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/esther-3.html.

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