Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.X.
(1) Laid a tribute.—The disastrous expedition to Greece must have taxed the resources of the empire to the utmost, and fresh tribute would therefore be requisite to fill the exhausted coffers. Besides this, a harassing war was still going on, even ten years after the battle of Salamis, on the coast of Asia Minor, and this would require fresh supplies.
The isles of the sea.—The chief island yet remaining to the Persian Empire was Cyprus. Those in the Ægean Sea were now free from Persian rule, but possibly, even after the loss, the old phrase may have been retained; just as in modern times we have Kings of “England, France, and Ireland,” and of “the two Sicilies, and Jerusalem” &c.
And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?(2) Power.—The same word as that translated authority in Esther 9:29.
For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.(3) Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus.—We have seen that the events recorded in this book carry us to the year 470 B.C., at which time Mordecai was at the zenith of his greatness. How long he kept it, whether death or disgrace brought it to a close, and if the latter, from what cause, we cannot say. All we know is, that near the end of Xerxes’ reign his favourite and chief adviser was Artabanus, the captain of the guard, by whom he was murdered in B.C. 464. The last we hear of Mordecai, whatever was his afterfate, is that he was loyal to his people, and approved himself their benefactor, “seeking the wealth (i.e., weal—literally, good), and speaking peace to all his seed,” all of the stock of Israel.
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