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Esther desireth all the Jews to

CHAPTER IV.

fast and pray for her success.

B. C. 510.

A. M. 3494. tion unto him, and to make request 14 For if thou altogether holdest A. M. 3494. B, C. 510. before him for her people.

thy peace at this time, then shall there 9 And Hatach came and told Esther the enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews words of Mordecai.

from another place; but thou and thy father's 10 1 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth, gave him commandment unto Mordecai; whether thou art come to the kingdom for such

11 All the king's servants, and the people a time as this? of the king's provinces, do know, that whoso- 15 Then Esther bade them return Mordeever, whether man or woman, shall come unto cai this answer, the king into the inner court, who is not 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are called, there is one law of his to put him to present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and death, except such h to whom the king shall neither eat nor drink three days, night or hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live : | day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise: but I have not been called to come in unto the and so will I go in unto the king, which is king these thirty days.

not according to the law; kand if I perish, I 12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. | perish. 13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer 17 So Mordecai 6 went his way, and did Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt according to all that Esther had commanded escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. him.

Chap. v. 1.

-4 Heb.

-5 Dan. ii. 9. Chap. v. 2; viii. 4.

respiration, Job ix. 18.

5 Heb. found.-—-i Chapter v. 1.- Gen. xliii. 14.- Heb.

passed.

to charge her, &c.— Not only in his own name, to It is probable God hath raised thee to this honour for whom she had manifested singular respect, but also this very season. We should every one of us consider in the name of the great God.

for what end God has put us in the place where we Verse 11. Whosoever shall come into the inner are. And when an opportunity offers of serving God co:r1_Within which the king's residence and throne and our generation, we must take care not to let it slip. were; who is not calledThis was decreed to main- Verse 16. And fast ye for me - And pray, which tain both the majesty and the safety of the king's per- || was the main business, to which fasting was only a son; and by the contrivance of the greater officers help; and neither eat nor drink three days-Nameof state, that few or none might have access to the ly, in such a manner as you used to do. Abstain king but themselves and their friends. I have not from all set meals, and all pleasant food, and, as much been called, &c.—Which gives me just cause to fear as possible, from all food, for that space of time, in that the king's affections are alienated from me, and || token of humiliation for sin, and a sense of our unthat neither my person nor petition will be accept- | worthiness of God's mercies. I also and my maidable to him.

ens will fast likewise- They were, doubtless, either Verses 13, 14, Think not with thyself— Flatter not of the Jewish nation or proselytes, and pious perthyself with a vain hope, that because thou art in the sons, who, she knew, would sincerely join with her king's house, and an eminent member of his family, in these holy duties. And so will I go in unto the even the queen, that thou shalt be spared, or find || king—To intercede for my people. Which is not any greater privilege in his house than the Jews do | according to the law—Namely, the king's law, now abroad. Thou art a Jew, and if the rest be cut off mentioned, but it is according to God's law, and thou wilt not escape. For if thou holdest thy peace therefore whatever comes of it, I will venture, and at this time-If, through fear, thou decline the ser- | not count my lise dear to myself, so I may serve God vice; then shall deliverance arise to the Jews from and his church. And if I perish, I perish-Although another place-From another hand, and by other my danger be great and evident, considering the exmeans, which God can, and I am fully persuaded pressness of that law, the uncertainty of the king's will, raise up. This was the language of strong faith, mind, and that severity which he showed to my preagainst hope believing in hope; but thou and thy decessor Vashti; yet, rather than neglect my duty father's house shall be destroyed-By the righteous to God and to his people, I will go to the king, and judgment of God, punishing thy cowardice and self- || cast myself cheerfully and resolutely upon God's seeking, and thy want of love to God, and to his and providence for my safety and success. If I should thy own people; and who knoweth whether thou art be condemned to lose my life, I cannot lose it in a not come to the kingdom for such a time as this ?- || better cause. 2

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A. M. 3494.
B. C. 510.

CHAPTER V.
Esther, finding favour with the king, invites him and Haman to a banquet, 1–5. She invites them to a second, 6–8. Haman

makes a gallows for Mordecai, 9–14.
NOW it came to pass on the third | day unto the banquet that I have pre- 4. M. 3494.

day, that Esther put on her royal' pared for him.
apparel, and stood in bthe inner court of the 5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make
king's house, over against the king's house: and haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So
the king sat upon his royal throne in the the king and Haman came to the banquet that
royal house, over against the gate of the Esther bad prepared.
house.

