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The estate of Haman is given to Esther, ver. 1, 2.
Esther petitions the king, to reverse the edict against the Jews,
ver. 3 - 6.
They are authorized to defend themselves, ver. 7 - 14.
The Jews and their friends rejoice, ver. 15 - 17.
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: 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: To put - To repeal that cruel decree.
5: If &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.
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 - 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: 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
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
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: 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.