1883 Haydock Douay Rheims Bible

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Esther 1:1 In the days of Assuerus, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces:

In. Hebrew, "and in." In this manner the books of Scripture are usually connected. Septuagint place first the dream of Mardochai, Esther 11:2. (Calmet) --- Assuerus. Septuagint Artaxerxes; as [in] chap 16:1. The former is the title of the Median, the latter of the Persian, monarchs. This king reigned over both nations, and was most probably Darius Hystaspes, the third king of the Persians, (Tirinus) who subdued India, etc. (Herodotus) (Calmet) (Tirinus) --- Some understand Cambyses, (1 Esdras iv.; Genebrard) or Xerxes (Scalig.) or Artaxerxes Longimanus, (Bellarmine; Salien) or Memnon, (Eusebius) or Ochus. (Serarius) --- But (Calmet) the author of 3 Esdras 3:1., and 4:43., seems clearly declared for Hystaspes. (Tirinus) --- Though that work be not canonical, (Du Hamel) it may claim some authority, as an ancient history. (Haydock) --- This king gave orders for the building of the temple, 1 Esdras 6:1, 14. --- India. Part had been (Calmet) subject to Xerxes. (Herodotus 7:65.) --- But Darius subdued the country, and imposed a heavy tribute. (Herodotus 4:44.) --- Ethiopia, beyond Egypt, paid an acknowledgment. Cambyses had taken possession of this country. (Calmet) --- Some understand a part of Arabia to be meant. (Du Hamel) --- Seven: 120 had been regulated by Darius, the Mede, Daniel 6:1. (Haydock) --- The number might vary as the monarch chose. (Du Hamel) --- Herodotus (III. 89.) only specifies "twenty." But he speaks of large departments, to which he intimates that several others were subordinate. (Calmet) --- Provinces. Hebrew medina, "seat of judges." (Haydock) --- Prefecture. (Menochius)
Esther 1:2 When he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city Susan was the capital of his kingdom.

Captial. Hebrew, "palace, (Protestants; Haydock) or castle," (Calmet) may also signify "a capital." (Montanus, etc.) --- Hystaspes founded this ancient royal city of Persia, (Pliny, [Natural History?] 6:27.) or he greatly embellished it. (Calmet) (Aelian, Anim. 13:18.) (Tirinus) --- He seems to have resided here almost constantly. The preceding kings (Calmet) spent the winter in this warm climate, and perhaps the spring. See 2 Esdras 1:1. They spent other parts of the year at Ecbatana and at Babylon. (Calmet)
Esther 1:3 Now in the third year* of his reign he made a great feast for all the princes, and for his servants, for the most mighty of the Persians, and the nobles of the Medes, and the governors of the provinces, in his sight,

Year of the World 3485, Year before Christ 519. Reign. When he was solemnly crowned, again, (Tirinus) or removed his court, (Calmet) and dedicated this new capital, with feasting, etc. (Haydock)
Esther 1:4 That he might shew the riches of the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for a long time, to wit, for a hundred and fourscore days.

Days, or a full half year, according to their reckoning. Nabuchodonosor, after his victory over Arphaxad, (Judith i.) feasted 120 days; Dionysius of Syrachuse, 90; (Aristotle) Solomon seven; (3 Kings 8:63.) and David three; when he was recognized by all Israel, 1 Paralipomenon 12:39. The Gaul, Ariamnes, gave a feast to all his countrymen for a whole year. (Athen. 4:13.) --- The Roman emperors sometimes treated all the citizens of Rome, and Alexander did the like to 9000 of his chief officers for one day. But the magnificence of Assuerus surpasses all the rest. The Persians were famous on this account. --- Persicos odi, puer, apparatus. (Horace 1:Ode 38.) (Calmet)
Esther 1:5 And when the days of the feast were expired, he invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand of the king.

Expired, (Feuardent) or in the last week. (Menochius) (Calmet) --- King. The Persian monarchs delighted in agriculture. Cyrus the younger, planted trees at Sardis, and never eat till he had taken some exercise of this or of a military nature. (Xenophon Memor.; Cicero Senect.)
Esther 1:6 And there were hung up on every side sky-coloured, and green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk, and of purple, which were put into rings of ivory, and were held up with marble pillars. The beds, also, were of gold and silver, placed in order upon a floor, paved with porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting of wonderful variety.

Were. Protestants, "where were," white, green, and blue hangings. --- Ivory. Hebrew, "silver." (Haydock) --- Beds, to lie down on at table; though sitting was formerly the fashion, Genesis 43:33. The other custom prevailed among the more luxurious nations, and was observed in our Saviour's time, each person reclining upon his left arm, and having his feet behind the next. (Tirinus) --- These beds were made very low, in Persia; so that Alexander had one put under his feet, when he sat on the throne of Darius, as he was not so tall. (Curtius 5:7.) --- Their magnificence was surprising. (Herodotus 9:81.) (Calmet) --- Variety, in Mosaic work. (Tirinus) --- They lay upon sheep skins. (Chaldean) Septuagint, "and the beds (or coverlets) were transparent, with various flowers, and full-blown roses, all round." (Haydock)
Esther 1:7 And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought in divers vessels, one after another. Wine, also, in abundance and of the best was presented, as was worthy of a king's magnificence.

Vessels. When Lysanias had taken the camp of Mardonius, and beheld the rich vessels, he could not help expressing a surprise that people possessing such advantages, should come to molest the Lacedemonians, who lived so poorly. (Herodotus 9:79.)
Esther 1:8 Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that were not willing, but as the king had appointed, who set over every table one of his nobles, that every man might take what he would.

Neither. Hebrew, "and the drinking was according to the law." Greek, "was not according to the pre-established law;" (Haydock) as the usual custom was altered, on this occasion; and thus both may be accurate. The Persians had commonly a king of the feast, whose orders all were obliged to obey in drinking. (Horace 1:Ode 4.) (Ecclesiasticus 32:1.) --- This was an occasion of quarrels, (St. Jerome) and of intoxication. Agesilaus followed the example of Assuerus. Darius, and Cyrus the younger, gloried in being able to drink much wine without being deranged. (Calmet) -----Reges dicuntur urgere culullis, Et torquere mero, quem perspexisse laborant, An sit amicitia dignus.----- (Horace ad Pison.) Among friends, these "absurd laws" were laid aside. Siccat inequales calices conviva, solutus Legibus insanis.----- (Horace 2:Sat. 6.) (Calmet) This may suggest to Christians, that they ought not to urge any to get drunk, (St. Augustine, ser. 231. de Temp.) lest they should be condemned by the very heathens. (Worthington) --- Would, and thus prevent disorders as much as possible. (Athen. 10:6.)
Esther 1:9 Also Vasthi, the queen, made a feast for the women in the palace, where king Assuerus was used to dwell.

Vasthi. Septuagint Astin. (Haydock) --- Serarius suspects she was the king's sister, or daughter, as such marriages were common in Persia. (Tirinus) --- The name is not very different from that of Atossa, the daughter of Cyrus, who was married to Cambyses, Smerdis, and Darius; to the latter of whom she bore four children. (Herodotus 3:68., and 7:3. --- This prince had other wives, particularly Artistona, (Calmet; our Hadossa, (Haydock) or Esther) whom he espoused a virgin, and love the most. Herodotus seems to confound her with Atossa. --- Dwell. Some Greek copies have "in her own palaces." (Usher) --- It was proper for women to be more retired. (Menochius) --- The men feasted in the open air. (Haydock)
Esther 1:10 Now on the seventh day, when the king was merry, and after very much drinking, was well warmed with wine, he commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Harbona, and Bagatha, and Abgatha, and Zethar, and Charcas, the seven eunuchs that served in his presence,

Wine. From the king's excess, and the haughtiness of Vasthi, God took occasion to advance Esther, and to deliver his people. (Calmet) --- Mauman. Septuagint, "Aman." (Tirinus) --- But the names vary. The Persians seem to have had a predilection for the number seven, ver. 14. (Calmet) Greek, "the seven eunuchs, ministers (deacons) of Artaxerxes."
Esther 1:11 To bring in queen Vasthi before the king, with the crown set upon her head, to shew her beauty to all the people, and the princes: for she was exceedingly beautiful.

Head. But without any other covering. (Chaldean) Sulpitius entertained perhaps the same idea. Stulto rege consultior, pudens, virorum oculis spectaculum corporis praebere jussa, abnuit. (Haydock) --- Some Greek copies assert, very improbably, (Calmet) that she was sent for "to be crowned queen." --- Beautiful. "The Persian ladies were noted for beauty," (Ammian) insomuch that Alexander called them eye-sores, oculorum dolores. (Curtius) --- Only prostitutes appeared publicly at feasts. (Macrob. 7:1.) (St. Ambrose, de Elia. 1:15.) --- In effect, Vasthi's refusal was conformable to the laws of the country. (Josephus) (Plutarch in Themist.) --- Her offence consisted, therefore, rather in her haughty carriage or words. (Haydock) --- For the proposal was neither decent nor safe for the king, (Grotius) as the history of Candaules shews. (Herodotus i.) (Not. Var. in Sulpitius)
Esther 1:12 But she refused, and would not come at the king's commandment, which he had signified to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry, and inflamed with a very great fury,

Fury. This is the usual consequence of excess. (Worthington)
Esther 1:13 Baked the wise men, who, according to the custom of the kings, were always near his person, and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws, and judgments of their forefathers:

According. Hebrew, "knew the times, (for so was the king's custom with those who knew law and judgment.) And the next," etc. (Haydock) --- These were the magi, more particularly versed in the constitutions of the country. The Persians commonly held their consultations over wine. (Herodotus 1:133.) --- Septuagint, "and the king said to his friends, Thus has Astin spoken; do therefore, in this affair, law and judgment. Then came forth to him Arkesaios and Saresthaios, and Malesear, the princes of the Persians and Medes, men near the king, and who sat first after the king. (Haydock) --- The old Vulgate places Mardochaeus first. These seven counsellors were perhaps styled the king's relations," (Brisson 1:p. 171.) and administered justice; as even the kings referred their causes to them. (Plut. Artax., etc.)
Esther 1:14 (Now the chief and nearest him were, Charsena, and Sethar, and Admatha, and Tharsis, and Mares, and Marsana, and Mamuchan, seven princes of the Persians, and of the Medes, who saw the face of the king, and were used to sit first after him:)

Esther 1:15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi, the queen, who had refused to obey the commandment of king Assuerus, which he had sent to her by the eunuchs?

Esther 1:16 And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of the king and the princes: Queen Vasthi hath not only injured the king, but also all the people and princes that are in all the provinces of king Assuerus.

Mamuchan. Old Vulgate, "Mardochaeus." Yet the Jews say this was the infamous Aman; and one Greek copy has Bilgaios, (Calmet) and Arabo, "Mouchaios," Esther 3:1., and 12:6. He was the youngest, but spoke first, as was sometimes the case.
Esther 1:17 For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come in to him, and she would not.

Esther 1:18 And by this example, all the wives of the princes of the Persians, and the Medes, will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore, the king's indignation is just.

Wives. Greek turannides, "princesses, or female tyrants." --- Slight. Septuagint, "dare to slight their husbands. Wherefore if," etc. (Haydock) --- Just. Hebrew, "enough of contempt and indignation." This may be referred either to the king or to the women's husbands. The example will prove a source of continual quarrels. (Calmet) --- Brentius approves the decision of this parasite; though St. Ambrose, etc., think that the queen was justified by the laws, which the king had no right to infringe, to gratify his drunken humour, ver. 10. Luther would also wrest this text in favour of adultery, p.ii. Divort. p. 177. (Worthington)
Esther 1:19 If it please thee, let an edict go out from thy presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians, and of the Medes, which must not be altered, that Vasthi come in no more to the king, but another, that is better than her, be made queen in her place.

Altered. This regarded the more solemn acts, signed by the counsellors, Daniel 6:17. (Grotius) --- Some decrees were neglected or changed, Esther 8:9., and 1 Esdras 4:5, 21., and 6:1. (Calmet)
Esther 1:20 And let this be published through all the provinces of thy empire (which is very wide) and let all wives, as well of the greater as of the lesser, give honour to their husbands.

Esther 1:21 His counsel pleased the king, and the princes: and the king did according to the counsel of Mamuchan.

Counsel. It was very inconclusive; (Menochius) and even supposing the queen were guilty of some indiscretion, the punishment was too severe. (Menochius) (Grotius, 5:11) (Haydock)
Esther 1:22 And he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, as every nation could hear and read, in divers languages and characters, that the husbands should be rulers and masters in their houses: and that this should be published to every people.

