Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)THE THIRTEENTH DAY OF ADAR AND THE FEAST OF PURIM
1. The resistance and victory of the Jews (Esther 9:1-11)
2. Esther’s petition (Esther 9:12-16)
3. The institution of Purim (Esther 9:17-19)
4. The messages of Mordecai and Esther (Esther 9:20-32)
Esther 9:1-11. The fateful day, the thirteenth day of Adar, came and with it the retribution for the enemies of the Jews. On that day they gathered together to withstand all who would assault them. The princes and governors and all other officials of the king helped the Jews, because they knew the influential position which Mordecai held and that he waxed greater and greater. Theirs was a great victory. In Shushan itself 500 were slain and 300 more in another part of the city; there were 75,000 slain in the provinces. The ten sons of Haman were slain; their Persian names are given.
Esther 9:12-16. The king heard the report of the number of his subjects slain in Shushan the fortress and then asks the queen to make a petition. She requests that an additional day be given to continue the work in Shushan and that the ten sons of Haman be hanged on gallows. But had they not slain already 500 in Shushan? The 500 were killed in the palace, or, as that word should be rendered, citadel, fortress; the extra day was requested to continue the retributive work in the city itself. The request was granted and the ten sons of Haman were hanged. On the spoil, the goods and possessions of those slain, they did not touch, probably to avoid false accusations, though the decree gave them permission to spoil their enemies. When Jews read in orthodox synagogues the book of Esther they read the names of Haman’s ten sons in one breath, as quickly as possible, intimating thereby that they all were exterminated at one and the same time.
Esther 9:17-19. With the fourteenth day of Adar they rested and made it a feast of rejoicing. The Jews in Shushan celebrated the thirteenth and fourteenth day and rested on the fifteenth day. This was the origin of the traditional feast of Purim still kept by the orthodox Jews in commemoration of the great deliverance and the wonderful history of Mordecai and Esther. It is mostly celebrated by public reading of this book and by the distribution of gifts.
Esther 9:20-32. The final section of this chapter gives the account of a message which Mordecai sent to the Jews in the provinces of the Persian kingdom enjoining them to observe these days, the feast of Purim. Queen Esther also wrote with all authority confirming this second letter of Purim.
What happened to the enemies of the Jews in Shushan and the Persian provinces will be the lot of all those who hate them. This is often made known in the prophetic Word. Thus spake Balaam: “His king (Israel’s King) shall be higher than Agag, and His kingdom shall be exalted. God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn; he shall eat of the nations his enemies and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with arrows” (Numbers 24:7-8). The Lord Himself will arise in behalf of His people and judge their enemies, for it is written, “I will render vengeance to mine enemies and will reward them that hate me” (Deuteronomy 32:41). In this respect this little book with its history is a prophecy of the ultimate victory of God’s chosen people over their enemies. In all their history it has been true, and will be finally true in the fullest sense of the word what Isaiah wrote: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn (Isaiah 54:17).
The ten sons of Haman, so fully identified with the wicked father, are also not without meaning. The final form of the Gentile government in the close of the age was revealed to Daniel. It consists of ten kingdoms, seen in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image and in Daniel’s ten-horned beast, forming once more the Roman empire. It will be domineered over by the little horn, who works together with the man of sin. The ten sons of Haman and their miserable end are another illustration of prophetic truth.