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Haman offended at Mordecai, resolves to destroy all the Jews,
ver. 1 - 6.
He obtains an order from the king, to have them all slain on one day,
ver. 7 - 11.
This order is sent throughout the kingdom, ver. 12 - 15.
1: Agagite - An Amalekite of the royal seed of that nation,
whose kings were successively called Agag. All the princes - Gave him
the first place and seat, which was next to the king.
2: But, &c. - Probably the worship required was not only civil, but
Divine: which as the kings of Persia arrogated to themselves, so they
did sometimes impart this honour to some of their chief favourites, that
they should be adored in like manner. And that it was so here, seems
more than probable, because it was superfluous, to give an express command
to all the kings servants, to pay a civil respect to so great a prince,
which of course they used, and therefore a Divine honour must be here
intended. And that a Jew should deny this honour, is not strange,
seeing the wise Grecians did positively refuse to give this honour to
the kings of Persia themselves, even when they were to make their
addresses to them: and one Timocrates was put to death by the
Athenians for worshipping Darius in that manner.
4: To see - What the event of it would be. For, &c. - And
therefore did not deny this reverence out of pride, but
merely out of conscience.
6: Scorn - He thought that vengeance was unsuitable to his quality.
Destroy - Which he attempted, from that implacable hatred which, as an
Amalekite, he had against them; from his rage against Mordecai; and
from Mordecai's reason of this contempt, because he was a Jew, which
as he truly judged, extended itself to all the Jews, and would equally
engage them all in the same neglect. And doubtless Haman included
those who were returned to their own land: for that was now a province
of his kingdom.
7: They cast - The diviners cast lots, according to the custom of
those people, what day, and what month would be most lucky, not for
his success with the king (of which he made no doubt) but for the most
effectual extirpation of the Jews. Wherein appears likewise both his
implacable malice, and unwearied diligence in seeking vengeance of
them with so much trouble to himself; and God's singular providence in
disposing the lot to that time, that the Jews might have space to get
the decree reversed.
11: The silver - Keep it to thy own use; I accept the offer
for the deed.
15: The city - Not only the Jews, but a great number of the
citizens, either because they were related to them, or engaged with
them in worldly concerns; or out of humanity and compassion toward so
vast a number of innocent people, appointed as sheep for the slaughter.