Esther 7:8

Esther 7:8

Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place
of the banquet of wine
Being a little cooler, and more composed in his mind, see (See Gill on Esther 1:5)

and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was;
not the bed she lay on to sleep in the night, (for it cannot be thought that it was a bedchamber in which the banquet was,) but on the bed or couch on which she sat or reclined at the banquet, as was the custom in the eastern countries; now, "by", or "near" this, as the word may be rendered, Haman fell down, even at the feet of the queen, begging for mercy; and some think he might embrace her feet or knees, as was the custom of the Greeks and Romans as they were supplicating F11; and so it seems to have been with the Jews, see ( 2 Kings 4:27 ) , and being in this posture, it might appear the more indecent, and give the king an opportunity to say as follows:

then said the king, will he force the queen also before me in the
that is, ravish her; not that he really thought so; it was not a time nor place for such an action; nor can it be thought that Haman, in such terror and confusion he was in, could be so disposed; and besides there were others present, as the next clause shows: but this he said, putting the worst construction on his actions, and plainly declaring his opinion of him, that he thought him a man capable of committing the vilest of crimes, and that his supplications were not to be regarded:

as the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face;
the servants present, as a man unworthy to see the light; and they took what the king said to amount to a sentence of condemnation, and that it was his will he should die; and they covered his face, as condemned malefactors used to be; which was a custom among the Greeks and Romans, of which many instances may be given F12; though Aben Ezra says it was the custom of the kings of Persia, that their servants covered the face of him the king was angry with, that he might not see his face any more, which was well known in the Persian writings.


F11 "Genibusque suas" Claudian. de Raptu Proserpin l. 1. ver. 50. & Barthius in ib. Vid. Homer. Iliad. 21. l. 75. Plin. l. 1. Ep. 18.
F12 "Caput obnubito" Ciceron. Orat. 18. "pro Rabirio", Liv. Hist. l. 1. p. 15. Curt. Hist. l. 6. c. 11. Vid. Solerium de Pileo, sect. 2. p. 20. & Lipsii not. in lib. 1. c. 1. de Cruce, p. 203, 204.