- In his Sherashim, the Radak translates the word chafu as “fell,” as Haman was described before (Esther 6:12).
- Targum and the Vilna Gaon translate chafu as “despondent or disappointed.”
- The Ibn Ezra, however, sees the word as an active verb, meaning that somebody – in this case, Achashverosh’s servants – did this to him. This is due to their recognizing the king’s displeasure.
- The Alshich explains that it was a Persian custom to cover the face of a capital offender.
- In another example of mida kineged mida (“measure for measure”), the Me’am Loez cites an earlier verse (Esther 1:19) that this custom of covering was Haman’s own idea.
- The Brisker Rav says that this detail was necessary because Charvona was at the end of the list of chamberlain advisers listed earlier (Esther 1:10), so he would have been too intimidated to speak against Haman earlier. With Haman’s face covered, he is able to speak, as he does in the next verse.