Esther 8:12
On one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
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Esther 8:12-14. Upon one day, &c. — Which day was chosen and appointed by Haman for their destruction. That the Jews should be ready against that day — Should be furnished with arms, and all things necessary for their defence. Being hastened by the king’s commandment — By his particular and express command to that purpose.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 According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled.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?This fresh decree allowed the Jews to stand on their defense, and to kill all who attacked them. It has been pronounced incredible that any king would thus have sanctioned civil war in all the great cities of his empire; but some even of the more skeptical critics allow that "Xerxes" might not improbably have done so. 11-13. the king granted the Jews … to stand for their life … to slay … all … that would assault them—The fixed and unalterable character claimed for Persian edicts often placed the king in a very awkward dilemma; for, however bitterly he might regret things done in a moment of haste and thoughtlessness, it was beyond even his power to prevent the consequences. This was the reason on account of which the king was laid under a necessity not to reverse, but to issue a contradictory edict; according to which it was enacted that if, pursuant to the first decree, the Jews were assaulted, they might, by virtue of the second, defend themselves and even slay their enemies. However strange and even ridiculous this mode of procedure may appear, it was the only one which, from the peculiarities of court etiquette in Persia, could be adopted. Instances occur in sacred (Da 6:14), no less than profane, history. Many passages of the Bible attest the truth of this, particularly the well-known incident of Daniel's being cast into the den of lions, in conformity with the rash decree of Darius, though, as it afterwards appeared, contrary to the personal desire of that monarch. That the law of Persia has undergone no change in this respect, and the power of the monarch not less immutable, appear from many anecdotes related in the books of modern travellers through that country. No text from Poole on this verse. Upon one day, in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar. The day appointed and fixed in the former letters for the destruction of the Jews, Esther 3:13. Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month {i} Adar.

(i) Which has part of February and part of March.

The introductory formula are in part similar to those used Esther 1:19; Esther 5:4, Esther 5:8; Esther 7:3; but the petition referring to a great and important matter, they are strengthened by two new phrases: "If the thing is advisable (כּשׁר, proper, convenient, advantageous, a later word occurring again only Ecclesiastes 11:6; Ecclesiastes 10:10, - in Ecclesiastes 2:21; Ecclesiastes 4:4-5, Ecclesiastes 4:10 of the same book, כּשׁרון) before the king, and if I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written (let a writing be used, like Esther 3:9), to frustrate (להשׁיב, i.e., to put out of force) the letters, the device of Haman ... which he wrote to destroy the Jews, who are in all the provinces of the king." המן מחשׁבת, the device, the proposal of Haman, is added to הסּפרים, briefly to characterize the contents of the letters. On the matter itself, comp. Esther 3:8. and Esther 3:12. "For how shall I endure to see the destruction of my people?" The verbs וראיתי אוּכל are so combined that the second is governed by the first, וראיתי standing instead of the infinitive; comp. Ew. 285, c. ראה cons. בּ denotes an interested beholding, whether painful or joyous, of something; comp. Genesis 44:34. מולרת in parallelism with אם denotes those who are of like descent, the family, members of a tribe.
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