Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ESTHER - Chapter 8

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Esther viii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. House, and furniture. Septuagint, "all the possessions of Aman, the devil," (accuser, &c.; 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 chap. ix. 10. --- King. In the place of Aman, chap. ix. 4., and x. 3. --- Uncle, or cousin. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. 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, &c., "of Aman," to whom it had belonged. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Down. Such reverence is due to God's representatives, whatever heretics may say. (Jude 8.)

Ver. 5. 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," &c. (Haydock) --- When the edict was not sealed by the nobles, it might be altered; (chap. i. 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)

Ver. 7. Durst. Hebrew, "laid." He had sufficiently manifested his intention to destroy them, though he had not been able to injure any one. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. This. Hebrew, "no one may reverse the letter," &c.

Ver. 9. 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)

Ver. 10. Posts, who had a right to make use of any person's horse, &c. (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," &c., chap. xvi. (Haydock)

Ver. 11. 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 xxi. 6. Some think that they were only to prevent the execution of the former edict, which could not be revoked. See chap. iii. (Calmet) --- A form of trial was observed, chap. xvi. 20. (Menochius)

Ver. 15. Cloak. The kings wore one of purple, over their purple and white tunic. (Cyrop. viii.) --- Greek have "diadem." (Calmet)

Ver. 17. 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," &c. (Protestants) (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Mardochai is advanced: Aman's letters are reversed.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

6 For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month, Adar.

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.

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

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.

16 But to the Jews a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing.

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.



1: Year of the World 3495.