New International Version
Then the royal officials at the king's gate asked Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king's command?"
King James Bible
Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
Darby Bible Translation
Then the king's servants, who were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
World English Bible
Then the king's servants, who were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, "Why do you disobey the king's commandment?"
Young's Literal Translation
And the servants of the king, who are in the gate of the king, say to Mordecai, 'Wherefore art thou transgressing the command of the king?'
Esther 3:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke'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
LibraryThe 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
When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.
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.
Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai's behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.
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