|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-6 Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman. By nature all are idolaters; self is our favourite idol, we are pleased to be treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion by no means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, yet by a citizen of Zion, not only in his heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was, is contemned, Ps 15:4. The true believer cannot obey edicts, or conform to fashions, which break the law of God. He must obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman was full of wrath. His device was inspired by that wicked spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose enmity to Christ and his church, governs all his children.
Verse 1. - After these things. Probably some years after - about B.C. 476 or 475. Haman, the son of Hammedatha. "Haman" is perhaps Umanish, the Persian equivalent of the Greek Eumenes. "Hammedatha" has been explained as "given by the moon" (Mahadata), the initial h being regarded as the Hebrew article. But this mixture of languages is not probable. The Agagite. The Septuagint has Βουγαῖος, "the Bugaean." Both terms are equally inexplicable, with our present knowledge; but most probably the term used was a local one, marking the place of Haman's birth or bringing up. A reference to descent from the Amalekite king Agag (Joseph., 'Ant. Jud.,' 11:6, § 5) is scarcely possible.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
After these things,.... After the marriage of Esther, and the discovery of the conspiracy to take away the king's life, five years after, as Aben Ezra observe, at least more than four years, for so it appears from Esther 3:7
did King Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite; whom both the Targums make to descend from Amalek, and to be of the stock or family of Agag, the common name of the kings of Amalek; and so Josephus (g); but this is not clear and certain; in the apocryphal Esther he is said to be a Macedonian; and Sulpitius the historian says (h) he was a Persian, which is not improbable; and Agag might be the name of a family or city in Persia, of which he was; and Aben Ezra observes, that some say he is the same with Memucan, see Esther 1:14,
and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him; erected a throne for him, higher than the rest, either of his own princes and nobles, or such as were his captives, see 2 Kings 25:28. It was the custom of the kings of Persia, which it is probable was derived from Cyrus, to advance those to the highest seats they thought best deserved it: says he to his nobles, let there be seats with you as with me, and let the best be honoured before others;--and again, let all the best of those present be honoured with seats above others (i).
(g) Ut supra, (Antiqu. l. 11. c. 6.) sect. 5. (h) Hist. Sacr. l. 2. p. 78. (i) Xenophon, Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 41.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Es 3:1-15. Haman, Advanced by the King, and Despised by Mordecai, Seeks Revenge on All the Jews.
1. After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman … set his seat above all the princes—that is, raised him to the rank of vizier, or prime confidential minister, whose pre-eminence in office and power appeared in the elevated state chair appropriated to that supreme functionary. Such a distinction in seats was counted of vast importance in the formal court of Persia.
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