Old Testament Commentary - Esther 4

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
                 CHAPTER 4                  

Mordecai and the Jews mourn and fast because of the King's decree—Esther, at the peril of her life, goes in unto the king.

  1 When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
  2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
  3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and afasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
 3a Esth. 9:31

  4 ¶ So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.
  5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
  6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.
  7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to apay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
  8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
  9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
 7a Esth. 7:4

  10 ¶ Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
  11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner acourt, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to bdeath, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden csceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
 11a Esth. 6:4
     b TG Capital Punishment
     c Esth. 5:2; Esth. 8:4

  12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
  13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
  14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there aenlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for sucha a btime as this?
 14a thou art come to the kingdom for such In the history of Israel there has been times when the Lord has raised up a person or persons of Israel to be the high advocates of Israel in the kingdoms of the world in which it has been their lots to live. Three such cases come ready to mind though there are also likely many more which are unknown openly to history. There was Joseph who was taken to Egypt as a slave who was raised up to be only second the Pharoah in the kingdom of Egypt. There was Daniel who was raised up to be chief advisor to the great king Nebuchadnezer and such. And there his here not both Mordecai and Esther, Esther raised up to be Queen of the nation and Empire of Persia and Morecai her kinsman who would also come second only to the king Xerxes in power and might. In each of these cases the Lord's hand was active in raising these souls up in order kept, care for and spare Israel, to give them place and keep them safe in the great kingdoms of the earth.  14a HEB Breath; i.e., relief
     b Gen. 45:7 (7-8)

  15 ¶ Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
  16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and afast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
  17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
 16a TG Fasting