Esther 3:13, Question 1. Why are the letters delivered by runners?

יג וְנִשְׁלוֹחַ סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים אֶלכָּלמְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶתכָּלהַיְּהוּדִים מנַּעַר וְעַדזָקֵן טַף וְנָשִׁים בְּיוֹם אֶחָד בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵיםעָשָׂר הוּאחֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר וּשְׁלָלָם לָבוֹז

13. And books were sent in the hands of the runners to all the states of the king to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all of the Yehudim from young to old, infants, and women on one day, on the thirteenth day in the twelfth month – it is Adar – and their wealth to plunder.

  • According to the Malbim, Haman used runners to get this message out quickly, so that Achashverosh would not be able to catch up to them and change the decree.
  • The Yosef Lekach notes that the verse emphasizes the use of runners in order to contrast him to Mordechai, when he sent out a decree annulling this one. He sent out runners, too, and even gave them horses (Esther 8:14). Since the Talmud (Kiddushin 41a) advises that one take part as much as possible in a mitzvah being performed, Mordechai wanted to have a part in every aspect of the mitzvah of saving Jewish lives.