Esther Part 8

Esther (Part 8) Chapter 5 (a narrative commentary)

Esther 5:1 “and after three days Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the king”. This is where we left off in our previous narrative commentary on Esther in chapter 4.

“And it happened on the third day that Esther put on royal clothing and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, before the king’s inner house. And the king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal house, in front of the gate of the house”. [LITV; 5:1]

Why the author of Esther (we suggest it was Mordecai) would include such detail is interesting. There are rare occasions, if any, when something of little or no value is added to scripture for the sake of verbiage. The king was sitting in his royal home giving him the vantage point of looking out the open gate or doors into the inner court or yard of his “office”. Esther is not inside the royal house but standing outside in the inner court of the royal house (palace?).

Esther 5:2,3 The King sees her and immediately offers for her to come forward and approach the throne. The greeting the King offers is more of a formality than an actual offer. He says to her: “What shall be done to you, O Queen Esther, and what is your wish? It will be given to you also, even to half of the kingdom” [LITV]. King Ahasuerus is not offering her part of his kingdom. It is a general greeting showing great favor to whomever is approaching the throne. This gives Esther an open field. She is about to disclose much but first needs to set the stage. Similarly, today one might say to another who is in grief… “If there anything I can do to help, just ask.”

Esther 5:4,5 is the initial reason Esther gives to the king for her unannounced visit. She basically offers dinner to him AND Haman. No grounds for suspicion here on either the part of the King or Haman. We do not know of the timing of the offered dinner (banquet), but it was that evening. Time was running short for the edict written by Haman to destroy a rabble-group (Jews). The king still did not know the origins of who these people were. Haman had kept that a secret when obtaining the king’s permission to eliminate them. Haman did not know that Esther was an offspring of a family of Benjamites removed from Jerusalem some 100 years earlier by Nebuchadnezzar of the now conquered Babylon.

Esther 5:6 explains much when read carefully. The king still figures Esther had a reason for this unusual invitation. It was a banquet of wine, not a full meal. She invited the king and Haman alone. This did much for Haman’s ego. We find him later bragging about his promotion in the kingdom and sitting around for a few rounds of wine with the king all at the queen’s invitation.

Esther 5:8 finds the king inquiring once again as to what might be the concern or wish of his queen. Good strategy on her behalf. She basically says, in our modern cultural norms to sit back, enjoy the wine and conversation. Tomorrow at another banquet, one of food and wine, I (Esther) will tell the king her wish or desire. All that this does is inflate the ego of Haman. The king did not need to inflate his ego. He was called the King of kings in his empire. This is different than what we know per Christ being the King of kings [once in I Timothy; four times in Revelation]. Ahasuerus (Xerxes) had appointed many sub-kings called satraps to rule over his vast empire. Christ will be declared the King of a global kingdom. We find this in the opening of the *Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 and Luke 11.

*Contrary to church practices, the verses BEFORE the Lord’s Prayer specify that one is to go into his or her prayer closet, close the door, kick out the cat, then petition the Lord Jehovah in prayer. To quote this prayer as a group prayer is not how we are instructed to pray. Just a couple of verses before Jesus demonstrates an example of praying to his three disciples he specifically points out this is personal even though it begins with the word “our”.

Esther 5:9 is the turning point. Has the reader of this commentary ever had a high point in his or her life when almost immediately life’s actualities are once again upon us? This is Haman’s situation as he leaves the first banquet of wine at Esther’s place on cloud 9. Haman finds Mordecai, as usual, hanging around the King’s gate. With his ego well inflated Haman observes that Mordecai still does not bow or even tip a hat at the presence of Haman leaving the King’s palace. BANG! His anger goes off the chart in hate. Haman is now in another plotting mode. He wants total revenge on Mordecai and wishes to give an example of his power to the citizens over which he welds newly appointed powers.

Esther 5:10-12 amplifies his self-indulgence, perhaps best said, his self-delusion.  He with excessive pride and self-accolades calls together his family, friends, and close associates to announce his pleasures with the King of Persia. Only HE had been invited to a banquet offered by the Queen herself. He will celebrate in festive style tomorrow as stated in verse 8 and 11. This is a prime example of Proverbs 16:18…pride goes before a fall. For a well-written and easy to follow article on Proverbs 16, go to:  https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/what-christians-should-know-about-pride-goes-before-the-fall.html [Amanda Idleman].

