And Haman said unto King Ahasuerus,
Or "had said" F18, as some choose to render it; nor indeed is it likely that Haman should cast lots to know when would be a proper time to destroy the Jews, until he had got leave of the king to do it:
there is a certain people scattered abroad, and dispersed among the
people in all the provinces of thy kingdom;
for, though many of the Jews returned to their own land, on the proclamation of Cyrus, yet others remained, being well settled as to worldly things, and not having that zeal for God and his worship as became them, and not caring to be at the trouble and expense of such a journey, and especially those of the ten tribes; now Haman, through contempt of them, mentions them not by name, only describes them as a scattered insignificant people:
and their laws are different from all people;
concerning their diet and observation of days, and other things; so Empedocles, an Heathen, observes F19 of the Jews, that they were a separate people from all others in those things; for he says,
``they separated not only from the Romans, but even from all men; for, having found out an unmixed way of living, they have nothing common with men, neither table nor libations, nor prayers, nor sacrifices, but are more separate from us than the Susians or Bactrians, or the more remote Indians:''neither keep they the king's laws;
and, no doubt, he had a special respect to the non-observance of the king's command to give him reverence; and in like manner the Jews are represented by Heathen writers, as by Tacitus F20, Juvenal F21, and others:
therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them;
that is, to dwell in his dominions; he got nothing by them, and they might be prejudicial to his subjects, and poison them with their notions; and since they were not obedient to the laws of the kingdom, it was not fit and equitable that they should be continued in it.
F18 (rmayw) "dixerat enim", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, so Patrick.
F19 Apud Philostrat. Vit. Apollon. l. 5. c. 11.
F20 Hist. l. 5. c. 4.
F21 "Romanas antem soliti" Satyr. 14. ver. 99.