Megillas Sesarim notes that, despite the contradictory nature of the two decrees, it was a miracle that nobody stopped the Jews. Usually, vagueness and possible misinterpretations of these types of edicts would give people pause, but the people’s awe of the Jews checked that.
Rav Arama writes that after the sending of Haman’s original decree, Jews likely went into hiding. At this point, they now felt confident to come back into the cities, and reestablishing their economical and social infrastructure there, making the cities their own again.
ב נִקְהֲלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים בְּעָרֵיהֶם בְּכָל–מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֳחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בִּמְבַקְשֵׁי רָֽעָתָם וְאִישׁ לֹא–עָמַד לִפְנֵיהֶם כִּֽי–נָפַל פַּחְדָּם עַל–כָּל–הָעַמִּים
2. The Yehudim congregated in their cities in all of the states of King Achashverosh to send their hand against those who sought bad for them. And a man did not stand before them because the fear of them fell on all the nations.
- The Rosh writes that the verse stresses that the Jews gathered because they came together to pray and fast. As is mentioned in Halacha (Mishna Berura 686:2), this is the reason for fasting on Taanis Esther before Purim.
- There is a power in numbers, and congregating can have powerful affects, so R’ Aryeh Leib Tzonetz and the Sfas Emes note that Haman’s spiritual power was due to the Jews being splintered and separate (Esther 3:8). Therefore, the intent of this verse, Mordechai’s order for the Jews to be gathered before Esther approached Achashverosh (Esther 4:16), and even the mishloach manos gifts (Esther 9:19) after the miracle was to unify the Jewish people.