Esther 9:16, Question 3. Why does the verse mention again that the Jews did not take the spoils?

  • The Binyan Ariel writes that the verse mentions again that the Jews did not take the spoils to demonstrate that the reason they did not do so is because they interpreted Mordechai’s explicit allowance to take spoils (Esther 8:11) using the word lavoz (“to take spoils”) as an implied prohibition to do just that. After all, the word can also be translated as “disgusting,” as in an earlier verse (Esther 3:6). The Jews read Mordechai’s decree critically and in great detail, and looked at the spoils as something reprehensible, as he had implied.

Esther 3:13, Question 4. Why does the decree neglect to mention that the Jews are to be killed in all provinces?

Later in the story, when Haman’s decree is rescinded (see 8:11), Mordechai advertised this fact in all the provinces. According to the Malbim, the governors of the states receiving copies of Haman’s decree did not know that other governors had the same command. This way, they were compelled to be more careful to kill the Jews under their jurisdiction, under the mistaken impression that they were alone in this task and thus under the royal microscope.