Esther 2

1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2 Then said the king's servants who ministered unto him, "Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king;
3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto the palace at Shushan, to the house of the women unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them.
4 And let the maiden who pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti." And the thing pleased the king, and he did so.
5 Now in the palace at Shushan there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite,
6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And he brought up Hadassah (that is, Esther), his uncle's daughter; for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful, whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree were heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto the palace at Shushan under the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house into the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness from him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens who were meet to be given to her out of the king's house; and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place in the house of the women.
10 Esther had not shown her people nor her kindred, for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it.
11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house to know how Esther did and what should become of her.
12 Now when every maid's turn had come to go in to King Ahasuerus, after she had been twelve months according to the manner of the women (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors and with other things for the purifying of the women),
13 then thus came every maiden unto the king. Whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto he king's house.
14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned to the second house of the women to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, who kept the concubines. She came in unto the king no more unless the king delighted in her and she were called by name.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, had come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those who looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto King Ahasuerus into his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts according to the state of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat at the king's gate.
20 Esther had not yet shown her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat at the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who kept the door, were wroth and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen, and Esther informed the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out. Therefore they were both hanged on a tree, and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

Esther 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Esther chosen queen. (1-20) Mordecai discovers a plot against the king. (21-23)

Verses 1-20 We see to what absurd practices those came, who were destitute of Divine revelation, and what need there was of the gospel of Christ, to purify men from the lusts of the flesh, and to bring them back to the original institution of marriage. Esther was preferred as queen. Those who suggest that Esther committed sin to come at this dignity, do not consider the custom of those times and countries. Every one that the king took was married to him, and was his wife, though of a lower rank. But how low is human nature sunk, when such as these are the leading pursuits and highest worldly happiness of men! Disappointment and vexation must follow; and he most wisely consults his enjoyment, even in this present life, who most exactly obeys the precepts of the Divine law. But let us turn to consider the wise and merciful providence of God, carrying on his deep but holy designs in the midst of all this. And let no change in our condition be a pretext for forgetting our duties to parents, or the friends who have stood in their place.

Verses 21-23 Good subjects must not conceal any bad design they know of against the prince, or the public peace. Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, but a remembrance was written. Thus, with respect to those who serve Christ, though their recompence is not till the resurrection of the just, yet an account is kept of their work of faith and labour of love, which God is not unrighteous to forget. The servant of God must be faithful to every trust, and watchful for those who employ him. If he appear to be neglected now, he will be remembered hereafter. None of our actions can be forgotten; even our most secret thoughts are written in lasting registers, ( Revelation 20:12 ) .

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO ESTHER 2

By the advice of the ministers of King Ahasuerus, fair virgins were sought for throughout his dominions, and brought to his chamberlain, the keeper of the women, among whom was Esther, a Jewish virgin, Es 2:1-8, who found favour with the chamberlain, and afterwards with the king, who made her queen instead of Vashti, and a feast on that account, Es 2:9-18. Mordecai, to whom Esther was related, and according to whose advice she acted, sitting in the king's gate, discovered a conspiracy against the king, which he now made known to Esther, Es 2:19-23.

Esther 2 Commentaries