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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 15–17
Verses 15–17

It was but a few days ago that we had Mordecai in sackcloth and all the Jews in sorrow; but here is a blessed change, Mordecai in purple and all the Jews in joy. See Ps. 30:5, 11, 12. 1. Mordecai in purple, Est. 8:15. Having obtained an order for the relief of all the Jews, he was easy, he parted with his mourning weeds, and put on the royal apparel, which either belonged to his place or which the king appointed him as a favourite. His robes were rich, blue and white, of fine linen and purple; so was his coronet: it was of gold. These are things not worth taking notice of, but as they were marks of the king’s favour, and that the fruit of God’s favour to his church. It is well with a land when the ensigns of dignity are made the ornaments of serious piety. The city Shushan was sensible of its advantage in the preferment of Mordecai, and therefore rejoiced and was glad, not only pleased in general with the advancement of virtue, but promising itself, in particular, better times, now that so good a man was entrusted with power. Haman was hanged; and, when the wicked perish, there is shouting, Prov. 11:10. Mordecai was preferred; and, when the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. 2. The Jews in joy, Est. 8:16, 17. The Jews, who awhile ago were under a dark cloud, dejected and disgraced, now had light and gladness, joy and honour, a feast and a good lay. If they had not been threatened and in distress they would not have had occasion for this extraordinary joy. Thus are God’s people sometimes made to sow in tears that they may reap in so much the more joy. The suddenness and strangeness of the turn of affairs in their favour added much to their joy. They were like those that dream; then was their mouth filled with laughter, Ps. 126:1, 2. One good effect of this deliverance was that many of the people of the land, that were considerate, sober, and well inclined, became Jews, were proselyted to the Jewish religion, renounced idolatry, and worshipped the true God only. Haman thought to extirpate the Jews, but it proves, in the issue, that their numbers are greatly increased and many added to the church. Observe, When the Jews had joy and gladness then many of the people of the land became Jews. The holy cheerfulness of those that profess religion is a great ornament to their profession, and will invite and encourage others to be religious. The reason here given why so many became Jews at this time is because the fear of the Jews fell upon them. When they observed how wonderfully divine Providence had owned them and wrought for them in this critical juncture, (1.) They thought them great, and considered those happy that were among them; and therefore they came over to them, as was foretold, Zech. 8:23. We will go with you, for we have heard, we have seen, that God is with you, the shield of your help, and the sword of your excellency, Deut. 33:29. When the church prospers, and is smiled upon, many will come into it that will be shy of it when it is in trouble. (2.) They thought them formidable, and considered those miserable that were against them. They plainly saw in Haman’s fate that, if any offered injury to the Jews, it was at their peril; and therefore, for their own security, they joined themselves to them. It is folly to think of contending with the God of Israel, and therefore it is wisdom to think of submitting to him.