How should we deal with pride? Read James 4:10. Humble yourself before the Lord and he will lift you up. Do we get this? It is not a command to just humble one’s self before the Lord. When we do, God will lift us up. That is a conditional promise. Like all bible based promises from God, they are conditional. “If you— then will I.”

 After Haman’s self-accolades to family and friends, he discloses his issues and hate for Mordecai. Then as often happens in societies and group settings, others will offer their advice per dealing with another’s issues, problems, or trouble. Haman is no different. In the final two verses of Esther 5 we read:

Esther 5:13 Yet all this is no gain to me as long as I am seeing Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. His hate has blinded him of his appointed duties being distracted by the simple presents of Mordecai.

Esther 5:14 And his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Make a wooden gallows fifty cubits high, and tomorrow speak to the king and let them hang Mordecai on it; and go rejoicing in with the king to the banquet. And the thing was good in Haman’s eyes. And he caused the wooden gallows to be made [that very day; Emphasis mine].

Aha moment: From this verse and statement we get the phrase “hang um’ high.”

In chapter 6 the plot thickens. One might describe it as the point of impact in a perfect storm.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020

Esther Part 7

Esther Chapter 4 (a narrative commentary)

You have been wishing for another position [in life] where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind but serve him where you are.” (Charles Spurgeon)

This is Esther chapter 4 in one line. Spurgeon makes a good point. Not inclusive but certainly a strong exclusive statement of our own thoughts and misguided ambitions. Chapter 4 describes the history or segment of this Esther history and God’s hand in it.

Esther 4:1 (ESV) “When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put-on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry.” Why the sackcloth and ashes? It was possible, even most likely, it was more about the fact it all begins with Mordecai’s refusal to pay any homage to the duly appointed, second in command ruler of Persia [perhaps only in Shushan]: Haman. Mordecai feels he has brought demise upon his people within the Persian Empire. Most or all of us have had a moment in life when what we did or said had a bad impact upon our family. In Mordecai’s situation, the consequence was to be the quick death of all remaining Israelites within the borders of Mede-Persia. Haman even had finances to encourage this bounty hunting.

Why did he tear his clothes? He will be guilty of the death of tens of thousands of his kindred.

Esther 4:2,3 demonstrates that Haman was very proficient or gifted, if simply not driven by hate, to spread the news of King Xerxes’ orders, albeit solicited by Haman, to slay all the troublemakers of this, as he inferred to the king, only a small group of rabble-rousers. So small that the King Ahasuerus had until then known nothing of them. However, he also did not know that Haman was talking about the significant population of Judeans/Benjamites within his kingdom. In our previous chapter 3 narrative commentary, we pointed out how eternal was this hate for the Jews by the Amalekites. One of their sub-clans and direct descendants of King Agag were the Agagites now living within Persia. King Saul of Israel was told by God to eliminate the evil Amalekites including their king, King Agag. King Saul [950 B.C.] was a Benjamite. Mordecai [480 B.C.] was also a Benjamite. Haman was an AmalekiteH-Agagite. This is the age old and eternal battle between Isaac and Ishmael; Esau and Jacob.

Est 4:4 When Esther’s young women and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen was deeply distressed. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai, so that he might take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.

The obvious question from verse 4 is why Esther’s concern about Mordecai being in sackcloth. She does not learn of the sackcloth purpose until v9. Back one verse (v8) Mordecai had instructed Esther’s messenger to tell, command, instruct, besiege her to go to the king and plead the case for the Jews. This would include her life as she too was from the Tribe of Benjamin; aka Benjamite.

Esther 4:11 is critical to this book.

  • First it explains that any who approach the King in his inner court without being summoned is likely to face an immediate death penalty.
  • Second the ONLY EXCEPTION was if the king extends his royal scepter to the uninvited to enter his inner court. The subject would thank the king by kneeling, bowing of head and touching the top of his scepter and express his gratitude by saying “Long live the king.”.
  • Third: Esther had not been in the presence of her husband-king for 30 days. Ahasuerus may have chosen her from 400 want-to-be queens of Persia, and she “won” but their intimacy was by now less than frequent…30 days since he last called her.
Hand to hand message delivery.

