Esther 9:22
As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned to them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
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Esther 9:22. As the days wherein the Jews rested — They did not keep the days on which they fought, but those on which they rested. On the fourteenth day the country Jews rested, and on the fifteenth those in Shushan, and these days they kept. The sabbath was appointed, not on the day when God finished his work, but on the day he rested from it. The month which was turned unto them — from mourning into a good day — A day of cheerfulness, praise, and thanksgiving. And of sending portions one to another — In token of mutual respect, and their being knit by this, and other public common dangers and deliverances, so much the closer to each other in love. And gifts to the poor — Which they were wont to give also on other days of thanksgiving, of which see Nehemiah 8:10. It is not to our kinsmen and rich neighbours only that we ought to send tokens of our love and friendship at such times, but also and especially to the poor and the maimed, Luke 14:12-13. Thus they that have received mercy, must, in token of their gratitude, show mercy; and there never wants occasion, for the poor we have always with us. Thanksgiving and almsgiving should go together, that, when we are rejoicing and blessing God, the hearts of the poor may rejoice with us, and their loins may bless us.9:20-32 The observance of the Jewish feasts, is a public declaration of the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures. And as the Old Testament Scriptures are true, the Messiah expected by the Jews is come long ago; and none but Jesus of Nazareth can be that Messiah. The festival was appointed by authority, yet under the direction of the Spirit of God. It was called the feast of Purim, from a Persian word, which signifies a lot. The name of this festival would remind them of the almighty power of the God of Israel, who served his own purposes by the superstitions of the heathen. In reviewing our mercies, we should advert to former fears and distresses. When our mercies are personal, we should not by forgetfulness lose the comfort of them, or withhold from the Lord the glory due to his name. May the Lord teach us to rejoice, with that holy joy which anticipates and prepares for the blessedness of heaven. Every instance of Divine goodness to ourselves, is a new obligation laid on us to do good, to those especially who most need our bounty. Above all, redemption by Christ binds us to be merciful, 2Co 8:9.The Jews of the villages ... - Rather, "the Jews of the country districts, that dwelt in the country towns," as distinguished from those who dwelt in the metropolis. Es 9:20-32. The Two Days of Purim Made Festival.

20. Mordecai wrote these things—Commentators are not agreed what is particularly meant by "these things"; whether the letters following, or an account of these marvellous events to be preserved in the families of the Jewish people, and transmitted from one generation to another.

Which they used to give upon days of thanksgiving; of which see Nehemiah 8:10. As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies,.... Having slain all those that rose up against them, and assaulted them:

and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning unto a good day; for in this month Adar, on the thirteenth day of it, they expected to have been all destroyed, which had occasioned great sorrow and mourning in them; but beyond their expectation, in the same month, and on the selfsame day of the month, they had deliverance and freedom from their enemies; which was matter of joy, and made this day a good day to them:

that they should make them days of feasting and joy; keep both the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month as festivals, eating and drinking, and making all tokens of joy and gladness, though not in the Bacchanalian way in which they now observe them; for they say (n), a man is bound at the feast of Purim to exhilarate or inebriate himself until he does not know the difference between `cursed be Haman' and `blessed be Mordecai:'

and of sending portions one to another; and these now consist of eatables and drinkables; and according to the Jewish canons (o), a man must send two gifts to his friend, at least; and they that multiply them are most commendable; and those are sent by men to men, and by women to women, and not on the contrary:

and gifts to the poor; alms money, as the Targum, to purchase food and drink with, nor may they use it to any other purpose; though some say they may do what they will with it (p); and a man must not give less than two gifts to the poor; these are called the monies of Purim (q).

(n) T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 7. 2. Lebush, par. 1. c. 695. sect. 2. Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 695. sect. 2.((o) Lebush & Schulchan, ib. sect. 4. (p) Ib. c. 694. sect. 1. 2. (q) Ib. sect. 2. 3.

As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of {m} sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.

(m) He sets before our eyes the use of this feast which was for the remembrance of God's deliverance, the maintenance of mutual friendship and relief of the poor.

22. as the days … a good day] This has the character of a parenthesis, the preceding clause being taken up again in the words ‘that they should make them’ etc.Verse 22. - The month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy. This was the key-note of Purina, the dominant idea, to which all else was secondary and sub-ordinate - sorrow turned into joy, "mourning into dancing," utter destruction into a signal triumph. Psalm 30. might well have been written at this time. On this second day the Jews slew 300 more; comp. Esther 9:10. - Esther 9:16. The rest of the Jews in the provinces, i.e., the Jews in the other parts of the kingdom, assembled themselves and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes 75,000, but upon the spoil they laid not their hand. על עמד like Esther 8:11. The מאיביהם ונוח inserted between על נ ועמד and והרוג is striking; we should rather have expected the resting or having rest from their enemies after the death of the latter, as in Esther 9:17 and Esther 9:18, where this is plainly stated to have taken place on the day after the slaughter. The position of these words is only explained by the consideration, that the narrator desired at once to point out how the matter ended. The narrative continues in the infin. abs. instead of expressing this clause by the infin. constr., and so causing it to be governed by what precedes. Thus - as Ew. 351, c, remarks - all the possible hues of the sentence fade into this grey and formless termination (viz., the use of the infin. absol. instead of the verb. fin.). This inaccuracy of diction does not justify us, however, in assuming that we have here an interpolation or an alteration in the text. The statement of the day is given in Esther 9:17, and then the clause following is again added in the inf. absol.: "and they rested on the 14th day of the same (of Adar), and made it a day of feasting and gladness."
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