Es 10:1-3. AHASUERUS' GREATNESS. MORDECAI'S ADVANCEMENT.
1. Ahasuerus laid a tribute--This passage being an appendix to the history, and improperly separated from the preceding chapter, it might be that the occasion of levying this new impost arose out of the commotions raised by Haman's conspiracy. Neither the nature nor the amount of the tax has been recorded; only it was not a local tribute, but one exacted from all parts of his vast empire.
2. the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai--The experience of this pious and excellent Jew verified the statement, "he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" [Mt 23:12; Lu 14:11; 18:14]. From sitting contentedly at the king's gate, he was raised to the dignity of highest subject, the powerful ruler of the kingdom. Acting uniformly on the great principles of truth and righteousness, his greatness rested on a firm foundation. His faith was openly avowed, and his influence as a professor of the true religion was of the greatest usefulness for promoting the welfare of the Jewish people, as well as for advancing the glory of God.
3. For Mordecai . . . was next unto King Ahasuerus . . . great among
the Jews, &c.--The elevation of this pious and patriotic Jew to the
possession of the highest official power was of very great importance
to the suffering church at that period; for it enabled him, who all
along possessed the disposition, now to direct the royal influence and
authority in promoting the interests and extending the privileges of
his exiled countrymen. Viewed in this light, the providence of God is
plainly traceable in all the steps that led to his unexpected
advancement. This providential interposition is all the more
remarkable, that, as in the analogous case of Joseph, it was displayed
in making the ordinary and natural course of things lead to the most
marvellous results. To use the pious words of an eminent prelate,
"though in the whole of this episode there was no extraordinary
manifestation of God's power, no particular cause or agent that was in
its working advanced above the ordinary pitch of nature, yet the
contrivance, and suiting these ordinary agents appointed by God, is in
itself more admirable than if the same end had been effected by means
that were truly miraculous." The sudden advancement of individuals from
obscurity and neglect to the highest stations of power and influence
is, in Eastern courts, no extraordinary nor infrequent occurrence. The
caprice, the weak partiality of the reigning sovereign, or, it may be,
his penetrating discernment in discovering latent energy and talent,
has often "raised the beggar from the dunghill, and set him among
Some of the all-powerful viziers in modern Persia, and not a few of the
beys in Egypt, have been elevated to their respective dignities in this
manner. And, therefore, the advancement of "Mordecai, who was next unto
Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews," was in perfect accordance with
the rapid revolution of "the wheel of fortune" in that part of the
world. But, considering all the circumstances of Mordecai's
advancement, not only his gaining the favor of the king, but his being
"accepted of the multitude of his brethren, it was beyond all
controversy the doing of the Lord, and was truly marvellous in his
accepted of the multitude of his brethren--Far from being envious of his grandeur, they blessed God for the elevation to official power of so good a man.
speaking peace to all his seed--While his administration was conducted with a mild and impartial hand, he showed a peculiarly warm and friendly feeling to all his countrymen when asked his counsel or his aid.