Esther 4:12,13 is a continuation of message exchanges by carrier-messenger-express (of sorts). It is a bit curious, and may matter not, but we go from Esther’s messenger Hatach (v5) to “they” told in verse 12. The word used in Hebrew for “told” is nâgad. It indicates in its simplest definition that the messenger(s) concluded this was the end of the matter. This was not the end of it. By this time there was a sense of urgency in Mordecai’s words to the messenger(s) of Esther. They originally figured it was over since no one dared to walk, trot, or sneak into the King’s inner court.

Mordecai laid it out to the messengers with a strong sense of even her life being in danger. This of course got the attention of her chamber aids. They heeded what he had to say and with haste brought his message back to Queen Esther. “She must go to the king. If not, her kinfolk, family and she herself would die due to the decree Haman had so inclusively written. There was no (game of monopoly) “collect $200 and continue playing”.

Esther 4:14 (Mordecai speaking) “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish”.

This is the second time in the Book of Esther where there is a hint of God’s involvement. G-D will raise up protection from another source if you (Esther) do not confront the King with or without invitation. Again, and without ever mentioning God, we have the third indication in the Book of Esther that has some Judaism, canonization, or G-d fearing value. Esther says to the messengers, tell Mordecai along with all the other Jews he could find in Shushan (Susa) to fast for three days. She and her handmaids will do the same. Only then will she approach the King [4:16].

NOTE & REMINDER: Shushan was one of the administrative locations of Daniel. It is also where many believe he was buried.

Esther 4:16b After three days of group fasting: [ESV] “Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.” Mordecai suggested to Esther, his cousin who he had raised, that perhaps this moment is why she was even born into this world. It seems a little short in purpose for life but long in the survival of her kin and some of God’s chosen people. This reminds us of Revelation 7:1 [four angels on the four corners of the earth] and *Revelation 9:13-16 [Four angels solely appointed to hold back the waters of the Euphrates] angels created of God for one purpose, to hold back until end times elements of the earth’s judgment on sinful man at or near the end of the Tribulation.

*v15 And the four angels who had been kept ready for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind [NIV].

JIV NOTE: This is not directly Esther related, but Revelation 9:13-16 involves massive deaths; 1/3 of the earth’s population. This suggests the angels at the head of the Euphrates may be fallen angels ready to do Satan’s bidding, with God’s permission, of trying to destroy mankind since he cannot have them for himself. It is possible that these are fallen angels. Scripture tells us they are BOUND THERE, not assigned to be there at such and such a time…but bound there.

We conclude this about the angles in Ahabiblemoments.com for what it says in Jude 1:6 “And the angels which kept not their first estate [heaven], but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” [KJV]

We Teach – You Decide

Back to Esther…

The final verse in Esther 4 is number 17. Esther and Mordecai come to an agreement and went their separate ways to fast for three days and nights. Then Esther will then do the almost unpardonable sin per the laws of the Medes and Persians. She will walk into the presence of the king without invitation i.e. into his inner court. This would be akin to an uninvited or authorized person or personnel walking into the White House Situation Room while it is in secret session.

Esther 5:1 “and after three days Esther put on her royal robes and entered the inner court of the king”. We pick up on this in our narrative commentary on Esther 5.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Esther Part 6

Esther Chapter 3 (a narrative commentary)

Esther 3:1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and raised him setting his seat above all the rulers with him. For the sake of education, this is the same position to which Daniel was promoted some 40 to 50 years earlier by King Darius. Haman was a distant descendant of Esau. Idumeans or Edomites (Esau) were and remain enemies of Israel. H. J. Wolf identifies their hate as “vehement” (Exodus17:14-16). The Middle East saying of a thousand years is like a day when it comes to vengeance or revenge. The difference between Haman and Daniel are many but per their in-common political position, Haman demanded reverence where Daniel simply did his job. This is evidenced in Esther 3:2 [LITV]

“And all the king’s servants who were in the king’s gate were bowing and worshiping Haman, for the king had so commanded for him. But Mordecai did not bow nor worship”

AHA NOTE: An Agagite is to reference an Amalekite sub-tribe. Amalek was a grandson of Esau. In 1 Samuel 15:1–9, Samuel identifies Amalek as the enemy of Israelites, saying “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt”. God then commands Saul to destroy the Amalekites from which the Agagites descended. According to 1 Samuel 15 [a must-read chapter], King Agag, King of the Amalekites was defeated by King Saul. Descendants of King Agag became the Agagites. The time of Esther is over 500 years after King Saul defeated the Amalekites but saved the life of King Agag. Agag thereby became the progenitor of the Agagites, thus descended Haman.

