Verse 13. "Yet all this availeth me nothing" - Pride will ever render its possessor unhappy. He has such a high opinion of his own worth, that he conceives himself defrauded by every one who does not pay him all the respect and homage which he conceives to be his due.
The soul was made for God, and nothing but God can fill it and make it happy. Angels could not be happy in glory, when they had cast off their allegiance to their Maker. As soon as his heart had departed from God, Adam would needs go to the forbidden fruit, to satisfy a desire which was only an indication of his having been unfaithful to his God. Solomon, in all his glory, possessing every thing heart could wish, found all to be vanity and vexation of spirit; because his soul had not God for its portion. Ahab, on the throne of Israel, takes to his bed, and refuses to eat bread, not merely because he cannot get the vineyard of Naboth, but because he had not God in his heart, who could alone satisfy its desires. Haman, on the same ground, though the prime favourite of the king, is wretched because he cannot have a bow from that man whom his heart even despised. O, how distressing are the inquietudes of vanity. And how wretched is the man who has not the God of Jacob for his help, and in whose heart Christ dwells not by faith!
Verse 14. "Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high" - The word Ň[ ets, which we translate gallows, signifies simply wood, a tree, or pole; and this was to be seventy-five feet high, that he might suffer the greater ignominy, and be a more public spectacle. I believe impaling is here also meant. See the note, chap. ii. 23.
IN former times the Jews were accustomed to burn Haman in effigy; and with him a wooden cross, which they pretended to be in memory of that which he had erected for the suspension of Mordecai; but which was, in fact, to deride the Christian religion. The emperors, Justinian and Theodosius, abolished it by their edicts; and the practice has ceased from that time, though the principle from which it sprang still exists, with the same virulence against Christianity and its glorious Author.