|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-3 Greatness of Ahasuerus-Mordecai's advancement. - Many instances of the grandeur of Ahasuerus might have been given: these were written in the Persian chronicles, which are long since lost, while the sacred writings will live till time shall be no more. The concerns of the despised worshippers of the Lord are deemed more important by the Holy Spirit, than the exploits of the most illustrious monarch on earth. Mordecai was truly great, and his greatness gave him opportunities of doing the more good. He did not disown his people the Jews, and no doubt kept to the true religion. He did not seek his own wealth, but the welfare of his people. Few have it in their power to do so much good as Mordecai; but all have it in their power to do hurt, and who has it not in his power to do some good? We are not required to do what is not in our power, or is unsuited to our station; but all are bound to live under the influence of the tempers displayed in the saints, whose examples are recorded in the Bible. If we live by the faith of Christ, we shall be active according to the ability and opportunities he gives us, in promoting his glory and the best interests of men. If our faith be genuine, it will work by love. Wait in faith and prayer, and the event will be safe and glorious; our salvation is sure, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 1. - King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land. Darius, the son of Hystaspes, was the first to do this (Herod., 3:89); but, as the tribute had to be rearranged from time to time (ibid., 6:42), any subsequent Persian monarch who made a fresh arrangement might be said to "lay a tribute on the land." Xerxes is not unlikely to have done so after his return from Greece, as he had lost portions of his territories. And on the islands of the sea. The Hebrew expression translated by "islands of the sea" includes maritime tracts. Xerxes by the Greek expedition lost the islands of the AEgean, but still held certain tracts upon the coast of Europe, which were occupied for a considerable time by Persian garrisons (Herod., 7:106, 107). These would necessarily be included in any assessment that he may have made, and it is even not unlikely that Xerxes would lay his assessment on the AEgean islands, though he might not be able to collect it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land, and upon the isles of the sea. Which include all his dominions, both on the continent, and on the sea, the Aegean sea; though Aben Ezra thinks it regards such as were not under his government, but stood in fear of him, of whom he demanded tribute. If Ahasuerus was Xerxes, perhaps his exchequer might be drained by his wars with the Grecians, which put him upon this; though some understand this of his renewing the taxes and tribute, which he remitted upon his marriage with Esther, Esther 2:18.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Es 10:1-3. Ahasuerus' Greatness. Mordecai's Advancement.
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 empire.
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