New Defender's Study Bible Notes
8:3 Haman the Agagite. Agag was a district in Media. Another possibility, however, is that Haman was an Amalekite. The Amalekites, descendants of Esau, had been inveterate enemies of Israel, and Agag was apparently one of their greatest early kings (Numbers 24:7), as well as the name of their last and most cruel king (I Samuel 15:8,33).
8:3 devised against the Jews. Although Haman had been executed, his plan to destroy the Jews had the force of the unchangeable law of the Persians, so Esther pled for an offsetting decree to enable them to survive.
8:10 mules, camels and young dromedaries. The meaning of these three words in the original is unclear. None are so translated anywhere else in Scripture, and may be of Persian origin. The main thrust in any case is that the couriers were riding on swift horses for the most part, possibly in relays like the pony express. Haman’s couriers had a two-month head start (Esther 3:12; 8:9), and it was urgent that word of the compensating edict be spread through the empire as quickly as possible.
8:11 assault them, both little ones and women. It is likely that the intended sense of this edict was that the Jews were authorized to defend themselves and to slay those who essayed to “assault them, both little ones...for a prey.” That is, the section beginning with “assault” and ending with “prey” was merely a quote from Haman’s earlier decree (Esther 3:13). As far as the record goes, the Jews in defending themselves slew only the men (Esther 9:6,15) and took no prey for themselves (Esther 9:10,15-16).
8:11 take the spoil. The new decree granted the Jews not only the right to defend themselves against their enemies who were bent on destroying them, but also to slay those who would assault them and to take the property of their enemies for themselves. It is to their credit, however, that they did not take this spoil as they were authorized to do. Three times it is noted that they took no spoil from their enemies (Esther 9:10,15,16). They were thankful for their divine deliverance, and that was enough.