Esther 3:4-6 demonstrates Haman’s ancestral hate for the Hebrew Israelites. Another Aha moment: Haman being of Agagite lineage through King Agag, a bible student should consider the extremely deep hate of Esau for those of Jacob’s lineage. Why?

AHA MOMENT:  King Saul was a Benjamite. Mordecai and Esther were also Benjamites! Haman knew their connection!

Esther 3:4 shows the pious of Haman. He seems to have been so self-centered he did not even notice when he entered the King’s gates that Mordecai refused to bow. Verse 4 tells us that it is Haman’s servants who pointed out this issue to Him.

Esther 3:6a explains he immediately had it in mind to destroy all the Jews in Shushan and the empire over which King Ahasuerus ruled. The Modern King James expresses this well.

“And he scorned to lay hands [not] only on Mordecai, for they had revealed to him the people of Mordecai. And Haman sought to destroy all the Jews In the Kingdom”.

Will you swim against the tide of the world?

Haman found out that Mordecai was a Jew at the same time as he was told that Mordecai refused to bow at his presence. There is nothing evident in all of scripture that counters or commands a person to not offer a courtesy bow to authority, just not to an idol. It is customary in many cultures and countries to offer a slight bow as a greeting.

Esther 3:7 is from where the Jews get or customarily have a holiday called Purim. The word Pur in Hebrew is pûrı̂ym. It means a casting of lots or sometimes simply ‘lots’. *Jews write it as Purim. It is a significant Jewish holiday, giving of gifts, drinking wine, celebrating, dressing up in costumes, and parties. We would call it the casting of dice. This fun holiday of joy and celebration includes the reading of the Book of Esther. Like all Judaism holidays the dates shift when compared to our current calendar. In 2021 (depending upon when this article is published on the web of ahamoments.com) it is or was February 25-27.

*Keep it in mind that those in Babylon were from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin plus a few stragglers from the ten Israeli tribes in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. All Jews are Israelites but not all Israelites are Jews.

Esther 3:8 is revealing in how Haman defines or choses the words he uses to seek King Ahasuerus’ permission to kill off the Jews (Judeans and Benjamites) within his kingdom.

And Haman said to King Ahasuerus, there is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people, in all the provinces of your kingdom. And their laws are different from all people, neither do they keep the king’s laws. And it is not for the king’s gain to allow them to live. [MKJV]

” …a certain people…”. The word Haman used made it sound like it was a small group of rabble-rousers scattered throughout the Kingdom. The king must have accepted this. Probable reason? He had not previously known of these Haman defined few troublemakers. Within the deceiving words so carefully chosen by Haman. He left the impression that somehow these people did not keep the laws of the Kingdom. This is a false implication. Most Jews kept the laws of the land, mostly to not draw attention to themselves. Within Judaism there are laws of worship that have no conflict with the laws of the Medes and Persians. Haman left that detail out of his plea to the King.

NOTE: The name Haman and Hitler had similar intention. This intention of both evil men is common amongst the Muslim nations and Hamas.

Esther 3:9 If it pleases the king, let it be written to destroy them; and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.

Add this to one’s thoughts of Esther, Haman, the Jews, Mordecai, etc. This is not an offer by Haman to pay a bribe out of his own pockets. He knew that much wealth had been obtained by the business-minded character of the Jewish people. The ancient saying of “follow the money trail” applies here. In most situation throughout history, the Israelites have been and continue to be blessed with financial success. Much if not most of Hollywood is run by Jews. Banks and financial institutions, newspaper, magazine and electronic publications are operated by if not owned by Jews. Haman expected to collect the ten thousand talents of silver by *taking the properties and assets of the Jews he planned to slaughter.

NOTE: *It is estimated that 30% of Hitler’s war machine was financed by confiscated properties of the Jews in Germany. There is little reason to consider elsewise per Haman’s anticipated windfall of wealth. His portion would far exceed King Xerxes’ wealth. AKA: Ahasuerus.

Esther 3:11 Joseph Benson in his commentary on this verse puts it this way:

[King Ahasuerus) The silver is given to thee [Haman] — Keep it for thy own use, I do not desire it. I accept thy offer for the deed.

