According to R’ Chaim Kanievsky, the word, Purim, is written in full in this verse, as opposed to later (Esther 9:30), where it is written in a more incomplete form because on this particular first Purim, the Jews’ joy was boundless. Later, as the people were further removed from their miraculous salvation, their joy diminished accordingly.
- The Me’am Loez writes that they decided on the name of the holiday being Purim because the lots being rolled in Nissan, and coming up with the date in Adar eleven months later gave the Jews time to pray and to repent.
- Furthermore, Adar had previously had no other holidays, so Purim’s falling out then made it stand out more conspicuously as a holiday, receiving the attention it deserves.
- Also, the Vilna Gaon and Malbim point out that the lots pointed to a potentially bad fortune, but H-Shem reversed it to a good fortune.
- In quoting Rabbeinu Yona’s Shaarei Teshuva (2:4), the Ginzei HaMelech notes that just as sin can be transformed to a mitzva status if the sin leads to teshuva (“repentance”), so too the lots lead directly to the Jews’ redemption.
- The Ksav Sofer supports this point by writing that in calling the day Purim, we celebrate the pain suffered by the Jews at this time, since it led directly to their re-acceptance of Torah (Esther 9:27).
- Rav Moshe Feinstein wrote that the message to be learned from this is that one should never overconfident of one’s “lot,” thinking that one’s greatness in Torah knowledge or observance will necessarily parry off the Evil Inclination. Rather, even such a person should be always mindful of one’s potential to fall prey to one’s natural, animalistic urges.
- The Ben Ish Chai writes that the book to which the verse refers is the Torah, which the Talmud (Chullin 139b) says alluded to the Purim story early on (Bireishis 3:11).
- Similarly, the author of Yismach Moshe explains that everything went according to the book, the Torah. In other words, the Torah’s (Devorim 19:19) punishment for false witnesses (with some exceptions) is to the court to administer the punishment the false witnesses attempted to bring upon their intended victim. Just so, Haman’s hanging was just what he intended on Mordechai, his victim.
- On a different note, the Vilna Gaon uses this phrase to demonstrate the importance of praying with a written text. One who speaks before the King of kings should do so with a book to avoid any inappropriate thoughts.
- According to Rashi, the king said the statement in this verse. Otherwise, as the Talmud (Megilla 16b) notes, the verse would have used the female amra (“she said”) in place of the male amar (“he said”). This is because Esther came before Achashverosh to convince him to redirect Haman’s decree against him.
- The M’nos HaLevi, however, writes that the inspired idea is the “speaker” in the verse, saying that it had come from above and below.
- Targum Sheini here has Achashverosh quoting the verse (Shemos 17:14) that he will “surely erase the memory of Amalek from under the Heavens.”
- The Ginzei HaMelech explains Achashverosh began to fear H-Shem, as the Talmud (Megilla 13b) says he had done before. It was Haman who had convinced him to act otherwise in the past.
כה וּבְבֹאָהּ לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אָמַר עִם–הַסֵּפֶר יָשׁוּב מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר–חָשַׁב עַל–הַיְּהוּדִים עַל–רֹאשׁוֹ וְתָלוּ אֹתוֹ וְאֶת–בָּנָיו עַל–הָעֵץ
25. And in her arriving before the king, he said with the book to return his evil thought that he thought on the Yehudim onto his head, and they hanged him and his sons on the tree.
- According to Malbim, the subject of the verb uvivo’ah (usually translated as “in her arriving,” or “in its arriving”) is Haman’s original plan that had come before Achashverosh. His plan was an integral part of his demise. As he wrote earlier, the king did not want any part in a genocide. The rest of the verse then demonstrates that the king could not recall Haman’s original letters, and so was forced to hang Haman.
- According to Rashi, however, the subject is Esther. The Maharal writes that Mordechai did not want to refer to her as a queen because Achashverosh had already deduced that she was actually Mordechai’s wife.
- Rav Shmuel Hominer quotes the Talmud (Gittin 66a) that a sheid (“demon”) has a bivua (“shadow”), but not the shadow of a shadow, as people do. The similarity of this verse’s first word uvivoa (“and in her arriving”) to the Talmud’s name for a demon’s shadow is additional evidence for the idea that Esther sent out a sheid clone of herself in her dealings with Achashverosh.
- In The Queen You Though You Knew, R’ David Fohrman notes how Haman used lots as a form of psychological warfare against the Jews.
- R’ Dovid Feinstein emphasizes that Haman wanted the Jews to lose their faith in their ability to reach H-Shem, and therefore not repent. Like Acher in the Talmud (Chagiga 15a), one’s lack of confidence in one’s own relationship with H-Shem can be the greatest impediment to continued spiritual growth.
- According to the Maharal, the verse mentions Haman’s terrorizing the Jews as a reference to his threatening our souls, and repeats Haman’s plan to annihilate the Jews as a reference to his threatening our physical bodies.
- R’ Bonchek notes that terrorizing the Jews was not merely a convenient effect of the lottery – it was a goal of Haman’s. Not satisfied with murdering the Jews, Haman actually reveled in the psychological torture endured by the Jews once they learned of their impending destruction so many months (11!) in the future.
- The Alshich writes that by stressing that Haman hates all the Yehudim, Mordechai was making it amply clear that Haman’s hate was not just a personal vendetta against him. Indeed, as noted earlier, he hated all Jews.
- In that sense, according to the Me’am Loez, Haman was worse than Pharaoh; whereas Haman (Esther 3:13) wanted to kill all of the Jews, Pharaoh (Shemos 1:16) wanted to kill male Jews only.
- R’ Meir Simcha of Dvinsk notes that, historically, hatred of Jews escalates when they ignore their faith.
- As the Rosh Yeshivah of Brisk, R’ Meshulam Dovid Soloveitchik, explains, Haman hated all Jews, regardless of the efforts of some to conform to his whims in an effort to befriend him, like those Jews who attended Achashverosh’s feast against the advice of their contemporary sages.