Esther xv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. St. Jerome says, “These additions I also found in the Vulgate edition.” (Haydock) — This history is more succinctly related, chap. v. (Calmet) — Her. Literally, “And he commanded her (no doubt Mardochai did Esther) to go,” &c. The parenthesis was added by St. Jerome. (Haydock)

Ver. 2. Remember. This is not here in Greek, but more regularly, chap. iv. 8. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. Death. St. Jerome subjoins, I found there “also what follows.”

Ver. 4. Day. Greek adds, “as she had finished her prayer.” — Wore. Literally, “of her ornament.” But the Greek has properly, (Haydock) “of her mourning.” (Menochius)

Ver. 5. Glittering. Greek, “and was resplendent after,” &c.

Ver. 6. As if. Greek, “as being delicate. But the other followed, holding up her garment. But she, blushing in the height of her beauty, with a cheerful and most lovely countenance, felt the pressure of fear on her heart.”

Ver. 10. Eyes. Greek adds, “with glory,” with which he was surrounded. This made him at first resent the coming in of women uncalled, till he perceived Esther, and saw her fainting. (Haydock) — Capellus would represent this conduct of the king as ridiculous, and contrary to the true history. But this is false: and he improperly renders agoniasas, regem concidisse & animo defecisse; as if the king had fallen down in a swoon; whereas it only means that he experienced those sentiments of anxiety which every good husband would do on the like occasion. (Houbigant) (Chap. v. 2.) — Assuerus had at first only perceived the maid, who went before the queen, and the hall was very spacious. (Houbigant) — Pale. Greek, “in a fainting-fit, and she leaned upon the head of her maid, (Abra.) who was going before.”

Ver. 11. All. Greek, “being in an agony, he,” &c. — Caressed. Greek, “comforted her with words of peace, and said to her, What,” &c. (Haydock)

Ver. 12. Brother; (united by the closest bands, Canticle of Canticles viii. 1.; Calmet) Greek, “Take courage, Thou,” &c.

Ver. 13. Others, is not expressed; (Haydock) and Esther might well suppose that she was included, as she probably was, (chap. iv. 11.; Capellus) though the king now altered his mind. (Houbigant) — Greek, “our decree is common,” made for our subjects. According to the Roman law, the empress enjoyed the like privileges as her husband. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Then. Greek, “and taking the golden septre, he laid,” &c.

Ver. 15. Why. Greek, “speak to me; and she said to him.” (Haydock)

Ver. 16. Angel. The Chaldeans had the same notions as the Jews about angels; and the latter never shewed more devotion towards them than after the captivity, when the Scriptures speak more plainly on this subject. Jacob compares his brother Esau to an angel, (Calmet) or to God, Genesis xxxiii. 10. See also 1 Kings xxix. 9., and 2 Kings xiv. 17. (Haydock)

Ver. 18. Almost. Literally, “almost dead.” Greek, “she fell in a fainting fit.”

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Esther comes into the king’s presence: she is terrified, but God turns his heart.

1 And he commanded her (no doubt but he was Mardochai) to go to the king, and petition for her people, and for her country.

2 Remember (said he) the days of thy low estate, how thou wast brought up by my hand, because Aman, the second after the king, hath spoken against us unto death.

3 And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death.

4 And on the third day she laid away the garments she wore, and put on her glorious apparel.

5 And glittering in royal robes, after she had called upon God, the ruler and saviour of all, she took two maids with her,

6 And upon one of them she leaned, as if for delicateness and overmuch tenderness, she were not able to bear up her own body:

7 And the other maid followed her lady, bearing up her train flowing on the ground.

8 But she with a rosy colour in her face, and with gracious and bright eyes, hid a mind full of anguish, and exceedingly great fear.

9 So going in she passed through all the doors in order, and stood before the king, where he sat upon his royal throne, clothed with his royal robes, and glittering with gold, and precious stones, and he was terrible to behold.

10 And when he had lifted up his countenance, and with burning eyes had shewn the wrath of his heart, the queen sunk down, and her colour turned pale, and she rested her weary head upon her handmaid.

11 And God changed the king’s spirit into mildness, and all in haste and in fear he leaped from his throne, and holding her up in his arms, till she came to herself, caressed her with these words:

12 What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother, fear not.

13 Thou shalt not die: for this law is not made for thee, but for all others.

14 Come near then, and touch the sceptre.

15 And as she held her peace, he took the golden sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and kissed her, and said: Why dost thou not speak to me?

16 She answered: *I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty.

17 For thou, my lord, art very admirable, and thy face is full of graces.

18 And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and was almost in a swoon.

19 But the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.



16: Genesis xxxiii. 10.; 2 Kings xiv. 17.