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Obad. I

P2 Chr. 26. 20

the man whom the king delighteth to honour! Now Haman thought in his

heart, 'To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself? 1 ch. 2 2. 3; & 11: 7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to 8 honour, let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and » the *1 KL 1. 32.

horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head : 9 and let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most

noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to
honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and " proclaim * Ge. 41. 42.

before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.! 10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the

horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the

king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and

brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before

him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman Phasted to his l: ch. 2. 19: Ps. 131.1, 2. 13 house mourning, and having his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh his 12 Sam. 15, 20; Jer.

wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise
men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before
whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt Job 16. 2
surely fall before him.

Esther's successful application to the king ; Haman is executed, and Mordecai advanced. 14 AND while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains,

and • hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared. 7 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the 2 king said again unto Esther on the second day "at the banquet of wine, What is ch. 5. &

thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy

request ? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom. 3 Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight,

O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and 4 my people at my request: for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to

ch. 2 9:47, & be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bond women, I

had held my tongue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damnage.4 5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, 6 and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so? And Esther said, The

adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. 7 Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. And the king Ne.

arisings from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw

that there was evil determined against him by the king. 8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet

of wine; and Haman was fallen upon ? the bed 6 whereon Esther was. Then said "ch. I. the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered? Haman's face. And Harbonah, * Job 9. 24. one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty ch. 51; P& 7. 16; cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. ch. 9. 23:! Sam. 17

Then was the king's wrath pacified. 8 On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' Job 27. 13–17; Pro.

enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther. I had told / what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring,' which he had leh: 3 ia.

ch. 5. 13; Deu. a.
35, 36.
ch, 4

16

beh, 1. 10.

Pro. Il. 3,

Pro. Il. 8; Dan. 6

I Haman, thinking that he is devising honours for 5 In modern times, in the court of Persia, it is a fatal mself, while he cannot be accused of doing so, does it signal of the king's displeasure when he rises abruptly erally, and even presumptuously.

and withdrawg. 2 Returning calmly, after these extraordinary honours, | 6 Or, .by,' or 'beside the couch ;' in abject supplicahis former duties.

tion and agony of spirit. The construction put upon it 3 The thought that the queen was one of Haman's in by the king was evidently the effect of highly incensed ided victims would tell more on such a king than the feelings. truction of all the Jewish people; to which, indeed, 7 The custom of covering a malefactor's face still prehad before given his consent.

vails in that country, and is the sure precursor of execuThat is, damage in the loss of subjects and of tion, which follows immediately. enue. Some suppose the meaning to be, "If they had 8 That is, his mansion and all his property; which, dns for slaves, I would have kept silence, for that upon the owner's condemnation and death, were confiscated tery of ours would not have been so much to the king's to the king. nage.' Tyranny and persecution are as impolitic as 9 Investing Mordecai with the office of prime minister. y are unjust.

| The wisdom and spirit which he had displayed marked

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taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman."

Esther obtains a decree in favour of the Jews. 3 AND Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and

besought him with tears to put away k the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and eh.2 8415:24 4 his device that he had devised against the Jews. Then the king held out the 5 golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, and

said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to

reverse the letters 2 devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, 6 which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces : for

how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I

endure to see the destruction of my kindred? 7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen, and to Mordecai the

Jew, Behold, 'I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have 8 hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write ye also

for the Jews, as it liketh you, "in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring : for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the

king's ring, may no man reverse.S
9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is d ie

the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written
according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants,
and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, eh. 1 L
an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province "according to the eh. 2:1 1
writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews

according to their writing, and according to their language. 10 •And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's Ch. 2 2.1); I EL

ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders + on mules, camels, and 11 young dromedaries : wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city

to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault

them, both little ones and women, and 'to take the spoil of them for a prey, 5. med. QMS ! 12 "upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth eh. 3. 13. ete; SL

day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. 13 •The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province - eh. a 14 15

was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that 14 day to avenge themselves on their enemies. So the posts that rode upon mules

and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment.6

And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. 15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue

and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and 16 purple. And the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had a light, BP, 17 and gladness, and joy, and honour. And in every province, and in every city,

whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy
and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land eh 973
• became Jews;7 for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.

The Jews successfully resist their enemies.
9 NOW in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day : 1

of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put els

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him out as a person of no ordinary accomplishments, on swift horses, and mules the offspring of mares both moral and intellectual.

