In the first month... the twelfth year. — In the March or April of 474 B.C.
Nisan. — The later name of the month, known in the Pentateuch as Abib. In this month the Passover had been first instituted, when God smote the Egyptians with a terrible visitation, the death of the first-born, and bade the destroying angel spare the houses with the blood-besprinkled door-posts. It was in the same month that the Passover received its final fulfilment, when “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us,” when no mere earthly Egypt was discomfited, but principalities and powers of evil.
Pur. — This is evidently a Persian word for “lot,” for both here and in Esther 9:24 the usual Hebrew word is added. It is doubtless connected with the Latin pars, portio. and the English part. The people who cast Pur were seeking for a lucky day, as indicated by the lots, for the purpose in hand. A lot was cast for each day of the month, and for each month in the year, and in some way or other one day and one mouth were indicated as the most favourable. The notion of lucky and unlucky days seems to have been prevalent in the East in early times. and iudeed has, to a certain extent. found credence in the West.
The twelfth month. — The lucky month is thus indicated, but not the day. The LXX. adds a clause saying that it was on the fourteenth day, doubtless an interpolation on the strength of Esther 3:13.
Adar. — The lunar month ending at the new moon in March. It was the twelfth month, so that nearly a year would intervene between the throwing of the lot and the carrying out of the scheme. Thus in God’s providence ample time was allowed for redressing matters.