Esther 2:0 Esther is advanced to be queen. Mardochai detecteth a plot against the king.

Esther 2:1 After this, when the wrath of king Assuerus was appeased, he remembered Vasthi, and what she had done, and what she had suffered:

Suffered. He began to repent. The Persians used to deliberate when warm with wine: but their decrees were not ratified till they had examined them again the next day. (Herodotus 1:133.) --- This was not the case here; the king divorced his wife without any delay. (Calmet) --- Septuagint intimate that he presently lost thoughts of her. "He no longer remembered Vasthi with any affection, reflecting what she had said, and how he had condemned her." (Haydock) --- But the Alexandrian copy agrees with the Hebrew. (Calmet)
Esther 2:2 And the king's servants, and his officers said: Let young women be sought for the king, virgins, and beautiful.

Beautiful. Thus Abisag was brought to David, 3 Kings 1:2. The Turkish emperors select women from all their dominions, without distinction of noble or ignoble; as all are their slaves.
Esther 2:3 And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the house of the women, under the hand of Egeus, the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king's women, and let them receive women's ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.

House. Distinct from the palace, ver. 14. --- Women's. Hebrew, "things for rubbing, (Calmet) or purification;" (Haydock) such as perfumes, but not clothes.
Esther 2:4 And whosoever among them all shall please the king's eyes, let her be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased the king: and he commanded it should be done as they had suggested.

Commanded. Hebrew, "did so."
Esther 2:5 There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, named Mardochai, *the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini,

Esther 11:2.
Jew. He was of the tribe of Benjamin. But all went by this name, after the captivity. Mardochai had probably returned from Jerusalem, seeing things were unfinished there, 1 Esdras 2:2. (Calmet) --- Semei, who cursed David. (Chaldean) --- Cis. The head of the royal family of Saul; whence authors have concluded that he and Esther were of royal blood, (Calmet) and descendants of Miphiboseth. (Tirinus)
Esther 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, carried away *Jechonias, king of Juda,**

4 Kings 24:15.; Esther 11:4. --- **
Year of the World 3485. Who. This may refer to Cis, the great-grandfather of Mardochai, if we postpone this history till the latter end of the Persian monarchy. (Du Hamel) --- But it more naturally applies to Mardochai himself, who (chap. 11:4.; Tirinus) was led captive 80 years before, being then perhaps 10 years old, so that he would now be only 90; an age when many are fit for great things. (Calmet) (Cicero, de Senect.) --- He might even have been an infant when taken, and of course would not be much above 80 when he came into such favour. (Haydock)
Esther 2:7 And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa, who, by another name, was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was exceedingly fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for his daughter.

Brothers. Josephus, ([Antiquities?] 11:6.) the old Latin version of the Syriac, Abenezra, etc., suppose that Mardochai was uncle to Esther. But the Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, and Chaldean assert that he was only her cousin. Septuagint, "daughter of Aminadab, (or rather Abihail, ver. 15.) his father's brother, and her name was Esther; and after her parents were dead, he educated her for a wife;" eis gunaika, as some Rabbins also maintain, believing she was an heiress. Yet other Greek copies, Hebrew, etc., read, "he educated her as a daughter, thugatera: for the damsel was very beautiful." He had probably adopted her. (Calmet) --- Edissa. Hebrew hadassa, (Haydock) or Hadassah, signified "of myrtle." (Menochius) --- Esther, "a sheep." (Calmet)
Esther 2:8 And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, and according to his commandment, many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, and were delivered to Egeus, the eunuch: Esther, also, among the rest of the maidens, was delivered to him to be kept in the number of the women.

Esther 2:9 And she pleased him, and found favour in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments, and to deliver to her her part, and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king's house, and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting-maids.

And he, Egeus, commanded the under eunuch. (Tirinus) --- Hebrew, "he quickly gave her her things for purifications, (ver. 3.) and her portions, with seven maids, suitable for her, out of the king's house; and he charged her and her maids to dwell in the best of the women's house," (Haydock) where things were the most commodious. (Calmet)
Esther 2:10 And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that:

Would. Hebrew, "had not declared." He was not influenced to treat her thus on account of her royal extraction. (Haydock) --- In effect, the Jews were despised. (Calmet)
Esther 2:11 And he walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her.

Court. He was one of the life-guards, Esther 11:3. (Tirinus) --- This situation enabled him to disclose a conspiracy, (ver. 23., and Esther 12:5.) as he often went to enquire after the health of Esther. (Calmet)
Esther 2:12 Now when every virgin's turn came to go in to the king, after all had been done for setting them off to advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices.

Turn. This was rigidly observed, in that country, where polygamy prevailed, Genesis 30:16. (Herodotus 3:69.) --- The wives were "shut up in separate apartments," (Just. 1:9.) in the remotest parts of the palace. (Calmet) --- Twelfth. A full year elapsed before they could be admitted. --- A sweet. Protestants, "other things for the purifying of the women." (Haydock) --- It would be difficult to form an adequate idea of the luxury of the Persians, if the Scripture had not informed us. The kings were not satisfied with one wife. Assuerus had 400; (Josephus) and Darius Codomannus carried 360 with him, in his expeditions. (Curtius iii.) --- Parmenio took an incredible number of his concubines, at Damascus. (Athen. 13:9.) --- They were not all treated alike, but all were very sumptuously adorned. Cities were allotted to furnish one with sandals, another with girdles, etc. (Cicero in Verrem. v.) (Calmet)
Esther 2:13 And when they were going in to the king, whatsoever they asked to adorn themselves they received: and being decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from the chamber of the women to the king's chamber.

Esther 2:14 And she that went in at evening, came out in the morning, and from thence she was conducted to the second house, that was under the hand of Susagaz, the eunuch, who had the charge over the king's concubines: neither could she return any more to the king, unless the king desired it, and had ordered her, by name, to come.

Esther 2:15 And as the time came orderly about, the day was at hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the brother of Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go in to the king. But she sought not women's ornaments, but whatsoever Egeus, the eunuch, the keeper of the virgins, had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceedingly fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable, and amiable, in the eyes of all.

Abihail. Septuagint, "Aminadab, brother of Mardochai's father." (Haydock) (Ver. 7.)
Esther 2:16 So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year *of his reign.

Year of the World 3490, Year before Christ 514. Tenth. Septuagint and old Vulgate, "twelfth month, which is Adar." Tebeth corresponds with December and January. (Calmet) --- Notwithstanding all exertions, Esther had been near four years in preparing; (Tirinus; Esther 1:3.; Calmet) unless some years had elapsed before she was brought, ver. 12. (Haydock) --- She was guilty of no sin in becoming an inferior wife of the king. (Menochius) (Tirinus)
Esther 2:17 And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi.

Crown. Literally, "diadem," (Haydock) which was a bandage "of purple, striped with white," by which the queen was distinguished from the other wives. (Calmet) --- The king wore "a four-square cidaris," with a similar ornament. (Alex. Genial. 1:27.) --- Only one queen was chosen from all the wives, and she was "adored" by the rest. (Dion. Athen. 3:l.) --- Though God had forbidden marriages with infidels, (Calmet) at least with those of Chanaan, (Haydock) a dispensation might be granted, (Exodus xxxiv.; Tirinus; 2 Kings iii.; Worthington) for a greater good. Esther was not puffed up with her exaltation, and refrained from all forbidden meats, Esther 14:15. (Calmet) --- If she be the Artystona of Herotous, (VII. 69.; Haydock) as it is most probable, (Tirinus) her two sons, Arsames and Gobryas, had a command in the famous expedition of Xerxes. (Usher, the year of the world 3524.) (Calmet)
Esther 2:18 And he commanded a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the princes, and for his servants, for the marriage and wedding of Esther. And he gave rest to all the provinces, and bestowed gifts according to princely magnificence.

Servants. Septuagint add, "seven days, and he magnified the nuptials of Esther." (Haydock) --- Rest, from labour. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "remission to all his subjects," of tribute, as was sometimes done. (Herodotus 3:66.) (Tirinus) (Calmet) --- Gifts, on Esther. (Chaldean) (Malvenda)
Esther 2:19 And when the virgins were sought the second time, and gathered together, Mardochai stayed at the king's gate,

And. Septuagint, "But Mardochai," etc. (Haydock) --- They say nothing of the gifts, ver. 18. --- Second. The same process had been observed before, when Vasthi was chosen. (Calmet) --- Mardochai was perhaps then one of the king's guards. (Haydock) (Ver. 11.) (Tirinus) --- This second inquiry is here specified, to introduce the following account. (Menochius)
Esther 2:20 Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time, when he brought her up a little one.

Commandment. No one interrogated her, as she had been educated at Susa, and was taken for a Persian lady, ver. 10. (Menochius)
Esther 2:21 At that time, therefore, when Mardochai abode at the king's gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the king's eunuchs, who were porters, and presided in the first entry of the palace, were angry: and they designed to rise up against the king, and to kill him.

Bagathan, or Bagatha and Thara, Esther 12:1. One of the chief counsellors was called Bagatha. (Haydock) --- But these two were porters, (Calmet) or guards, of the king, (Septuagint; Grotius) or of the treasury. (Vatable) --- Some Greek copies and the Chaldean insinuate that they were displeased at the advancement of Mardochai. The latter supposes that they meant also to poison Esther. (Calmet) --- It appears that they wished to make Aman king, (Menochius) and the detection was always resented by him, Esther 12:6. (Calmet)
Esther 2:22 And Mardochai had notice of it, and immediately he told it to queen Esther: and she to the king in Mardochai's name, who had reported the thing unto her.

Notice of it, from Barnabaz, a Jew in the service of one of them. (Josephus [Antiquities?] 11:6.) --- He might also hear some suspicious words. (R. Calom.) (Worthington)
Esther 2:23 It was inquired into, and found out: and they were both hanged on a gibbet. And it was put in the histories, and recorded in the chronicles before the king.

King. Such histories were preserved with great care, 1 Esdras 6:1. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "the king ordered a memorial of it to be kept in the royal library, for the praise of Mardochai's good will." (Haydock) --- The latter also wrote an account, Esther 12:4.
Esther 3:0 Aman, advanced by the king, is offended at Mardochai, and therefore procureth the king's decree to destroy the whole nation of the Jews.

Esther 3:1 After these things, king Assuerus advanced Aman, the son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all the princes that were with him.

Aman means, "a disturber." (Haydock) --- Who. Septuagint add, "Bougaios, or Gogaios." Gog designates Scythia, where Aman might have been born. Pliny ([Natural History?] 4:12.) places there the lake and river Ruges. But the Bugean, in Greek, may mean, "greatly puffed up:" or it may stand for Bagoas, "an eunuch," (Judith 12:11.) like Putiphar. --- Agag, the king of Amalec, 1 Kings xv. This title, like that of Macedonian, (chap. 16:10.) is probably used out of contempt, as the Jews fequently styled their enemies, "race of Chanaan," Ezechiel 16:3., and Daniel 13:56. (Calmet) --- Sulpitius takes Aman to have been a Persian. His Amalecite ancestors may have fled before Saul into Macedonia, though he himself resided in Persia, so as to belong to all those nations. (Tirinus) (Menochius) --- Throne. Thus were Joseph and Joakim exalted, Genesis 41:40., and 4 Kings 25:28. (Calmet) --- The Persians gave places according to merit, (Haydock) or as a reward. (Brisson.)
Esther 3:2 And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded them; only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship him.

Worship him, with divine honours, as he required, in imitation of the kings, Judith 3:13. On certain solemn occasions, the latter at least exacted this respect from their subjects. But the pious Jews avoided appearing at such times, or the kings dispensed with them. The mere bending the knee, out of civil respect, would not have been objected to; and Mardochai says, he would not have refused to kiss the footsteps of Aman, Esther 13:12. (Calmet) (St. Thomas Aquinas, 2. 2. q. 84.) (Tirinus) --- But he could not give such worship as was claimed by the minor gods. (Worthington)
Esther 3:3 And the king's servants that were chief at the doors of the palace, said to him: Why dost thou alone not observe the king's commandment?

Esther 3:4 And when they were saying this often, and he would not hearken to them; they told Aman, desirous to know whether he would continue in his resolution: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

Resolution. They did not mean to injure Mardochai, who had an employment at court, Esther 12:5. (Calmet) --- Jew, and of course hindered by his religion from giving divine worship to any man. (Menochius)
Esther 3:5 Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor worship him, he was exceedingly angry.

Esther 3:6 And he counted it nothing to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone: for he had heard that he was of the nation of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.