5 The Jews did not proceed so far (sce ch. ix. 10, 15, 16). 1 Esther appointed him as her steward.

nor probably was it intended they should; but these 2 Haman's death did not invalidate the murderous powers were necessary, both to indemnify them and to edict by which all the Jews in the Persian empire were | intimidate their enemies. doomed to the sword; and they had many enemies, who 6 Two months had elapsed since the issuing of Hamar's were eagerly looking forward to the day fixed by the decree letters; and the preparations which had been made by for slaughter and spoliation.

the enemies of the Jews would have to be met by countr3 The king's answer intimates the impossibility of preparations on their part. Therefore, though pide granting literally Esther's request, to reverse or revoke months remained for the circulation of the new letters, 1 | the decree; and points out the expedient to be adopted in there was no time to be lost. order to defeat its operation. As it was a fundamental 7 That is, they became proselytes to the religion of the principle of the Persian government that a law once Jews. Some doubtless did this from conviction, because enacted was irrevocable, the king was obliged to give a they had seen the hand of God so remarkably displayed contradictory decree, which would be well known to on behalf of his people, and were led thereby to become 1 convey his real wishes, authorizing the Jews to defend sincere worshippers of Jehovah; others probably fren. themselves if attacked.

interested motives, observing the favour which the Jern 4 Thore words are more accurately rendered, 'riders I enjoyed at court.

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& Dett. 32. 38: 2 Sam.

22. 41; ls. 14. 2. A ver. 16; ch. 8. 11.

Il y; Pro. 4. &

27. 13-15; Ps. 21.

#vers, 15, 16: ch. &

11; Ge. 14. 23.

in execution,' in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over

them,? (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews 8 had rule over them 2 that hated them ;) the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities

throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as

i sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for * the fear of them : Ps 71, 43, 24. 3 fell upon all people. And all the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants,

and the deputies, and officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of 4 Mordecai fell upon them. For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his

fame went out throughout all the provinces : for this man Mordecai 'waxed 2 Sam. 2. 1; 1.Chr.

greater and greater. 5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and

slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. 6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men. 7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, and Poratha, and Adalia, and 9 Aridatha, and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, m the ten song

meh, 5. 11; Job 18. 19: 10 of Hamanthe son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; "but on

the spoil laid they not their hand. 11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was 12 brought before the king. And the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews

have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, 5 and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces ? now • what is thy petition ? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request. ch. 5. 6; 7.

further? and it shall be done. 13 Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are

in Shushan to do to-morrow also Paccording unto this day's decree, 6 and let Pch. & 11. 14 Haman's ten sons 9 be hanged upon the gallows. And the king commanded it so 2 Sam. 21. 6, 4.

to be done : and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten 15 sons. For the Jews that were in Shushan 'gathered themselves together on the ver. 2; ch. &. 11.

fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; .but on the prey they laid not their hand.

. vers. 10, 16 16 But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselvester 2: ch. 8. 11; Le.

together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand? (" but they laid not their hands on the

see eb. 8. 11. 17 prey) on the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of 18 the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. But the orihi & 17

Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and vers. 11, IS

on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and 19 made it a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages, that

dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar . a day Dee. 16. II, IL of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another. ch. & !?..

brer, 22, Ne. &. 10, 12. Institution of the feast of Purim; Mordecai's greatness, 20 AND Mordecai <wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that | Ex. 17. 14. 21 were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, to stablish this

among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and 22 the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, d as the days wherein the Jews rested from Ex. 12 3-8

26. 7, 8

vere

is

I As the king's second decree did not annul the former, enemies of the Jews; who, enraged at Haman's disgrace the enemies of the Jews still had legal permission on the and death, headed by his sons, had taken advantage of day fixed in Haman's letters to destroy them and to seize the decree to attempt to avenge him. their property. But by this very means the Divine plan 6 As the Jews do not appear to have shown a cruel for the punishment of the enemies of the chosen people disposition or a revengeful spirit, it may reasonably be was accomplished.

inferred that this measure was necessary to put down the 2 It might have been supposed that the declared favour malignant party, and to strike terror into the minds of of the king, and the elevated position of Mordecai, would inveterate enemies. have effectually prevented the contemplated attack: but 7 It is not improbable that the Jews were remarkably there was probably a large party in the empire who were preserved in the midst of imminent danger, for there is hostile to the Jews; whilst others would be tempted by no mention of any of them being slain on this occasion, the prospect of a rich booty. Trusting, therefore, in their As they simply, with the king's sanction, stood in defence superior numbers, and in their legal impunity for any of their lives, slaying only those who attacked them, excesses they might commit, when the appointed day and universally declined to enrich themselves with the arrived they fiercely attacked the Jews, who stood entirely spoil, they must be allowed to have acted in an unexcepon the defensive.

tionable manner. The ancient Jewish writers say that 3 As their names are mentioned, it is likely that they many of those who perished were Amalekites. had been advanced to high offices during their father's 8 The Jews throughout the provinces, having obtained administration.

a complete victory over their enemies on the 13th, held 4 This was probably owing to express instructions from festivals on the 14th ; but those in the capital, being still Esther and Nordecai; and it reflects honour on their engaged in hostilities on that day, did not keep their feast religion, their wisdom, and their humanity.

till the 15th. They therefore determined, on Mordecai's 3 That is, “Shushan the royal city. The total num- recommendation, that the festival should in future conchear of slain there was 800. These were probably bittertinue during both those days.

