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1 Ahasuerus' greatness.
3 Mordecai's advancement.
- laid a tribute.
* Es 1:1; 8:9 Lu 2:1
- the isles.
* Ge 10:5 Ps 72:10 Isa 24:15 Da 11:18
- all the acts.
* 1Ki 11:41; 22:39
- advanced him. Heb. made him great.
* Es 8:15; 9:4 Ps 18:35 Da 2:48
- in the book.
* Es 2:23; 6:1 1Ki 14:19
Media, which comprehended the modern Azerbijan and part of
Irak, was a celebrated country of Asia, bounded on the north
by the Caspian Sea and Armenia, west by Assyria, south by
Susiana and Persia, and east by Hyrcania and Parthia,
extending from 30° to 37° N. lat. and 45° to 53° E. long.
Persia Proper, now Fars, was but a small province, being
bounded on the north by Media, west by Susiana, south by the
Persian Gulf, and east by Caramania, extending from 27° to 33°
N. lat. and 50° to 55° E. long. But the Persian empire in its
ancient state extended from the Hellespont to the Indus, above
2,800 miles, and from Pontus to the shores of Arabia, above
2,000 miles; comprehending a multitude of various nations.
- next unto king.
* Ge 41:44 1Sa 23:17 2Ch 28:7 Da 5:16,29
* Es 3:2 Ro 14:18
* Ne 2:10 Ps 122:6-9 Ro 9:2,3; 10:1
REMARKS ON THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
This Book, which derives its name from the person whose history
it chiefly relates, is termed in Hebrew, [megillâh <\\S#4039h\\>
'Ectłr <\\S#635h\\>,] megillath Esther, "the volume of Esther."
Concerning its author there are various opinions: some
attribute it to Ezra; some to Joachim, the son of Joshua the
high priest; others to the men of the great synagogue; and
others to Mordecai, which seems the most probable opinion. The
events here related probably refer to the time of Artaxerxes
Longimanus, who, according to Prideaux, was the Ahasuerus of
Esther, agreeably to Josephus, (Ant. 1 xi. c.6,) the Septuagint
version, and the apocryphal additions to this book. The
history, therefore, comes in between the sixth and seventh
chapters of Ezra, commencing about A.M. 3540, and continuing
through a period of twelve years: it relates the royal feast of
Ahasuerus; the disgrace of Vashti, (ch. i.;) the elevation of
Esther to the Persian throne; the essential service rendered to
the king by Mordecai, in detecting a plot against his life, (ch.
ii.;) the promotion of Haman, and his purposed destruction of
the Jews, (ch. iii.;) the consequent affliction of the Jews, and
the measures pursued by them, (ch. iv.;) the defeat of Haman's
plot, through the instrumentality of Esther, against Mordecai,
(ch. v.-vii.;) and also the defeat of his general plot against
the Jews, (ch. viii.; ix. 1-15;) the institution of the feast of
Purim to commemorate this deliverance, (ch. ix. 16-32;) and the
advancement of Mordecai, (ch. x.;) and though some Christians
have hesitated to receive this book into the sacred canon, yet
it has always been received by the Jews, not only as perfectly
authentic, but also as one of the most excellent of their sacred
books. That it is a genuine and faithful description of a real
fact, the observation of the feast of Purim, to the present day,
is a sufficient evidence; since it is impossible, and in fact
inconceivable, that a nation should institute, and afterwards
continue to celebrate without interruption, through every
generation of that people, in a long succession of ages, in
whatever places they may have sojourned, this solemn annual
festival, merely because one of their nation had written an
agreeable fable or romance. It has been remarked, as an
objection to this book, that the name of God no where occurs in
it: His superintending providence, however, is frequently
illustrated. It is shewn, indeed, in every part of the work;
disconcerting evil designs, and producing great events, by means
seemingly inadequate. It also presents an interesting
description of mortified pride, and of malice baffled to the
destruction of its possessors; and exhibits a very lively
representation of the vexations and troubles, the anxieties,
treachery, and dissimulation of a corrupt court.
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