Esther 6:12
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
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(12) Mordecai came again to the king’s gate.—He had received his reward, and to the Eastern, who sees continually the Vizier and the poor man exchange places, there would be nothing startling in this resumption of the former humble post.

His head covered.—In token of mourning.

6:12-14 Mordecai was not puffed up with his honours, he returned to his place and the duty of it. Honour is well bestowed on those that do not think themselves above their business. But Haman could not bear it. What harm had it done him? But that will break a proud man's heart, which will not break a humble man's sleep. His doom was, out of this event, read to him by his wife and his friends. They plainly confessed that the Jews, though scattered through the nations, were special objects of Divine care. Miserable comforters are they all; they did not advise Haman to repent, but foretold his fate as unavoidable. The wisdom of God is seen, in timing the means of his church's deliverance, so as to manifest his own glory.It is quite consonant with Oriental notions that Mordecai, after receiving the extraordinary honors assigned him, should return to the palace and resume his former humble employment. 11. Then Haman took, &c.—This sudden reverse, however painful to Haman as an individual, is particularly characteristic of the Persian manners. To the king’s gate; to his former place and office; showing that as he was not overwhelmed by Haman’s threats and malicious design, as appears by Esther 5:9; so now he was not puffed up with all this honour. Besides, he came thither to attend the issue of the main business, and to be at hand to assist or encourage the queen, if need were; which now he was more capable of doing than hitherto he had been.

Having his head covered, in token of his shame and grief for his unexpected and great disappointment of his hope and desire, and for the great honour done to his most despised and abhorred adversary, and this by his own hands, and with his own public disgrace; and for such further inconveniences as this unlucky omen seemed to presage to him.

And Mordecai came again to the king's gate,.... To attend his post and office at court; which confirms what has been already hinted, that he was in some office in the court, which this phrase is expressive of, and not a porter at the gate; for it is not probable he should return to such a station, after so much honour had been done him; and much less that he returned to his sackcloth and fasting, as Jarchi and the former Targum; since he might reasonably conclude things were taking a turn in his favour, and that of his people; though as yet he knew not what success Esther had had, to wait for which he returned to court:

but Haman hasted to his house; pushed forward as fast as he could:

mourning; at his sad disappointment:

and having his head covered; through grief and sorrow, confusion and shame; so Demosthenes, being hissed, went home with his head covered (c), as confounded and ashamed to be seen (d).

(c) Plutarch in Demosthene. (d) See more instances in Lively's Chronology of the Persian monarchy, p. 18, 19.

And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
Chaps. Esther 6:12 to Esther 8:2. Haman’s overthrow

12. having his head covered] in token of grief. Cp. Esther 7:8; 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:4; Jeremiah 14:4; Ezekiel 24:17.

Verse 12. - And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. Returned, i.e., to his former condition and employment. The high honour done him was regarded as sufficient reward. Having his head covered. Like David when he fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:30; comp. Psalm 44:15). Esther 6:12After this honour had been paid him, Mordochai returned to the king's gate; but Haman hasted to his house, "sad and with his head covered," to relate to his wife and friends all that had befallen him. A deeper mortification he could not have experienced than that of being obliged, by the king's command, publicly to show the highest honour to the very individual whose execution he was just about to propose to him. The covering of the head is a token of deep confusion and mourning; comp. Jeremiah 14:4; 2 Samuel 15:30. Then his wise men, and Zeresh his wife, said to him: "If Mordochai, before whom thou hast begun to fall, be of the seed of the Jews, thou wilt not prevail against him, but wholly fall before him." לו תוּכל לא, non praevalebis ei, comp. Genesis 32:26. תּפּול נפול with an emphatic infin. absol.: wholly fall. Instead of the חכמיו אהביו are here named, or to speak more correctly the friends of Haman are here called his wise men (magi). Even in Esther 5:14 Haman's friends figure as those with whom he takes counsel concerning Mordochai, i.e., as his counsellors or advisers; hence it is very probable that there were magi among their number, who now "come forward as a genus sapientum et doctorum (Cicero, divin. i. 23)" (Berth.), and predict his overthrow in his contest with Mordochai. The ground of this prediction is stated: "If Mordochai is of the seed of the Jews," i.e., of Jewish descent, then after this preliminary fall a total fall is inevitable. Previously (Esther 5:14) they had not hesitated to advise him to hang the insignificant Jew; but now that the insignificant Jew has become, as by a miracle, a man highly honoured by the king, the fact that the Jews are under the special protection of Providence is pressed upon them. Ex fato populorum, remarks Grotius, de singulorum fatis judicabant. Judaei gravissime oppressi a Cyri temporibus contra spem omnem resurgere caeperant. We cannot, however, regard as well founded the further remark: de Amalecitis audierant oraculum esse, eos Judaeorum manu perituros, which Grotius, with most older expositors, derives from the Amalekite origin of Haman. The revival of the Jewish people since the times of Cyrus was sufficient to induce, in the minds of heathen who were attentive to the signs of the times, the persuasion that this nation enjoyed divine protection.
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