So Haman came in. And the king said to him, What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?…
1. In Haman honouring Mordecai we have a remarkable verification of the fable of the dog and the shadow. He gaped after the shadow and lost the substance. Folly generally rides after pride. Haman grew more and more insolent and arrogant as he advanced in wealth and power, until he reached the highest point allowed to him by providence. He did not consider that he who does not climb gets no fall, and that he that climbs too high is sure, at last, to come down with s terrible crash. His temerity is remarkable. Thinking, however, that he was ordered to cut out his own honour, it is natural he should have made the measure large.
2. How completely wretched are the envious and the proud. Pride is the canker-worm of the soul. It always renders us unhappy. It is ever so with those who have not a new heart. The most wealthy and highly honoured are not content. There is something still wanting. There is something they still complain about. They make themselves miserable when they ought to be happy. Oh, how little a thing is earthly grandeur! How little a thing may embitter all human honour and affluence! There can be no happiness on earth till there is self-denial and trust. There is no happiness till we begin to crucify selfishness, and to trust in God as the portion of our souls.
3. We see here how great a misfortune it is to have friends and counsellors who are ignorant, wicked, or evil-disposed. There is a great deal of truth in the proverb, "Save me from my friends, and I will take care of my enemies." It is sad when a man's bosom counsellor is not true and faithful. And there is always danger to be apprehended when the advice of a professed friend is pleasing to our own angry or revengeful feelings. If Haman's wife had been a meek, quiet, prudent, intelligent, God-fearing woman, her advice, at first, had been altogether of a different sort, and her bearing toward her husband, when he hastened home from court, almost heartbroken with disappointment and rage, would have been altogether different from what it was. Instead of adding fuel to his malignant passions, she should have endeavoured to moderate and restrain them. And instead of bruising a heart already broken, by adding taunt and reproach to grief, she should have sought to calm him and make him feel that, with her, in his own home, he was still with friends, respected and beloved, however much he had suffered at court. The husband's fortune is more fully in the hands of his wife than anywhere else. It is hers to make his home happy, and to gird him with strength by sympathy and counsel. When his spirits are almost overwhelmed, she alone, of all human beings, is the one to minister to him. Her nursing is as sovereign to his sick soul as it is for his ailing body. It is her gentle tones only that can steal over his morbid senses with more power than David's harp. And when his courage is almost gone, her patience and fortitude will rekindle his heart again to dare and do, and meet anew the toils and troubles of life. What a misfortune it was that Haman had not a sweet Christian home to retire to after the terrible disappointments and bitter experiences of that day! Yes, a sweet, quiet home. But you tell me I forget that he was a man of large estates, great honours, and the owner of a princely palace. True, but a palace is not always a home. What is a home? It is something for which many of earth's babbling tongues have no term. A home is not a mere residence for the body, but a place where the heart rests and the affections nestle and dwell and multiply. Just in the proportion that a good woman is a blessing, in the same proportion is a bad woman a curse. Woman's mission is a high and grand one. She is connected with everything that belongs to our race that is noble, refining, and hopeful. Great is the calamity, then, for a community to be under the influence of such opinions or sentiments as are degrading to its women. One bad woman can do more harm in society than a dozen bad men.
(W. A. Scott, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?