Esther 4:5
Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend on her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Esther's maids ... told it her - Esther's nationality and her relationship to Mordecai were probably by this time known to her attendants, though still concealed from the king. See Esther 7:4. 5. Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her—Communication with the women in the harem is very difficult to be obtained, and only through the medium of the keepers. The chief eunuch receives the message from the lips of the queen, conveys it to some inferior office of the seraglio. When the commission is executed, the subaltern communicates it to the superintendent, by whom it is delivered to the queen. This chief eunuch, usually an old man who has recommended himself by a long course of faithful service, is always appointed by the king; but it is his interest, as well as his duty, to ingratiate himself with the queen also. Accordingly, we find Hatach rendering himself very serviceable in carrying on those private communications with Mordecai who was thereby enabled to enlist Esther's powerful influence. No text from Poole on this verse. Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her,.... Which, according to the Targum, was Daniel (a); but it is not likely that Daniel should have lived to this time; however, this officer was not only intrusted with the care of the queen by the king, but she had also an high opinion of him, and therefore employed him in this affair:

and gave a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was; what was the reason of his appearing in sackcloth, and why he did not receive the clothes she sent him.

(a) So Midrash Esther, fol. 94. 3. & Jarchi in Dan. iv. 5.

Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. Hathach] The LXX. call him Achrathaeus (Ἀχραθαῖος), while the Targum makes him to be Daniel!

to know what this was, and why it was] to know what his mourning attire meant.Verse 5. - To know what it was, and why it was. i.e. "to know what the mourning garb exactly meant, and for what reason he had assumed it." The copy of the writing, that the law might be given in every province, was opened to all people, that they might be ready by this day. This verse does not announce a copy of the royal decree that had been prepared and sent by the posts, which would in that case be replaced by a mere allusion to its contents (Bertheau). The words contain no trace of an announcement such as we find in Ezra 4:11; Ezra 7:11, but the historical notice, that the copy of the writing which was sent as a law into the provinces was גּלוּי, opened, i.e., sent unclosed or unsealed to all people. גּלוּי is the predicate to the subject וגו פּתשׁגן (comp. on this word the note to Ezra 4:14), and between the subject and predicate is inserted the infinitive clause וגו דּת להנּתן for the purpose of once more briefly mentioning the contents and destination of the כּתב: that a law might be given in every province. To attain this object the more certainly, the copy of the decree, which was brought into every province by the posts, was open or unsealed, that all people might read its contents, and keep themselves in readiness for the execution of what was therein commanded on the appointed day. הזּה ליּום is the thirteenth day of the twelfth month named in the letter.
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