69 And the king said unto Esther at the 2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther | banquet of wine, & What is thy petition ? and the queen standing in the court, that she ob- | it shall be granted thee: and what is thy retained favour in his sight: and the king held quest ? even to the half of the kingdom it shall out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his be performed. hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the 7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petop of the sceptre.

tition and my request is : 3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt 8 If I have found favour in the sight of the thou, Queen Esther ? and what is thy request ? king, and if it please the king to grant my pe• it shall be even given thee to the half of the tition, and to perform my request, let the king kingdom.

and Haman come to the banquet that I shall 4 And Esther answered, If it seem good unto prepare for them, and I will do to-morrow as the the king, let the king and Haman come this king hath said.

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NOTES ON CHAPTER V.

stood affected to her, and endeavour to endear herVerses 1, 2. It came to pass on the third day--of self more to him, that he might be the better diswhich see the notes on chap. iv. 16. Esther put on posed to grant her request. To accomplish which her royal apparel--That she might render herself purpose still more effectually, she desired to enter; as amiable in the king's eyes as she could, and so ob- tain him at her banquet a second time, verse 8. And tain her request. The king sat upon his royal she, each time, invited Haman, that by showing such throne, over against the gate, &c.-So that he could respect to the king's great favourite she might insinusee every one that came into the court. And the ate herself the more into the king's affection; and that, king held out to Esther the golden sceptre--In tes- if she saw fit, she might then present her request to timony that he pardoned her presumption, and was the king. ready to grant her request, and therefore inviting her Verse 6. The banquet of wine--So called, because to approach. So Esther drew near and touched the it consisted not of meats, which probably the king top of the sceptre-In token of her thankful accept- had plentifully eaten before, but of fruits and wines; ance of the king's favour, and of her reverence and which banquets were very frequent among the Persubmission: for, as the sceptre was the ensign of the sians, after they had done eating; for they did not highest and most absolute authority in the king, so drink wine, but water, with their victuals. the queen's touching it, or, as some say, kissing it, Verse 8. I will do to-morrow as the king hath said was a token of her subjection and thankfulness for |--I will acquaint thee with my humble request. She his favour.

did not present her petition at this time, but delayed Verse 3. What is thy request ? &c.-So far was it till the next meeting; either, because she was a the king from accounting her an offender, that he little daunted with the king's presence, and had not was glad to see her, and desirous to oblige her. yet courage to propose it; or, because she would Thus God, in his providence, often prevents the fears, | further engage the king's affection to her, by a seand outdoes the hopes of his people. It shall be cond entertainment, and would also intimate to him, given thee to the half of the kingdom--A usual form that her petition was of a more than ordinary naof speech among kings, when their hearts are en- ture: but principally by direction of the divine prolarged and overflow with affection to others, or when || vidence, which took away her courage of utterance they give persons the freest liberty to ask what they for this time, that she might have a better opportuplease. The meaning is, Nothing in reason shall be nity to present her request the next time, by that denied thee.

great accident which happened before it. For the Verse 4. Let the king and Haman come this day high honour which the king bestowed on Mordecai unto the banquel-She thought it prudent not to open the next day made way for her petition, which came her mind to him immediately, but first to try how he li in very seasonably at the banquet of wine.

Haman makes a gallows

CHAPTER VI.

for Mordecai.

B. C. 510.

A. M. 3494. 9 | Then went Haman forth that || queen did let no man come in with A. M. 3494. B. C. 510.

day joyful and with a glad heart: but the king unto the banquet that she when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, had prepared but myself; and to-morrow am I bthat he stood not up, nor moved for him, he invited unto her also with the king. was full of indignation against Mordecai. 13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as

10 Nevertheless, Haman · refrained himself: I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. and when he came home, he sent and ? called 14 I Then said Zeresh his wife and all his for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

friends unto him, Let a 'gallows be made 11 And Haman told them of the glory of his of fifty cubits high, and to-morrow speak riches, and the multitude of his children, and thou unto the king that Mordecai may be all the things wherein the king had promoted hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with him, and how he had 'advanced him above the the king unto the banquet. And the thing princes and servants of the king.

pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows 12 Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the to be made.