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their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, , P 22 IL

and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting 23 and joy, and of sending portions 1 one to another, and gifts to the poor. And ver. 19: S. & IL

the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto 24 them; because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the

Jews, 8 had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, & ch.2 5,7. 25 the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them; but when Esther came before rern. 13.14; €14,

the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons

102 ,; 14L 12.1 26 should be hanged on the gallows. Wherefore they called these days Purim 3

after the name of Pur si. e. lot). Therefore for all the words of "this letter, and

of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto 27 them, the Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all

such as 'joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would the vilks 26.

keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed
28 time every year; and that these days should be remembered and kept through- / "El

out every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that
these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor * the memorial of Es. 13. &.

them perish from their seed.
29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrotech 2 15
30 with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim. And he sent the Pwerer. :

letters unto all the Jews, to 9 the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the ech I. L 31 kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, to confirm these days of

Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the

queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their 32 seed, the matters of "the fastings and their cry. And the decree of Esther ch. 1 3. 16

confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book. 10 And the king Ahasuerus laid a tributes upon the land, and upon the isles 6 of challe 2 the sea. And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of 1.24 5

the greatness of Mordecai, "whereunto the king advanced him, are they not "eh .. 15; 5,5 3 written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For - eh, 2 2

Mordecai the Jew was y next unto king Ahasuerus," and great among the Jews, ISI S and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, . seeking the wealth of his people, 210; N = and speaking peace to all his seed.

Ge. Ha 5: Ps

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1 It is customary in the East, when a feast is made, to the words may be understood prospectively, and may be send portions to those who are unable to attend, especially translated thus: "adding fasting and prayer.' to relatives and friends in affliction.

5 We have no account of the purposes to which this 2 The Jews have set a praiseworthy example in re tribute was applied, nor of the wars which Ahasuerus lieving their poor on occasions of national rejoicing. I waged against the Greeks and Egyptians. Scripture

3. Purim' is the plural of Pur,' which signifies lot; history extends to the affairs of heathen nations only se the name being taken from the circumstance of Haman far as they are connected with those of the people of God. having cast lots to fix the day of their destruction. See | 6 These are supposed to be the isles of the Egean Sea, note on ch. iii. 7. This national commemoration has which had been conquered by Darius Hystaspis. been ever since observed by the Jews. At this festival, 7 Like Joseph in the court of Pharaoh, Obadiah in that the whole book of Esther is rend twice in the synagogues. of Ahab, Daniel in that of Belshazzar, and Nehemiah in The feast is celebrated with the greatest hilarity; alıns that of Artaxerxes. Such men cannot alter the frame of are given to the poor; and relations and friends send the government, nor prevent much evil; but they may presents to each other.

keep themselves from sin, and be the instruments ct 4 That is, their prayer; referring to ch. iv. 3, 14. Or effecting much good.

NOTE ON THE VARIATIONS IN NUMBERS MENTIONED IN THE HISTORICAL BOOKS

In the different records of the same events contained in for their existence forbids the supposition that the the preceding books, variations in the numbers will have manuscript authorities have been tampered with in order been observed. Some of these have already been explained to produce a rigid uniformity; whilst their limited estat in notes upon the passages in which they occur. But it | shows how jealously God's providence has guarded his is important further to observe that, in Hebrew and Greek, saving truth from sustaining any real injury by human as in some other languages, numbers are expressed by the inadvertence and error. letters of the alphabet. Some of these are so much alike With reference to the numbers of armies mentioned in that the smallest possible alteration, such as would change the history, which appear sometimes exceedingly barre, cinto e, may convert 3 into 50, or 4 into 200, or 8 into it is to be remembered that in Eastern nations every 400. In some cases, too, the addition of a dot or a line person capable of bearing arms was compelled to join the may multiply greatly the numerical power of a letter. In host when the monarch pleased; that Oriental sovereigns all cases of any real importance something may be found | seem to have prided themselves on the numbers ratbet in the context, or in other parts, to guide us towards cor- than the discipline of their troops; and that the enument rectness; and in no case do these discrepancies affect any tion probably often includes the followers of the camp religious doctrine, or weaken the evidence of the truth of who in the East are sometimes far more numerous thin Scripture. On the contrary, they rather strengthen it; | those armed for battle.

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896

AHAZIAH (2 years). Revolt of Noab. JEHORAM (12 years.) Jehoram against ..

Moab.

Eliezer.

892

Ahab.
Prophet Elisha.

886

fights in alliance with ..., Prophets Jehu, Jehaziel, and JEHORAM (8 years) having previously married

Athaliah, daughter of .... Edom revolts. The Philistines and Arabians

plunder Jerusalem.
ANAZIAK (1 year)

fights in alliance with .
Ahaziah and....
ATHALIAH's usurpation (6

years).
Joash (40 years).
Prophet Joel (C).
Repairing of the temple.
Gath taken, and Jerusalem
i threatened by ..........

884

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878

JEHU (28 years)
The country east of Jordan

conquered by ............ Hazael.
Prophet Jonah.
JEHOAHAZ (17 years).
Israel greatly reduced by .... | Hazael.

..............:. Hazael.

856

856

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