|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-8 Esther having had power with God, and prevailing, like Jacob, had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God, shall save it, or find it in a better life. The king encouraged her. Let us from this be encouraged to pray always to our God, and not to faint. Esther came to a proud, imperious man; but we come to the God of love and grace. She was not called, but we are; the Spirit says, Come, and the Bride says, Come. She had a law against her, we have a promise, many a promise, in favour of us; Ask, and it shall be given you. She had no friend to go with her, or to plead for her; on the contrary, he that was then the king's favourite, was her enemy; but we have an Advocate with the Father, in whom he is well pleased. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. God put it into Esther's heart to delay her petition a day longer; she knew not, but God did, what was to happen in that very night.
Verse 1. - On the third day. The third day from that on which Esther and Mordecai had communicated together through Hatach (Esther 4:5-17). Esther put on her royal apparel. This is certainly the meaning, though the elliptical phrase used is uncommon. Esther, while she fasted, had worn some garb of woe; now she laid it aside, and appeared once more in all the splendour of her royal robes. She took up her position directly in front of the king's apartment, with the object of attracting his attention, and perhaps with the knowledge that he was upon his throne, whence he could not fail to see her. The king sat upon his royal throne, over against the gate. In a Persian pillared hall the place for the throne would be at the further end, midway between the side walls. The throne would be elevated on steps, and would command a view down the midmost avenue of columns to the main entrance, which would commonly occupy that position.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now it came to pass on the third day,.... Of the fast; though the former Targum paraphrases it the third day of the passover, the sixteenth of Nisan; see Gill on Esther 4:17, though it is probable this was nearer the time fixed for the destruction of the Jews, see Esther 8:9, yet the Jews have fixed the fast of Esther on that very day, the thirteenth of Adar (f):
that Esther put on her royal apparel; in order to go in to the king, and appear before him; which to do in a mournful habit, such as she had on when fasting, was not proper; for then she put off her royal crown, as is intimated in the additions to the book of Esther,And upon the third day, when she had ended her prayers, she laid away her mourning garments, and put on her glorious apparel. (Esther 15:1)and as was usual for princes to do in times of mourning (g); but now she put it on, as both Ben Gorion (h) and the latter Targum affirm:
and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house; into which none might go but such as were called; yet Esther being queen, the keepers of the door could not forbid her, as Aben Ezra observes:
and the king sat upon his royal throne, in the royal house, over against the gate of the house; so that he could see whoever came in at it, into the inner court.
(f) Vid Reland. Antiqu. Heb. par. 4. c. 13. sect. 5. (g) Vid. Paschalium de Coronis, l. 10. c. 11. p. 699. (h) Hist. Heb. Jud. l. 2. c. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Es 5:1-14. Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Banquet.
1. Esther put on her royal apparel—It was not only natural, but, on such occasions, highly proper and expedient, that the queen should decorate herself in a style becoming her exalted station. On ordinary occasions she might reasonably set off her charms to as much advantage as possible; but, on the present occasion, as she was desirous to secure the favor of one who sustained the twofold character of her husband and her sovereign, public as well as private considerations—a regard to her personal safety, no less than the preservation of her doomed countrymen—urged upon her the propriety of using every legitimate means of recommending herself to the favorable notice of Ahasuerus.
the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house—The palace of this Persian king seems to have been built, like many more of the same quality and description, with an advanced cloister, over against the gate, made in the fashion of a large penthouse, supported only by one or two contiguous pillars in the front, or else in the center. In such open structures as these, in the midst of their guards and counsellors, are the bashaws, kadis, and other great officers, accustomed to distribute justice, and transact the public affairs of the provinces [Shaw, Travels]. In such a situation the Persian king was seated. The seat he occupied was not a throne, according to our ideas of one, but simply a chair, and so high that it required a footstool. It was made of gold, or, at least, inlaid with that metal, and covered with splendid tapestry, and no one save the king might sit down on it under pain of death. It is often found pictured on the Persepolitan monuments, and always of the same fashion.
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