Esther 9:23
And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written to them;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Esther 9:23. The Jews undertook to do as they had begun — That is, to keep these days as festivals everywhere. Having by this means an opportunity of gathering themselves together, on any occasion, the chief of them assembled, and freely and unanimously consented to Mordecai’s desire in this matter, and bound it upon themselves and posterity.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.

Having by this means opportunity to gather themselves together upon any occasion, the chief of them assembled together, and freely and unanimously consented to Mordecai’s desire in this matter, and bound it upon themselves and posterity. And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them. They engaged to keep these two days as festivals annually, as they had at this time done; not in a religious but in a civil way, not as parts of religious worship, and as additions to and innovations of the law, but by way of commemoration of a civil benefit which they had received; and yet we find in later times that this was scrupled by some as an innovation; for we are told (r) that there were eighty five elders, and more than thirty of them prophets, who were distressed about this matter, fearing it was an innovation.

(r) T. Hieros. Megillah. fol. 70. 4.

And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. undertook] assumed the obligation.

to do as they had begun] to continue to keep the celebration on the fourteenth day of Adar.

and as Mordecai had written unto them] i.e. to keep the celebration on the following day as well.Verse 23. - The Jews undertook to do as they had begun. i.e. "to observe the 14th day." And as Mordecai had written to them. i.e. "and to observe also the 15th." 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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