Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Land. He conquered many countries on the continent, and several to which he could not come but by water, which the Jews call islands, whether they were surrounded on all sides by the sea or not. Hebrew has not the word all: but as the expressions are indefinite, they are usually taken in this sense. Yet we must not suppose, that the dominion of Assuerus extended over the whole world, no more than that of the Romans, who were styled masters of it. Before this king, the provinces had not paid tribute, but gave what they judged proper. But Darius laid a heavy tribute upon all, that, when half was afterwards remitted, they might esteem it a favour. The Persians hence looked upon him as a trafficker: kapelos. (Herodotus iii. 89., and iv. 44., and vi. 7., &c.) (Calmet) — Providence punished them for thirsting after the possessions and blood of the Jews. (Tirinus)
Ver. 3. Seed. Benjamin (Itin.) informs us, that both he and the queen were buried in the chief city of the Medes, which he calls “the great Hamda;” perhaps the province Mardochæa, (or Amordakia. Ptol. v. 20.) near the Persian gulf, may have been called after this statesman. (Tirinus)
Ver. 4. Then Mardochai, &c. Here St. Jerome advertiseth the reader, that what follows is not in the Hebrew; but is found in the Septuagint Greek edition, which the 72 interpreters translated out of the Hebrew, or added by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. (Challoner) — He says, “What is extant in Hebrew I have faithfully translated. What follows I found in the Vulgate edition, contained in the Greek language and character: and in the mean time, or waving all dispute for the present, (interim) this little chapter was inserted at the end of the book, which, according to our custom, we have marked with an obel or spit.” (Haydock) — These fragments (Haydock) which the Septuagint might have in Hebrew or wrote by inspiration, (Worthington) are not in Chaldean or Syriac, and the old Latin version, taken from the Greek (Calmet) of Lysimachus, (chap. xi. 1.; Haydock) is inserted by St. Jerome. (Calmet) — Things. He attributes the salvation of the Jews to God alone. (Haydock) — Reflecting on the fall of Aman, (Tirinus) he recollects a dream which he had formerly had. (Haydock)
Ver. 5. A dream. This dream was prophetical and extraordinary, otherwise the general rule is, not to observe them. (Challoner)
Ver. 6. And was. Septuagint, “and there was light, and the sun and much water.” The light enabled him to discern the progress of the little fountain. Yet it was not absurd that the water should appear luminous, like the sun, as it was intended to shew the wonderful exaltation of Esther. (Haydock) — She extinguished a great fire, which threatened ruin. (Menochius)
Ver. 10. Lots. Alluding to the Purim of Aman; (Calmet; Capellus) or rather these are only mentioned, ver. 13. (Haydock) — Greek, “He had therefore made two lots….and the two lots came to the hour and time and day of judgment before God, and for all nations.” (Haydock)
Ver. 11. Time. From all eternity (Tirinus) God had ordained to save his people; and this he declared to his servant, by shewing him two lots. (Haydock) — This became more intelligible after the event, (Tirinus) like other predictions. (Haydock)
Ver. 12. Mercy. Greek, “justified.” But this often means, shewed mercy, Exodus xxxiv. 7. (Calmet) — The book concludes in Greek with the first verse, which we have in the following chapter, though some editions seem (Haydock) to have had that remark (Du Hamel) of the Alexandrian Jews, (Calmet) at the head of the book. (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Assuerus’s greatness. Mardochai’s dignity.
1 And king Assuerus made all the land, and all the islands of the sea, tributary.
2 And his strength and his empire, and the dignity and greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, are written in the books of the Medes, and of the Persians:
3 And how Mardochai, of the race of the Jews, was next after king Assuerus: and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of his seed.
4 Then Mardochai said: God hath done these things.
5 I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things: and nothing thereof hath failed.
6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters, is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.
7 But the two dragons; are I, and Aman.
8 The nations that were assembled; are they that endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.
9 And my nation is Israel, who cried to the Lord, and the Lord saved his people: and he delivered us from all evils, and hath wrought great signs and wonders among the nations:
10 And he commanded that there should be two lots, one of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.
11 And both lots came to the day appointed already from that time before God to all nations:
12 And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on his inheritance.
13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same month. with all diligence, and joy of the people, gathered into one assembly, throughout all the generations, hereafter, of the people of Israel.