The Jews fast and mourn, ver. 1 - 3.
Esther is informed of the design, ver. 4 - 9,
Mordecai presses her to intercede with the king, ver. 10 - 14.
She desires all the Jews to keep a solemn fast, ver. 15 - 19.
1: Cry - To express his deep sense of the mischief coming upon his
people. It was bravely done, thus publickly to espouse a just cause
though it seemed to be a desperate one.
2: Sackcloth - Lest it should give the king any occasion of grief and
trouble. But what availed, to keep out the badges of sorrow unless they
could have kept out the causes of sorrow too? To forbid sackcloth to
enter unless they could likewise forbid sickness, and trouble, and death?
4: To clothe - That so he might be capable of returning to his former
place, if not of coming to her to acquaint her with the cause of his sorrow.
11: Inner court - Within which, the king's residence and throne was.
Not called - This was decreed, to maintain both the majesty, and the
safety of the king's person; and by the contrivance of the greater
officers of state, that few or none might have access to the king but
themselves and their friends. I have not been called, &c. - Which gives
me just cause to fear that the king's affections are alienated from me,
and that neither my person nor petition will be acceptable to him.
14: From another place - This was the language of strong faith,
against hope believing in hope. Who knoweth - It is probable God hath
raised thee to this honour for this very season. We should every one
of us consider, for what end God has put us in the place where we are?
And when an opportunity offers of serving God and our generation, we
must take care not to let it slip.
16: Fast - And pray; so as you use to do, leave off your common
dinners by day, and suppers at night, and eat and drink no more than
mere necessity requires; that so you may give yourselves to constant and
fervent prayers. Maidens - Which she had chosen to attend upon her person,
and were doubtless either of the Jewish nation, or Proselytes.
Which is not, &c. - Which may belong,
to the thing only, that as they did fast, so she would.
to the time of three days and three nights; for so she
might do, though she went to the king on the third day.
For the fast began at evening, and so she might continue her fast three
whole nights, and two whole days, and the greatest part of the third; a
part of a day being reputed a day in the account of scripture, and other
authors: of which see on (Mt 12:40). Yea, she might fast all that day
too: for it is probable she went not to the king 'till he had dined; when
she supposed she might find him in the most mild and pleasant humour, and
then returned to her apartment, where she fasted 'till the evening.