Esther 2:23
And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Hanged on a tree.—Were crucified; a common punishment among the Persians, especially on rebels (Herod. iii. 120, 125, 159, &c). The dead body of Leonidas was crucified by Xerxes’ orders after the desperate stand at Thermopylæ.

Book of the chronicles.—A sleepless night of Xerxes accidentally brought this matter, after it had been forgotten, before the king’s mind. Herodotus often refers to these Persian Chronicles (vii. 100; viii. 85, 90).

Esther 2:23. It was written in the book of the Chronicles — A day-book, wherein all memorable things were recorded. Before the king — This may refer either, 1st, To the writing of it, signifying that it was written in the king’s presence by scribes, who were continually with the king, to record all remarkable things which happened in the court from time to time: or, 2d, To the book, which was laid up before the king, that he might more easily and frequently peruse it for his own direction or amusement. Here we see the danger and infelicity of the greatest men, the life of a most potent monarch depending upon the fidelity of one single person, whose service was neglected by the court, though a memorial was made of it. Thus all masters of families are obnoxious to the perfidiousness, of those that wait upon them. 2:21-23 Good subjects must not conceal any bad design they know of against the prince, or the public peace. Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, but a remembrance was written. Thus, with respect to those who serve Christ, though their recompence is not till the resurrection of the just, yet an account is kept of their work of faith and labour of love, which God is not unrighteous to forget. The servant of God must be faithful to every trust, and watchful for those who employ him. If he appear to be neglected now, he will be remembered hereafter. None of our actions can be forgotten; even our most secret thoughts are written in lasting registers, Re 20:12.Both hanged on a tree - i. e. "crucified" or "impaled" the ordinary punishment of rebels and traitors in Persia.

The book of the chronicles - Ctesias drew his Persian history from them, and they are often glanced at by Herodotus.

Es 2:21-23. Mordecai, Discovering a Treason, Is Recorded in the Chronicles.

21. In those days … two of the king's chamberlains … were wroth and sought to lay hand on the king, &c.—This secret conspiracy against the king's life probably arose out of revenge for the divorce of Vashti, in whose interest, and at whose instigation, these eunuchs may have acted. Through the vigilance of Mordecai, whose fidelity, however, passed unnoticed, the design was frustrated, while the conspirators were condemned to be executed and as the matter was recorded in the court annals, it became the occasion afterwards of Mordecai's preferment to the place of power and influence for which, in furtherance of the national interests of the Jews, divine providence intended him.

This may be referred, either,

1. To the writing, to note that this was written in the king’s presence by scribes, who were continually present with the king to write all remarkable passages happening in the court from time to time. Or,

2. To the book, which was laid up before the king, that he might more easily and frequently peruse it for his own delight or direction. And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out,.... That these two men had entered into a conspiracy to take away the king's life; full proof and evidence were given of it:

therefore they were both hanged on a tree; Josephus (e) says they were crucified; but hanging was frequent among the Persians, as Grotius observes, and better agrees with the word here used:

and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king; in a diary kept by the king's order, in which memorable events were set down, and might be done in the presence of the king, as well as the book lay open before him to read at any time; and this is observed to agree with the manner of Xerxes, who is reported (f) to sit on a throne of gold to behold a sea fight between the Grecians and Persians, and had several scribes by him to take down whatever was done in the fight.

(e) Ibid. (Antiqu. l. 11. c. 6. sect. 4.) (f) Plutarch. in Themistocle.

And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the {o} chronicles before the king.

(o) In the chronicles of the Medes and Persians, Es 10:2.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. And when inquisition … on a tree] The LXX. have more briefly, ‘And the king examined the two eunuchs and hung them.’ The word ‘examined’ probably means by torture.

hanged on a tree] crucified or impaled. Such was the form of capital punishment inflicted upon political offenders in Persia (Herod. iii. 159, iv. 43).

the book of the chronicles] Herodotus (viii. 90) tells us that historiographers were attached to Xerxes’ court, and moved with it from place to place. Thus these chronicles recorded facts and events of State importance. Doubtless they were written on materials more perishable than the burnt clay tablets, which have been found in the vicinity of Babylon and elsewhere, and which have fortunately transmitted to us public occurrences of their time. Ctesias (see on Esther 1:2) pretended that records set down by Persian chroniclers were the sources from which he drew his information. We may compare the acta diurna of the Roman Empire, referred to in Tacitus (Ann. xiii. 31). The ‘chronicles’ mentioned in the text here are referred to again in Esther 6:1, Esther 10:2. Cp. Ezra 4:15.

before the king] under his supervision, if not actually in his presence.Verse 23. - It was found out. The subsequent history shows that Mordecai's information was found to be correct, since he was ultimately adjudged to have deserved the highest possible reward (Esther 6:6-10). The two conspirators were condemned to death and hanged on a tree, i.e. crucified or impaled, as traitors and rebels commonly were in Persia (see Herod., 3 159; 4:43; 'Behist. Inscr.,' col. 2. pars. 13, 14; col. 3. par. 8). And it was written in the book of the chronicles. Historiographers were attached to the Persian court, and attended the monarch wherever he went. We find them noting down facts for Xerxes at Doriscus (Herod., 7:100), and again at Salamis (ibid. 8:90). They kept a record something like the acta diurna of the early Roman empire (Tacit., 'Ann.,' 13:31), and specially noted whatever concerned the king. Ctesias pretended to have drawn his Persian history from these "chronicles" (up. Diod. Sic., 2:32), and Herodotus seems to have obtained access to some of them (see the writer's 'Herodotus,' Introduction, ch. 1.h p. 56). Before the king. i.e. "in the king's presence." This was not always the case; but when the matter was very important the king exercised a supervision over what was written.



And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; and he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. The meaning evidently is, that the king, immediately after their first meeting, bestowed his affections upon Esther in preference to all the women and maidens, and chose her queen.
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