Esther 3:5
And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Esther 3:5. Then was Haman full of rage — Josephus tells us, that Haman, taking notice of this singularity in Mordecai, asked him what countryman he was, and finding him to be a Jew, broke out into a violent exclamation at his insolence, and in his rage formed the desperate resolution, not only to be revenged on Mordecai, but to destroy the whole race of the Jews; well remembering that his ancestors, the Amalekites, had been formerly driven out of their country, and almost exterminated by the Jews.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.Whether Mordecai's matters would stand - Rather, "whether Mordecai's words would hold good" - whether, that is, his excuse, that he was a Jew, would be allowed as a valid reason for his refusal. 2. all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman—Large mansions in the East are entered by a spacious vestibule, or gateway, along the sides of which visitors sit, and are received by the master of the house; for none, except the nearest relatives or special friends, are admitted farther. There the officers of the ancient king of Persia waited till they were called, and did obeisance to the all-powerful minister of the day.

But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence—The obsequious homage of prostration not entirely foreign to the manners of the East, had not been claimed by former viziers; but this minion required that all subordinate officers of the court should bow before him with their faces to the earth. But to Mordecai, it seemed that such an attitude of profound reverence was due only to God. Haman being an Amalekite, one of a doomed and accursed race, was, doubtless, another element in the refusal; and on learning that the recusant was a Jew, whose nonconformity was grounded on religious scruples, the magnitude of the affront appeared so much the greater, as the example of Mordecai would be imitated by all his compatriots. Had the homage been a simple token of civil respect, Mordecai would not have refused it; but the Persian kings demanded a sort of adoration, which, it is well known, even the Greeks reckoned it degradation to express. As Xerxes, in the height of his favoritism, had commanded the same honors to be given to the minister as to himself, this was the ground of Mordecai's refusal.

No text from Poole on this verse. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence,.... For, after the information given him, he observed and watched him, to see whether he bowed and did him reverence or not:

then was Haman full of wrath; exceedingly displeased and angry; it was such a mortification to him he could not bear.

And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 5. - When Haman saw. Apparently Mordecai's disrespect had not been observed by Haman until the "king's servants" called his attention to it. Then, naturally enough, he was greatly offended, and felt exceedingly angry at what seemed to him a gross impertinence. Mordecai's excuse did not pacify him - perhaps seemed to him to make the matter worse, since, if allowed, it would justify all the Jews in the empire in withholding from him the respect that he considered his due. The definition of time in Esther 2:19 is again take up by the words: in those days; then the explanatory clause, Esther 2:20, is repeated; and after this we are informed what it was that had then occurred. In those days Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's courtiers, who were the threshold-keepers (palace-watchers, lxx ἀρχισωματοφύλακες), were wroth, and sought to lay hands on King Ahashverosh, i.e., to slay him. Esther 2:22. This thing was known to Mordochai, and by him communicated to Esther, who told it, in Mordochai's name, to the king. Esther 2:23. The matter was investigated (sc. by the king), and found out, sc. as Mordochai had testified. The two criminals were hanged on a tree, i.e., impaled on a stake, a sort of crucifixion, - see rem. on Esther 6:11, - and the circumstance entered in the book of the chronicles, i.e., the chronicles of the kingdom. המּלך לפני, before the king, i.e., in his presence, immediately after sentence had been passed by a court over which the monarch presided.
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