Esther 8:5
(5) To reverse.--Rather, to bring back, to recall. Esther shows considerable skill in wording her request. She avoids speaking of the king's letters, but calls them "the letters, the device of Haman, which he wrote." It is the king, however, to whom the injury is done--"to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces."

Verse 5. - If it please the king, etc. The long preface of four clauses, winding up with "If I be pleasing," is indicative of Esther's doubt how the king will receive her suggestion that it should be written to reverse the letters (comp. Esther 3:13) devised by Haman. To ask the king to unsay his own words was impossible. By representing the letters as devised by Haman, and written by Haman, Esther avoids doing so. But she thereby blinks the truth. In excuse she adds the striking distich contained in the next verse - "For how could I endure to see the evil that is coming on my people? or how could I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?"

8:3-14 It was time to be earnest, when the church of God was at stake. Esther, though safe herself, fell down and begged for the deliverance of her people. We read of no tears when she begged for her own life, but although she was sure of that, she wept for her people. Tears of pity and tenderness are the most Christ-like. According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled. This is so far from speaking to the wisdom and honour of the Medes and Persians, that it clearly shows their pride and folly. This savours of that old presumption which ruined all, We will be as gods! It is God's prerogative not to repent, or to say what can never be altered or unsaid. Yet a way was found, by another decree, to authorize the Jews to stand upon their defence. The decree was published in the languages of all the provinces. Shall all the subjects of an earthly prince have his decrees in languages they understand, and shall God's oracles and laws be locked up from any of his servants in an unknown tongue?And said, if it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes,.... This heap of phrases, which signify much the same thing, are used to work upon the king's affections, and to show how submissive she was to his will:

let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces. She wisely takes no notice of any concern the king had in them, but suggests as that she looked upon them as forged by Haman, who put the king's name and seal to them, without his knowledge and consent.

Esther 8:4
Top of Page
Top of Page