Esther 4:17
So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
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4:5-17 We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the favour she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter. Haman no doubt did what he could to set the king against her. Mordecai suggests, that it was a cause which, one way or other, would certainly be carried, and which therefore she might safely venture in. This was the language of strong faith, which staggered not at the promise when the danger was most threatening, but against hope believed in hope. He that by sinful devices will save his life, and will not trust God with it in the way of duty, shall lose it in the way of sin. Divine Providence had regard to this matter, in bringing Esther to be queen. Therefore thou art bound in gratitude to do this service for God and his church, else thou dost not answer the end of thy being raised up. There is wise counsel and design in all the providences of God, which will prove that they are all intended for the good of the church. We should, every one, consider for what end God has put us in the place where we are, and study to answer that end: and take care that we do not let it slip. Having solemnly commended our souls and our cause to God, we may venture upon his service. All dangers are trifling compared with the danger of losing our souls. But the trembling sinner is often as much afraid of casting himself, without reserve, upon the Lord's free mercy, as Esther was of coming before the king. Let him venture, as she did, with earnest prayer and supplication, and he shall fare as well and better than she did. The cause of God must prevail: we are safe in being united to it.Again the religious element shows itself. Esther's fast could have no object but to obtain God's favor and protection in the dangerous course on which she was about to enter. 16. so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law—The appeal of Mordecai was irresistible. Having appointed a solemn fast of three days, she expressed her firm resolution to make an appeal to the king, though she should perish in the attempt.

I … and my maidens—It is probable that she had surrounded herself with Jewish maidens, or women who were proselytes to that religion.

No text from Poole on this verse. So Mordecai went his way,.... About the business he was directed to; the word used having sometimes the signification of passing over or transgressing, Jarchi interprets it of Mordecai's transgressing the command, by fasting on a festival; the letter being written on the thirteenth of Nisan, Esther 3:12, the next day was the passover, on which he supposes the fast began; and the three days were, the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth of the month, and belonged to the feast of the passover and of unleavened bread; so the Targum:

and did according to all that Esther had commanded him; got the Jews together, and kept a fast three days; according to the Midrash (e) they were the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth of Nisan.

(e) Midrash Esther, fol. 94. 4.

So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
17. went his way] The Targum takes advantage of the frequent though by no means exclusive use of the original verb in the sense to pass beyond, transgress, to interpret it as indicating that Mordecai transgressed the rule of Passover, which prohibited fasting at that season. It is true that the Passover feast commenced on the evening which, with the following morning, constituted the fifteenth day of the month Nisan[72], but from the date at which the king’s scribes were convened, as given in Esther 3:12, we need by no means conclude that the arrangement made between Mordecai and Esther followed so closely as this interpretation would imply.

[72] The Passover lamb was eaten on the fourteenth day (Exodus 12:6), just before the sunset which introduced the fifteenth.Verse 17. - Mordecai... did according to all that Esther had commanded. i.e. gathered the Jews together, and proclaimed a three days fast. Though without authority, he would naturally, under the circumstances, have sufficient influence over his countrymen to induce them to do his bidding.

When Hatach brought this information to Esther, she sent word by him to Mordochai, that she might not go in unto the king unsummoned. אל מ תּצוּהוּ, she ordered or commissioned him to Mordochai, viz., to tell him what follows, Esther 4:11 : "All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces (i.e., all the officers and subjects of the king) know, that with respect to every man or woman that shall come in unto the king, into the inner court, that is not called - one (the same) law (is) for him: to put (him) to death, except him to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live." לואשּׁה כּל־אישׁ precede as nominativi absol.; these are followed by two relative clauses, which are succeeded by the anacoluthic predicate דּתו אחת: one and the same law is for him (דּתו, the law concerning him, the unsummoned appearer, the matter of which is briefly stated by להמית). In the inner court dwelt the king, seated on his throne (comp. Esther 5:1). The law, that every one entering unbidden should be put to death, was subject to but one exception: וגו מאשׁר לבד, except him to whom the king stretches out, etc. הושׁיט from ישׁט, appearing only in the present book (Esther 5:2; Esther 8:4), but frequently in Chaldee and Syriac, signifies to hold out, to extend, with לו, to or towards him. שׁרביט, the Aramaic form for שׁבט, sceptre. Access to the royal presence had been already rendered difficult by an edict issued by Dejokes the Mede, Herod. 1:9; and among the Persians, none, with the exception of a few individuals (Herod. iii. 118), were permitted to approach the king without being previously announced (Herod. iii. 140; Corn. Nepos, Conon, 3). Any one entering unannounced was punished with death, unless the king, according to this passage, gave it to be understood by stretching forth his sceptre that he was to remain unpunished. It is, however, self-evident, and the fact is confirmed by Herod. iii. 140, that any who desired audience were allowed to announce themselves. Esther might, it seems, have done this. Why, then, did she not make the attempt? The answer lies in her further message to Mordochai: "and I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days." From these words it appears, that formerly she had been more frequently summoned before the king. Now, however, a whole month had passed without any invitation. Hence she concluded that the king did not much wish to see her, and for this reason dared not go unto him unbidden. Evidently, too, she was unwilling to be announced, because in that case she would have been obliged immediately to make known to the king the cause of her desiring this interview. And this she would not venture to do, fearing that, considering the great favour in which Haman stood with the king, she might, if she did not provoke his displeasure against herself through her intercession for her people, at least meet with a rejection of her petition. To set aside an irrevocable decree sealed with the king's seal, must have appeared to Esther an impossible undertaking. To have asked such a thing of the king would have been indeed a bold venture.
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