|<< Esther 8 >>|
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.
8:1 The house - With all his goods and estate, which being justly forfeited to the king, he no less justly bestows it upon the queen, to compensate the danger to which Haman had exposed her. Came - Was by the queen's desire admitted into the king's presence, and family, and, as it seems, made one of the seven princes. Had told - How nearly he was related to her: which 'till this time she had wisely concealed.
2 And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
8:2 Ring - That ring which he had formerly given to Haman he now gives to Mordecai, and with it that power whereof this ring was a sign, making him, as Haman had been, the keeper of his signet. Set - As her steward, to manage that great estate for her as he thought fittest.
3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
8:3 To put - To repeal that cruel decree.
4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
5 And said, If it please the king, and if I have favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces:
8:5 If and c. - She uses various expressions, that she might confirm the king's favour, by such a full submission to his good pleasure. Haman - She prudently takes off the hatefulness of the action from the king, and lay's it upon Haman, who had for his own ends contrived the whole business, and circumvented the king in it.
6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
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.
8:8 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.
9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.
8:9 Then - Which was above two months after the former decree. All which time God suffered the Jews to lie under the error of this dreadful day, that they might be more throughly humbled for, and purged from those many and great sins under which they lay; that they might be convinced of their great sin and folly in the many offers they had had of returning to their native country, by which means being dispersed in the several parts of this vast dominion, they were like to be a very easy prey to their enemies, whereas their brethren in Judea were in a better capacity to preserve themselves: and for the greater illustration of God's glorious power, and wisdom, and goodness, in giving his people such an admirable and unexpected deliverance.
10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
8:10 Riders - Which were not employed in sending the former letter: but this coming later required more care and speed, that the Jews might be eased from their present fears, and have time to provide for their own defence.
11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
8:11 To stand - To fight for the defence of their lives against all that should seek to destroy them. The power - Either governors or governed, without any exception either of age, dignity, or sex, Both little ones and women - Which is here added, to strike the greater terror into their enemies; and according to the laws and customs of this kingdom; whereby children were punished for their parents offences: yet we read nothing in the execution of this decree of the slaughter of women or children, nor is it probable, they would kill their innocent children, who were so indulgent to their families, as not to meddle with the spoil.
12 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
13 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
8:15 Great crown - Which the chief of the Persian princes were permitted to wear but with sufficient distinction from the king's crown. The city - Not only Jews, but the greatest number of the citizens, who by the law of nature abhorred bloody counsels, and had a complacency in acts of mercy.
16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
8:16 Joy - This explains the former metaphor by two words expressing the same thing, to denote the greatness of the joy. Honour - Instead of that contempt under which they had lain.
17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.