Esther 8:4
Then the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
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(4) The king held out the golden sceptre.—See Note on Esther 4:11.

Esther 8:4-6. Then the king held out the golden sceptre — Esther had presumed to come a second time into the king’s presence without being called: which he did not take ill, but by this token graciously invited her to approach him, indicating that he accepted her person. So Esther arose — Having before fallen at his feet; and stood before the king — As a petitioner for her people; and said, If it please the king, &c. — She uses various expressions, that she might confirm the king’s favour by such a full submission to his good pleasure. Even then, when we have ever so much reason and justice on our side, and have ever so clear a cause to plead, yet it becomes us to speak to our superiors with humility and modesty, and all possible expressions of respect. There is nothing lost by decency and good breeding. Let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman — She prudently takes off the hatefulness of the action from the king, and lays it upon Haman, who had for his own ends contrived the whole business, and circumvented the king in it. For how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred? — My heart will sink under it, and I shall never be able to survive it. She does not urge the innocence of the Jews, but only pleads their affinity to her: probably she knew that this plea would have more weight with the king, even than one grounded on their innocence.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 According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled.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?Though Haman was dead, his work was not yet undone. The royal decree had gone forth, and, according to Persian notions, could not be directly recalled or reversed Esther 8:8. Mordecai did not dare, without express permission from the king, to take any steps even to stay execution. And Esther, being in favor, once more took the initiative. 4. Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther—in token that her request was accepted, and that she needed no longer to maintain the humble attitude of a suppliant. The king held out the golden sceptre; in token that he accepted her person and petition, and that she should stand upon her feet. Then the king held out the golden sceptre towards Esther,.... As a token that she had not incurred his displeasure by coming into his presence without leave, and that she was admitted to speak and make her request; see Esther 5:3

so Esther arose and stood before the king; she rose from the ground on which she lay prostrate, and stood upon her feet, in an humble manner, to make her speech, and present her petition to the king.

Then the king held out the golden {d} sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,

(d) Read Es 5:2.

4. held out to Esther the golden sceptre] Cp. Esther 4:11, Esther 5:2. On this occasion, however, the king’s action was not in order to permit approach with a petition, but in token of the favourable hearing granted to a request already made.Verse 4. - Then the king held out the golden sceptre. Either Esther had again intruded on the king uninvited, or there was a double use of the golden sceptre.

1. In the pardon of those who so intruded; and,

2. In the ordinary granting of requests. It was perhaps held out on this occasion simply to express a readiness to do as Esther desired. The king returned to the house, and found Haman falling (נפל as in Joshua 8:10; Deuteronomy 21:1, and elsewhere) at or on the couch on which Esther was (sitting), i.e., falling as a suppliant at her feet; and crediting Haman in the heat of his anger with the worst designs, he cried out: "Shall also violence be done to the queen before me in the house?" The infin. לכבּושׁ after the interrogatory particle signifies: Is violence to be done, i.e., shall violence be done? as in 1 Chronicles 15:2 and elsewhere; comp. Ewald, 237, c. כּבשׁ, to tread under foot, to subdue, used here in the more general sense, to offer violence. Without waiting for an explanation, the king, still more infuriated, passes sentence of death upon Haman. This is not given in so many words by the historian, but we are told immediately that: "as the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face." הדּבר is not the speech of the king just reported, but the judicial sentence, the death warrant, i.e., the word to punish Haman with death. This is unmistakeably shown by the further statement: they covered Haman's face. The subject is indefinite: the attendants present. To cover the face was indeed to begin to carry the sentence of death into execution. With respect to this custom, expositors appeal to Curtius, vi. 8. 22: Philetam - capite velato in regiam adducunt; and Cicero, pro C. Rabirio iv. 13: I lictor, colliga manus, caput obnubito, arbori infelici suspendito.
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