Esther 8:10
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
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(10) Posts.—The posts. Literally, the runners. (See Note on Esther 1:22.)

Riders on mules.—Rather, on horses of great speed; the “swift beast “of Micah 1:13.

Camels, and young dromedaries.—The words thus translated occur only here, and there is much doubt as to the meaning. It may suffice to mention two renderings :—(1) “Mules, the offspring of royal mares “—so Gesenius; or (2) we may connect the former word with the Persian word meaning royal—so Canon Rawlinson, who translates the whole clause, riders upon coursers of the king’s stud, offspring of high-bred steeds.”

Esther 8:10. And he wrote in King Ahasuerus’s name — Josephus has given us a true copy, as he says, of this decree; or, as he terms it, of the letters which Artaxerxes sent to all nations which lie between India and Ethiopia; wherein he represents the abuse which favourites are wont to make of their power and credit with their prince, by insulting their inferiors, by flying in the face of those who raised them, and, to gratify their resentments, calumniating the innocent, and putting honest men in danger of their lives, &c. And sent letters by posts, and riders on mules, &c. — Which were not employed in the sending of the former letters; but these, coming later, required more care and speed, that the Jews might be eased from their present fears, and have time to provide for their own defence.

8:3-14 It was time to be earnest, when the church of God was at stake. Esther, though safe herself, fell down and begged for the deliverance of her people. We read of no tears when she begged for her own life, but although she was sure of that, she wept for her people. Tears of pity and tenderness are the most Christ-like. According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled. This is so far from speaking to the wisdom and honour of the Medes and Persians, that it clearly shows their pride and folly. This savours of that old presumption which ruined all, We will be as gods! It is God's prerogative not to repent, or to say what can never be altered or unsaid. Yet a way was found, by another decree, to authorize the Jews to stand upon their defence. The decree was published in the languages of all the provinces. Shall all the subjects of an earthly prince have his decrees in languages they understand, and shall God's oracles and laws be locked up from any of his servants in an unknown tongue?Riders on mules, camels and young dromedaries - Most moderns translate "riders upon coursers and mules, the offspring of mares;" but the words translated "mules" and "mares," are of very doubtful signification, since they scarcely occur elsewhere. The real meaning of the clause must remain doubtful; perhaps the true translation is, "riders upon coursers of the king's stud, offspring of high-bred steeds." So Esther 8:14. 10. sent … by posts … and riders on … camels, and young dromedaries—The business being very urgent, the swiftest kind of camel would be employed, and so the word in the original denotes the wind-camel. Young dromedaries also are used to carry expresses, being remarkable for the nimbleness and ease of their movements. Animals of this description could convey the new rescript of Ahasuerus over the length and breadth of the Persian empire in time to relieve the unhappy Jews from the ban under which they lay. Which were not employed in the sending of the former letter; but this coming later required more care and speed, that the Jews might be eased from the torment of their present fears, and have time to furnish themselves with necessaries for their own defence.

And he wrote in the King Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring,.... Which gave the letters authority, and made them irreversible, and for this Mordecai had the king's order, Esther 8:8

and sent letters by post; by runners or couriers:

on horseback; that rode on horses that were racers, that ran swiftly:

and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries; which were all different creatures, and swift ones, according to our version, especially the latter; see Jeremiah 2:23 which were a kind of camels, but swifter, and would go more than one hundred miles a day (a); and, as Diodorus Siculus says (b), not less than 1500 furlongs or about two hundred miles: though it may be only one sort are meant, namely, "mules", for the next word, "ahashteranim", in the Persian language signifies mules (c), and so Aben Ezra interprets it, and likewise Kimchi and Ben Melech; and the last words may be rendered "sons of mares", so David de Pomis; that is, such mules as are gendered by he asses and mares: and so the same writer observes, that the word in the Arabic language signifies "mares"; and such mules that come from them he says are stronger than those that come from she asses; so that the whole may be rendered to this sense, "riders on mules", (which in the Persian language are called "ahashteranim",) namely, such as are "sons of mares"; and which according to Aelianus (d) and Pliny (e) are the swiftest; though the Persians had camels swifter than are common elsewhere, called "revatrie", the "goer", which trot as fast as an horse can gallop (f).

