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Esther petitions for her life, and the lives of her people, ver. 1 - 4.
She tells the king that Haman is the man who designed her ruin,
ver. 5, 6.
By the king's order, he is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for
Mordecai, ver. 7 - 10.
3: My life - It is my only request, that thou wouldst not give me
up to the malice of that man who designs to take away my life. Even
a stranger, a criminal, shall be permitted to petition for his life.
But that a friend, a wife, a queen, should have occasion to make such
a petition, was very affecting.
4: Sold - By the cruelty of that man who offered a great sum to
purchase our destruction. Countervail - His ten thousand talents would
not repair the king's loss, in the customs and tributes which the king
receives from the Jews, within his dominions.
5: Who, &c. - The expressions are short and doubled, as proceeding
from a discomposed and enraged mind. Durst - That is, to circumvent me,
and procure a decree, whereby not only my estate should be so much impaired,
and so many of my innocent subjects destroyed, but my queen also involved in
the same destruction. We sometimes startle at that evil, which we ourselves
are chargeable with. Ahasuerus is amazed at that wickedness, which he
himself was guilty of. For he consented to the bloody edict. So that
Esther might have said, Thou art the man!
6: Afraid - And it was time for him to fear, when the queen was his
prosecutor, the king his judge, his own conscience a witness against him.
And the surprising turns of providence that very morning, could not but
increase his fear.
7: Went - As disdaining the company and sight of so audacious a
person: to cool and allay his troubled and inflamed spirits, and to
consider what punishment was fit to be inflicted upon him. He saw - By
the violent commotion of the king's mind.
8: Bed - On which the queen sat at meat. Force - Will he attempt
my queen's chastity, as he hath already attempted her life!
He speaks not this out of real jealousy, but from an exasperated mind,
which takes all occasions to vent itself against the person who gave
the provocation. They - The king's and queen's chamberlains attending
upon them. Covered - That the king might not be offended or grieved with
the sight of a person whom he now loathed: and because they looked upon
him as a condemned person; for the faces of such used to be covered.