28 This finale emphasizes the boundless nature of the celebration in terms of time, social structures, and geographical locations. There is a return to the passive form here, hinting that what has been active legislative process has now moved into the category of accepted law. The components of the verse emphasize the “two-ness” with the repetition of generation, family, province, and city. The days themselves are mentioned twice, and they are to be both remembered and observed. Memory is also invoked two times. There is a second reference to these days not passing away, and the mention of Jews in that context is matched with “their descendants” in the clause that follows. In sum, these factors comprise forceful testimony to the power of memory within community to sustain that community.
9:28 days should be remembered and observed. Within the Old Testament, remembrance obligates the entire community and has written content on which to reflect (cf. Deut. 6:1–25).
in every generation … in every city. The Diaspora community is affirmed as a legitimate postexilic identity, without a return to Zion. Enjoying the blessing of their covenant God did not depend on living in the promised land.
Ver. 28.—That these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, &c. The universal adoption of the Purim feast by the Jewish nation, originating as it did at Susa, among the Persian Jews, never a very important part of the nation, is a curious fact, and is certainly not satisfactorily accounted for by the beauty and popularity of the Book of Esther (Ewald), nor by the dignity and power of Mordecai. Mordecai had no ecclesiastical authority; and it might have been expected that the Jews of Jerusalem would have demurred to the imposition of a fresh religious obligation upon them by a Jew of the Dispersion, who was neither a prophet, nor a priest, nor even a Levite. The Jews of Jerusalem, in their strongly-situated city, which was wholly theirs, and with their temple-fortress complete (Ezra 6:15), can scarcely have felt themselves in much danger from an attack which was to have begun and ended in a day. But Joiakim, the high priest of the time (Neh. 12:10–12), to whom, as we have seen (‘Introduction,’ § 3), the Book of Esther was attributed by some, must have given his approval to the feast from the first, and have adopted it into the ceremonial of the nation, or it would scarcely have become universal. Hooker (‘Eccl. Pol.,’ v 71, § 6) rightly makes the establishment of the feast an argument in favour of the Church’s power to prescribe festival days; and it must certainly have been by ecclesiastical, and not by civil, command that it became obligatory. That these days … should not fail, … nor the memorial of them perish. As a commemoration of human, and not of Divine, appointment, the feast of Purim was liable to abrogation or discontinuance. The Jews of the time resolved that the observance should be perpetual; and in point of fact the feast has continued up to the present date, and is likely to continue, though they could not bind their successors.