(a) Isidor. Origin. l. 12. c. 1. Vid. Strabo Geograph. l. 15. p. 498. (b) Bibliothec. l. 19. p. 683. (c) Castell. Dictionar. Persic. Colossians 29. Hottinger. Smegma Oriental l. 1. c. 5. p. 75. (d) De Animal. l. 16. c. 9. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 44. (f) Universal History, vol. 5. p. 88.

And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:
10. riding on swift steeds] As time was an object, it was important that the messengers should be well mounted. Both Herodotus (viii. 98) and Xenophon (Cyrop. viii. 6. 17) speak of horses only as being used in Persia to carry despatches.

that were used in the king’s service] This corresponds to but one word in the original, which occurs only in this passage, and is a Hebraised form adapted from the Persian khshatra, lordship, realm, or khshatram, a crown, which is also the source of kether, a crown (Esther 1:11, Esther 2:17, Esther 6:8), and of the Greek κίδαρις.

bred of the stud] perhaps literally, sons of the (royal) mares. The word rendered ‘stud’ occurs here only in the Bible. In later Hebrew it means a mule born of a mare and he-ass. The LXX. and Vulgate, probably having no clue to the meaning of the words, much abbreviate the latter part of this verse, having merely, they sent the letters (Vulg. the letters were sent) by couriers.

Verse 10. - He wrote in the king's name. As Haman had done (Esther 2:12). And riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries. There is no "and" before "riders" in the original, and the clause is clearly exegetical of the preceding, Neither "mules," nor "camels," nor "young dromedaries" are mentioned in it, and the best translation would seem to be - "the riders on coursers of the royal stud, the offspring of thoroughbreds." It is noticeable that both Herodotus (8:98) and Xenophon ('Cyrop.,' 8:6, § 17) speak of horses as alone employed in carrying the Persian despatches. Esther 8:10These letters were prepared in the same manner as those of Haman (Esther 3:12-15), on the 23rd day of the third month, the month Sivan, and sent into all the provinces. "And it was written according to all that Mordochai commanded." They were sent to the Jews and to the satraps, etc., of the whole wide realm from India to Ethiopia (see Esther 1:1), while those of Haman had been issued only to the satraps, etc. The rest coincides with Esther 3:12. ויּכתּב, and he (Mordochai) wrote. To show the speed with which the letters were despatched, (messengers) "on horseback, on coursers, government coursers, the sons of the stud," is added to הרצים בּיד. רכשׁ is a collective, meaning swift horses, coursers; comp. 1 Kings 5:8. אחשׁתּרנים (Esther 8:11 and Esther 8:14) answers to the Old-Persian kschatrana, from kschatra, government, king, and means government, royal, or court studs. So Haug in Ewald's bibl. Jahrb. v. p. 154. The older explanation, mules, on the other hand, is founded on the modern Persian estar, which, to judge from the Sanscrit avatara, must in ancient Persian have been apatara. רמּכים, ἁπ. λεγ. from רמּך, answering to the Syriac remakaa', herd, especially a herd of horses, and to the Arabic ramaka, stud, is explained by Bertheau as a superlative form for the animal who excels the rest of the herd of stud in activity, perhaps the breeding stallion, while others understand it of the stud in general. The contents of the edict follow in Esther 8:11 and Esther 8:12 : "that the king allows the Jews in every city to assemble and to stand for their life (i.e., to fight for their lives, comp. Daniel 12:1), to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish all the power (חיל, military power) of the people and province that should assault them, children and women, and to plunder their property, upon a certain day," etc. The appointed time is thus stated as in Esther 3:13. The Jews were thus authorized to attack and destroy all enemies who should assault them on the day appointed for their extermination. Esther 8:13 coincides with Esther 3:14, with this difference, that the Jews are to be ready on this day to avenge themselves on their enemies. Esther 8:14 also is similar to Esther 3:15, except that the expression is strengthened by an addition to הרצים as in Esther 8:10, and by that of דּחוּפים, urged on, to מבהלים, hastened, to point out the utmost despatch possible.
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