Counted. Septuagint, "consulted how to exterminate all the Jews in the kingdom." --- Assuerus. Hebrew adds, "the people of Mardochai."
Esther 3:7 In the first month, (which is called Nisan) in the twelfth year* of the reign of Assuerus, the lot was cast into an urn, which, in Hebrew, is called Phur, before Aman, on what day and what month the nation of the Jews should be destroyed: and there came out the twelfth month, which is called Adar.

Year of the World 3494, Year before Christ 510. Lot. The Persians were much addicted to divination. The superstitious Aman, though he would appear a deity, was to be regulated by lots! Providence caused almost a whole year to intervene, before the cruel execution was to commence. (Calmet) --- Reason began to shew the futility of divination, (Cicero) but the Christian religion alone has been able to counteract its baneful influence. (Calmet) --- India is still much infected with it. (Bernier.) --- Phur. Hebrew, "they cast Pur, that is the lot, before Aman." (Haydock) --- The explanation intimates that Pur is a Persian word. (Du Hamel) --- Yet Pagnin maintains that it means in Hebrew, "to crush," a wine-press, or vessel; and the lot, which is thrown therein. (Menochius) --- Tickets, with the names of the twelve months, were probably drawn; and after the month was thus determined, Aman put in the urn as many tickets as it had days, and was directed to pitch upon the 13th. Septuagint have the 14th, both here and ver. 13. (Calmet) --- How preposterous was the (Haydock) fury of this man, thus to decide upon the day before he had the king's leave! (Worthington)
Esther 3:8 And Aman said to king Assuerus: There is a people scattered through all the provinces of thy kingdom, and separated one from another, that use new laws and ceremonies, and moreover despise the king's ordinances: and thou knowest very well that it is not expedient for thy kingdom that they should grow insolent by impunity.

Another, as the ten tribes were from Juda, or rather (Haydock) they were scattered about the empire. (Calmet) --- Hebrew, "and dispersed; and their laws are different from all other people's; neither do they observe the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to tolerate them." (Haydock) --- These are the old calumnies repeated by Tacitus, (Hist. v.) and ably refuted by Josephus. (contra Apion) Almost all Israel still continued about Media. Few had taken advantage of the decree of Cyrus.
Esther 3:9 If it please thee, decree that they may he destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents to thy treasurers.

Talents. Hebrew, etc., add, "of silver." (Menochius) --- If the Hebrew talent be meant, this sum would be immense for an individual; (Calmet) though Aman might expect to raise it by the confiscation of the Jews' effects, ver. 13. Some think he speaks of the Babylonian talent, on which supposition the sum would amount to twenty-one millions of French livres, (Bude.; Calmet) or of the Attic one, which is worth half the Hebrew talent. The king might thus be prevented from thinking that the tributes would be lessened. (Tirinus)
Esther 3:10 And the king took the ring that he used, from his own hand, and gave it to Aman, the son of Amadathi, of the race of Agag, the enemy of the Jews,

Ring, to transfer his power to him, for the time, Genesis 41:42. Alexander gave his ring to Periccas, and was generally supposed thus to designate him for his successor. (Justin. xii.) See 1 Machabees 6:14, 15.
Esther 3:11 And he said to him: As to the money which thou promisest, keep it for thyself: and as to the people, do with them as seemeth good to thee.

Esther 3:12 *And the king's scribes were called in the first month, Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the same month: and they wrote, as Aman had commanded, to all the king's lieutenants, and to the judges of the provinces, and of divers nations, as every nation could read, and hear, according to their different languages, in the name of king Assuerus: and the letters, sealed with his ring,

Year of the World 3495. Lieutenants. Literally, "satraps." Hebrew achashdarpene, "courtiers," (Haydock) or those who are in the presence of his majesty, or porters. (Calmet) --- They were entrusted with the care of the different provinces. (Haydock)
Esther 3:13 Were sent by the king's messengers to all provinces, to kill and destroy all the Jews, both young and old, little children, and women, in one day, that is, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is called Adar, and to make a spoil of their goods.

Messengers. Literally, "runners." (Haydock) --- Posts were first established in Persia, and were the admiration of other nations, though nothing compared with ours, as they were not regular, nor for the people. They called these messengers Astandae, or Angari, Matthew 5:41. Darius Condomanus was one of these postilions, before he came to the crown. (Calmet) --- At first the kings had people stationed on eminences, at a convenient distance, to make themselves heard, when they had to communicate some public news. (Diod. xix. p. 680.) --- Cyrus afterwards appointed horsemen, to succeed each other. (Xenophon, Cyrop. viii.) --- Caesar made some regulations on this head, which were perfected by Augustus and Adrian; but being neglected, Charlemagne strove to restore them: yet it is thought that the posts were not established, in France, till the reign of Louis XI. (Calmet)
Esther 3:14 And the contents of the letters were to this effect, that all provinces might know, and be ready against that day.

Letter. It should appear here, as it is in Greek, but the Hebrew, etc., omitting it, the Vulgate give it, Esther 13:1.
Esther 3:15 The couriers, that were sent, made haste to fulfil the king's commandment. And, immediately, the edict was hung up in Susan, the king and Aman feasting together, and all the Jews, that were in the city, weeping.

Jews. Hebrew, "but the city of Susan was in perplexity." Greek, "troubled." (Calmet) --- Even the pagans could not view such a cruel decree, without horror. (Haydock)
Esther 4:0 Mardochai desireth Esther to petition the king for the Jews. They join in fasting and prayer.

Esther 4:1 Now when Mardochai had heard these things, he rent his garments, and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head: and he cried with a loud voice in the street, in the midst of the city, shewing the anguish of his mind.

Shewing. Septuagint, old Vulgate, and Josephus, "a nation which has done no wrong, is to be cut off." The eastern nations were accustomed to such marks of sorrow, Jonas 2:6. The citizens of Susa tore their garments, and cried aloud, for many days after the defeat of Xerxes. (Herodotus 8:98.) --- The domestics of Darius and Alexander tore also their hair, etc., after their masters' death. (Curtius iii., and xi.)
Esther 4:2 And he came, lamenting in this manner, even to the gate of the palace: for no one clothed with sackcloth might enter the king's court.

Sackcloth. Greek adds, "and ashes." Such an appearance was deemed disrespectful. God forbids his priests to act thus, Leviticus xxi.. 1. See Genesis 41:14. Yet the miserable ought not to be entirely excluded from the king's presence, as he ought to be their protector.
Esther 4:3 And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which the king's cruel edict was come, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.

Edict. Literally, "dogma;" (Haydock) a word used in this sense, (Acts 15:16.) and by Demosthenes, etc. (Tirinus) --- Mourning. The most effectual means of redress, is to do works of penance for past transgressions, 1 Corinthians 11:31. (Worthington)
Esther 4:4 Then Esther's maids, and her eunuchs, went in, and told her. And when she heard it, she was in a consternation: and she sent a garment, to clothe him, and to take away the sackcloth; but he would not receive it.

Her, concerning the unusual distress of one of the courtiers. They knew not, (Menochius) perhaps, that he was related to her. (Haydock)
Esther 4:5 And she called for Athach, the eunuch, whom the king had appointed to attend upon her, and she commanded him to go to Mardochai, and to learn of him, why he did this.

Esther 4:6 And Athach going out, went to Mardochai, who was standing in the street of the city, before the palace gate:

Esther 4:7 And Mardochai told him all that had happened, how Aman had promised to pay money into the king's treasures to have the Jews destroyed.

Money. Hebrew, "the sum of money." Septuagint, "ten thousand talents."
Esther 4:8 He gave him, also, a copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan, that he should shew it to the queen, and admonish her to go in to the king, and to entreat him for her people.

Entreat. Septuagint, "to put in a counter-petition, and entreat," etc. --- People. Septuagint add, "and country, remembering the days of thy lowly state, how thou wast fed by my hand; for Aman, the second after the king, has spoken against us, to have us destroyed. Call then upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and rescue us from death." (Haydock) --- This servant must have been very trusty, as the secret was confided to him, respecting the nation to which the queen belonged. (Menochius)
Esther 4:9 And Athach went back and told Esther all that Mardochai had said.

Esther 4:10 She answered him, and bade him say to Mardochai:

Esther 4:11 All the king's servants, and all the provinces that are under his dominion, know that whosoever, whether man or woman, cometh into the king's inner court, who is not called for, is immediately to be put to death without any delay: except the king shall hold out the golden sceptre to him, in token of clemency, that so he may live. How then can I go in to the king, who, for these thirty days now, have not been called unto him?

Inner court, with regard to many others around, though there was one still more retired, (Tirinus) where the king alone could enter. This admitted the light only by the door, before which hung a curtain, so that the king could see (Calmet) who came into the hall of audience, (Haydock) without being seen. None durst come even to this antichamber, without being called. It was also death to appear with their hands out of their sleeves, (Cyrop. ii.) or to sit down, (Diod. xvii.) or look at any of the king's wives in the face, etc. (Plut. Artax.) --- This gloomy retirement was intended to keep up the idea of his majesty being something more than man. (Haydock) --- Apud Persas persona regis, sub specie majestatis, occulitur. (Justin. i.) --- The king's secret cabinet (Calmet) resembled, in magnificence, (chap. 15:9.) the description which Ovid has given us of the palace of the sun. (Tirinus) --- It was covered with gold and precious stones. Here he continued, almost inaccessible, and business was despatched slowly. (Calmet) --- Agesilaus, king of Sparta, shewed how ridiculous these customs were, by acting quite the reverse, appearing frequently among his subjects, and granting their just requests without delay. (Xenophon) --- Thirty. She might apprehend that the king's affection was beginning to cool. God was pleased thus to try her the more. (Haydock)
Esther 4:12 And when Mardochai had heard this,

Esther 4:13 He sent word to Esther again, saying: Think not that thou mayst save thy life only, because thou art in the king's house, more than all the Jews:

Only. Aman would contrive to effect her ruin with the rest.
Esther 4:14 For if thou wilt now hold thy peace, the Jews shall be delivered by some other occasion: and thou, and thy father's house shall perish. And who knoweth whether thou art not, therefore, come to the kingdom, that thou mightest be ready in such a time as this?

Occasion. Wonderful confidence! Greek, "if thou wilt not hearken (Calmet; to me; (Haydock) or, if thou obstinately despise) at this time, the Jews shall be assisted and protected by some," etc. (Haydock) --- As this. So Joseph was raised, in Egypt, (Calmet) that he might save all his family. (Haydock)
Esther 4:15 And again Esther sent to Mardochai in these words:

Esther 4:16 Go, and gather together all the Jews whom thou shalt find in Susan, and pray ye for me. Neither eat, nor drink, for three days and three nights: and I, with my handmaids, will fast in like manner, and then I will go in to the king, against the law, not being called, and expose myself to death and to danger.

Pray. Hebrew, "fast." They might take some refreshment in the evening, (Lyranus) of dried meats. (Josephus) (Grotius) --- Few constitutions could have done without any thing. Yet after two nights and one full day were elapsed, Esther ventured to go to the king, Esther 5:1. We have here another instance of places for prayer, Judith 6:21. The old Vulgate has, "publish a fast, and tell the ancients to fast. Let the infants be kept from the breast during the night, and let no food be given to the oxen and other animals, while I and my maids shall fast," etc. Then at the end of this chapter, in the Septuagint, follow the prayers of Mardochai and of Esther, (chap. 13:8., and Esther 14.; Haydock) which is their proper place. (Calmet)
Esther 4:17 So Mardochai went, and did all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 5:0 Esther is graciously received: she inviteth the king and Aman to dinner. Aman prepareth a gibbet for Mardochai.

Esther 5:1 And *on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over-against the king's hall: now he sat upon his throne in the hall of the palace, over-against the door of the house.

Year of the World 3495. And. Instead of these two verses, the Septuagint place (Haydock) what we have [in] Esther 15., with some small variation from the present account in Hebrew. But there is nothing incompatible with the truth. (Calmet) --- The king might be at first displeased; but, seeing the effect which it had upon Esther, he might feel his former sentiments of love rekindle. (Calmet) (Tirinus) --- House, or inner apartment, Esther 4:11. The throne was surprizingly magnificent, yet inferior to that of Solomon, 3 Kings 10:18. (Calmet) --- It was formed of gold and precious stones, with a curtain over it of purple and other colours. (Athen. 11:2.)
Esther 5:2 And when he saw Esther, the queen, standing, she pleased his eyes, and he held out toward her the golden sceptre, which he held in his hand: and she drew near, and kissed the top of his sceptre.

