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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 9–14
Verses 9–14

This account here given of Haman is a comment upon that of Solomon, Prov. 21:24. Proud and haughty scorner is his name that deals in proud wrath. Never did any man more answer that name than Haman, in whom pride and wrath had so much the ascendant. See him,

I. Puffed up with the honour of being invited to Esther’s feast. He was joyful and glad of heart at it, Est. 5:9. Observe with what a high gust he speaks of it (Est. 5:12), how he values himself upon it, and how near he thinks it brings him to the perfection of felicity, that Esther the queen did let no man come with the king to the banquet but his mighty self, and he thought it was because she was exceedingly charmed with his conversation that the next day she had invited him also to come with the king; none so fit as he to bear the king company. Note, Self-admirers and self-flatterers are really self-deceivers. Haman pleased himself with the fancy that the queen, by this repeated invitation, designed to honour him, whereas really she designed to accuse him, and, in calling him to the banquet, did but call him to the bar. What magnifying glasses do proud men look at their faces in! And how does the pride of their heart deceive them! Obad. 1:3.

II. Vexing and fretting at the slight that Mordecai put upon him, and thereby made uneasy to himself and to all about him. 1. Mordecai was as determined as ever: He stood not up, nor moved for him, Est. 5:9. What he did was from a principle of conscience, and therefore he persevered in it, and would not cringe to Haman, no, not when he had reason to fear him and Esther herself complimented him. He knew God could and would deliver him and his people from the rage of Haman, without any such mean and sneaking expedients to mollify him. Those that walk in holy sincerity may walk in holy security, and go on in their work, not fearing what man can do unto them. He that walks uprightly walks surely. 2. Haman can as ill bear it as ever; nay, the higher he is lifted up, the more impatient is her of contempt and the more enraged at it. (1.) It made his own spirit restless, and put him into a grievous agitation. He was full of indignation (Est. 5:9) and yet refrained himself, Est. 5:10. Gladly would he have drawn his sword and run Mordecai through for affronting him thus; but he hoped shortly to see him fall with all the Jews, and therefore with much ado prevailed with himself to forbear stabbing him. What a struggle had he in his own bosom between his anger, which required Mordecai’s death immediately (O that I had of his flesh! I cannot be satisfied! Job 31:31), and his malice, which had determined to wait for the general massacre! Thus thorns and snares are in the way of the froward. (2.) It made all his enjoyments sapless. This little affront which he received from Mordecai was the dead fly which spoiled all his pot of precious ointment; he himself owned in the presence of his wife and friends, to the everlasting reproach of a proud and discontented mind, that he had no comfort in his estate, preferment, and family, as long as Mordecai lived and had a place in the king’s gate, Est. 5:10-13. He took notice of his own riches and honours, the numerousness of his family, and the high posts to which he was advanced, that he was the darling of the prince and the idol of the court; and yet all this avails him nothing as long as Mordecai is unhanged. Those that are disposed to be uneasy will never want something or other to be uneasy at; and proud men, though they have much to their mind, yet, if they have not all to their mind, it is as nothing to them. The thousandth part of what Haman had would serve to make a humble modest man as much of a happiness as he expects from this world; and yet Haman complained as passionately as if he had been sunk into the lowest degree of poverty and disgrace.

III. Meditating revenge, and assisted therein by his wife and his friends, Est. 5:14. They saw how gladly he would dispense with his own resolution of deferring the slaughter till the time determined by the lot, and therefore advised him to take an earnest and foretaste of the satisfaction he then expected in the speedy execution of Mordecai; let him have that to please him at the moment; and having, as he thought, made sure the destruction of all the Jews, at the time appointed, he will not think scorn, for the present, to lay hands on Mordecai alone. 1. For the pleasing of his fancy they advise him to get a gallows ready, and have it set up before his own door, that, as soon as ever he could get the warrant signed, there might be no delay of the execution; he would not need so much as to stay the making of the gallows. This is very agreeable to Haman, who has the gallows made and fixed immediately; it must be fifty cubits high, or as near that as might be, for the greater disgrace of Mordecai and to make him a spectacle to every one that passed by; and it must be before Haman’s door, that all men might take notice it was to the idol of his revenge that Mordecai was sacrificed and that he might feed his eyes with the sight. 2. For the gaining of his point they advise him to go early in the morning to the king, and get an order from him for the hanging of Mordecai, which, they doubted not, would be readily granted to one who was so much the king’s favourite and who had so easily obtained an edict for the destruction of the whole nation of the Jews. There needed no feigned suggestion; it was enough if he let the king know that Mordecai, in contempt of the king’s command, refused to reverence him. And now we leave Haman to go to bed, pleased with the thoughts of seeing Mordecai hanged the next day, and then going merrily to the banquet, and not dreaming of handselling his own gallows.