Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ESTHER - Chapter 11

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Esther xi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. 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 ii. 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.

Ver. 2. 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. i. 3.) when the Jews little thought of such danger hanging over them. (Calmet) (Worthington) --- Benjamin. Chap. ii. 5., we read Jemini, which shews that they have the same import. (Tirinus)

Ver. 3. Court, afterwards. (Calmet) --- He had a dream in the second year. (Houbigant)

Ver. 4. Juda. This has been noticed already, chap. ii. 5. But we need not be surprized at such repetitions. We find the like in the books of Moses, and 1 Kings xvi. 10., and xvii. 12., &c. (Haydock) --- St. Jerome says, "Librum Esther variis translatoribus constat esse vitiatum;" or, various historical documents may have been improperly inserted in the Greek, though they be true; and therefore St. Jerome has rightly removed them to the end.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)

Ver. 7. 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)

Ver. 10. Waters. Esther, by her tears, extinguished the rising flame. (Worthington)

Ver. 11. Rose up. A bright sun (Tirinus) represented God, (Calmet) or the king. (Grotius)

Ver. 12. Signify. He was convinced that it was from heaven. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

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.

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.

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:

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.

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:

5 And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

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

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

8 And that was a day of darkness and danger, of tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.

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

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.

11 The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the glorious.

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.



1: Year of the World 3827, Year before Christ 177.

2: Year of the World 3484, Year before Christ 520.

4: 4 Kings xxiv. 15.; Esther ii. 6.

6: Esther x. 7.