Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Esther
Book: Esther
Chapter: 3

Haman seeks to destroy the Jews. (1-6) He obtains a decree
against the Jews. (7-15)

1-6 Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew
forbade him to give honours to any mortal Man which savoured of
Idolatry, especially to So wicked a Man as Haman. By nature all
are idolaters; self is our favourite Idol, we are pleased to be
treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion
By No means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render
honour to whom honour is due, yet By a citizen of Zion, not only
in his Heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was,
is contemned, Ps 15:4. The true believer cannot obey edicts,
or conform to fashions, which break the Law of God. He must obey
God rather than Man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman
was full of wrath. His device was inspired By that wicked
Spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose Enmity
to Christ and his Church, governs all his children.

7-15 Without some acquaintance with the human Heart, and the
history of mankind, we should not think that any Prince could
consent to a dreadful proposal, So hurtful to himself. Let us be
thankful for mild and just government. Haman inquires, according
to his own superstitions, how to find a lucky Day for the
designed massacre! God's Wisdom serves its own purposes By men's
folly. Haman has appealed to the Lot, and the Lot, By delaying
the execution, gives Judgment against him. The event explains
the doctrine of a particular Providence over all the affairs of
men, and the care of God over his Church. Haman was afraid lest
the King's Conscience should smite him for what he had done; to
prevent which, he kept him drinking. This cursed method many
often take to Drown convictions, and to harden their own hearts,
and the hearts of others, in Sin. All appeared in a favourable
train to accomplish the project. But though sinners are
permitted to proceed to the point they aim at, an unseen but
almighty Power turns them back. How vain and contemptible are
the strongest assaults against Jehovah! Had Haman obtained his
wish, and the Jewish nation perished, what must have become of
all the promises? How could the prophecies concerning the great
Redeemer of the world have been fulfilled? Thus the Everlasting
Covenant itself must have failed, before this diabolical project
could take place.