And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire…
All the wives too are included, for they are all "to give honour to their husbands, both to the great and small." Well, the great, the really great, will get the honour easily, and could do very well probably without the helpful edict. Where there is real greatness, which, in Christian speech, we may translate into real goodness, it is the wife's joy to render what it is the husband's pride to wear. But the honour is to be given "both to the great and small!" "Ay, there's the rub." If this insurrectionary torch should go through the land, what will become of the small ones? — the selfish, the spiteful, the meddlesome, the rude, the mean, the silly, the helpless, the good-for-nothing? They are all to have honour! As if a decree could really get it, or keep it from them. Wouldn't the better plan be, in that case, and in many a case besides, that the small shall try to grow larger? Let them be ashamed of their littleness, and rise out of it into something like nobleness. Let them love and help their wives, and care for their children, and honour will come as harvest follows sowing. But unless they do something like that, one fears that all the edicts that can be devised and promulgated will leave them as it finds them — "small."
(A. Raleigh, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.