* Chap. iii. 5.

- 2 Sam. xii. 22. — -> Hebrew, caused to come.

k Chap. ix. 7, &c.

1 Chap. iii. 1.

3 Heb. tree.--M Chap. vii. 9.

• Chap. vii. 10.

Chap. vi. 4.

Verse 9. That he stood not up, nor moved to him as much happiness as he expects to receive from any -To show how little he feared him, and that he had thing under the sun. And Haman as passionately coma firm confidence in his God, that he would deliver plains as if he was in the lowest depth of poverty. him and his people in this exigency.

Verse 14. Then said Zeresh his wife and all his Verse 10. Nerertheless, Haman refrained himself friends—They saw how gladly he would dispense --From taking present vengeance upon Mordecai, with his own resolution, of deferring the slaughter which he might easily have effected, either by his | till the time determined by the lot, and therefore adown, or any of his servants' hands, without any fear vise him to take an earnest of the satisfaction he then of inconvenience to himself. But herein God's wise expected, in the speedy execution of Mordecai: Let and powerful providence appeared in disposing Ha- a gallows be madeThey advise hiin to have one man's heart, contrary to his own inclination, and made ready, that, as soon as he could get the warmaking him, as it were, to put setters upon his own rant signed, there might be no delay of the execuhands.

tion, and to cause it to be made fifty cubils high, Verses 11, 12. Haman told them of the glory of that it might be more conspicuous to all, and thereby his riches--Partly to gratify his own vain-glorious be more disgraceful to Mordecai, and might strike humour, and partly to aggravate Mordecai's impu- all Haman's enemies with the greater dread of dedence in denying him reverence, and to alleviate his spising or opposing him. And to-morrow speak own vexation caused by it. And to-morrow am I thou unto the king—They advise him to go early in incited unto her also with the kingThus he makes the morning to get an order from the king for hangthat matter of glorying which was the occasion of ing Mordecai, which they doubted not would be his utter ruin. So ignorant are the wisest men, and readily granted to one that was so much the king's subject to fatal mistakes, rejoicing when they have favourite, and who had so easily obtained an edict most cause of fear, and sorrowing for those things for the destruction of the whole nation of the Jews. which tend to joy and comfort.

Then go thou in merrily with the king unto the lanVerse 13. Yet this araileth me ng—It gives quet-Having thus triumphed over thy implacable me no content. Such torment did his envy and enemy, and got rid of all that vexes thee and imbitmaliee bring upon him. So long as I see Mordecai ters thy prosperity and glory. And the thing pleased sitting at the king's gate--Enjoying that honour | Haman--He approved of their advice, and caused and privilege without disturbance, and denying me the gallows to be erected accordingly. And now,” the worship due to me by the king's command. Thus says Henry,“ we leave Haman to go to bed, pleased though proud men have much to their mind, if they | with the thoughts of seeing Mordecai hanged the have not all, it is nothing. The thousandth part of next day, and then going merrily to the banquet; what Haman had, would give a modest, humble man, II and not dreaming of handselling his own gallows.”

66

CHAPTER VI. Providence recommends Mordecar to the king's favour, 1-3. Haman is constrained publicly to honour him through the city,

4-11. His friends foretel his doom, 12, 13. He goes to the banquet, 14. 2

477

The king learns his

ESTHER.

obligations to Mordecai.

4.1: 3194 ON that night "could not the king || (Now Haman was come into b the 8. SC3104.

sleep, and he commanded to bring outward court of the king's house, * the book of records of the Chronicles; and they | o to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on were read before the king.

the gallows that he had prepared for him.) 2 And it was found written, that Mordecai 5 And the king's servants said unto him, had told of 2 Bigthana and Teresh, two of the Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And king's chamberlains, the keepers of the 3 door, the king said, Let him come in. who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus. 6 So Haman came in. And the king said

3 And the king said, What honour and dignity unto him, What shall be done unto the man hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then whom the king delighteth to honour? (Now said the king's servants that ministered unto Haman thought in his heart, To whom would him, There is nothing done for him.

the king delight to do honour more than to 4. And the king said, Who is in the court ? | myself?)

