Ahasuerus' Greatness. Mordecai's
1. Ahasuerus laid a tribute—This passage
being an appendix to the history, and improperly separated from the
preceding chapter, it might be that the occasion of levying this new
impost arose out of the commotions raised by Haman's conspiracy.
Neither the nature nor the amount of the tax has been recorded; only it
was not a local tribute, but one exacted from all parts of his vast
2. the declaration of the greatness of
Mordecai—The experience of this pious and excellent Jew
verified the statement, "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted"
[Mt 23:12; Lu 14:11; 18:14]. From sitting contentedly at the king's
gate, he was raised to the dignity of highest subject, the powerful
ruler of the kingdom. Acting uniformly on the great principles of truth
and righteousness, his greatness rested on a firm foundation. His faith
was openly avowed, and his influence as a professor of the true
religion was of the greatest usefulness for promoting the welfare of
the Jewish people, as well as for advancing the glory of God.
3. For Mordecai … was next unto King
Ahasuerus … great among the Jews, &c.—The elevation
of this pious and patriotic Jew to the possession of the highest
official power was of very great importance to the suffering church at
that period; for it enabled him, who all along possessed the
disposition, now to direct the royal influence and authority in
promoting the interests and extending the privileges of his exiled
countrymen. Viewed in this light, the providence of God is plainly
traceable in all the steps that led to his unexpected advancement. This
providential interposition is all the more remarkable, that, as in the
analogous case of Joseph, it was displayed in making the ordinary and
natural course of things lead to the most marvellous results. To use
the pious words of an eminent prelate, "though in the whole of this
episode there was no extraordinary manifestation of God's power, no
particular cause or agent that was in its working advanced above the
ordinary pitch of nature, yet the contrivance, and suiting these
ordinary agents appointed by God, is in itself more admirable than if
the same end had been effected by means that were truly miraculous."
The sudden advancement of individuals from obscurity and neglect to the
highest stations of power and influence is, in Eastern courts, no
extraordinary nor infrequent occurrence. The caprice, the weak
partiality of the reigning sovereign, or, it may be, his penetrating
discernment in discovering latent energy and talent, has often "raised
the beggar from the dunghill, and set him among princes" [1Sa 2:8]. Some of the all-powerful viziers in
modern Persia, and not a few of the beys in Egypt, have been elevated
to their respective dignities in this manner. And, therefore, the
advancement of "Mordecai, who was next unto Ahasuerus, and great among
the Jews," was in perfect accordance with the rapid revolution of "the
wheel of fortune" in that part of the world. But, considering all the
circumstances of Mordecai's advancement, not only his gaining the favor
of the king, but his being "accepted of the multitude of his brethren,
it was beyond all controversy the doing of the Lord, and was truly
marvellous in his people's eyes."
accepted of the multitude of his
brethren—Far from being envious of his grandeur, they blessed
God for the elevation to official power of so good a man.
speaking peace to all his seed—While
his administration was conducted with a mild and impartial hand, he
showed a peculiarly warm and friendly feeling to all his countrymen
when asked his counsel or his aid.