King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Esther 6

Providence recommends Mordecai to the king’s favour. (1-3) Haman’s counsel honours Mordecai. (4-11) Haman’s friends tell him of his danger. (12-14)

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Providence recommends Mordecai to the king’s favour

1 On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

2 And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

3 And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

Haman’s counsel honours Mordecai

4 And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king’s house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.

5 And the king’s servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.

6 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?

7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,

8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his head:

9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king’s most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

10 Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king’s gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.

11 Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.

Haman’s friends tell him of his danger

12 And Mordecai came again to the king’s gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.

13 And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.

14 And while they were yet talking with him, came the king’s chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Sleep. Anxious what Esther could desire. Sept. “But the Lord removed sleep from the king that night.” H. — Providence watched over the welfare of his people. — Chronicles. The king took particular care (C.) to have their benefactors mentioned in history and rewarded. Herod. viii. 85. Assuerus had not recourse to musicians, &c. wisely (T.) reflecting that history is the most pleasing and useful amusement. Cicero, &c. T. — God directed him on this occasion, as his eye never sleepeth. Josephus. W.

Ver. 3. No reward at all. He received some presents from the king; (C. xii. 5.) but these were so inconsiderable in the opinion of the courtiers, that they esteemed them as nothing at all; (Ch.) and they were not specified in the history. C.

Ver. 4. Inner court. To which only such favourites and noblemen had access. Herod. iii. 72. and 84. This king had himself come thither with six others, when they conspired to destroy Smerdis. Heb. &c. read, “the outward court,” in which Aman was, till he heard the king was awake, and called for him. C.

Ver. 8. Apparel. Gr. “of byssus,” which was very superb. C. 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. Curt. 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. Gr. 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. C. viii. 15.

Ver. 9. Nobles. Lit. “tyrants.” H. — But this word was not formerly odious; as it only denoted “a prince.” Pars mihi pacis erit dextram tetigisse tyranni. ├ćneid vii. — Abuse of power caused it to become hateful. T.

Ver. 10. 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. S. Jam. iv. 6. The exaltation of Joseph in Egypt, (C.) and lately of Daniel at the court at Babylon, (T.) was hardly less wonderful. Gen. xli. Dan. vi. C. — 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; (H.) and the Chaldee has added many embellishments, which are of no authority. C.

Ver. 12. Covered. To hide his shame, (T.) as Demosthenes did, when the people kissed him. Plutarch. See 2 K. xv. Ezec. xii. 6.

Ver. 13. Wise men. Probably the magi, who concluded, from the first miscarriage, that he undertaking would prove abortive, (C.) as they were also informed of God’s protection given repeatedly to the Jews. Sept. “because the living God is with him.” Chal. They might have heard of the fate of Sennacherib and of Holofernes, (C.) or of God’s promises, (Gen. xiii. and xv.) unless they were guided by human prudence. W.

Ver. 14. As. Thus from morning till noon, (T.) or night, had this petty god (H.) been forced to stoop to the meanest offices, and durst not say a word in opposition. T. — He would gladly have now absented himself from the feast, (M.) with the idea of which he had been enraptured. H.