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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

Esther 7

 

 

Verse 2

HAMAN CONVICTED AND HANGED, Esther 7:1-10.

2. The king said again — Compare Esther 5:6, note.


Verse 3

3. My life… my people — Esther has had time to carefully prepare her words, and her earnest language rises to the emotionality of poetic parallelisms. We may throw her address into the following form: —

If I have found favour in thine eyes,

O king, And if to the king it seem good,

Let my life be given me at my petition,

And my people at my request.

For we are sold

I and my people

To be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.

If, now, for slaves and for bondwomen we were sold I had been silent,

For the enemy is not to be compared with the injury of the king.


Verse 4

4. We are sold — Allusion to Haman’s offer to pay into the king”s treasury ten thousand talents. Esther 3:9.

Destroyed… slain… perish — She quotes the very words of the fearful edict, (Esther 3:13,) and thus gives a most telling point and emphasis to her plea.

Although the enemy — This sentence is obscure, and, perhaps, Esther meant that it should be ambiguous. The common version conveys the meaning that if the Jews were all sold into slavery, their enemy, who brought that woe upon them, could not, by any payment into the king’s treasury, recompense him for the loss he would sustain. But the Hebrew seems to make this last sentence give a reason for Esther’s keeping silence; namely, because ( כי ) she does not consider the enemy worthy of the trouble and injury it must cost the king to punish him, and counteract the decree of death that has gone forth against the Jews. The enemy to whom she contemptuously refers is, of course, Haman.

Countervail שׁוה, the Kal participal, meaning, to be equal with; to be compared with. נזק, damage, may be here taken in the sense of injurious trouble, annoyance, vexation.


Verse 5

5. Who is he — If the king now suspected, as probably he did, who the guilty person was, he would naturally, first, express his emotion and surprise as here represented. “He affects to doubt,” says Rawlinson, “that he may express his anger at the act apart from all personal considerations.”

Probably both Haman and the king now first learned, and were surprised to find, that Esther was a Jewess.

Who… is he that durst presume — Literally, as the margin, whose heart has filled him to do thus. The evil and ambitious man is filled with foul thoughts and purposes from the corrupt fountain of his own wicked heart. Comp. Matthew 15:19.


Verse 6

6. This… Haman — With flashing eye and impassioned gesture the queen now boldly exposes the man whom yesterday her heart failed her to expose.


Verse 7

7. The palace garden — The adjoining park, where the great feast was held nine years before. Esther 1:5.

Haman stood up — He rose from the banquet table, and besought Esther to shield him from the king’s fury. He knew that “the wrath of a king is as messengers of death.” Proverbs 16:14.


Verse 8

8. Haman was fallen upon the bed — In the wild emotion and alarm of the moment, he had thrown himself upon the couch or divan on which Esther reclined at the banquet, and was supplicating for his life.

Will he force the queen — The enraged monarch quickly construes the attitude of Haman into the worst possible offence.

As the word went — Not the words of the question just stated, but the word of judgment against Haman — the sentence to have him away at once to execution.

Covered Haman’s face — Muffled his head with a cloth or vail, preliminary to his execution. When the death warrant went out of the king’s mouth, all was virtually over with Haman. The attendant chamberlains hurry him away to the more public executioners.


Verse 9

9. Harbonah… said — This eunuch had been many years in Xerxes’ service. Comp. Esther 1:10.

Behold also the gallows — “We are not told that the king said, Who is in the court? and they answered, Mordecai is in the outer court; and he said, Let him come in: nor that the king said, What shall be done to the man who has dishonoured the king and sought the life of the queen? and Mordecai said, Let him be hanged on a gallows fifty cubits high. Nothing of this kind happened. Haman resented the conduct of Mordecai in refusing him the honours of which he was so covetous. But Mordecai never touched a hair of his head. It was not he, but one of those who had been most lavish of their adulations, and had fawned most servilely upon him, who moved his death, and pointed to the mode of its execution.” — M’Crie. In all the range of literature we find no more signal display of righteous retribution than in the death of Haman.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Esther 7:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/esther-7.html. 1874-1909.

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