Golden. "It is not this golden sceptre which saves the kingdom," said Cyrus, "but faithful friends are the most true and secure sceptre for kings." (Cyrop. viii.) (Calmet) --- Kissed. Hebrew, "touched." (Haydock)
Esther 5:3 And the king said to her: What wilt then, queen Esther? what is thy request? if thou shouldst even ask one half of the kingdom, it shall be given to thee.

Kingdom. Esther 7:2. This compliment only (Calmet) meant, that every rational (Haydock) request should be granted, Mark. 6:23.
Esther 5:4 But she answered: If it please the king, I beseech thee to come to me this day, and Aman with thee, to the banquet which I have prepared.

Prepared. It was not prudent to declare her request, when many improper persons were present; and Aman was not there. (Menochius) --- She thought that the hilarity, occasioned by innocent feasting, (Haydock) might be a means of obtaining more effectually what she wanted. (Menochius) --- If the prudence of this world suggest much address, why may not virtue employ the same arts for good purposes? Esther had to obtain two great points; to make the king retract his edict, and to abandon his favourite. She is afraid therefore of being too hasty, (Calmet) and invites the king again, to increase by this delay his desire of knowing her request, and that he might bind himself to grant it more effectually. (Worthington) --- She invites Aman alone, who would thus be more envied by the other courtiers; (Lyranus) while she manifested an open dispostion, and disdained to accuse the absent. (Tirinus)
Esther 5:5 And the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly, that he may obey Esther's will. So the king and Aman came to the banquet which the queen had prepared for them.

Esther 5:6 And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine plentifully: What dost thou desire should be given thee? and for what thing askest thou? although thou shouldst ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it.

Wine. The Persians did not drink till the end of the feast, (as the Turks are said to do at present. Tavernier) when they fall upon wine without any moderation. (Aelian, Hist. 12:1.)
Esther 5:7 And Esther answered: My petition and request is this:

Esther 5:8 If I have found favour in the king's sight, and if it please the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfil my petition: let the king and Aman come to the banquet which I have prepared them, and to-morrow I will open my mind to the king.

Esther 5:9 So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when he saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace, and that he not only did not rise up to honour him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was exceedingly angry:

Esther 5:10 But dissembling his anger, and returning into his house, he called together to him his friends, and Zares, his wife:

Esther 5:11 And he declared to them the greatness of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory the king had advanced him above all his princes and servants.

Children. After military glory, this was deemed the greatest. The king sent presents yearly to those who had most children. (Herodotus 1:136.)
Esther 5:12 And after this he said: Queen Esther also hath invited no other to the banquet with the king, but me: and with her I am also to dine to-morrow, with the king:

But me. It was thought very singular, when Artaxerxes invited his own brothers. (Plut.) --- But when he also admitted a foreigner, the nobility became jealous, as that honour was reserved for the king's relations. (Athen. i.) --- Dine, or feast. Only one meal was taken, (Herodotus 7:120.) and that in the evening. (Calmet)
Esther 5:13 And whereas I have all these things, I think I have nothing, so long as I see Mardochai, the Jew, sitting before the king's gate.

Whereas. Septuagint, "all these things do not satisfy me, while I behold," etc. Such is the insatiable nature of ambition! (Haydock) --- Gate. He does not clearly mention that he wanted to be adored. (Menochius)
Esther 5:14 Then Zares, his wife, and the rest of his friends, answered him: Order a great beam to be prepared, fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king, that Mardochai may be hanged upon it, and so thou shalt go full of joy with the king to the banquet. The counsel pleased him, and he commanded a high gibbet to be prepared.

High. This was to increase the shame. Hence Galba condemned a Roman citizen to be hung on a high white cross. (Suetonius ix.) --- The Jews formerly burned a man in effigy with a cross, pretending to do it in detestation of Aman, but in reality to deride our Saviour, till the emperors forbade the custom, Esther 9:21. (Calmet) (Just. and Theodos.) (Calmet)
Esther 6:0 The king hearing of the good service done him by Mardochai, commandeth Aman to honour him next to the king, which he performeth.

Esther 6:1 That* night the king passed without sleep, and he commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought him. And when they were reading them before him,

Year of the World 3495. Sleep. Anxious what Esther could desire. Septuagint, "But the Lord removed sleep from the king that night." (Haydock) --- Providence watched over the welfare of his people. --- Chronicles. The kings took particular care (Calmet) to have their benefactors mentioned in history and rewarded. (Herodotus 8:85.) Assuerus had not recourse to musicians, etc., wisely (Tirinus) reflecting that history is the most pleasing and useful amusement. (Cicero, etc.) (Tirinus) --- God directed him on this occasion, as his eye never sleepeth. (Josephus) (Worthington)
Esther 6:2 They came to that place where it was written, how Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares, the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus.

Esther 6:3 And when the king heard this, he said: What honour and reward hath Mardochai received for this fidelity? His servants and ministers said to him: He hath received no reward at all.

No reward at all. He received some presents from the king; (chap. 12:5.) but these were so inconsiderable in the opinion of the courtiers, that they esteemed them as nothing at all; (Challoner) and they were not specified in the history. (Calmet)
Esther 6:4 And the king said immediately: Who is in the court? for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king's house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet which was prepared for him.

Inner court. To which only such favourites and noblemen had access. (Herodotus 3:72., and 84.) This king had himself come thither with six others, when they conspired to destroy Smerdis. Hebrew, etc., read, "the outward court," in which Aman was, till he heard the king was awake, and called for him. (Calmet)
Esther 6:5 The servants answered: Aman standeth in the court. And the king said: Let him come in.

Esther 6:6 And when he was come in, he said to him: What ought to be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour? But Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king would honour no other but himself,

Esther 6:7 Answered: The man whom the king desireth to honour,

Esther 6:8 Ought to be clothed with the king's apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head,

Apparel. Greek, "of byssus," which was very superb, Esther 15:9. The king alone could wear the tiara upright. The nobles wore it hanging backwards. Cyrus allowed his nobility to appear in purple, but he would have only his own robes striped with white. (Cyrop. viii.; Curtius iii.) --- The kings often made presents of garments, etc., to ambassadors, and to those who were styled "their relations." --- Horse: 200 such appeared in the train of Cyrus, with golden bits, which none were permitted to use without special leave. --- Head. Greek seems to refer this to the horse, which might indeed have a sort of crown. But the golden one was more probably worn by the person honoured, Esther 8:15.
Esther 6:9 And let the first of the king's princes and nobles hold his horse, and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: Thus shall he be honoured, whom the king hath a mind to honour.

Nobles. Literally, "tyrants." (Haydock) --- But this word was not formerly odious; as it only denoted "a prince." Pars mihi pacis erit dextram tetigisse tyranni. (Vigil, Aeneid vii.) --- Abuse of power caused it to become hateful. (Tirinus)
Esther 6:10 And the king said to him: Make haste and take the robe and the horse, and do as thou hast spoken to Mardochai, the Jew, who sitteth before the gates of the palace. Beware thou pass over any of those things which thou hast spoken.

Spoken. The distinction was not for one day only. Mardochai might afterwards wear the tiara, etc. God thus clearly manifested that he would resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. (St. James 4:6.) The exaltation of Joseph in Egypt, (Calmet) and lately of Daniel at the court at Babylon, (Tirinus) was hardly less wonderful, Genesis xli., and Daniel vi. (Calmet) --- We may easily conceive the astonishment which would fill the breast of Aman, as well as of Mardochai, on this occasion. The Greek published by Usher, has expressed these sentiments; (Haydock) and the Chaldean has added many embellishments, which are of no authority. (Calmet)
Esther 6:11 So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, whom the king hath a mind to honour.

Esther 6:12 But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourning, and having his head covered:

Covered. To hide his shame, (Tirinus) as Demosthenes did, when the people kissed him. (Plutarch) See 2 Kings xv., and Ezechiel 12:6.
Esther 6:13 And he told Zares,his wife, and his friends, all that had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel, and his wife answered him: If Mardochai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou canst not resist him, but thou shalt fall in his sight.

Wise men. Probably the magi, who concluded, from the first miscarriage, that the undertaking would prove abortive, (Calmet) as they were also informed of God's protection given repeatedly to the Jews. Septuagint, "because the living God is with him." (Chaldean) They might have heard of the fate of Sennacherib and of Holofernes, (Calmet) or of God's promises, (Genesis xiii., and xv.) unless they were guided by human prudence. (Worthington)
Esther 6:14 As they were yet speaking, the king's eunuchs came, and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the queen had prepared.

As. Thus from morning till noon, (Tirinus) or night, had this petty god (Haydock) been forced to stoop to the meanest offices, and durst not say a word in opposition. (Tirinus) --- He would gladly have now absented himself from the feast, (Menochius) with the idea of which he had been enraptured. (Haydock)
Esther 7:0 Esther's petition for herself and her people: Aman is hanged upon the gibbet he had prepared for Mardochai.

Esther 7:1 So *the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen.

Year of the World 3495. Drink. Wine was only used at great feasts, Ecclesiasticus 31:17. Water was served up first, from the river Choaspes only. The king and his eldest son were allowed to drink of "the golden waters," of which they alone had 70 fountains. (Athen. 12:2.) --- Their wine was brought from Chelbon, near Damascus. (Ibid.[Athen.?] 1:22.) (Ezechiel 27:18.) (Calmet)
Esther 7:2 And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: What is thy petition, Esther, that it may be granted thee? and what wilt thou have done? although thou ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it.

Esther 7:3 Then she answered: If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please thee, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request.

People. She was more concerned for these than for half of the kingdom. Hence all fasted and prayed, and Esther obtained their deliverance. (Worthington)
Esther 7:4 For we are given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bond-men and bond-women: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redoundeth upon the king.

Perish. Three terms of the same import express the greatness of the misery. (Haydock) --- King. Whose revenue will be greatly impaired, (Calmet) and character injured, for having given such power to a monster. (Haydock) --- The kings of Persia had taken many precautions not to be thus deluded, having appointed officers, who were styled "the eyes and ears" of the king, purposely to obtain all necessary information. But these eyes were often darkened; these ears were often deaf, (Calmet) and unwilling to act with fidelity; (Haydock) though their diligence in make secret transactions known, caused the people to look upon their kings as gods. (Apul. Mund. Cyrop. viii.) (Calmet)
Esther 7:5 And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things?

What. Hebrew, "where, who durst entertain this design?" (Haydock)
Esther 7:6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing this, was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of the king and of the queen.

Astonished. Horror of a guilty conscience is the first punishment. (St. Chrysostom) (Worthington)
Esther 7:7 But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up, to entreat Esther, the queen, for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king.

Set. Hebrew, "of the palace," (Haydock) belonging to the queen. (Calmet)
Esther 7:8 And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: He will force the queen, also, in my presence, in my own house. The word was not yet gone out of the king's mouth, and immediately they covered his face.

My own. Hebrew, "will he force....in the house?" (Haydock) --- Those who know with what jealousy the Persians treated their wives, so as to punish with death those who crossed the road before the queens, (Plut. Artax.) or touched them, will not wonder at the indignation of Assuerus, (Calmet) though his suspicions were groundless. (Haydock) --- Aman wished to incline the queen to shew clemency, (Menochius) and intercede for him. He threw himself as a suppliant at her feet, as she lay on the bed at table. (Haydock) --- Face. His crime was notorious; no trial was requisite, and the kings could treat their subjects as slaves. It was customary to cover the faces of those who were led to execution. Philotas was thus conducted into the presence of Alexander. (Curtius vi.)
Esther 7:9 And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: Behold the gibbet which he hath prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, standeth in Aman's house, being fifty cubits high. And the king said to him: Hang him upon it.

Harbona. Cr.[Greek?], "Bougathan." (Haydock) --- He had been to call Aman to the feast. (Jos.[Josephus?]) --- Little dependance is to be had on false friendship, when a man is disgraced. (Worthington) --- Upon it. His body was perhaps afterwards exposed in the street, Esther 16:18. It is not clear that he was nailed to the cross, though this custom prevailed in the country, 1 Esdras 6:11. Alexander crucified many satraps. (Curtius ix.) --- The old Vulgate observes that the wife and ten children of Aman suffered with him, Esther 9:6. (Calmet)
Esther 7:10 So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king's wrath ceased.

Esther 8:0 Mardochai is advanced: Aman's letters are reversed.

Esther 8:1 On *that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her uncle.

Year of the World 3495. House, and furniture. Septuagint, "all the possessions of Aman, the devil," (accuser, etc.; Haydock) which were confiscated for treason; and no one had a better title than the queen, whose life had been is such danger. Yet she did not touch the estates of the children, ver. 13., and Esther 9:10. --- King. In the place of Aman, Esther 9:4., and 10:3. --- Uncle, or cousin. (Calmet)
Esther 8:2 And the king took the ring which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardochai over her house.

