Esther 7:9
And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who spoken good for the king, stands in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Harbonah.—See Esther 1:10.

One of the chamberlains. . . .—Translate, one of the chamberlains [who stood, or served] before the king, said.

Hang him.—In the LXX., let him be crucified. The climax of the story is now reached in the pithy words, “They hanged Haman upon the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai.” In his own house (Esther 7:9), that is, probably, in some court or garden belonging to it, in the sight doubtless of his own children and his own servants, and the wife who had given him such cold comfort, did the unfortunate man meet his fate. Thus not only does God vouchsafe to deliver his people, but He brings on the enemy the very destruction he had devised for his adversary: “He hath fallen himself into the pit that he digged for other.” Our Saviour has rescued us from our enemy who was too mighty for us, and has trodden down our foe, to be destroyed for ever in His own good time. So may we Christians see in the dangers threatening the Jews throughout this book a picture of our own, and in Haman’s discomfiture a type of the victory of the Lamb over sin and Satan.

Esther 7:9. And Harbonah said — The courtiers that adored Haman when he was rising, set themselves as much against him now he is falling, and are glad of an opportunity to sink him lower: so little sure can proud men be of the interest they think they have in others. Behold also the gallows, &c., standeth in the house of Haman — He had probably observed it, or been informed of it by some of his brethren, who were lately sent to Haman’s house: and this he said, either out of a dislike he had taken to Haman, for his great insolence and barbarous cruelty, or in compliance with the king and queen’s inclinations. Which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king — And, therefore, deserved a better requital than this, even from Haman, if he had not basely preferred the satisfaction of his own revenge before the king’s life. Now Mordecai is the favourite, and Haman being in disgrace, every thing is taken notice of that was to his disadvantage, or that might incense the king more against him. Then the king said, Hang him thereon — He takes no time to deliberate, but instantly passes sentence, without so much as asking Haman what he had to say in his own defence, or to offer why this judgment should not be passed upon him, and execution awarded.7:7-10 The king was angry: those that do things with self-will, reflect upon them afterward with self-reproach. When angry, we should pause before we come to any resolution, and thus rule our own spirits, and show that we are governed by reason. Those that are most haughty and insolent when in power and prosperity, commonly, like Haman, are the most abject and poor-spirited when brought down. The day is coming when those that hate and persecute God's chosen ones, would gladly be beholden to them. The king returns yet more angry against Haman. Those about him were ready to put his wrath into execution. How little can proud men be sure of the interest they think they have! The enemies of God's church have often been thus taken in their own craftiness. The Lord is known by such judgments. Then was the king's wrath pacified, and not till then. And who pities Haman hanged on his own gallows? who does not rather rejoice in the Divine righteousness displayed in the destruction his own art brought upon him? Let the workers of iniquity tremble, turn to the Lord, and seek pardon through the blood of Jesus.Like the Greeks and Romans, the Persians reclined at their meals on sofas or couches. Haman, in the intensity of his supplication, had thrown himself upon the couch at Esther's feet.

They covered Haman's face - The Macedonians and the Romans are known to have commonly muffled the heads of prisoners before executing them. It may have also been a Persian custom.

9. Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows—This eunuch had probably been the messenger sent with the invitation to Haman, and on that occasion had seen the gallows. The information he now volunteered, as well it may be from abhorrence of Haman's cold-blooded conspiracy as from sympathy with his amiable mistress, involved with her people in imminent peril. Harbonah knew this either by his own observation, or by the information of some of his brethren, who were lately sent to Haman’s house, Esther 6:14, where they might easily see it, or at least hear of it. And this he said, either out of a distaste which he had taken against Haman for his great insolency and barbarous cruelty; or in compliance with the king’s inclinations, and the queen’s desires.

Had spoken good for the king, even to the saving of the king’s life, Esther 2:21-23, and therefore deserved a better requital than this even from Haman, if he had not basely preferred the satisfaction of his own revenge before the preservation of the king’s life. And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king,.... One of the seven chamberlains, see Esther 1:10, his name, with Josephus (y), is Sabouchadas.

Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. This man, perhaps, had seen it there, when he went with others to fetch Haman to the banquet, Esther 6:14. The sin of Haman is aggravated by preparing a gallows for a man before he was accused to the king, or condemned, or had a grant for his execution, and for a man that had well deserved of the king for discovering a conspiracy against him, and whom now the king had delighted to honour:

then the king said, hang him thereon; immediately, being ready prepared, the king's word was enough, being a sovereign and tyrannical prince.

(y) Antiqu. l. 11. c. 6. sect. 11.

And Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken {f} good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon.

(f) Who discovered the conspiracy against the king, Es 2:21,22.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 9. - Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king. Rather, "Harbonah, one of the chamberlains (eunuchs) that served before the king, said." The "eunuchs that served before the king" were those of the highest grade, as appears from Esther 1:10. Harbonah was one of them. Who had spoken good for the king. Or, "who spake good." The reference is to his detection of the conspiracy (Esther 2:22). In the house of Haman. This had not been mentioned previously. It adds one touch of extra barbarity to Haman's character, that he should have intended the execution to take place within the walls of his own house.



At this banquet of wine the king asked again on the second day, as he had done on the first (Esther 5:6): What is thy petition, Queen Esther, etc.? Esther then took courage to express her petition. After the usual introductory phrases (Esther 7:3 like Esther 5:8), she replied: "Let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request." For, she adds as a justification and reason for such a petition, "we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had been silent, for the enemy is not worth the king's damage." In this request עמּי is a short expression for: the life of my people, and the preposition ב, the so-called בּ pretii. The request is conceived of as the price which she offers or presents for her life and that of her people. The expression נמכּרנוּ, we are sold, is used by Esther with reference to the offer of Haman to pay a large sum into the royal treasury for the extermination of the Jews, Esther 3:9; Esther 4:7. אלּוּ, contracted after Aramaean usage from לוּ אם, and occurring also Ecclesiastes 6:6, supposes a case, the realization of which is desired, but not to be expected, the matter being represented as already decided by the use of the perfect. The last clause, וגו הצּר אין כּי, is by most expositors understood as a reference, on the part of Esther, to the financial loss which the king would incur by the extermination of the Jews. Thus Rambach, e.g., following R. Sal. ben Melech, understands the meaning expressed to be: hostis nullo modo aequare, compensare, resarcire potest pecunia sua damnum, quod rex ex nostro excidio patitur. So also Cler. and others. The confirmatory clause would in this case refer not to החרשׁתּי, but to a negative notion needing completion: but I dare not be silent; and such completion is itself open to objection. To this must be added, that שׁוה in Kal constructed with בּ does not signify compensare, to equalize, to make equal, but to be equal; consequently the Piel should be found here to justify the explanation proposed. שׁוה in Kal constructed with בּ signifies to be of equal worth with something, to equal another thing in value. Hence Gesenius translates: the enemy does not equal the damage of the king, i.e., is not in a condition to compensate the damage. But neither when thus viewed does the sentence give any reason for Esther's statement, that she would have been silent, if the Jews had been sold for salves. Hence we are constrained, with Bertheau, to take a different view of the words, and to give up the reference to financial loss. נזק, in the Targums, means not merely financial, but also bodily, personal damage; e.g., Psalm 91:7; Genesis 26:11, to do harm, 1 Chronicles 16:22. Hence the phrase may be understood thus: For the enemy is not equal to, is not worth, the damage of the king, i.e., not worthy that I should annoy the king with my petition. Thus Esther says, Esther 7:4 : The enemy has determined upon the total destruction of my people. If he only intended to bring upon them grievous oppression, even that most grievous oppression of slavery, I would have been silent, for the enemy is not worthy that I should vex or annoy the king by my accusation.
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