Ahasuerus Rewards Mordecai for Former
1. the king … commanded to bring the book of
records of the chronicles—In Eastern courts, there are
scribes or officers whose duty it is to keep a journal of every
occurrence worthy of notice. A book of this kind, abounding with
anecdotes, is full of interest. It has been a custom with Eastern
kings, in all ages, frequently to cause the annals of the kingdom to be
read to them. It is resorted to, not merely as a pastime to while away
the tedium of an hour, but as a source of instruction to the monarch,
by reviewing the important incidents of his own life, as well as those
of his ancestors. There was, therefore, nothing uncommon in this
Persian monarch calling for the court journal. But, in his being unable
to sleep at that particular juncture, in his ordering the book then to
be read to him, and in his attention having been specially directed to
the important and as yet unrewarded services of Mordecai, the immediate
interposition of Providence is distinctly visible.
4. Now Haman was come into the outward
court—This was early in the morning. It is the invariable
custom for kings in Eastern countries to transact business before the
sun is hot, often in the open air, and so Haman was in all probability
come officially to attend on his master.
6. What shall be done unto the man whom the king
delighteth to honour?—In bestowing tokens of their favor, the
kings of Persia do not at once, and as it were by their own will,
determine the kind of honor that shall be awarded; but they turn to the
courtier standing next in rank to themselves, and ask him what shall be
done to the individual who has rendered the service specified; and
according to the answer received, the royal mandate is issued.
8. the royal apparel … which the king useth
to wear—A coat which has been on the back of a king or prince
is reckoned a most honorable gift, and is given with great
the horse that the king rideth
upon—Persia was a country of horses, and the highbred charger
that the king rode upon acquired, in the eyes of his venal subjects, a
sort of sacredness from that circumstance.
and the crown royal which is set upon his
head—either the royal turban, or it may be a tiara, with
which, on state processions, the horse's head was adorned.
9. delivered to the hand of one of the king's most
noble princes … array the man—On grand and public
occasions, the royal steed is led by the highest subject through the
principal streets of the city, a ceremony which may occupy several
11. Then Haman took, &c.—This sudden
reverse, however painful to Haman as an individual, is particularly
characteristic of the Persian manners.
14. came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to
bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared—Besides
the invitation given to an entertainment, a message is always sent to
the guests, immediately at the day and hour appointed, to announce that
all things are ready.