Esther 3:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
All the royal officials at the king's gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

King James Bible
And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Darby Bible Translation
And all the king's servants that were in the king's gate bowed and did Haman reverence, for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did [him] reverence.

World English Bible
All the king's servants who were in the king's gate bowed down, and paid homage to Haman; for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai didn't bow down or pay him homage.

Young's Literal Translation
and all servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, are bowing and doing obeisance to Haman, for so hath the king commanded for him; and Mordecai doth not bow nor do obeisance.

Esther 3:2 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The king's servants, that were in the king's gate - By servants here, certainly a higher class of officers are intended than porters; and Mordecai was one of those officers, and came to the gate with the others who were usually there in attendance to receive the commands of the king.

Mordecai bowed not - לאיכרע lo yichra. "He did not bow down;" nor did him reverence, ולא ישתחוה velo yishtachaveh, "nor did he prostrate himself." I think it most evident, from these two words, that it was not civil reverence merely that Haman expected and Mordecai refused; this sort of respect is found in the word כרע cara, to bow. This sort of reverence Mordecai could not refuse without being guilty of the most inexcusable obstinacy, nor did any part of the Jewish law forbid it. But Haman expected, what the Persian kings frequently received, a species of Divine adoration; and this is implied in the word שחה shachah, which signifies that kind of prostration which implies the highest degree of reverence that can be paid to God or man, lying down flat on the earth, with the hands and feet extended, and the mouth in the dust.

The Targum, says that Haman set up a statue for himself, to which every one was obliged to bow, and to adore Haman himself. The Jews all think that Mordecai refused this prostration because it implied idolatrous adoration. Hence, in the Apocryphal additions to this book, Mordecai is represented praying thus: "Thou knowest that if I have not adored Haman, it was not through pride, nor contempt, nor secret desire of glory; for I felt disposed to kiss the footsteps of his feet (gladly) for the salvation of Israel: but I feared to give to a man that honor which I know belongs only to my God."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the king's servants. Dr. Shaw, speaking of the cities in the East, says, 'If we quit the streets, and enter into any of the principal houses, we shall first pass through a porch, or gate-way, with benches on each side, where the master of the family receives visits, and despatches business; few persons, not even the nearest relations, having admission any farther, except upon extraordinary occasions.' These servants were probably officers who here waited the king's call; and it is likely that Mordecai was one of them.

Esther 2:19,21 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate...

bowed.

Genesis 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee...

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

bowed not. Yichr? welo yishtachaweh, 'bowed not down, nor prostrated himself,' or worshipped him. Had this meant only civil reverence the king would not have needed to command it; nor would Mordecai have refused it; there was, therefore, some kind of divine honour intended, such as was paid to the Persian kings, and which even the Greeks refused, as express adoration.

Esther 3:1,5 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him...

Exodus 17:14,16 And the LORD said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua...

Deuteronomy 25:19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your enemies round about...

1 Samuel 15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling...

Psalm 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honors them that fear the LORD. He that swears to his own hurt, and changes not.

Library
The Net Spread
'After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 2. And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. 3. Then the king's servants which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment? 4. Now it came to pass, when
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

In the Days of Queen Esther
Under the favor shown them by Cyrus, nearly fifty thousand of the children of the captivity had taken advantage of the decree permitting their return. These, however, in comparison with the hundreds of thousands scattered throughout the provinces of Medo-Persia, were but a mere remnant. The great majority of the Israelites had chosen to remain in the land of their exile rather than undergo the hardships of the return journey and the re-establishment of their desolated cities and homes. A score or
Ellen Gould White—The Story of Prophets and Kings

Cross References
Esther 2:5
Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,

Esther 2:19
When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.

Esther 3:3
Then the royal officials at the king's gate asked Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king's command?"

Esther 5:9
Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king's gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.

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