Esther 8:14
So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Mules and camels.—See above on Esther 8:10.

Being hastened.—Why this haste, seeing there yet remained nearly nine months (wanting ten days) before the first edict would come into play? There may probably have been fears lest the first edict, which indicated a distinct animus of the Court against the Jews, might have been interpreted freely, according to the spirit of it, and the date anticipated by eager partisans.

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 According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled.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?Being hastened - Between Sivan, the third month (June), when the posts went out, and Adar, the twelfth month (March), when the struggle was to take place, the interval would be one of more than 8 months; but all haste was made, with the object of their being no misunderstanding. 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. By the king’s commandment; by his particular. and express command to that purpose.

So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out,.... Or on the mules, which in the Persian language were called "ahashteranim"; See Gill on Esther 8:10,

being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment; who gave them a special order to make what haste they could, that the Jews might have time to prepare for their defence, and their enemies be the more intimidated:

and the decree was given at Shushan the palace; the king's counsellors agreeing to it, and perhaps signing it, as they did the former; see Esther 3:15.

So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. swift steeds that were used in the king’s service] See on Esther 8:10.

being hastened and pressed on] The increased need for promptitude is indicated by the two synonymous participles, of which only the latter is used at the sending out of the first edict.

Verse 14. - The posts that rode upon mules and camels. Rather, "that rode on coursers of the stud royal" (see the comment on ver. 10). The verse repeats Esther 3:15, with small additions. It appears that the later posts were urged to haste still more strongly than the earlier ones - not that time really pressed, but from superabundant caution - that there might be an opportunity for further communications between the provinces and the court, if doubt was anywhere entertained as to the king's intentions. MORDECAI'S HONOUR AND THE JEWS' JOY (Esther 8:15-17). Ahasuerus was not content even now with what he had done for Mordecai. Before his minister quitted the presence, the king presented him with a crown of gold, and a robe and vest of honour; and thus arrayed he proceeded into the city of Susa, where the new edict was already known, and had been received with satisfaction (ver. 15). The Persians, who formed the predominant element in the population of the town, sympathised with the Jews, and rejoiced in the king's favour towards them; while the Jews of Susa, having passed from despair to confident hope, were full of gladness and thankfulness. In the provinces the decree had a still warmer welcome. Its arrival was celebrated with "a feast" (ver. 17) and "a good day." It led also to many of the heathen becoming proselytes to the Jewish religion - some perhaps from conviction, but others because they thought it safer to place themselves manifestly on the Jews' side before the day of the struggle: Esther 8:14These 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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