Ver. 1. Fearing. Gr. "caught in the agony of death." The old Vulgate has many variations in this chapter. C.
--- This prayer should be placed after that of Mardochai, at the end of C. iv. M.
Ver. 2. Ointments. Gr. "instead of the proud sweets, she filled her head with ashes and dust." Such as might be soon cleansed again. H.
--- Torn. Gr. "curled hair," (straptwn trichwn. H.) some of which she cut off. See Lev. xix. 27. and xxi. 5. Houbig.
Ver. 4. Hands; very imminent. I am ready to expose my life. Ps. cxviii. 109. C.
Ver. 5. Heard. Old Vulg. often repeats, "from the books of my fathers;" adducing the various instances of protection which God had shewn to his people, Noe, Abraham, Jonas, the three children, Daniel, Ezechias, and Anna: which intimates that Esther made the sacred books the subject of her frequent meditations, as good people ought to do. H.
Ver. 7. For. Gr. "since we have extolled," &c. Esther had not been guilty herself of this prevarication; but too many of the people had. H.
Ver. 8. But. Gr. Compl. "Yea, thou hast placed (or rather as the Alex. MS. reads, they have placed) their hands upon the hands of their idols, (H. making league together. C.) to tear away the decree of thy mouth," (H.) and to put in execution the projects of (M.) the devil. H.
Ver. 10. Idols. Gr. "of the vain things, and to render wonderful for ever," &c.
Ver. 11. Not idols, as they are often here designated, (C. and 1 Cor. viii.) being only the imaginations of men. W.
--- Destroy. Gr. "Make an example of the man, who had begun (H. evils. C.) against us." H.
--- She throws the blame upon Aman, and not upon her husband. C.
Ver. 12. Gods. Gr. "nations, and Lord of all power." H.
Ver. 13. Lion. This expression seems not sufficiently respectful. Capellus.
--- But why might not Esther use it with regard to one, who was raging against her people more than any lion, as S. Paul applies it to Nero, probably after her example? Houbigant. 2 Tim. iv. 17.
--- David also thus styles Saul and his persecutors in general. Ps. vii. 3. &c. C.
Ver. 15. Stranger. Only those near Chanaan were forbidden to marry; and S. Paul commends Eunice, who had espoused an infidel. Capel.
--- But this was not the reason of his commendation; for he ordains, Bear not the yoke with infidels. A pious woman might, therefore, very well refrain from such contracts, to which the Jews, at this time, were in a manner forced. Still Esther might have a conjugal love for her husband, (Houbig.) though she would have preferred to marry one poorer of her own religion; and here she only submitted to the designs of God, in raising her to such an elevated station. M.
Ver. 16. Sign. The diadem. It was no sin to wear it. Capel.
--- What then? May not a pious prince despise such ornaments, raising his mind above them? Houbig.
--- Silence, when I am alone. Nothing could give us a higher idea of Esther's virtue and greatness of soul, as her elevation did not make her forget herself. C.
Ver. 17. Me. Ought she to have been thus affected towards her husband? Capel.
--- Undoubtedly: as the meats and the wine had been offered to idols. Houbig.