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delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken. 11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour. 12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered. 18 And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him. 14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

CHAP. VII.

to the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.

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the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.

It falls out oftentimes, that, when that he had said, yet he eats it not, as large promises fall suddenly from great over-lavishly spoken, but doubles and persons, they abate by leisure, and triples it with hearty assurances of a shrink upon cool thoughts. Here real prosecution. While those tongues, Ahasuerus is not more liberal in his which profess the true God, say and offer than firm in his resolutions, as unsay at pleasure, recanting their good if his first word had been, like his law, purposes, contradicting their unalterable. I am ashamed to miss just engagements, upon no cause but that steadiness in Christians, which I their own changeableness.--Bp. Hall. find in a Pagan. It was a great word

* Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: * For we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tougue, although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

It was Haman's mishap to be en- and that brought him to contempt and gaged against the queen, and the kin. the gallows. Had he sought to ruin dred of the queen; it was that that another people, probably he might made him so that he could not prosper, have brought his design to a desired conclusion; but his compassing the 0, how many doth he accuse, and soon death of the queen spoiled all.

obtain from God, against them, & li. Satan, also, when he fighteth against cense to destroy them! as he served the Church, must be sure to come to Ahab, and many more. But this, I the worst, for God has a concern in say, is a very great block in his way, that. Therefore, it is said, “The gates when he meddles with the children; of hell shall not prevail against it.' - God has an interest in them-Hath But this hindereth not but that he is God cast away His people? God forpermitted to make almost what spoils bid !' (Rom. xi. 1-2.)—Bunyan. he will of those that belong not to God.

5 Then the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so ? 6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. ? And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face. 9 And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.

V. 9–10. In the East persons are There cannot be a juster law, than executed as soon as they are con- that the artificers of death should demned.-Orton.

perish by their own invention.-Ovid.

10 So

CHAP. VIII. N that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the

? And

before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman. 3 And Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had devised against the Jews. Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king, "And said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces : 6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people ? or how can I endure to see the destruction of

my

kindred ? ? Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

V.8. The writing which ... may no they decree; and therefore it is unjust, man reverse.'-This was a fundamental and injurious to mankind, to claim article of the Persians' magna charta, such a supremacy of power, as to make that no law or decree, when once it their decrees irrevocable, whether the had passed the royal assent, could be consequences prove good or bad. This repealed or recalled, no judgment va- savours of that old presumption which cated, no attainder reversed : which ruined us all,,we will be as gods. is so far from revealing the wisdom Much more prudent is that proviso of and honour of the Medes and Persians, our Constitution, that no law can, by that really it reveals their pride and any words or sanctions whatsoever, be folly, and consequently their shame. made unrepealable, no more than any It is ridiculous in itself, for any estate inalienable. It is God's preroman, or company of men, to pretend gative not to repent, and to say what such an infallibility of wisdom, as to can never be altered, or unsaid.-M. foresee all the consequences of what Henry.

9 Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language. 10 And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries : 11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, 2 Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. The

copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the

13

king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace. 15 And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

V. 15. Mordecai was now made the -Comp. Bible. chief minister or vizier, instead of Ha- What happy changes has God often man; and was accordingly invested made in the outward condition of His with the royal apparel, in conformity people! Let us never say in the day to the custom of the East. So we are of adversity, that our eyes shall never informed in the history of the revolt of more see good;' or, whatever our outAli Bey, that on the election of a new ward condition may be, let us not deSheikh-bellet, or chief of the country spair of obtaining those changes in in Egypt, the Pasha, who approves of our inward condition, which the Rehim, invests him with a robe of valu- deemer, whom we are called to trust, able fur. Perhaps the crown was one has accomplished in innumerable inof the insignia of the office of vizier. stances.-Lawson.

16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. 17 And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, 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 fell

upon

them.

CHAP. IX. OW 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;) 2 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. 3 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. For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces: for this man Mor. decai waxed greater and greater. Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the ord, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them. And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred

And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 'And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, 10 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. 10n that day the number of those that

men.

18 Then

16 But

17

were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king. 12 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. 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. 14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons. 15 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. 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. 18 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. 19 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.

V. 17-19. The eastern princes and the plots of Haman; their hearts people not only invite their friends to overflowed with joy and gladness. We feasts, but it is their custom to send a ought never to forget the happy changes portion of the banquet to those that which God has made in our condition. cannot well attend, especially their re- Often should we call back to our relations, and those in a state of mourn- membrance the mercies of former days. ing. Thus, when the Grand Emir This will be our wisdom and our hapfound that it incommoded M. D’Ar- piness. It will be a frequent renewal vieux to eat with him, he desired him of former joys, and a means of preto take his own time for eating, and serving alive that gratitude which we sent him from his kitchen what he owe to the God of our mercies.-Lawliked best.-Harmer.

This feasting was to commemorate This festival is still observed by the the great deliverance of the Jews from Jews.

20 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, 21 To stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 22 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

son.

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