King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) probably had no clue of the financial bonanza awaiting Haman once he confiscates Jewish properties. One should consider that Haman knew it well. Note that in verse 12 Haman was very inclusive in all legal wording and matters considering the destruction of these “rabble-rousers” he suggested to be destroyed. The identities of these people to who Haman wished to destroy never came up in his conversation with the King.

Esther 3:13…a summary of Haman’s completeness of their destruction and elimination.

  1.  sent by the runners
  2. into all the king’s provinces,
  3. to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women,
  4. in one day,

This evil man of Esau lineage wanted to be as complete as possible, all in one day. He left little ground, if any, uncovered for their elimination. Instead, the opposite happened (keep reading in our next few chapter narrative commentaries).

Esther 315b  “And the king and Haman sat down to drink. But the city, Shushan, was perplexed”. This casual approach by King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) showed how little he knew or understood about the designs of Haman. The city of Susa (Shushan) was perplexed. This confused the citizens of Susa. Why is this simple thought of perplexation in all of their minds? Perhaps the people remembered Daniel. He administered out of the city of Susa only a few years earlier.

Next narrative commentary: Esther 4. Queen Esther comes back into the events once again.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2021

Esther Part 5

Here is a look at the issue of Esther in Persia through the eyes of Rabbi Menachem Posner. Do not take this as our recommendation of the truth but it is interesting to read. Undoubtedly there is much truth weaved into Rabbi Posner’s take but it includes his Judaism filters of truth. One brief example is the reason Mordechai refused to bow before Haman. Rabbi Posner says that Haman wore a necklace of which Mordechai observed as an idol. He refused to bow before an idol. His conjecture is a bit far-fetched. Haman was a sworn enemy of Jacob’s offspring. He was an Amalekite (Esau). Mordechai as was Haman were aware of the ancient division between Jacob and Esau as was Haman. Haman is of Esau’s lineage and Mordechai of is Jacob’s ancestry. Click the following link to read Rabbi Posner’s comments on the history of Queen Esther.

https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/4297202/jewish/Who-Was-Queen-Esther.htm

Esther 2:1 & 2 may suggest that King Ahasuerus had some after-the-fact regret for his actions per expelling of Vashti. Since her banishment was according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, there could not be a reversal of the decree. The king had his haram but did not have a queen to be by his side in public events.

BANISHED!

Esther 2:3 & 4 set the stage. The order went out to the providences over which King Ahasuerus ruled. These young women were gathered in the King’s harem in Susa (Shushan). Since this city was the seat of the government, and the Bible mentions Daniel being in Susa meaning Nehemiah and Ezra came from the same place. At minimum they resided there. The king’s eunuch Hegal (ESV) oversaw the King’s haram.

JIV: There are speculative thoughts, some with a basis for believing. The span between when Ahasuerus’s decree went out and the collection of young women to *candidate for the position of Queen was up to four years. During this time King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) invaded Greece. He was defeated but later King Philip of Macedonia taught his son, Alexander (soon to be called the Great) of this Persian invasion. 150 years later Alexander the Great destroyed the Persian empire.

*We say “candidate” but these women were not given a choice. This was a kingdom of many races, languages, and cultures. None of this mattered to Ahasuerus. The ancient historian Josephus says Ahasuerus had as many as 400 women selected.

The ESV states in Esther 2:4a, “the young woman who pleases the king”.  Cultural norms of today often put up a hurdle to understanding or excepting the term “pleases”. The king had a haram of any woman he pleased for whatever purpose he desired. He was looking for the one that would complement his status as a king, one of great beauty. After all this was his desired reasoning for Vashti to parade in royalty in front of his banquet hall nobles and prince audience. It was to magnify himself, not her. Even the Bible reflects upon this in Proverbs 12:4. [NASB] “An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, But she who shames him is like rottenness in his bones”. Secular or Christian there is something of value to this that too many wives have lost. Esther 2:4b explains Vashti to the proverbial “T”.

Esther 2:5 gives us the locality, Shushan. Today the city is considered the cultural and political center of the regional Azerbaijani population, while for Armenians, Shusha also has a religious significance and claim to it. Both Armenians and Azerbaijanis have fought for decades for control of this area.

JIV NOTE: This town and area over the centuries has gone by multiple versions of the name Susa. Examples: Susa, Susi, Shushan, Shushi, etc. may be of interest to some, many of the ancient stone reliefs of Elamites show a dark-skinned people as the ruling class in this area of Susa. Perhaps this is a DNA trait of some of the descendants of Shem through his grandson Elam. A serious consideration: [Jeremiah 49:36]And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.” Try to find a nation in which there are not dark-skinned races present. Elamites are Hebrew descended from Shem, but all Hebrew are not Israelites. True Arabs are also Hebrew [line of Shem].

