Esther 3:10
And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
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Esther 3:10. And the king took his ring from his hand, &c. — Without any examination into the condition of the people, he consented to their destruction. So loath are men that love their pleasure to take any pains to distinguish between truth and falsehood. And gave it unto Haman — That he might keep it as a badge of his supreme authority under the king, and that he might use it for the sealing of this decree which was now made, or of any other that might be made hereafter. The Agagite, the Jews’ enemy — Such he was, both by inclination, as he was an Amalekite, and especially by this destructive design and resolution.3:7-15 Without some acquaintance with the human heart, and the history of mankind, we should not think that any prince could consent to a dreadful proposal, so hurtful to himself. Let us be thankful for mild and just government. Haman inquires, according to his own superstitions, how to find a lucky day for the designed massacre! God's wisdom serves its own purposes by men's folly. Haman has appealed to the lot, and the lot, by delaying the execution, gives judgment against him. The event explains the doctrine of a particular providence over all the affairs of men, and the care of God over his church. Haman was afraid lest the king's conscience should smite him for what he had done; to prevent which, he kept him drinking. This cursed method many often take to drown convictions, and to harden their own hearts, and the hearts of others, in sin. All appeared in a favourable train to accomplish the project. But though sinners are permitted to proceed to the point they aim at, an unseen but almighty Power turns them back. How vain and contemptible are the strongest assaults against Jehovah! Had Haman obtained his wish, and the Jewish nation perished, what must have become of all the promises? How could the prophecies concerning the great Redeemer of the world have been fulfilled? Thus the everlasting covenant itself must have failed, before this diabolical project could take place.Ten thousand talents of silver - According to Herodotus, the regular revenue of the Persian king consisted of 14,560 silver talents; so that, if the same talent is intended, Haman's offer would have exceeded two-thirds of one year's revenue (or two and one-half million British pound sterling). Another Persian subject, Pythius, once offered to present Xerxes with four millions of gold darics, or about four and one-half pounds. 10. the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman—There was a seal or signet in the ring. The bestowment of the ring, with the king's name and that of his kingdom engraven on it, was given with much ceremony, and it was equivalent to putting the sign manual to a royal edict. Gave it unto Haman; that he might keep it as a badge of his supreme authority under the king, and that he might use it for the sealing of this decree which now he desired, or of any other, as hereafter he should see fit. Compare Esther 8:2,8 Ge 41:42.

The Jews’ enemy; so he was, both by inclination, as he was an Amalekite, and especially by this malicious and destructive design and resolution. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. As a token of his affection for him, and a mark of honour to him; with the Persians (w) for a king to give a ring to anyone was a token and bond of the greatest love and friendship imaginable; and it may be this was given to Haman, to seal with it the letters that were or should be written, giving order for the destruction of the Jews. It seems as if as yet Esther had not acquainted the king who her kindred and people were; or it can hardly be thought he would have so easily come into such a scheme, or so highly favoured an enemy of her people.

(w) Alex. ab. Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 26. & l. 2. c. 19.

And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
10. his ring] The possession of the king’s signet ring gave the holder full power to issue edicts in his name, since the sealing of them with his signet gave them validity. Alexander the Great is said to have intimated in this way that he desired his general Perdiccas to succeed him. Cp. for the use of a signet ring in this connexion Esther 8:2; Genesis 41:42; 1Ma 6:15; see also Josephus, Ant. xx. 2. 2.

Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy] This full description lays stress upon the terrible plight in which the Jews were placed by the delegation of unlimited powers for their destruction into the hands of their hereditary foe.Verse 10. - The king took his ring from his hand. Rather, "took his signet from his hand." This may have been a ring, for signet-rings were known to the Persians, but is perhaps more likely to have been a cylinder, like that of Darius, his father, which is now in the British Museum ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 4. p. 182). And gave it unto Haman. Thus giving him the power of making whatsoever edicts he pleased, since nothing was requisite to give authority to an edict but the impression of the royal seal (see Herod., 3:128). For similar acts of confidence see Genesis 41:42; Esther 8:2. The Jews' enemy. Rather, "persecutor." When the other officials of the court asked him from day to day, why he transgressed the king's commandment, and he hearkened not unto them, i.e., gave no heed to their words, they told it to Haman, "to see whether Mordochai's words would stand; for he had told them that he was a Jew." It is obvious from this, that Mordochai had declared to those who asked him the reason why he did not fall down before Haman, that he could not do so because he was a Jew, - that as a Jew he could not show that honour to man which was due to God alone. Now the custom of falling down to the earth before an exalted personage, and especially before a king, was customary among Israelites; comp. 2 Samuel 14:4; 2 Samuel 18:28; 1 Kings 1:16. If, then, Mordochai refused to pay this honour to Haman, the reason of such refusal must be sought in the notions which the Persians were wont to combine with the action, i.e., in the circumstance that they regarded it as an act of homage performed to a king as a divine being, an incarnation of Oromasdes. This is testified by classical writers; comp. Plutarch, Themist. 27; Curtius, viii. 5. 5f., where the latter informs us that Alexander the Great imitated this custom on his march to India, and remarks, 11: Persas quidem non pie solum, sed etiam prudenter reges suos inter Deos colere; majestatem enim imperii salutis esse tutelam. Hence also the Spartans refused, as Herod. 7.136 relates, to fall down before King Xerxes, because it was not the custom of Greeks to honour mortals after this fashion. This homage, then, which was regarded as an act of reverence and worship to a god, was by the command of the king to be paid to Haman, as his representative, by the office-bearers of his court; and this Mordochai could not do without a denial of his religious faith.
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