Matthew Poole's Commentary
On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.Ahasuerus’s sleep being taken from him, he commands the chronicles to be read, Esther 6:1. And reading of Mordecai’s discovery of the plot against his life, asks what honour had been done to him, Esther 6:2,3. Haman coming to the king to have Mordecai hanged, unawares gives counsel to honour him, Esther 6:4-11. Haman telling his friends what had befallen him, is foretold of his final ruin, Esther 6:12,13. He is called to Esther’s banquet, Esther 6:14.
How vain are all the contrivances and endeavours of this foolish, impotent man against the wise and omnipotent God, who hath the hearts and hands of kings and all men perfectly at his dispose, and can by such trivial accidents (as they are accounted) change their minds, and produce such momentous and terrible effects! The king’s mind being troubled, He knew not how, nor why,
he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; he chooseth this for a divertisement, God putting this thought and inclination to him, for otherwise he might have diverted himself, as he used to do at other times, with his wives or concubines, or voices and instruments of music, which was far more agreeable to his temper.
And they were read before the king until the morning, when he intended to rise out of his bed.
And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.He hath had no recompence for this great and good service; which might happen, either through the king’s forgetfulness, or through the envy of the courtiers, or because he was a Jew, and therefore odious and contemptible.
And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.Haman was come early in the morning, because his malice probably would not suffer him to sleep; and he was impatient till he had executed his desired revenge; and he was resolved to watch for the very first opportunity of speaking to the king, before he was engaged in other matters.
Into the outward court of the king’s house; where he waited, because it was dangerous to come into the inner court without special license, Esther 4:11.
And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.No text from Poole on this verse.
So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?The king names none, because he would have the more impartial answer. And probably he knew nothing of the difference between Haman and Mordecai.
Haman thought in his heart; as indeed he had great reason to presume, because he had not yet forfeited that favour which the king had showed to him above all others.
And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,No text from Poole on this verse.
Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:The royal apparel; his outward garment, which was made of purple, interwoven with gold, as Justin and Curtius relate. The horse that the king rideth upon usually; which was well known, both by his excellency, and especially by his peculiar trappings and ornaments: compare 1 Kings 1:33.
Upon his head; either,
1. Upon the king’s head; or,
2. Upon the horse’s head; which seems best to agree,
1. With that ancient Chaldee interpreter, and other Jews, who take it thus.
2. With the signification and order of the Hebrew words.
3. With the following verses, in which there is no further mention of this crown, but only of the apparel, and of the horse, to which the crown belonged, as one of his ornaments.
4. With the custom of the Persians, which some affirm to have been this, to put the crown upon the head of that horse upon which the king rode.
And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.Proclaim before him, i.e. cause this to be proclaimed, to wit, by some public officer appointed for that service. Compare Genesis 41:43.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.No text from Poole on this verse.
Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.He proclaimed this either himself, or by the officer.
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.To the king’s gate; to his former place and office; showing that as he was not overwhelmed by Haman’s threats and malicious design, as appears by Esther 5:9; so now he was not puffed up with all this honour. Besides, he came thither to attend the issue of the main business, and to be at hand to assist or encourage the queen, if need were; which now he was more capable of doing than hitherto he had been.
Having his head covered, in token of his shame and grief for his unexpected and great disappointment of his hope and desire, and for the great honour done to his most despised and abhorred adversary, and this by his own hands, and with his own public disgrace; and for such further inconveniences as this unlucky omen seemed to presage to him.
And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.His wise men; the magicians, whom after the Persian manner he had called together to consult with upon this great and strange emergency.
If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews; which they were told, and was generally supposed; but they were not infallibly sure of it. Thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him: this they concluded, either,
1. By rules of policy, because Haman’s reputation and interest was hereby sinking, and Mordecai (whom they understood to be a man of great wisdom, and courage, and government of himself) was now got into the king’s favour, and thereby was likely to gain an opportunity of making his addresses to the king, who being of a mild disposition, might easily be moved to a dislike (if not revocation) of his own bloody decree, and consequently to a detestation of that person who had procured it. Or,
2. By former experience, and the observation of God’s extraordinary actions on the behalf of the Jews, and against their enemies, in this very court and kingdom. Or,
3. By instinct and inspiration to their minds, either from God, who might suggest this to them, as he did other things to other wicked men, Balaam, Caiaphas, &c., for his own greater glory, and the good of his people; or from the devil, who, by God’s permission, might know this, and reveal it to them, who sought to him in their superstitious and idolatrous methods.
And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.He was now slack to go thither, by reason of the great dejection of his own mind, and the fear of a worse entertainment from the king and queen than he had formerly received.