? Heb. the king's sleep fled away. Chap. ii. 23.- Or, Big- || : Heb. threshold. -_0 Chap. v. 1. -- Chapter v. 14. Heb. than, Chap. ii. 21.

in whose honour the king delighteth.

3

NOTES ON CHAPTER VI.

made it a part of his grandeur to live unacquainted Verse 1. On that night could not the king sleep and unconcerned with what passed in his dominions, -How vain are all the contrivances of foolish man (which was the custom of most of the eastern against the wise and omnipotent God, who hath the kings) should overlook the service Mordecai had hearts and hands of kings and all men perfectly at done him; or, if he ordered him a reward, that by his disposal, and can by such trivial accidents (as the artifice of those at court, who were no wellthey are accounted) change their minds, and pro- l wishers to the Jews, he should be disappointed of its duce such terrible effects. He commanded to bring There seems, however, to have been a particular dithe book of records-His mind being troubled, he rection of Providence, in having his reward delayed knew not how, nor why, he chooses this for a diver-| till this time, when he and all his nation were apsion, God putting this thought into him, for other pointed to destruction; when the remembrance of wise he might have diverted himself, as he used to his services might be a means to recommend them do, with his wives or concubines, or voices and in- to the king's mercy, and the honours conferred on struments of music, which were far more agreeable him a poignant mortification to his proud adverto his temper. “In these records of the Chronicles, || sary.”—Dodd. which we now call journals, (wherein was set down Verses 3, 4. There is nothing done for himHe what passed every day,) the manner of the Persians hath had no recompense for this great and good was to record the names of those who had done the service. The king said, Who is in the court-It is king any signal services. Accordingly, Josephus likely it was now morning, when the courtiers used informs us, that upon the secretary's reading these to be in waiting; and the king is so impatient to journals, he took notice of such a person who had have Mordecai honoured, that he sends to know who great honours and possessions given him as a re- was come, that was fit to be employed in the busiward for a glorious and remarkable action, and of ness. Now Haman was come-Early in the mornsuch another who made his fortune by the bountiesing, because his malice would not suffer him to of his prince for his fidelity; but, that when he came sleep; and he was impatient till he had executed his to the particular story of the conspiracy of the two revenge; and was resolved to watch for the very eunuchs against the person of the king, and of the first opportunity of speaking to the king, before he discovery of this treason by Mordecai, the secretary was engaged in other matters. Into the outward read it over, and was passing forward to the next'; court-Where he waited; because it was dangerous when the king stopped him, and asked him if the to come into the inner court without special license, person had had any reward given him for his ser- chap. iv. 11. So that the king and his minister were vice; which shows indeed a singular providence equally impatient about this poor Jew Mordecai

, of God, that the secretary should read in that very the former to have him honoured, and the latter to part of the book wherein the service of Mordecai have him hanged ! was recorded. Why Mordecai was not rewarded Verses 5, 6. The king said, Let him come inbefore, it is in vain to inquire. To account for the The king thought him the fittest man he had to be humour of princes, and their management of public made use of, both in directing and in dispensing his affairs, is almost impossible. We see daily, even favour, knowing nothing of any quarrel he had among us, that men are frequently unmindful of the with Mordecai. So Haman came in— Proud of the highest services which are done them, and take no honourdone him, in being admitted into the king's care to reward them, especially if the person be in bed-chamber, before he was up; for it is likely himself obscure, and not supported by a proper re- the king only wished to give orders for the honoura commendation ; and therefore we are not to wonder, || ing of Mordecai, and then he would be easy in his if a prince, who buried himself in indolence, and || mind, and try to sleep. Haman, however, thinks of

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2

Haman is obliged to honour

CHAPTER VI.

Mordecai in the most public manner.