Aman. It seems the traitor had hitherto kept possession of it, and sealed the king's edicts, as Mardochai was now to do, ver. 8. --- House. Hebrew, etc., "of Aman," to whom it had belonged. (Calmet)
Esther 8:3 And not content with these things, she fell down at the king's feet and wept, and speaking to him, besought him that he would give orders that the malice of Aman, the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect.

Down. Such reverence is due to God's representatives, whatever heretics may say. (Jude 8.)
Esther 8:4 But he, as the manner was, held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him,

Esther 8:5 And said: If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech thee, that the former letters of Aman, the traitor, and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters.

To him. Hebrew adds, "and I be pleasing in his eyes," which had been expressed just before. Yet she might insist on this point, as it shewed a greater regard for the king's pleasure. --- I beseech. Hebrew, "let it be written, to reverse the device of Aman, the son," etc. (Haydock) --- When the edict was not sealed by the nobles, it might be altered; (chap. 1:19.) and at any rate, when the king had been to[too?] visibly imposed upon, in an affair of such consequence, justice dictated that it should not be enforced. (Calmet)
Esther 8:6 For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people?

Esther 8:7 And king Assuerus answered Esther, the queen, and Mardochai, the Jew: I have given Aman's house to Esther, and I have commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet, because he durst lay hands on the Jews.

Durst. Hebrew, "laid." He had sufficiently manifested his intention to destroy them, though he had not been able to injure any one. (Haydock)
Esther 8:8 Write ye, therefore, to the Jews, as it pleaseth you, in the king's name, and seal the letters with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay the letters which were sent in the king's name, and were sealed with his ring.

This. Hebrew, "no one may reverse the letter," etc.
Esther 8:9 Then the king's scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the time of the third month, which is called Siban) the three and twentieth day of the month, and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, to the Jews, and to the governors, and to the deputies, and to the judges, who were rulers over the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to province and province, to people and people, according to their languages and characters, and to the Jews, according as they could read and hear.

Third. Roman Septuagint, "first....Nisan," ten days after Aman's decree, who seems to have been presently brought to judgment. Yet two whole months might easily elapse, (Calmet) and ten days more, before this contrary edict was dispatched. (Haydock) --- The day of slaughter was still remote. (Menochius)
Esther 8:10 And these letters which were sent in the king's name, were sealed with his ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages.

Posts, who had a right to make use of any person's horse, etc. (Menochius) --- Who. Protestants, "on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries." (Haydock) --- The original terms greatly embarrass interpreters. (Calmet) --- Septuagint have simply, "he sent the writings by letter-carriers, ordering them to follow their own laws in every city, to help themselves, and treat their adversaries and opponents as they pleased, on one day....the 13th....of Adar. This is a copy," etc., Esther 16. (Haydock)
Esther 8:11 And the king gave orders to them, to speak to the Jews in every city, and to command them to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and to kill and destroy all their enemies, with their wives and children and all their houses, and to take their spoil.

Spoil. This was retaliating, as they were to have been treated in like manner. (Calmet) --- Such were the barbarous customs of the country. (Haydock) --- It might not still be lawful thus to involve the innocent with the guilty, though the king did not ill in allowing the Jews to stand up in their own defence, 2 Kings 21:6. Some think that they were only to prevent the execution of the former edict, which could not be revoked. See Esther 3:(Calmet) --- A form of trial was observed, Esther 16:20. (Menochius)
Esther 8:12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month, Adar.

Esther 8:13 And this was the content of the letter, that it should be notified in all lands and peoples that were subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were ready to be revenged of their enemies.

Esther 8:14 So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king's edict was hung up in Susan.

Esther 8:15 And Mardochai going forth out of the palace, and from the king's presence, shone in royal apparel, to wit, of violet and sky-colour, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was glad.

Cloak. The kings wore one of purple, over their purple and white tunic. (Cyrop. viii.) --- Greek have "diadem." (Calmet)
Esther 8:16 But to the Jews a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing.

Esther 8:17 And in all peoples, cities, and provinces, whithersoever the king's commandments came, there was wonderful rejoicing feasts, and banquets, and keeping holyday; insomuch that many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread of the name of the Jews had fallen upon all.

Ceremonies. Becoming acquainted with the sanctity of the law, and the protection which God gave to his people. (Menochius) --- Hebrew, "the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast, and a good day, and many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews," etc. (Protestants) (Haydock)
Esther 9:0 The Jews kill their enemies that would have killed them. The days of Phurim are appointed to be kept holy.

Esther 9:1 So *on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said above, is called Adar, when all the Jews were designed to be massacred, and their enemies were greedy after their blood, the case being altered, the Jews began to have the upper hand, and to revenge themselves of their adversaries.

Year of the World 3496, Year before Christ 508. As. Hebrew, "(which is the month of Adar) when the king's command and edict drew near to be executed, in that day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it turned out that the Jews had dominion over those who hated them.)" (Haydock) --- To revenge, etc. The Jews, on this occasion, by authority from the king, were made executioners of the public justice, for punishing by death a crime worthy of death, viz., a malicious conspiracy for extripating their whole nation; (Challoner) so inscrutable are the judgments of God, who never wholly abandoned his people! The old Vulgate passes over the first 19 verses, with the 24th, 25th, and 28th. (Calmet) --- In this whole history we cannot but admire the Providence of God. (Worthington)
Esther 9:2 And they gathered themselves together in every city, and town, and place, to lay their hands on their enemies, and their persecutors. And no one durst withstand them, for the fear of their power had gone through every people.

Esther 9:3 And the judges of the provinces, and the governors, and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews, for fear of Mardochai:

Extolled. Protestants, "helped." Septuagint, "the king's secretaries honoured the Jews." (Haydock)
Esther 9:4 For they knew him to be prince of the palace, and to have great power: and the fame of his name increased daily, and was spread abroad through all men's mouths.

Esther 9:5 So the Jews made a great slaughter of their enemies, and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them:

Esther 9:6 Insomuch that even in Susan they killed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Aman, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews: whose names are these:

Sons. It seems as if they had been slain with their father, ver. 10. See Esther 7:9. (Calmet) --- Yet, as the contrary would appear from Esther 16:18, we may suppose that they were at least (Haydock) imprisoned till this time, for a more exemplary punishment, while all the rest of the family perished with Aman. (Serarius) (Salien) (Menochius) --- These are the kindred, specified nine months before, Esther 16. (Tirinus) --- Some Masorets childishly (Haydock) write these ten names one over another, and with greater and less letters, to shew that they were hung one above another, and that the guilt of all was not the same, but the youngest son was the most malicious. (Kennicott)
Esther 9:7 Pharsandatha, and Delphon, and Esphatha,

Esther 9:8 And Phoratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

Esther 9:9 And Phermesta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Jezatha.

Esther 9:10 And when they had slain them, they would not touch the spoils of their goods.

Goods, in any place, (Tirinus) that they might not appear to be actuated by the desire of riches, (Calmet) to fall upon the innocent. How often does this fatal cause blind Christian conquerors! The sons of Aman were married, and had separate establishments, Esther 8:1.
Esther 9:11 And presently the number of them that were killed in Susan was brought to the king.

Esther 9:12 And he said to the queen: The Jews have killed five hundred men in the city of Susan, besides the ten sons of Aman: how many dost thou think they have slain in all the provinces? What askest thou more, and what wilt thou have me to command to be done?

Esther 9:13 And she answered: If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews, to do to-morrow, in Susan, as they have done to-day, and that the ten sons of Aman may be hanged upon gibbets.

Susan. Aman's influence had been the greatest there, and had stirred up many enemies to the Jews, who were to be carefully sought out. (Haydock) --- If we should consider only the dictates of clemency, we should think that the Jews were too eager in their revenge. But when we reflect, that their enemies had intended to destroy them all, and to seize their effects, we shall allow that they did not exceed the limits of justice, as they acted by royal authority, and abstained from touching any effects of the deceased. (Calmet) --- In the capital, 800 men fell victims to their fury. But as the citizens of that place were probably the most guilty, we must not imagine that other cities would be treated with the like severity. (Haydock) --- Gibbets, for a terror to the wicked. (Menochius) --- This disgrace was not unusual, Esther 16:18. Polycrates was treated thus. (Herodotus 3:125.)
Esther 9:14 And the king commanded that it should be so done. And forthwith the edict was hung up in Susan, and the ten sons of Aman were hanged.

Esther 9:15 And on the fourteenth day of the month Adar, the Jews gathered themselves together, and they killed in Susan, three hundred men: but they took not their substance.

Esther 9:16 Moreover, through all the provinces which were subject to the king's dominion, the Jews stood for their lives, and slew their enemies and persecutors: insomuch that the number of them that were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and no man took any of their goods.

Lives. In many cases they would probably be attacked, as Aman's edict was perhaps still in force, as well as that of Mardochai. Hence both parties would be upon the watch. (Haydock) --- Seventy-five. Roman Septuagint has only 15,000. Complutensian, 10,035. (Calmet)
Esther 9:17 Now the thirteenth day of the month, Adar, was the first day with them all of the slaughter, and on the fourteenth day they left off. Which they ordained to be kept holyday, so that all times hereafter they should celebrate it with feasting, joy, and banquets.

Esther 9:18 But they that were killing in the city of Susan, were employed in the slaughter on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month: and on the fifteenth day they rested. And, therefore, they appointed that day to be a holyday of feasting and gladness.

Esther 9:19 But those Jews that dwelt in towns, not walled, and in villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month, Adar, for banquets and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day, and send one another portions of their banquets and meats.

Meats, not only to the poor, but to all their friends, ver. 22., and 2 Esdras 8:10. (Calmet)
Esther 9:20 And Mardochai wrote all these things, and sent them comprised in letters to the Jews that abode in all the king's provinces, both those that lay near, and those afar off,

Esther 9:21 That they should receive the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month, Adar, for holydays, and always, at the return of the year, should celebrate them with solemn honour:

Receive. Protestants, "establish this among them, that they should keep the 14th....yearly," 2 Machabees 15:37. (Haydock) --- None were obliged to keep more than one of these days, according to their respective dwellings. The 14th was for the provinces, the 15th for the Jews of Susan, ver. 18. (Tirinus) (Calmet) (Worthington) --- Yet it would seem that both days were enjoined, ver. 27, 28. (Haydock) --- The Jews still observe, them, as they gratify their vanity and vindictive spirit. The 13th is kept a rigid fast, for all above sixteen, for twenty-four hours, during which they eat nothing. (Calmet) --- If that day should be a sabbath, or its eve, they fast on the 11th or 12th. (Drusius) --- The day before the festival they give alms to their poor brethren, enjoining them to consume the whole in making good cheer. Each person must then contribute the half sicle, (Exodus 30:13.) which is bestowed on those who undertake a pilgrimage to the land of promise. At night, when the feast commences, they light the lamps, and begin to read the Book of Esther, as soon as the stars appear. They use an old parchment manuscript roll, and, in five places, the reader shouts with all his might, running over the names of the ten sons of Aman with all haste, to shew that they all died in a moment. Whenever Aman is mentioned, the children beat the benches with mallets; and formerly they used to strike at a stone, on which his name was cut, till it broke, ver. 31. After the lecture, they take a repast at home. Early the next morning they return to the synagogue, and read the account of Amalec from the Pentateuch, and repeat the Book of Esther, with the aforesaid ceremonies. The rest of the day they spend in merriment. Their teachers allow them to drink till they are unable to distinguish the name of Aman from that of Mardochai. (Basnage, 6:15.) --- They also change clothes, in contradiction to the law; (Deuteronomy 22:5.) and were formerly accustomed to crucify a man of straw, which they burnt with the cross, till Christian emperors put a stop to them; as it was concluded, from their curses, etc., that they had an eye to our Saviour. (Calmet) See Esther 5:14. (Haydock)
Esther 9:22 Because, on those days, the Jews revenged themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, and that these should be days of feasting and gladness, in which they should send one to another portions of meats, and should give gifts to the poor.

Esther 9:23 And the Jews undertook to observe, with solemnity, all they had begun to do at that time, which Mardochai, by letters, had commanded to be done.

Esther 9:24 For Aman, the son of Amadathi, of the race of Agag, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them, and destroy them: and had cast Phur, that is, the lot.

