Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
Drew near - Or, "arrived," or "reached the time" specified Est 3:13; Est 8:12.
All the rulers ... helped the Jews - i. e. the Persians, who formed the standing army which kept the Empire in subjection, and were at the disposal of the various governors of provinces, took the Jews' side. The enemies of the Jews (e. g. Est 9:16) were almost entirely to be found among the idolatrous people of the subject nations, for whose lives neither the Persians generally, nor their monarchs, cared greatly.
By "Shushan the palace (or the fort)," is probably meant the whole of the upper town, which occupied an area of more than 100 acres, and contained many residences besides the actual palace. The Jews would not have ventured to shed blood within the palace-precincts.
Most of these names are Persian, and readily traceable to Old Persian roots.
On the spoil laid they not their hand - As they might have done (see the margin reference).
Shushan - Here probably the lower town, which lay east of the upper one, and was of about the same size (compare the Est 9:6 note).
Seventy and five thousand - The Septuagint gives the number as 15,000; and this amount seems more in proportion to the 800 slain in Susa.
See Est 3:13 note.
The Jews of the villages ... - Rather, "the Jews of the country districts, that dwelt in the country towns," as distinguished from those who dwelt in the metropolis.
This second letter of Purim - Mordecai's first letter Est 9:20 was to some extent tentative, a recommendation. The Jews generally having accepted the recommendation Est 9:23, Est 9:27, he and Esther now wrote a second letter which was mandatory.
The matters of the fastings and their cry - The Jews of the provinces had added to the form of commemoration proposed by Mordecai certain observances with respect to fasting and wailing, and Mordecai's second letter sanctioned these.
As "the book" elsewhere in Esther always means a particular book - "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia" - Est 2:23; Est 6:1; Est 10:2 it seems best to give it the same sense here.