Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put 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 had rule over them that hated them;)
A. M. 3552. B.C. 452. in the twelfth
though it was turned
The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them 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 Mordecai fell upon them.
officers of the king
Heb. those which did the business that belonged to the king. the fear.
For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
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.
what they would
Heb. according to their will. The Chaldee paraphrast says that none appeared against the Jews but Amalekites only, who were infatuated, and had their hearts hardened, as Pharaoh's against Israel, to take up arms to their own destruction. Some had such an inveterate, implacable malice against the Jews, that Haman's fall and Mordecai's advancement, instead of convincing, seemed only to exasperate them the more. How have the most dreadful scourges ravaged a country, and yet the inhabitants are unmindful of the Almighty Disposer of events, and that the cause of his righteous displeasure is their continual provocation! Forty years long was he grieved with one generation, who learned not his ways, although daily fed and clothed by a miracle.
And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
but on the spoil
It does not appear that the Jews slew any person who did not rise up to destroy them: they stood for their lives; and gave full proof that they sought their own personal safety, and not the property of their enemies: though the decree in their favour gave them authority to take the property of all their adversaries.
On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was 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, 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 further? and it shall be done.
what is thy petition
Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
If it please the king
Esther had probably been informed by Mordecai, that there were still many enemies of the Jews who sought their destruction, who had escaped the preceding day; and therefore begged that the second day might be added to the former permission; and that the sons of Haman, who had already been slain, might be suspended on gibbets, as a terror to those who sought the destruction of the Jews.
let Haman's ten sons be hanged
Heb. let men hang Haman's ten sons.
For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
but on the prey
But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves 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 prey,
On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
of the same
Heb. in it.
But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
on the thirteenth
Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending portions one to another.
The eastern princes and people not only invite their friends to feasts, but it is their custom to send a portion of the banquet to those that cannot well attend, especially their relations, and those in a state of mourning. Thus, when the Grand Emir found that it incommoded M. D'Arvieux to eat with him, he desired him to take his own time for eating, and sent him from his kitchen what he liked best.
And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
That is, as the words imply, the history contained in this book; and not merely the letters afterwards mentioned, as some understand it.
in all the provinces
As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
The word pur seems to be derived either from the Persian bahr and bar, a part, portion, lot, or pari, any thing which happens fortuitously or fortunately; whence the annual festival in commemoration of the wonderful deliverance of the Jews from their enemies was called Purim, or in Arabic and Persian, Fuhr, or Lots; which has been observed by them, in all places of their dispersion, from that day to the present time, without any interruption.
But when Esther came before 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 should be hanged on the gallows.
when Esther came
Heb. when she came.
Wherefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,
that is, Lot. letter.
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 keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed time every year;
and upon their seed
And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout 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 them perish from their seed.
Heb. pass. the memorial.
perish from their seed
Heb. be ended from their seed.
Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
the daughter of Abihail
Heb. strength. confirm.
And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
words of peace
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 seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.
Heb. their souls. and for their seed.
And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.