INTRODUCTION TO Esther 10
This chapter is very short, and just makes mention of a tribute Ahasuerus laid on his realm, Esther 10:1, refers to the Persian chronicles, both for the greatness of him, and of Mordecai, and is closed with the character of the latter, Esther 10:2.
And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.And the King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land, and upon the isles of the sea. Which include all his dominions, both on the continent, and on the sea, the Aegean sea; though Aben Ezra thinks it regards such as were not under his government, but stood in fear of him, of whom he demanded tribute. If Ahasuerus was Xerxes, perhaps his exchequer might be drained by his wars with the Grecians, which put him upon this; though some understand this of his renewing the taxes and tribute, which he remitted upon his marriage with Esther, Esther 2:18.
And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?And all the acts of his power, and of his might,.... As Xerxes was a very mighty and powerful prince:
and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him; the history of that, and which tended not a little to the greatness, dignity and prosperity of the king himself, and his whole kingdom:
are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? to which the reader is referred by the writer of this book, the which were in being in his times, but now lost: had they been preserved, they might have been of great use to lead into the history of the Medes and Persians, which for want of them is very dark and intricate; the writer of this book having nothing further to do with it, than as it related to the affairs of the Jews.
For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.For Mordecai the Jew was next unto Ahasuerus,.... The second man in the kingdom, the principal of the counsellors, and prime minister of state:
and great among the Jews; highly respected by them, in great honour and esteem with them, for which there was great reason:
and accepted of the multitude of his brethren; or of many, of most, of the greatest part of them; for, let a man be ever so deserving, there are some that will envy his greatness, cavil at everything done by him, and speak evil of him without any just reason:
seeking the wealth of his people; their good, their welfare and happiness, temporal and spiritual:
and speaking peace to all his seed; not only to his family, but to all the Jews who were of the same seed with him, the seed of Abraham; either speaking to them in an humble and condescending manner, being very humane, affable, and courteous; or speaking for them to the king, asking of him for them what might conduce to their peace, prosperity, and happiness. No mention is made in this history of the death and burial either of Mordecai or Esther; but the author of Cippi Hebraici says (z), that Mordecai was buried in the city of Shushan, and that all the Jews in those parts assemble at his grave on the day of Purim, and sing songs, playing on tabrets and pipes, rejoicing that there was a miracle wrought; and the same writer says (a), they do the like at that time at the grave of Esther, half a mile from Tzephat, read this book that bears her name, eat, drink, and rejoice. Benjamin of Tudela says (b), they were both buried before a synagogue, at a place called Hamdan.
(z) P. 70. Ed. Hottinger. (a) Ib. p. 64. (b) Itinerar. p. 96.