Esther 9:25 And, afterwards, Esther went in to the king, beseeching him that his endeavours might be made void by the king's letters: and the evil that he had intended against the Jews, might return upon his own head. And so both he and his sons were hanged upon gibbets.

And. Hebrew, "But when she came." Septuagint, "and how he came to the king, asking leave to hang Mardochai. But his machinations against the Jews, turned upon his own head; and so," etc. (Haydock)
Esther 9:26 And since that time, these days are called Phurim, that is, of lots: because Phur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that were done, are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book:

Esther 9:27 And the things that they suffered, and that were afterwards changed, the Jews took upon themselves and their seed, and upon all that had a mind to be joined to their religion, so that it should be lawful for none to pass these days without solemnity: which the writing testifieth, and certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another.

Esther 9:28 These are the days which shall never be forgot: and which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate throughout all generations: neither is there any city wherein the days of Phurim, that is, of lots, must not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which is bound to these ceremonies.

Ceremonies. The king also enjoined (chap. 16:22.) all his subjects (Tirinus) to keep a day of rejoicing, (Haydock) as the death of Aman was deemed a public benefit. (Calmet)
Esther 9:29 And Esther, the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mardochai, the Jew, wrote also a second epistle, that with all diligence, this day should be established a festival for the time to come.

Second. The first might be the edict, (chap. 8:9.) or else the provisional establishment of the festival, as it could not have general authority till it was ratified by the high priest; after which, this second letter was dispatched. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "and queen Esther, daughter of Aminadab, etc.,...wrote all that they had done, and also the confirmation of the epistle of the Phrourai." They should say Phurim, as the former word means "guards." Hebrew, "wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim;" (Protestants; Haydock) or rather, "this letter, Phurim, of which this is a copy." The Roman Septuagint only add for this and the following chapter, to 5:9: "They set them apart during their lives, and by their advice; (Calmet; Ed. Alex.[Alexandrian Edition?], "for their health and counsel.") and Esther established for ever, and wrote as a memorial: My nation," etc. (Haydock)
Esther 9:30 And they sent to all the Jews that were in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of king Assuerus, that they should have peace and receive truth,

Peace: receive these glad tidings, and faithfully observe the injunctions. (Calmet)
Esther 9:31 And observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy in their proper time: as Mardochai and Esther had appointed, and they undertook them to be observed by themselves, and by their seed, fasts, and cries, and the days of lots,

Fasts and cries. See ver. 21. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "the matters of their fastings and their cry: and the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book." (Haydock) --- This feast, instituted by Mardochai, was accepted and observed by the Jews as a constitution agreeable to, and not contrary to, the law, Deuteronomy 4:2., and 12:32. (Worthington)
Esther 9:32 And all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.

Esther 10:0 Assuerus's greatness. Mardochai's dignity.

Esther 10:1 And king Assuerus made all the land, and all the islands of the sea, tributary.

Land. He conquered many countries on the continent, and several to which he could not come but by water, which the Jews call islands, whether they were surrounded on all sides by the sea or not. Hebrew has not the word all: but as the expressions are indefinite, they are usually taken in this sense. Yet we must not suppose, that the dominion of Assuerus extended over the whole world, no more than that of the Romans, who were styled masters of it. Before this king, the provinces had not paid tribute, but gave what they judged proper. But Darius laid a heavy tribute upon all, that, when half was afterwards remitted, they might esteem it a favour. The Persians hence looked upon him as a trafficker: kapelos. (Herodotus 3:89., and 4:44., and 6:7., etc.) (Calmet) --- Providence punished them for thirsting after the possessions and blood of the Jews. (Tirinus)
Esther 10:2 And his strength and his empire, and the dignity and greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, are written in the books of the Medes, and of the Persians:

Esther 10:3 And how Mardochai, of the race of the Jews, was next after king Assuerus: and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of his seed.

Seed. Benjamin (Itin.) informs us, that both he and the queen were buried in the chief city of the Medes, which he calls "the great Hamda;" perhaps the province Mardochaea, (or Amordakia. Ptol. 5:20.) near the Persian gulf, may have been called after this statesman. (Tirinus)
Esther 10:4 Then Mardochai said: God hath done these things.

Then Mardochai, etc. Here St. Jerome advertiseth the reader, that what follows is not in the Hebrew; but is found in the Septuagint Greek edition, which the 72 interpreters translated out of the Hebrew, or added by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Challoner) --- He says, "What is extant in Hebrew I have faithfully translated. What follows I found in the Vulgate edition, contained in the Greek language and character: and in the mean time, or waving all dispute for the present, (interim) this little chapter was inserted at the end of the book, which, according to our custom, we have marked with an obel or spit." (Haydock) --- These fragments (Haydock) which the Septuagint might have in Hebrew or wrote by inspiration, (Worthington) are not in Chaldean or Syriac, and the old Latin version, taken from the Greek (Calmet) of Lysimachus, (chap. 11:1.; Haydock) is inserted by St. Jerome. (Calmet) --- Things. He attributes the salvation of the Jews to God alone. (Haydock) --- Reflecting on the fall of Aman, (Tirinus) he recollects a dream which he had formerly had. (Haydock)
Esther 10:5 I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things: and nothing thereof hath failed.

A dream. This dream was prophetical and extraordinary, otherwise the general rule is, not to observe them. (Challoner)
Esther 10:6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters, is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.

And was. Septuagint, "and there was light, and the sun and much water." The light enabled him to discern the progress of the little fountain. Yet it was not absurd that the water should appear luminous, like the sun, as it was intended to shew the wonderful exaltation of Esther. (Haydock) --- She extinguished a great fire, which threatened ruin. (Menochius)
Esther 10:7 But the two dragons; are I, and Aman.

Esther 10:8 The nations that were assembled; are they that endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.

Esther 10:9 And my nation is Israel, who cried to the Lord, and the Lord saved his people: and he delivered us from all evils, and hath wrought great signs and wonders among the nations:

Esther 10:10 And he commanded that there should be two lots, one of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.

Lots. Alluding to the Purim of Aman; (Calmet; Capellus) or rather these are only mentioned, ver. 13. (Haydock) --- Greek, "He had therefore made two lots....and the two lots came to the hour and time and day of judgment before God, and for all nations." (Haydock)
Esther 10:11 And both lots came to the day appointed already from that time before God to all nations:

Time. From all eternity (Tirinus) God had ordained to save his people; and this he declared to his servant, by shewing him two lots. (Haydock) --- This became more intelligible after the event, (Tirinus) like other predictions. (Haydock)
Esther 10:12 And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on his inheritance.

Mercy. Greek, "justified." But this often means, shewed mercy, Exodus 34:7. (Calmet) --- The book concludes in Greek with the first verse, which we have in the following chapter, though some editions seem (Haydock) to have had that remark (Du Hamel) of the Alexandrian Jews, (Calmet) at the head of the book. (Haydock)
Esther 10:13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same month. with all diligence, and joy of the people, gathered into one assembly, throughout all the generations, hereafter, of the people of Israel.

Esther 11:0 The dream of Mardochai, which, in the ancient Greek and Latin Bibles was in the beginning of the book, but was detached by St. Jerome, and put in this place.

Esther 11:1 In the fourth year *of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest, and of the Levitical race, and Ptolemy, his son, brought this epistle of Phurim, which they said Lysimachus, the son of Ptolemy, had interpreted in Jerusalem.

Year of the World 3827, Year before Christ 177. Cleopatra. So the kings and queens of Egypt were styled after Lagus; whence we can only gather, that this translation was brought after the reign of Alexander, and most probably under Philometer, the sixth of his successors. He was a great admirer of the Jews, and employed one Dositheus as his general, who might be the priest here mentioned; as such an office was not incompatible with his character. (Tirinus) --- Usher is of this opinion. See Josephus, contra Apion 2:But would he then be mentioned as if he had been a person almost unknown? (Calmet) --- We may say that he only raised himself by merit, after this time. (Haydock) --- Philometer reigned 177 years, B.C.[before Christ]. The Septuagint (Calmet) who gave their version in the 7th year of Philadelphus, (St. Epiphanius) were not the authors of the Greek edition of Esther; (Calmet) or perhaps, they may have adopted this of Lysimachus, (Huet; Du Hamel) as far as it went; the letter of Purim being only the groundwork of this history. If they did, Lysimachus must have lived before the time of Philometer; or what seems as probable, (Haydock) that the celebrated version has been made by different authors, and at different times. (Hody.) --- Jerusalem. Here St. Jerome subjoins, "This beginning was also in the Vulgate edition, which does not occur in Hebrew or in any interpreter," (Haydock) except the Septuagint. (Worthington) --- This must be referred to what follows.
Esther 11:2 In the second year *of the reign of Artaxerxes the great, in the first day of the month Nisan, Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the tribe of Benjamin:

Year of the World 3484, Year before Christ 520. Second year, the same when Darius gave an edict for building the temple, (1 Esdras iv.; Tirinus) and the year before the great feast, (chap. 1:3.) when the Jews little thought of such danger hanging over them. (Calmet) (Worthington) --- Benjamin. Esther 2:5., we read Jemini, which shews that they have the same import. (Tirinus)
Esther 11:3 A Jew, who dwelt in the city of Susan, a great man, and among the first of the king's court, had it dream.

Court, afterwards. (Calmet) --- He had a dream in the second year. (Houbigant)
Esther 11:4 *Now he was of the number of the captives, whom Nabuchodonosor, king of Babylon, had carried away from Jerusalem, with Jechonias, king of Juda:

4 Kings 24:15.; Esther 2:6.
Juda. This has been noticed already, Esther 2:5. But we need not be surprized at such repetitions. We find the like in the books of Moses, and 1 Kings 16:10., and 17:12., etc. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome says, "Librum Esther variis translatoribus constat esse vitiatum;" or, various historical documents may have been improperly inserted in the Greek, though they be true; and therefore St. Jerome has rightly removed them to the end. (Houbigant)
Esther 11:5 And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

Esther 11:6 *And behold two great dragons came forth ready to fight one against another.

Esther 10:7.
Esther 11:7 And at their cry all nations were stirred up to fight against the nation of the just.

Cry. While Aman was full of indignation against Mardochai, and the latter would not submit to adore him, the various nations of the empire were instigated to fall upon the Jews. (Haydock)
Esther 11:8 And that was a day of darkness and danger, of tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.

Esther 11:9 And the nation of the just was troubled, fearing their own evils, and was prepared for death.

Esther 11:10 And they cried to God: and as they were crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded into many waters.

Waters. Esther, by her tears, extinguished the rising flame. (Worthington)
Esther 11:11 The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the glorious.

Rose up. A bright sun (Tirinus) represented God, (Calmet) or the king. (Grotius)
Esther 11:12 And when Mardochai had seen this, and arose out of his bed, he was thinking what God would do: and he kept it fixed in his mind, desirous to know what the dream should signify.

Signify. He was convinced that it was from heaven. (Calmet)
Esther 12:0 Mardochai detects the conspiracy of the two eunuchs.

Esther 12:1 And *he abode at that time in the king's court with Bagatha and Thara, the king's eunuchs, who were porters of the palace.

Esther 2:21.; Esther 6:2.
At that time, is not in Greek. Capellus therefore argues in vain against the Greek author, as if this event took place in the 2d year. (Houbigant) --- The expression often occurs in Scripture, without determining the precise time. (Haydock)
Esther 12:2 And when he understood their designs, and had diligently searched into their projects, he learned that they went about to lay violent hands on king Artaxerxes, and he told the king thereof.

When. Greek, "for he heard their deliberations." --- Told, by the mouth of Esther, Esther 2:21. (Haydock)
Esther 12:3 Then the king had them both examined; and after they had confessed, commanded them to be put to death.

Esther 12:4 But the king made a record of what was done: and Mardochai also committed the memory of the thing to writing.

Esther 12:5 And the king commanded him, to abide in the court of the palace, and gave him presents for the information.

Palace, as an officer. --- Presents, of small value. (Calmet) --- The king had inquired, (Greek, Esther 6:3.) "What glory or favour have we done to Mardochai? and the ministers replied: Thou hast done nothing to him," to honour him as he deserves.
Esther 12:6 But Aman, the son of Amadathi, the Bugite, was in great honour with the king, and sought to hurt Mardochai and his people, because of the two eunuchs of the king who were put to death.

Bugite, may refer to some town of Macedon, Esther 3:1. --- Honour. Yet he might be still more exalted, after the conspiracy was detected; (Houbigant) as the king little suspected that he was concerned in it. (Haydock) --- Death. It is thought that they wished to place Aman, or some Macedonian, on the throne, Esther 16:12, 14. (Calmet) --- This reason for the malevolence of Aman, might be unknown to Mardochai, Esther 13:12. (Houbigant) --- The former was either a favourer of traitors, or perhaps of the same conspiracy. (Worthington)
Esther 13:0 A copy of a letter sent by Aman to destroy the Jews. Mardochai's prayer for the people.

