Esther 3:3
Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, Why transgress you the king's commandment?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
3:1-6 Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman. By nature all are idolaters; self is our favourite idol, we are pleased to be treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion by no means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, yet by a citizen of Zion, not only in his heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was, is contemned, Ps 15:4. The true believer cannot obey edicts, or conform to fashions, which break the law of God. He must obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman was full of wrath. His device was inspired by that wicked spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose enmity to Christ and his church, governs all his children.Mordecai probably refused the required prostration, usual though it was, on religious grounds. Hence, his opposition led on to his confession that he was a Jew Esther 3:4. 2. all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman—Large mansions in the East are entered by a spacious vestibule, or gateway, along the sides of which visitors sit, and are received by the master of the house; for none, except the nearest relatives or special friends, are admitted farther. There the officers of the ancient king of Persia waited till they were called, and did obeisance to the all-powerful minister of the day.

But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence—The obsequious homage of prostration not entirely foreign to the manners of the East, had not been claimed by former viziers; but this minion required that all subordinate officers of the court should bow before him with their faces to the earth. But to Mordecai, it seemed that such an attitude of profound reverence was due only to God. Haman being an Amalekite, one of a doomed and accursed race, was, doubtless, another element in the refusal; and on learning that the recusant was a Jew, whose nonconformity was grounded on religious scruples, the magnitude of the affront appeared so much the greater, as the example of Mordecai would be imitated by all his compatriots. Had the homage been a simple token of civil respect, Mordecai would not have refused it; but the Persian kings demanded a sort of adoration, which, it is well known, even the Greeks reckoned it degradation to express. As Xerxes, in the height of his favoritism, had commanded the same honors to be given to the minister as to himself, this was the ground of Mordecai's refusal.

No text from Poole on this verse. Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate,.... Observing the behaviour of Mordecai towards Haman from time to time:

said unto Mordecai, why transgressest thou the king's commandment? of giving reverence to Haman, which they knew he could not be ignorant of.

Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
Verses 3, 4. - The king's servants, which were in the gate with Mordecai, were the first to observe his disrespect, and at once took up the matter. Why were they to bow down, and Mordecai not? Was he any better or any grander than they? What right had he to transgress the king's commandment? When they urged him on the point day after day, Mordecai seems at last to have explained to them what his objection was, and to have said that, as a Jew, he was precluded from prostrating himself before a man. Having heard this, they told Haman, being curious to see whether Mordecai's matters (or, rather, "words") would stand, i.e. whether his excuse would be allowed, as was that of the Spartan ambassadors who declined to bow down before Artaxerxes Longimanus (Herod., 1. s. c.). Esther 2:19-23 relate the intervention of an incident of great importance in the subsequent development of the narrative. When virgins were for the second time gathered together, two courtiers were incensed with the king, and sought to lay hands upon him. This thing was known to Mordochai, who sat in the gate of the palace and kept up a constant communication with Esther even after she became queen, and by him communicated to her, that she might bring it to the knowledge of the king. The matter being investigated and found to have been truly reported, the offenders were punished, and an entry of the particulars made in the chronicles of the kingdom. The words "when virgins were assembled for the second time," which serve to define the time when the conspiracy of the two courtiers took place, as is obvious from the circumstance that ההם בּיּמים, Esther 2:21, refers to בת בּהקּבץ, Esther 2:19, are obscure. The obscurity lies in the fact that no reason for assembling virgins can be perceived, after the choice of Ahashverosh had fallen upon Esther. The sentence שׁנית בּתוּלות וּבהקּבץ unmistakeably corresponds with נערות וּבהקּבץ of v. 8. This was already rightly perceived by Grotius, who, however, wrongly infers: est ἐπάνοδος (retrogressio), referendum enim hoc ad illa quae supra, ii. 2. This is, however, not only incompatible with שׁנית, but also with the circumstance that, according to the correct understanding of the sentences in Esther 2:21 and Esther 2:22, Esther was then already queen, and Mordochai was sitting in the gate of the king's palace, and thence keeping up communication with her; while as long as Esther was in the women's house preparing for her interview with the king, under the guardianship of Hegai, he walked day by day before the court of the women's house (Esther 2:11). Still less admissible is the view of Drusius, received by Bertheau, that the gathering of the virgins for the second time is to be understood from the circumstance, that after going in to the king, they had to go into the second house of the women, under the stricter guardianship of Shaashgaz (Esther 2:14). For, being no longer בּתוּלות, but פּילגשׁים (Esther 2:14), their reception into the house of the concubines could not be called a second gathering together, since as virgins they were formerly in a different house. The only explanation of the שׁנית left us is the view, that even after the choice of Esther to be queen, a second gathering together of virgins actually took place; for this, as C. a Lapide remarks, is what the words undoubtedly declare. The matter itself was in accordance with the prevailing custom of polygamy, which kings carried to such an extent, that, as C. a Lapide points out, Solomon, e.g., had 700 wives and 300 concubines, i.e., secondarias uxores. From וּמרדּכי, Esther 2:19, onwards, explanatory circumstantial clauses follow: "The Mordochai sat in the king's gate" introduces the parenthetical sentence, "Esther had not yet showed her kindred and her people (comp. Esther 2:10), as Mordochai had charged her; for Esther did the commandment of Mordochai as when she was under his care;" i.e., Esther obeyed, after her elevation to be queen, the command of Mordochai not to make her Jewish descent known, as she had formerly done while she was yet his foster-daughter. אמנה, care, education, is a substantive derived from אמן.
Esther 3:3 Interlinear
Esther 3:3 Parallel Texts

Esther 3:3 NIV
Esther 3:3 NLT
Esther 3:3 ESV
Esther 3:3 NASB
Esther 3:3 KJV

Esther 3:3 Bible Apps
Esther 3:3 Parallel
Esther 3:3 Biblia Paralela
Esther 3:3 Chinese Bible
Esther 3:3 French Bible
Esther 3:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Esther 3:2
Top of Page
Top of Page