Esther 9:30
And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
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(30) The letters.—Omit the article.

Esther 9:30. With words of peace and truth — Though they wrote with authority, they wrote also with peace, that is, with friendship, tenderness, and kindness, not in imperious and imposing language, but in an affectionate and conciliating style: and with truth, or sincerity, which is the rather observed, because it was, as it still is, not very usual with great courtiers, such as Mordecai now was, to write so. Or the meaning may be, that he saluted them with hearty wishes for the continuance of those two great blessings of God, truth and peace, among them, namely, the true religion, and peace among themselves, and with all men; or, that they might peaceably and quietly enjoy and profess the truth. Or if the matter, rather than the manner, or form of his writing be intended, the sense is, that he directed and endeavoured to persuade them to keep both peace and truth, that is, both to live peaceably and lovingly one with another, and with all their neighbours, not insulting over them upon a confidence in Mordecai’s great power, or upon this their late and great success, nor giving them any fresh provocation; and yet holding fast the true religion, in spite of all the artifices or hostilities of the Gentiles, among whom they lived.

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.This second letter of Purim - Mordecai's first letter Esther 9:20 was to some extent tentative, a recommendation. The Jews generally having accepted the recommendation Esther 9:23, Esther 9:27, he and Esther now wrote a second letter which was mandatory. 26. they called these days Purim after the name of Pur—"Pur," in the Persian language, signifies "lot"; and the feast of Purim, or lots, has a reference to the time having been pitched upon by Haman through the decision of the lot. In consequence of the signal national deliverance which divine providence gave them from the infamous machinations of Haman, Mordecai ordered the Jews to commemorate that event by an anniversary festival, which was to last for two days, in accordance with the two days' war of defense they had to maintain. There was a slight difference in the time of this festival; for the Jews in the provinces, having defended themselves against their enemies on the thirteenth, devoted the fourteenth to festivity; whereas their brethren in Shushan, having extended that work over two days, did not observe their thanksgiving feast till the fifteenth. But this was remedied by authority, which fixed the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar. It became a season of sunny memories to the universal body of the Jews; and, by the letters of Mordecai, dispersed through all parts of the Persian empire, it was established as an annual feast, the celebration of which is kept up still. On both days of the feast, the modern Jews read over the Megillah or Book of Esther in their synagogues. The copy read must not be printed, but written on vellum in the form of a roll; and the names of the ten sons of Haman are written on it a peculiar manner, being ranged, they say, like so many bodies on a gibbet. The reader must pronounce all these names in one breath. Whenever Haman's name is pronounced, they make a terrible noise in the synagogue. Some drum with their feet on the floor, and the boys have mallets with which they knock and make a noise. They prepare themselves for their carnival by a previous fast, which should continue three days, in imitation of Esther's; but they have mostly reduced it to one day [Jennings, Jewish Antiquities]. Or, even words of peace and truth; which may respect either,

1. The form of the writing, wherein after the custom he saluted them with hearty wishes of their true peace or prosperity, or of the continuance of those two great blessings of God,

truth, i.e. the true religion; and peace, either among themselves, or with all men, that they might peaceably and quietly enjoy and profess the truth. Or,

2. The manner of his writing, which was

with peace, i.e. friendship and kindness to his brethren;

and truth, i.e. sincerity; which is the more noted and commended in him, because it is so unusual in such great courtiers as he now was; compare Esther 10:3: or the matter of his writing, which was to direct and persuade them to keep both peace and truth, i.e. both to live peaceably and lovingly both one with another, and with all their neighbours, not insulting over them upon their confidence in Mordecai’s great power, or upon this late and great success, as men naturally and commonly do, nor giving them any fresh provocations, and yet holding fast the true religion in spite of all the artifices or hostilities of the Gentiles among whom they lived.

And he sent letters unto all the Jews,.... That is, Mordecai did, signed in the queen's name, and his own:

to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus; among which was Judea, that was become a province, first of the Chaldean, now of the Persian empire, see Ezra 5:8 to whom also these letters were sent, directing and ordering the Jews there to observe these days, who were also concerned in the deliverance wrought:

with words of peace and truth exhorting them to live in peace with one another, and their neighbours, and to constancy in the true religion; or wishing them all peace and prosperity in the most loving and sincere manner.

And he sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with {r} words of peace and truth,

(r) Which were letters declaring to them quietness and assurance and putting them out of doubt and fear.

Verse 30. - And he sent the letters. Rather, "he sent letters." In addition to the formal "letter of Purina," which was of the nature of an ordinance, though not of legal force, Mordecai sent informal letters, which embraced other topics besides the Purim feast, as, for instance, words of salutation, and perhaps a reference to the keeping of a fast before the two Purina days (ver. 31). These he sent to all Jews throughout the whole empire, inclosing with them the formal "letter of Purim." With words of peace and truth. Perhaps beginning thus: "Peace and truth be with you" - a modification of the usual, "Peace," etc. (Ezra 4:17), or, "All peace" (ibid. 5:7), with which letters ordinarily began. Esther 9:30And he (Mordochai) sent letters, i.e., copies of the writing mentioned Esther 9:29, to all the Jews in the 127 provinces (which formed) the kingdom of Ahashverosh, words of peace and truth, i.e., letters containing words of peace and truth (Esther 9:31), to appoint these days of Purim in their portions of time according as Mordochai the Jew and Esther the queen had appointed, and as they (the Jews) had appointed for themselves and for their descendants, the things (or words equals precepts) of the fastings and their lamentations. בּזמנּיהם, in their appointed times; as the suffix relates to the days of Purim, the זמנּים can mean only portions of time in these days. The sense of Esther 9:29-31 is as follows: According to the injunctions of Esther and Mordochai, the Jews appointed for themselves and their descendants times also of fasting and lamentation in the days of Purim. To make this appointment binding upon all the Jews in all provinces of the Persian monarchy, Esther and Mordochai published a second letter, which was sent by Mordochai throughout the whole realm of King Ahashverosh. To this is added, Esther 9:32, that the decree of Esther appointed these matters of Purim, i.e., the injunction mentioned vv. 29-31, also to fast and weep during these days, and it was written in the book. הסּפר, the book in which this decree was written, cannot mean the writing of Esther mentioned. Esther 9:29, but some written document concerning Purim which has not come down to us, though used as an authority by the author of the present book. The times when the fasting and lamentation were to take place in the days of Purim, are not stated in this verse; this could, however, only be on the day which Haman had appointed for the extermination of the Jews, viz., the 13th Adar. This day is kept by the Jews as אסתּר תּענית, Esther's fast.

(Note: According to 2 Macc. 15:36, the victory over Nicanor was to be celebrated on the 13th Adar, but, according to a note of Dr. Cassel in Grimm's kurzgef. exeget. Handb. zu den Apokryphen, on 2 Macc. 15:36, the festival of Nicanor is mentioned in Jewish writings, as Megillat Taanit, c. 12, in the Babylonian Talmud, tr. Taanit, f. 18b, in Massechet Sofrim 17, 4, but has been by no means observed for at least the last thousand years. The book Scheiltot of R. Acha (in the 9th century) speaks of the 13th Adar as a fast-day in memory of the fast of Esther, while even at the time of the Talmud the "Fast of Esther" is spoken of as a three days fast, kept, however, after the feast of Purim. From all this it is obvious, that a diversity of opinions prevailed among the Rabbis concerning the time of this fast of Esther.)

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