Esther 13:1 And this was the copy of the letter. Artaxerxes, the great king, who reigneth from India to Ethiopia, to the princes and governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, that are subject to his empire, greeting.

"Hitherto," St. Jerome observes, "the preface extends. What follows, was placed in that part of the volume where it is written, And they, etc., (chap. 3:13., where the edict should naturally appear. Calmet) which we have found only in the Vulgate edition." (Haydock) --- Josephus produces this edict at length, but with some variations, (Calmet) which are of no importance. (Haydock)
Esther 13:2 Whereas I reigned over many nations, and had brought all the world under my dominion, I was not willing to abuse the greatness of my power, but to govern my subjects with clemency and lenity, that they might live quietly without any terror, and might enjoy peace, which is desired by all men.

World. This is an exaggeration. Princes are flattered with high titles, but none more so than those of the East. (Calmet) --- Quietly. Literally, "in silence." Greek, "undisturbed by the stormy billows, (akumantous) at all times; and that the kingdom might be rendered quiet, and the roads unmolested, to the very extremities; that peace, which is desired by all men, may be renewed." How amiable are these dispositions, which ought to be cherished by all princes! We might then hope soon to see peace restored. (Haydock)
Esther 13:3 But when I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, one that excelled the rest in wisdom and fidelity, and was second after the king, Aman by name,

After. Greek, "of all kingdoms as a reward, Aman shewed me," etc. Josephus, "the second after me, for his fidelity and confirmed good will." (Calmet) --- It is a great hurt for a king to be governed by one counsellor, Proverbs 15:22. (Worthington)
Esther 13:4 Told me that there was a people scattered through the whole world, which used new laws, and acted against the customs of all nations, despised the commandments of kings, and violated by their opposition the concord of all nations.

A people. Greek, "a certain perverse people, mixed with every tribe through," etc. --- New. Greek, "opposite to those of every nation, which always casteth aside the edicts of the kings, so that we cannot extend to them that upright and blameless dominion which we exercise over you."
Esther 13:5 Wherefore having learned this, and seeing one nation in opposition to all mankind, using perverse laws, and going against our commandments, and disturbing the peace and concord of the provinces subject to us,

Esther 13:6 We have commanded, that all whom Aman shall mark out, who is chief over all the provinces, and second after the king, and whom we honour as a father, shall be utterly destroyed by their enemies, with their wives and children, and that none shall have pity on them, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year:

Second. Greek, "our second father." (Calmet) --- Complutensian, "the second after us, shall be all extirpated by," etc. (Haydock) --- This king is represented as very stupidly giving orders for the destruction of a nation which he never names; (Capellus) but he intimates that Aman would do it, in whom he placed the most unbounded confidence. (Haydock) --- If the latter had any suspicions of the queen's being of that nation, he might very prudently abstain from mentioning the Jews even to the king, contenting himself with describing them so that they would easily be known by his agents; and, in effect, the king sufficiently pointed out the Jews, by saying that they followed laws different from all the world. (Houbigant) --- Infidels generally represent them as a wicked race, enemies to all but their own nation. (Tacitus, etc.) --- We need not wonder if Catholics be painted in the same colours, as the devil is still the same. (Haydock) --- Fourteenth. Josephus has the same day, though the 13th is specified in Hebrew, etc., (chap. 3:12.) and in the Greek and Vulgate, Esther 16:20. We must, therefore, allow that the Jews might be slaughtered on both days, or that the Greek is incorrect in this place. (Calmet) --- Salien thinks it would not be lawful to spare the Jews any longer than the 14th day; (Menochius) or the carnage was to cease on the 14th, as it did at Susa, Esther 9:17, 19. (Tirinus)
Esther 13:7 That these wicked men going down to hell in one day, may restore to our empire the peace which they had disturbed.

Hell. Protestants, "grave." The king only wanted to send them out of this world. At the end of this verse, St. Jerome says, "Hitherto is given the copy of the epistle. I found what follows after that place where we read, So Mardochai, etc., (chap. 4:17.) yet it is not in Hebrew nor does it appear in any of the interpreters." (Haydock) --- He means, Aquila, etc. For he plainly asserts before, that it was in the Septuagint, which he calls the Vulgate; and all know that this version was taken from the Hebrew. The Church reads this prayer of Mardochai, (Tirinus) in the mass, against pagans, (Worthington) and 21st Sunday after Pentecost, etc., so that this is a part of Scripture which the Council of Trent will not suffer to be rejected. (Tirinus)
Esther 13:8 But Mardochai besought the Lord, remembering all his works,

Esther 13:9 And said: O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel.

Esther 13:10 Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven.

Esther 13:11 Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist thy majesty.

Esther 13:12 Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest that it was not out of pride and contempt, or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Aman,

Esther 13:13 (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet,)

Esther 13:14 But I feared lest I should transfer the honour of my God to a man, and lest I should adore any one except my God.

To a man; "as if," says Capellus, "the salutation and civil honour be not quite different from adoration or religious worship, which must be given to God alone. Neither did Haman demand religious adoration, but only salutation and civil honour....To bend the knee is frequently used in civil honour, nor is it necessarily understood of religious worship." May our English Protestants deign to borrow this grain of common sense from one of their foreign brethren, when they attempt to impugn the respect given by Catholics to the saints. (Haydock) --- "We grant that Aman did not require religious worship: but as the civil respect which he claimed, was to be performed in the same manner as the Jews worshipped God, Mardochai would not wound his own conscience, or that of his people." (Houbigant) --- Yet it is by no means clear that Aman did not insist on being worshipped as a god. It is evident that Mardochai understood him, at least, in that light, Esther 3:2. (Haydock)
Esther 13:15 And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have mercy on thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish thy inheritance.

Esther 13:16 Despise not thy portion, which thou hast redeemed for thyself out of Egypt.

Esther 13:17 Hear my supplication, and be merciful to thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to thee.

Inheritance. Literally, "line," (Haydock) as it was usual to measure land with lines. (Menochius)
Esther 13:18 And all Israel, with like mind and supplication, cried to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over their heads.

Esther 14:0 The prayer of Esther, for herself and her people.

Esther 14:1 Queen Esther, also, fearing the danger that was at hand, had recourse to the Lord.

Fearing. Greek, "caught in the agony of death." The old Vulgate has many variations in this chapter. (Calmet) --- This prayer should be placed after that of Mardochai, at the end of Esther 4:(Menochius)
Esther 14:2 And when she had laid away her royal apparel, she put on garments suitable for weeping and mourning, instead of divers precious ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body with fasts: and all the places in which before she was accustomed to rejoice, she filled with her torn hair.

Ointments. Greek, "instead of the proud sweets, she filled her head with ashes and dust." Such as might be soon cleansed again. (Haydock) --- Torn. Greek, "curled hair," (strepton trichon. Haydock) some of which she cut off. See Leviticus 19:27., and 21:5. (Houbigant)
Esther 14:3 And she prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, saying: O my Lord, who alone art our king, help me, a desolate woman, and who have no other helper but thee.

Esther 14:4 My danger is in my hands.

Hands; very imminent. I am ready to expose my life, Psalm 118:109. (Calmet)
Esther 14:5 *I have heard of my father that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel from among all nations, and our fathers from all their predecessors, to possess them as an everlasting inheritance, and thou hast done to them as thou hast promised.

Deuteronomy 4:20.; Deuteronomy 4:34.; Deuteronomy 32:9.
Heard. Old Vulgate often repeats, "from the books of my fathers;" adducing the various instances of protection which God had shewn to his people, Noe, Abraham, Jonas, the three children, Daniel, Ezechias, and Anna: which intimates that Esther made the sacred books the subject of her frequent meditations, as good people ought to do. (Haydock)
Esther 14:6 We have sinned in thy sight, and therefore thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies:

Esther 14:7 For we have worshipped their gods. Thou art just, O Lord.

For. Greek, "since we have extolled," etc. Esther had not been guilty herself of this prevarication; but too many of the people had. (Haydock)
Esther 14:8 And now they are not content to oppress us with most hard bondage, but attributing the strength of their hands to the power of their idols,

But. Greek Complutensian, "Yea, thou hast placed (or rather as the Alexandrian manuscript reads, they have placed) their hands upon the hands of their idols, (Haydock; making league together. Calmet) to tear away the decree of thy mouth," (Haydock) and to put in execution the projects of (Menochius) the devil. (Haydock)
Esther 14:9 They design to change thy promises, and destroy thy inheritance, and shut the mouths of them that praise thee, and extinguish the glory of thy temple and altar,

Esther 14:10 That they may open the mouths of Gentiles, and praise the strength of idols, and magnify, for ever, a carnal king.

Idols. Greek, "of the vain things, and to render wonderful for ever," etc.
Esther 14:11 Give not, O Lord, thy sceptre to them that are not, lest they laugh at our ruin: but turn their counsel upon themselves, and destroy him that hath begun to rage against us.

Not idols, as they are often here designated, (Calmet and 1 Corinthians viii.) being only the imaginations of men. (Worthington) --- Destroy. Greek, "Make an example of the man, who has begun (Haydock; evils. Calmet) against us." (Haydock) --- She throws the blame upon Aman, and not upon her husband. (Calmet)
Esther 14:12 Remember, O Lord, and shew thyself to us in the time of our tribulation, and give me boldness, O Lord, king of gods, and of all power:

Gods. Greek, "nations, and Lord of all power." (Haydock)
Esther 14:13 Give me a well ordered speech in my mouth in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to the hatred of our enemy, that both he himself may perish, and the rest that consent to him.

Lion. This expression seems not sufficiently respectful. (Capellus) --- But why might not Esther use it with regard to one, who was raging against her people more than any lion, as St. Paul applies it to Nero, probably after her example? (Houbigant) (2 Timothy 4:17.) --- David also thus styles Saul and his persecutors in general, Psalm 7:3., etc. (Calmet)
Esther 14:14 But deliver us by thy hand, and help me, who have no other helper, but thee, O Lord, who hast the knowledge of all things,

Esther 14:15 And thou knowest that I hate the glory of the wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of every stranger.

Stranger. Only those near Chanaan were forbidden to marry; and St. Paul commends Eunice, who had espoused an infidel. (Capellus) --- But this was not the reason of his commendation; for he ordains, Bear not the yoke with infidels. A pious woman might, therefore, very well refrain from such contracts, to which the Jews, at this time, were in a manner forced. Still Esther might have a conjugal love for her husband, (Houbigant) though she would have preferred to marry one poorer of her own religion; and here she only submitted to the designs of God, in raising her to such an elevated station. (Menochius)
Esther 14:16 Thou knowest my necessity, that I abominate the sign of my pride and glory, which is upon my head in the days of my public appearance, and detest it as a menstruous rag, and wear it not in the days of my silence.

Sign. The diadem. It was no sin to wear it. (Capellus) --- What then? May not a pious prince despise such ornaments, raising his mind above them? (Houbigant) --- Silence, when I am alone. Nothing could give us a higher idea of Esther's virtue and greatness of soul, as her elevation did not make her forget herself. (Calmet)
Esther 14:17 And that I have not eaten at Aman's table, nor hath the king's banquet pleased me, and that I have not drunk the wine of the drink-offerings:

Me. Ought she to have been thus affected towards her husband? (Capellus) --- Undoubtedly: as the meats and the wine had been offered to idols. (Houbigant)
Esther 14:18 And that thy handmaid hath never rejoiced, since I was brought hither unto this day, but in thee, O Lord, the God of Abraham.

Esther 14:19 O God, who art mighty above all, hear the voice of them, that have no other hope, and deliver us from the hand of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.

Esther 15:0 Esther comes into the king's presence: she is terrified, but God turns his heart.

Esther 15:1 And he commanded her (no doubt but he was Mardochai) to go to the king, and petition for her people, and for her country.

St. Jerome says, "These additions I also found in the Vulgate edition." (Haydock) --- This history is more succinctly related, Esther 5. (Calmet) --- Her. Literally, "And he commanded her (no doubt Mardochai did Esther) to go," etc. The parenthesis was added by St. Jerome. (Haydock)
Esther 15:2 Remember (said he) the days of thy low estate, how thou wast brought up by my hand, because Aman, the second after the king, hath spoken against us unto death.

Remember. This is not here in Greek, but more regularly, Esther 4:8. (Calmet)
Esther 15:3 And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death.