Esther 2:5 reiterates that these are Judean kingdom exiles who remained in this area of Persia, modern day Iran/Iraq. Most of the exiled were from either the Tribe of Judah or the Tribe of Benjamin. There may be a God-reason that so many Benjamites and Judean (Jews) remained in Persia and its surrounding region after their release from their 70 year captivity. Archeologists and historians have traced remnants of Beni-Israel (Benjamites) to India. Those who populate India are darker skinned but not Negro.

Verse 5 also identifies Mordechai. He is a Benjamites, who descended from the Tribe of Benjamin, that were Babylonian exiled captives from Judah many years earlier but did not return to Jerusalem. Keep in mind we are now talking about 480 B.C. About 140 years later Alexander the Great did exact revenge for the attacks on and in Greece from King Ahasuerus. Some commentaries wish to make Mordechai one of the original captives from Judah. This is questionable. He would be well over 100 years old at this time even if exiled as an infant. The exile dates recorded are 603, 597, and 587 B.C. The historic event of the Book of Esther was over 100 years afterwards.

Mordechai was an older cousin of Esther (her Hebrew name was Hadassah). Since she had been orphaned as a child she was taken in and reared by Mordechai. How or when her parents died is not a matter of any known record. One of her father’s siblings was a brother to the father of Mordechai. We know this as we are given the lineage of Mordechai in verse 5.

Esther 2:8 is very telling how this gathering of young virgins was accomplished. It was NOT by choice such as might be a Persian Beauty Pageant.

(YLT) “And it cometh to pass, in the word of the king, even his law, being heard, and in many young women being gathered unto Shushan the palace…” Look at the words LAW and GATHERED. These are not invitations. The word law is obvious. The word gathered is not so obvious. In the Hebrew, the word gathered is qâbats. It means to take hold of, grasp, collect. This is not a choice of the women but of those seeking to gather them.

Esther 2:8 & 9 The Greek historian Herodotus mentions Hegai as being an officer of king Ahasuerus. Hadassah aka Esther won the favor of Hegai. Like the history of Daniel winning favor with Potiphar, the Egyptian jailer, and later the Pharaoh himself, Esther over a thousand years later, won favor with her overlord; in a real sense, watchdog. Esther was given maids to help or assist her every need plus moved to a better location in the king’s palace to await her training. All on the orders of Hegai. It is not mentioned in scripture, but this did not make her popular with the other young maidens who were “taken” to be with the king to see if she would win the crown of the queen.

Esther 2:10Esther had not revealed her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her that she should not reveal it” [LITV]. This raises questions about how the captive Judeans were viewed by the local populous. Mordechai “warned Esther” by command to not reveal she was of Israeli descent, a Jew of Judah; Benjamite DNA. Verse 11 tells us that Mordechai daily “walked in front of the gate” of the court or house where these maidens were kept.

NOTE: The word Jew does not represent all Israelites. It originated as a derogatory word used by the king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel [II Kings 16:6] when he planned to attack his cousins in the southern kingdom of Judah (Jew-dah).

The next two verses (Esther 2:12 & 13) tell us something few think of or wish not to admit. The maidens were not brought in as groups but one at a time.  Before jumping to one’s preconceived cultural norms or personal conclusions, even Isaac’s wife was a selection process. It was under different circumstances but not a proposal and choice of Rebekah. She was destined to be Isaac’s wife according to God’s hand. Who is to say, other than Mordechai, Esther was not born for this very purpose as reads Esther 4:14. Exodus 9:16 is another proclamation of the same sort. [MKJV] “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” Add to this Romans 9:13. Esther may well have been born for this sole purpose in life, to save her people from annihilation in Persian controlled territories.

Esther 2:14She goes in the evening of, and on the morning, she returns to the second house of the women, into the hand of Shaashgaz the king’s eunuch who kept the concubines. She does not come into the king anymore, unless the king delights in her, and she is called by name”. Hello world!!! The maiden goes into the King’s chambers in the evening and returns to the Harem in the morning? This is the reason many Rabbi say she was raped. The culture back then would say otherwise.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020