- Rashi explains that the verse teaches what those who lived through these times did, what motivated their actions, and what the consequences were of those actions.
- As the Talmud (Megilla 19a) relates, Achashverosh used the Temple vessels because he thought the Jewish exile was permanent. As a result, he killed Vashti.
- Mordechai was motivated to not bow down to Haman by Haman’s making himself an obecjt of worship, an avoda zara. As a result, the Jews merited a miraculous rescue.
- Haman was motivated to eradicate the Jews by his anger over Mordechai not bowing to him. This resulted in his downfall and hanging.
- Achashverosh was motivated to review his royal history by his fear of Esther and Haman plotting against him. This resulted in the honoring of Mordechai, the hanging of Haman, and the rescue of the Jewish people.
- According to R’ Yehonason Eibshutz, Purim is written in the plural because Haman made multiple lots according to the Midrash (Esther Rabba 7:11), hoping for the lots to fall on an auspicious day.
- Echoing the scientific method, HaShoel U’Mayshiv similarly remarks that one can only be confident with the results of lots if they they are successfully rolled repeatedly.
- The Maharal, however, writes that Purim is plural because it is commemorated on two days, the 14th and Shushan Purim on the 15th of Adar.
- In R’ Shimon Schwab’s opinion, Purim is plural because we commemorate both Haman’s pur, and our own, as in the words of the piyut, “the pur of Haman was overturned by our pur.” This further explains the previous verse (Esther 9:25) which says the that Haman’s evil designs were returned onto his head.
- 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.
Besides what was mentioned, another reason for the verse to repeat Haman’s plan to kill off the Jews was to emphasize the impermanent nature of such human decrees. As has been mentioned earlier, the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni 1057:6) says that the decree was written in clay rather than in blood, so the Jews’ prayer could still rescue them.
- 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.