In Esther 3:12 it records that Homon sent out his runners with the decree on 13th Nissan. Mordechai sent out his runners on 23rd Sivan to mitigate the decree. Rashi in 8:14 tells us that these second set of runners were to overtake the first runners. This is problematic as the first runners had started 70 days earlier – how could they be overtaken!?

Surely in the 70 days, they will have reached most if not all of the king’s 127 countries of his realm before the second set of runners had yet left Shushan!!!

Can you please offer an answer to Rashi’s "overtaking” problem? 

  • Technically it just says that Haman had the order written, not that he sent them out on that day. – N.T. Mar 14 at 11:47
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    I guess I just always understood it as that they had to get there soon in order to overTURN them (the word is לְהַעֲבִירָם which I have connected to the word in 8:3 "וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־ל֗וֹ לְהַֽעֲבִיר֙ אֶת־רָעַת֙ הָמָ֣ן) – rosends Mar 14 at 12:20
  • Additionally (and interestingly!) the Klein dictionary has this as one of the definitions of the q-d-m root "he had priority over" (I guess like derech eretz kadma l'torah sort of) – rosends Mar 14 at 13:30
  • @rosends That sounds like an answer to me. – Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 15 at 17:03

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