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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.Esther 8:14. 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:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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 8:3 and Esther 8:4. "Esther spake again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and wept, and besought him to do away with (העביר, to cause to depart) the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he devised against the Jews. And the king held out his golden sceptre towards Esther, and Esther arose and stood before the king." This verse gives a summary of the contents of Esther's speech, which is reported verbally in Esther 8:5 and Esther 8:6, so that we must translate the imperfects ותּתחנּן ותּבך - ותּפּל: She spoke before the king, falling at his feet and beseeching him with weeping, that he would do away with המן רעת, the evil that Haman had done, and his device against the Jews. The king stretched out his sceptre (comp. Esther 4:11) as a sign that he would graciously grant her petition; whereupon she arose, stood before the king, and made known her request.
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