Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Sleep. Anxious what Esther could desire. Septuagint, "But the Lord removed sleep from the king that night." (Haydock) --- Providence watched over the welfare of his people. --- Chronicles. The king took particular care (Calmet) to have their benefactors mentioned in history and rewarded. (Herodotus viii. 85.) Assuerus had not recourse to musicians, &c., wisely (Tirinus) reflecting that history is the most pleasing and useful amusement. (Cicero, &c.) (Tirinus) --- God directed him on this occasion, as his eye never sleepeth. (Josephus) (Worthington)
No reward at all. He received some presents from the king; (chap. xii. 5.) but these were so inconsiderable in the opinion of the courtiers, that they esteemed them as nothing at all; (Challoner) and they were not specified in the history. (Calmet)
Inner court. To which only such favourites and noblemen had access. (Herodotus iii. 72., and 84.) This king had himself come thither with six others, when they conspired to destroy Smerdis. Hebrew, &c., read, "the outward court," in which Aman was, till he heard the king was awake, and called for him. (Calmet)
Apparel. Greek, "of byssus," which was very superb, chap. xv. 9. The king alone could wear the tiara upright. The nobles wore it hanging backwards. Cyrus allowed his nobility to appear in purple, but he would have only his own robes striped with white. (Cyrop. viii.; Curtius iii.) --- The kings often made presents of garments, &c., to ambassadors, and to those who were styled "their relations." --- Horse: 200 such appeared in the train of Cyrus, with golden bits, which none were permitted to use without special leave. --- Head. Greek seems to refer this to the horse, which might indeed have a sort of crown. But the golden one was more probably worn by the person honoured, chap. viii. 15.
Nobles. Literally, "tyrants." (Haydock) --- But this word was not formerly odious; as it only denoted "a prince." Pars mihi pacis erit dextram tetigisse tyranni. (Vigil, Æneid vii.) --- Abuse of power caused it to become hateful. (Tirinus)
Spoken. The distinction was not for one day only. Mardochai might afterwards wear the tiara, &c. God thus clearly manifested that he would resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. (St. James iv. 6.) The exaltation of Joseph in Egypt, (Calmet) and lately of Daniel at the court at Babylon, (Tirinus) was hardly less wonderful, Genesis xli., and Daniel vi. (Calmet) --- We may easily conceive the astonishment which would fill the breast of Aman, as well as of Mardochai, on this occasion. The Greek published by Usher, has expressed these sentiments; (Haydock) and the Chaldean has added many embellishments, which are of no authority. (Calmet)
Covered. To hide his shame, (Tirinus) as Demosthenes did, when the people kissed him. (Plutarch) See 2 Kings xv., and Ezechiel xii. 6.
Wise men. Probably the magi, who concluded, from the first miscarriage, that he undertaking would prove abortive, (Calmet) as they were also informed of God's protection given repeatedly to the Jews. Septuagint, "because the living God is with him." (Chaldean) They might have heard of the fate of Sennacherib and of Holofernes, (Calmet) or of God's promises, (Genesis xiii., and xv.) unless they were guided by human prudence. (Worthington)
As. Thus from morning till noon, (Tirinus) or night, had this petty god (Haydock) been forced to stoop to the meanest offices, and durst not say a word in opposition. (Tirinus) --- He would gladly have now absented himself from the feast, (Menochius) with the idea of which he had been enraptured. (Haydock)