Esther 9:17
On the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
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Esther 9:17-18. On the thirteenth day of the month Adar — This is to be referred to the foregoing words, and the meaning is, the slaughter was made in the provinces on the thirteenth day of this month, when they had reason to expect they should have been destroyed themselves. On the fifteenth day of the same they rested — That is, the Jews in the city of Shushan made the fifteenth day a festival, because they had liberty to avenge themselves of their enemies, not only on the thirteenth, but also on the fourteenth day, which were both days of slaughter, and therefore they rested not till the fifteenth day. 9:1-19 The enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them by the former edict. If they had attempted nothing against the people of God, they would not themselves have suffered. The Jews, acting together, strengthened one another. Let us learn to stand fast in one spirit, and with one mind, striving together against the enemies of our souls, who endeavour to rob us of our faith, which is more precious than our lives. The Jews, to the honour of their religion, showed contempt of wordly wealth, that they might make it appear they desired nothing except their own preservation. In every case the people of God should manifest humanity and disinterestedness, frequently refusing advantages which might lawfully be obtained. The Jews celebrated their festival the day after they had finished their work. When we have received great mercies from God, we ought to be speedy in making thankful returns to him.Seventy and five thousand - The Septuagint gives the number as 15,000; and this amount seems more in proportion to the 800 slain in Susa. 13. let it be granted to the Jews which are in Shushan to do to-morrow also according unto this day's decree—Their enemies adroitly concealing themselves for the first day might have returned on the next, when they imagined that the privilege of the Jews was expired; so that that people would have been surprised and slain. The extension of the decree to another day at the queen's special desire has exposed her to the charge of being actuated by a cruel and vindictive disposition. But her conduct in making this request is capable of full vindication, on the ground (1) that Haman's sons having taken a prominent part in avenging their father's fall, and having been previously slain in the melee, the order for the exposure of their dead bodies on the gallows was only intended to brand them with public infamy for their malice and hatred to the Jews; and (2) the anti-Jewish party having, in all probability, been instigated through the arts or influence of Haman to acts of spiteful and wanton oppression, the existing state of feeling among the natives required some vigorous and decisive measure to prevent the outbreak of future aggressions. The very circumstances of their slaying 800 eight hundred Jews in the immediate vicinity of the court (v. 6, 15) is a proof of the daring energy and deep-rooted malice by which multidues were actuated against the Jews. To order an extension, therefore, of the permissive edict to the Jews to defend themselves, was perhaps no more than affording an opportunity for their enemies to be publicly known. Though it led to so awful a slaughter of seventy-five thousand of their enemies, there is reason to believe that these were chiefly Amalekites, in the fall of whom on this occasion, the prophecies (Ex 17:14, 16; De 25:19) against that doomed race were accomplished. On the thirteenth day: this belongs not to the feast, but to the work done before it. The meaning is, This they did, i.e. they slew their foes, as was now said, Esther 9:16, upon the thirteenth day. On the thirteenth day of the month Adar,.... This belongs to the preceding verse; and the meaning is, that on this day the Jews gathered together and slew so many thousand of their enemies as before related:

and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a feast of gladness: rejoicing that they were delivered out of the hand of their enemies, who hoped and expected on that day to have made an utter end of them; according to the Jewish canons (l), mourning and fasting on this day were forbidden, but feasting and gladness were to be multiplied.

(l) Lebush, c. 697. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 697.

On the {i} thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

(i) Meaning, in all places saving Shushan.

When on the same day an account was given to the king of the result of the conflict, and the number of those slain in Susa reported, he announced to Queen Esther: the Jews have slain in the citadel of Susa 500 men and the ten sons of Haman; "what have they done in the rest of the king's provinces?" i.e., if they have killed 500 men in Susa, how many may they not have slain in other parts of the kingdom? and then asked her what else she wished or required. With respect to the words, comp. Esther 5:6, and Esther 7:2.
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