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All the king’s servantsa who were at the king’s gate kneeled and bowed down to Haman, for the king had commanded that concerning him. But Mordecai did not kneel or bow down. Bible
a[2]
Here “servants” are royal officials.

“servants who were in the king’s gate.” This is an instance where “servants” is used of the royal officials of the king. While technically they were his “servants,” they were his royal officials, which is why they were at the gate (cp. “royal staff,” HCSB; “royal officials,” NIV; “king’s officials,” NLT). The elders and important people of a city usually went to the gate of the city to meet people and conduct business. [For more on the elders at the gate, see commentary on Ruth 4:11 and Prov. 1:21].

“bowed down.” The common biblical way of bowing down before people or God was to fall to one’s knees and bow the upper body to the earth. The word translated “bowed down,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “worship.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].


Commentary for: Esther 3:2