B. C. 510.

A. M. 3494. 7 And Haman answered the king, || it be done to the man whom the king A. M. 3494. B. C. 510.

For the man 5 whom the king de delighteth to honour. lighteth to honour,

10 Then the king said to Haman, Make 8 Let the royal apparel be brought ?which haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as the king useth to wear, and d the horse that thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the the king rideth upon, and the crown royal Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: ° let nowhich is set upon his head :

thing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered 11 Then took Haman the apparel and the to the hand of one of the king's most noble horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him princes, that they may array the man withal on horseback through the street of the city, whom the king delighteth to honour, and and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be 8 bring him on horseback through the street of done unto the man whom the king delighteth the city, e and proclaim before him, Thus shall to honour.

Heb. in whose honour the king delighteth.- & Heb. Let them self.-01 Kings i, 33. - Heb. cause him to ride. Gen. bring the royal apparel. Heb. wherewith the king clotheth him. xli. 43. Heb. suffer not a whit to fall. finding the king alone, and unengaged, and that this Verse 9. And let this apparel, f-c., be delivered was the fairest opportunity he could wish for, to to one of the king's most noble princesTo be solicit for Mordecai's execution. And the king, his attendant. And bring him on horseback through Whose heart was as full as his, and who, as was fit, the cityThat all the people may be inade to take spoke first; said unto him, What shall be done unto notice of him, and do him reverence. And proclaim the man whom the king delighteth to honour ?—He before him, Thus shall it be done, &c.—For his names no one, because he would have the more im- | honour, and the encouragement of all to seek the partial answer. It is a good property in kings and king's favour. other superiors, to delight in bestowing rewards, Verse 10. The king said, Do eren so to Mordeand not to delight in punishing. Now Haman cai the Jew— If the king had but said as Haman exthought in his heart-As he had great reason to do, pected, Thou art the man, what a fair opportunity because of the favour which the king had showed to would he have had to perform the errand he came him above all others; To whom would the king de-on, and to have requested, that, to grace the solemlight to do honour more than myself?—No one de- || nity of his triumph, Mordecai, his sworn enemy, serves to be honoured so much as I, nor stands so might be hanged at the same time; but how is he fair for it. See how men's pride deceives them ! thunderstruck when the king bids him, not to order The deceitfulness of our own hearts appears in all this to be done, but to do it himself to Mordecai nothing so much as in the good opinion we are the Jew, the very man he hated above all men, and wont to have of ourselves, and of our own perform- whose ruin he was seeking, and now came to soances, against which we should therefore con- licit! He saw it was now to no purpose to think of stantly watch and pray. Haman thought the king moving any thing to the king against Mordecai, loved and valued no one but himself, but he was de- since he is the man whom the king delights to ceived.

honour. Verses 7, 8. Haman answered, Let the royal ap- Verses 11, 12. Then Haman took the apparelparel, &c.—Concluding he himself was the favourite The king's words undoubtedly produced great comintended, he prescribes the highest instances of hon- | motion in his breast, but he durst not dispute, nor so our that could for once be bestowed upon a subject; much as seem to dislike the king's order; but, though nay, he names honours too great to be conferred on with the greatest regret and reluctance imaginable, any subject. Which the king useth to wear, &c.— brings the apparel, &c., to Mordecai, who, we may Namely, the king's outward garment, which was suppose, did no more cringe to Haman now than he made of purple, interwoven with gold, as Justin and did before, valuing his counterfeit respects no more Curtius relate. To form a notion of that height of than he had valued his concealed malice. And arpride and arrogance at which Haman, who thought rayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback, &c. all the honours he specified were designed for him. 1-It is hard to say which of the two put a greater sels, was arrived, we may observe, that for any one force upon himself: proud Haman, in giving this to put on the royal robe without the privity and honour to Mordecai, or humble Mordecai, in acceptconsent of the king was among the Persians ac- ing it. Upon one account, no doubt, it was agreeable counted a capital crime. And the horse that the to Mordecai

, as it was an indication of the king's faking rideth upon-Namely, usually; which was vour, and gave ground to hope that Esther would well known, both by his excellence, and especially prevail for the reversing of the edict against the by his peculiar trappings and ornaments. And the Jews. Mordecai came again to the king's gatecroion royal which is set upon his head-Upon the To his former place, showing that, as he was not king's head. Thus he wished him to appear in all overwhelmed with Haman's threats, so he was not the pomp and grandeur of the king himself, only not puffed up with this honour. Besides, he came thito carry the sceptre, the emblem of power. ther to attend the issue of the business he had most

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