And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had showed him the people of Mordecai: why Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Esther 3:6. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone — He thought that particular vengeance was unsuitable to his quality, and to the greatness of the injury; wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews — Which he attempted from that implacable hatred which, as an Amalekite, he had against them; from his rage against Mordecai; and from Mordecai’s reason of this contempt, because he was a Jew, which, as he truly judged, extended itself to all the Jews, and would equally engage them all in the same neglect. And doubtless Haman included, those who were returned to their own land; for that was now a province of his kingdom.
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.He thought scorn; he thought that particular vengeance was unsuitable to his quality, and to the greatness of the injury.
Haman sought to destroy all the Jews; which he attempted, partly, from that implacable hatred which, as an Amalekite, he had against them; partly, from his rage against Mordecai; and partly, from Mordecai’s reason of this contempt, because he was a Jew, which, as he truly judged, extended itself to all the Jews, and would equally engage them all in the same neglect and hatred of his person,
for they had showed him the people of Mordecai; that they were the Jews; for Mordecai had told the king's servants, that talked with him on the subject, that he was a Jew, and gave that as a reason why he could not and would not reverence Haman:
wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus; even the people of Mordecai; and that not merely to be revenged on Mordecai, but because he plainly saw, that both by his example, and upon the same principle with him; they would all to a man refuse to give him reverence; and therefore he was resolved to root them out of the whole empire, that he might not be mortified by them.And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. But he thought scorn etc.] Haman’s wrath was so excessive that to punish the man who excited it seemed to him as nothing. The whole nation to which his enemy belonged must perish. A little more than forty years previously, at the accession of Darius Hystaspes, there had been a general massacre of the Magi, when the people “slew every Magus who came in their way” (Herod. iii. 79). This and other instances which might be adduced illustrate the tendency towards passionate and excessive vengeance on the part of the Oriental disposition, which holds human life cheap. Some, however, have seen in Haman’s conduct the operation of a wider principle in the shape of race-hatred, paralleled in later days by anti-semitic outbursts upon the continent, or the persecution of Eastern Christians by the Turks.
 For example, when Cyaxares and the Medes invite to a banquet a large number of Scythians, whose depredations had proved troublesome, and massacre them when drunk (Herod. i. 106).Verse 6. - He thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone. If Haman had simply said to Ahasuerus, "There is one of your menials who persistently disobeys a royal edict, and at the same time insults me," Ahasuerus would, as a matter of course, have told him to put the menial to death. But the revengeful temper of the man was such that this seemed to him insufficient. Mordecai had insulted him as a Jew, and the Jews should pay the penalty. Mordecai should be punished not only in person, but in his kindred, if he had any, and in his nation. The nation itself was contumacious and troublesome (ver. 8); it would be well to get rid of it. And it would be a grand thing to wipe out an insult offered by an individual in the blood of a whole people. Haman therefore sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus. Massacres on a large scale - not unknown in the West, witness St. Bartholomew's - are of frequent occurrence in the East, where human life is not held in much regard, and the caprices of absolute monarchs determine the course of history. There had been a general massacre of the Magi upon the accession of Darius Hystaspis, the father of Xerxes (Herod., 3:79), and one of Scythians about a century before (ibid. 1.106). These were examples which might occur to Haman. A later one is the Roman massacre of Mithridates in B.C. 88.
CHAPTER 3:7-15 HAMAN CASTS LOTS TO OBTAIN A LUCKY DAY FOR HIS ENTERPRISE, AND OBTAINS A DAY IN THE MONTH ADAR, THE LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR (Esther 3:7). Having determined on a general massacre of the Jews on a given day, as the best mode of ridding the empire of them, Haman thought it of supreme importance, to select for the massacre a propitious and fortunate day. Lucky and unlucky days are recognised generally throughout the East; and it is a wide-spread practice, when any affair of consequence is taken in hand, to obtain a determination of the time for commencing it, or carrying it into effect, by calling in the arbitrement of Chance. Haman had recourse to "the lot," and by means of it obtained, as the fight day for his purpose, the 13th of Adar, which was more than ten months distant. The long delay was no doubt unpalateable, but he thought himself bound to submit to it, and took his further measures accordingly. 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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