Death. St. Jerome subjoins, I found there "also what follows."
Esther 15:4 And on the third day she laid away the garments she wore, and put on her glorious apparel.

Day. Greek adds, "as she had finished her prayer." --- Wore. Literally, "of her ornament." But the Greek has properly, (Haydock) "of her mourning." (Menochius)
Esther 15:5 And glittering in royal robes, after she had called upon God, the ruler and saviour of all, she took two maids with her,

Glittering. Greek, "and was resplendent after," etc.
Esther 15:6 And upon one of them she leaned, as if for delicateness and overmuch tenderness, she were not able to bear up her own body:

As if. Greek, "as being delicate. But the other followed, holding up her garment. But she, blushing in the height of her beauty, with a cheerful and most lovely countenance, felt the pressure of fear on her heart."
Esther 15:7 And the other maid followed her lady, bearing up her train flowing on the ground.

Esther 15:8 But she with a rosy colour in her face, and with gracious and bright eyes, hid a mind full of anguish, and exceedingly great fear.

Esther 15:9 So going in she passed through all the doors in order, and stood before the king, where he sat upon his royal throne, clothed with his royal robes, and glittering with gold, and precious stones, and he was terrible to behold.

Esther 15:10 And when he had lifted up his countenance, and with burning eyes had shewn the wrath of his heart, the queen sunk down, and her colour turned pale, and she rested her weary head upon her handmaid.

Eyes. Greek adds, "with glory," with which he was surrounded. This made him at first resent the coming in of women uncalled, till he perceived Esther, and saw her fainting. (Haydock) --- Capellus would represent this conduct of the king as ridiculous, and contrary to the true history. But this is false: and he improperly renders agoniasas, regem concidisse et animo defecisse; as if the king had fallen down in a swoon; whereas it only means that he experienced those sentiments of anxiety which every good husband would do on the like occasion. (Houbigant) (Chap. 5:2.) --- Assuerus had at first only perceived the maid, who went before the queen, and the hall was very spacious. (Houbigant) --- Pale. Greek, "in a fainting-fit, and she leaned upon the head of her maid, (Abra.) who was going before."
Esther 15:11 And God changed the king's spirit into mildness, and all in haste and in fear he leaped from his throne, and holding her up in his arms, till she came to herself, caressed her with these words:

All. Greek, "being in an agony, he," etc. --- Caressed. Greek, "comforted her with words of peace, and said to her, What," etc. (Haydock)
Esther 15:12 What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother, fear not.

Brother; (united by the closest bands, Canticle of Canticles 8:1.; Calmet) Greek, "Take courage, Thou," etc.
Esther 15:13 Thou shalt not die: for this law is not made for thee, but for all others.

Others, is not expressed; (Haydock) and Esther might well suppose that she was included, as she probably was, (chap. 4:11.; Capellus) though the king now altered his mind. (Houbigant) --- Greek, "our decree is common," made for our subjects. According to the Roman law, the empress enjoyed the like privileges as her husband. (Calmet)
Esther 15:14 Come near then, and touch the sceptre.

Then. Greek, "and taking the golden septre, he laid," etc.
Esther 15:15 And as she held her peace, he took the golden sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and kissed her, and said: Why dost thou not speak to me?

Why. Greek, "speak to me; and she said to him." (Haydock)
Esther 15:16 She answered: *I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty.

Genesis 33:10.; 2 Kings 14:17.
Angel. The Chaldeans had the same notions as the Jews about angels; and the latter never shewed more devotion towards them than after the captivity, when the Scriptures speak more plainly on this subject. Jacob compares his brother Esau to an angel, (Calmet) or to God, Genesis 33:10. See also 1 Kings 29:9., and 2 Kings 14:17. (Haydock)
Esther 15:17 For thou, my lord, art very admirable, and thy face is full of graces.

Esther 15:18 And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and was almost in a swoon.

Almost. Literally, "almost dead." Greek, "she fell in a fainting fit."
Esther 15:19 But the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.

Esther 16:0 A copy of the king's letter in favour of the Jews.

Esther 16:1 The great king Artaxerxes, *from India to Ethiopia, to the governors and princes of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, which obey our command, sendeth greeting.

Esther 11:2.
From India to Ethiopia. That is, who reigneth from India to Ethiopia. (Challoner) --- St. Jerome writes, "The copy of the letter of king Artaxerxes, which he wrote in favour of the Jews, to all the provinces of his kingdom, which also is not in the Hebrew volume." It should properly occur, chap 8:13, as it does in Greek. The edict is well written in that language, which has induced a belief that it is not a translation. (Calmet) --- But that is no very strong argument. (Haydock)
Esther 16:2 Many *have abused unto pride the goodness of princes, and the honour that hath been bestowed upon them:

Esther 3:10.
Princes. Greek, "Beneficent," Luke 22:25. (Calmet) --- Greek, "Many of those who have been the most honoured by the kindness of the beneficent, have increased in folly, and not only endeavour to injure our subjects, but, unable to hear the weight of favours, devise schemes against their benefactors."
Esther 16:3 And not only endeavour to oppress the king's subjects, but not bearing the glory that is given them, take in hand to practise also against them that gave it.

Esther 16:4 Neither are they content not to return thanks for benefits received, and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they think they can also escape the justice of God, who seeth all things.

Neither. Greek, "And they not only take away gratitude from among men, but elated with good fortune, which they had not before experienced, they flatter themselves that they will escape the sentence of an all-seeing God, levelled against the wicked." (Haydock) --- Artaxerxes insists with reason on the ingratitude of Aman, as it was a crime punishable by their laws; (Cyrop. i.; Brisson 2:p. 250.) and the Persian kings were particularly careful to reward those who had done them good. (Calmet)
Esther 16:5 And they break out into so great madness, as to endeavour to undermine by lies such as observe diligently the offices committed to them, and do all things in such manner as to be worthy of all men's praise.

And. Greek, "For oftentimes fair speeches, or (Haydock) revenge, (paramuthia. Isaias 1:24. Calmet) has made several of those who have been in authority, and entrusted with the affairs of their friends, partakers in the spilling of innocent blood, and involved them in irremediable calamities, by the wicked craft of those who purposely lead astray the unsuspecting benevolence of governors." (Haydock) --- Josephus ([Antiquities?] 11:3.) gives nearly the same sense: (Calmet) "For some of these, being placed in power by their friends, and bearing a private hatred towards some, have deluded their princes by false reasons, and by accusations have persuaded them to stir up the wrath of those who have done no wrong; on which account, they have been in danger of perishing." This author was not, therefore, unacquainted with the fragment, or part of the history, before us. (Haydock)
Esther 16:6 While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of princes that are well-meaning, and judge of others by their own nature.

Esther 16:7 Now this is proved both from ancient histories, and by the things which are done daily, how the good designs of kings are depraved by the evil suggestions of certain men.

Proved. Greek, "may be seen, not so much from ancient histories, as we have observed, but more so, if ye examine what wicked things have been done recently, by the fault (or cruelty) of those who have been unworthily in command: and if ye attend, in future, that we may without trouble settle our kingdom in peace for all men. For though we make some changes, yet we make a discernment of what falls under our inspection, and order things with more equity." He intimates that the former decree of Aman had been subreptitious.
Esther 16:8 Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all provinces.

Esther 16:9 Neither must you think, if we command different things, that it cometh of the levity of our mind, but that we give sentence according to the quality and necessity of times, as the profit of the commonwealth requireth.

Esther 16:10 Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, *Aman, the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian, both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received, being a stranger, by us:

Esther 3:1.
Now. Greek, "For as Aman, of Amadathos, a Macedonian, a stranger to the real blood of the Persians, and of a very different character from our goodness, and who, though a stranger to us, partook of that philanthropy which we have for every nation, insomuch as to be styled," etc. (Haydock) --- At this time the Macedonians were hardly known. (Capellus) --- But this may be questioned, as their kingdom was of ancient date. (Houbigant) --- Some think that the Asiatic Macedonians may be designated. (Hardouin.) (Pliny, [Natural History?] 5:30, 31.) --- These, however, may have been so called only after the conquests of Alexander. This king fought against the Greeks, of whom the Macedonians formed a part. (Tirinus) --- The name may here be placed only for a stranger. (Calmet) --- Staining. The faults of ministers often redound to the disgrace of those who employ them. (Menochius)
Esther 16:11 And found our humanity so great toward him, that he was called our father, and was worshipped by all, as the next man after the king:

Esther 16:12 But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go about to deprive us of our kingdom and life.

Life. This he might only suspect; (Calmet) or his machinations with the two porters, might be declared after his disgrace. (Haydock) --- Capellus thinks it improbable that Aman intended to murder the queen, as he was so much elated at being invited by her to a feast, etc. But his schemes were various: (Houbigant) and who can pretend to say what would have satisfied his cruelty and ambition? (Haydock)
Esther 16:13 For with certain new and unheard of device,s he hath sought the destruction of Mardochai, by whose fidelity, and good services, our life was saved; and of Esther, the partner of our kingdom, with all their nation:

Esther 16:14 Thinking that after they were slain, he might work treason against us, left alone, without friends, and might transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.

Without. Greek, "abandoned." (Haydock) --- Macedonians; or to himself, who was of that nation. It was not necessary to call over forces, as Capellus would suppose.
Esther 16:15 But we have found that the Jews, who were, by that most wicked man, appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but, contrariwise, use just laws,

Esther 16:16 And are the children of the highest, and the greatest, and the ever-living God; by whose benefit the kingdom was given, both to our fathers and to us, and is kept unto this day.

God. Cyrus had styled him, "the God of heaven." (Houbigant) (1 Esdras i.) (Haydock) --- But Darius embraced the true religion, and adored God. (Tirinus) --- Fathers. "Hystaspes was not a descendant of Cyrus, but he was of the same royal stock." (Just. i.) (Herodotus 3:85.) --- And is. Greek, "by the best disposition. You will therefore do well not to make use of the letter, sent by Aman." The edict could not be repealed; (Capellus; Houbigant) though this seems doubtful, when it was manifestly subreptitious, (Menochius) unjust, and not sealed by the nobles. (Calmet)
Esther 16:17 Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent in our name, are void, and of no effect.

Esther 16:18 For which crime both he himself that devised it, and all his kindred, hang on gibbets, before the gates of this city, Susan: not we, but God, repaying him as he deserved.

Gibbets. Aman was thus treated, several months before his ten sons, Esther 7:10., and 9:6. Yet all the family might still be seen hanging, when this edict was dispatched. Houbigant suspects that this and the following verses properly belong to the letter written by Esther and Mardochai. The arguments are not very cogent. (Haydock)
Esther 16:19 But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws.

Laws. This was privilege often desired. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] xiii.4.)
Esther 16:20 And you shall aid them, that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.

Kill. Greek, "take revenge on those who in the day of distress shall fall upon them, on the 13th."
Esther 16:21 For the Almighty God hath turned this day of sadness and mourning into joy to them.

Sadness. Greek, "destruction of his chosen race, into," etc. (Haydock)
Esther 16:22 Wherefore, you shall also count this day among other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may be known also in times to come,

Days. A festival was kept in memory of the destruction of the magi, in which this king was a principal actor. (Herodotus 3:79.) --- The Persians were ordered to keep the 13th of Adar, on account of the preservation of the royal family, and the ruin of a great enemy. (Calmet)
Esther 16:23 That all they who faithfully obey the Persians, receive a worthy reward for their fidelity: but they that are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their wickedness.

All. Greek, "Salvation is to us, and to all well-affected Persians: but a memorial of destruction to all who are traitors to us."
Esther 16:24 And let every province and city, that will not be partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword, and by fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of contempt, and disobedience.

And. Greek, "But every country or city throughout the kingdom, which shall not comply, shall be consumed with the spear and fire in wrath." --- Beasts. Greek adds hyperbolically, "and birds, and also be accounted most abominable for ever." (Haydock) --- Similar expressions occur in the prophets, to denote an entire destruction, Jeremias 9:10., etc. Mardochai and Esther have left us in this work the most perfect example of virtue. The latter is given as a pattern of Christian sovereigns, and a figure of the Church. (St. Jerome ad Paulin. (Calmet) and prol. in Sophonias) --- Like Judith, she proved the salvation of her people, and the ruin of their adversaries. Nothing could be more striking, (Worthington) or visible, than the hand of God in these transactions. (Haydock) --- Esther was also a type of the blessed Virgin [Mary], by whose intercession the head of the serpent is crushed, and letters of grace succeed to the hand-writing that stood against us. (St. Thomas Aquinas, prol. in ep. Cath.) (Worthington)