אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה כְּשֹׁךְ חֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹושׁ זָכַר אֶת־וַשְׁתִּי וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂתָה וְאֵת 2:1
Esth. 2:1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus had been abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed against her.
The king left for Greece soon after the events of Chapter 1 in an angry attempt to conquer it. After his army was defeated by the Greeks, he returned to Shushan. It was now in the seventh year of his reign.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ נַעֲרֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ מְשָׁרְתָיו יְבַקְשׁוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ נְעָרֹות בְּתוּלֹות טֹובֹות מַרְאֶה׃ 2:2
Esth. 2:2 Then the servants of the king ministering to him said, “Let them seek for the king good looking young virgins,
וְיַפְקֵד הַמֶּלֶךְ פְּקִידִים בְּכָל־מְדִינֹות מַלְכוּתֹו וְיִקְבְּצוּ אֶת־כָּל־נַעֲרָה־בְתוּלָה טֹובַת מַרְאֶה אֶל־שׁוּשַׁן 2:3
הַבִּירָה אֶל־בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים אֶל־יַד הֵגֶא סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים וְנָתֹון תַּמְרוּקֵיהֶן׃
Esth. 2:3 and the king should appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom and they will gather every good looking young virgin of Shushan to the castle, to the house of women, into the hand of Hegai, eunuch of the king, keeper of the women, and they will be given their ointments.”
וְהַנַּעֲרָה אֲשֶׁר תִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ תִּמְלֹךְ תַּחַת וַשְׁתִּי וַיִּיטַב הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן׃ 2:4
Esth. 2:4 “Then the damsel who will be most pleasing in the eyes of the king will become queen instead of Vashti.” And the word was pleasing in the eyes of the king, and he did thus.
Here’s that awkward phrase again: the word was pleasing in the eyes ....
אִישׁ יְהוּדִי הָיָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה וּשְׁמֹו מָרְדֳּכַי בֶּן יָאִיר בֶּן־שִׁמְעִי בֶּן־קִישׁ אִישׁ יְמִינִי׃ 2:5
Esth. 2:5 A man, a Jew, was in Shushan the castle and his name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei son of Kish, a Benjamite man,
There is no consensus as to who Jair, Shimei, and Kish were. Some scholars guess that they were remote ancestors of Mordecai’s, and that Kish was Saul’s father (that would seem to make Shimei and Saul brothers). For a possible identity for Kish, see 1Sam. 9:1 and 2. Others, because Saul himself is not named in this genealogy, believe that they were later figures, actually Mordecai’s father, grandfather, and great grandfather. In this case, Mordecai would then not be a descendent of Saul’s.
But -- skipping to the next verse -- we can see that Kish (or, far less likely, Mordecai) was one of the nobles taken into exile after the destruction of the Temple. If Ahasuerus was indeed Xerxes, it would have to have been Kish, for this story would have happened at least some 90 to 100 years after the fall of Jerusalem.
[Return to Esth. 3:1]
אֲשֶׁר הָגְלָה מִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִם־הַגֹּלָה אֲשֶׁר הָגְלְתָה עִם יְכָנְיָה מֶלֶךְ־יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר הֶגְלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶאצַּר מֶלֶךְ 2:6
Esth. 2:6 who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captured who were taken into exile with Jeconiah, king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, took into exile.
From Jere. 27:20 , v. 2:5, and this verse, we should conclude that Mordecai was a descendant of one of the noblemen of Judah. Obviously, noble blood, carrying forward three generations, flowed in his veins. He was well-educated and wise, and was not uncomfortable in the vicinity of the king’s castle.
וַיְהִי אֹמֵן אֶת־הֲדַסָּה הִיא אֶסְתֵּר בַּת־דֹּדֹו כִּי אֵין לָהּ אָב וָאֵם וְהַנַּעֲרָה יְפַת־תֹּאַר וְטֹובַת מַרְאֶה 2:7
וּבְמֹות אָבִיהָ וְאִמָּהּ לְקָחָהּ מָרְדֳּכַי לֹו לְבַת׃
Esth. 2:7 And he had raised Hadassah, who is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for there was no father or mother for her, and the maiden was of beautiful form and excellent of appearance, and on the death of her father and mother, Mordecai took her for his daughter.
Mordecai and Esther (Hebrew name Hadassah) were first cousins.
וַיְהִי בְּהִשָּׁמַע דְּבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתֹו וּבְהִקָּבֵץ נְעָרֹות רַבֹּות אֶל־שׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה אֶל־יַד הֵגָי וַתִּלָּקַח אֶסְתֵּר 2:8
אֶל־בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־יַד הֵגַי שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים׃
Esth. 2:8 And it was upon hearing the word of the king and his decree, and with the gathering together of many maidens of Shushan to the castle, into the hand of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the house of the king, into the hand of Hegai, keeper of the women.
וַתִּיטַב הַנַּעֲרָה בְעֵינָיו וַתִּשָּׂא חֶסֶד לְפָנָיו וַיְבַהֵל אֶת־תַּמְרוּקֶיהָ וְאֶת־מָנֹותֶהָ לָתֵת לָהּ וְאֵת שֶׁבַע 2:9
הַנְּעָרֹות הָרְאֻיֹות לָתֶת־לָהּ מִבֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְשַׁנֶּהָ וְאֶת־נַעֲרֹותֶיהָ לְטֹוב בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים׃
Esth. 2:9 And the maiden was pleasing to his eyes, so she sustained kindness before him that he hurried her ointments and her portions to give to her, and seven maids that it was looked upon to be given to her from the house of the king, and he changed her and her maids to the best place of the house of women.
לֹא־הִגִּידָה אֶסְתֵּר אֶת־עַמָּהּ וְאֶת־מֹולַדְתָּהּ כִּי מָרְדֳּכַי צִוָּה עָלֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר לֹא־תַגִּיד׃ 2:10
Esth. 2:10 Esther had not made known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had charged her that she should not tell.
Mordecai and Esther must have been fluent in the local language.
וּבְכָל־יֹום וָיֹום מָרְדֳּכַי מִתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי חֲצַר בֵּית־הַנָּשִׁים לָדַעַת אֶת־שְׁלֹום אֶסְתֵּר וּמַה־יֵּעָשֶׂה בָּהּ׃ 2:11
Esth. 2:11 And day after day Mordecai found himself pacing before the court of the house of women to know the welfare of Esther and what would be done with her.
וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר נַעֲרָה וְנַעֲרָה לָבֹוא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹושׁ מִקֵּץ הֱיֹות לָהּ כְּדָת הַנָּשִׁים שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ 2:12
כִּי כֵּן יִמְלְאוּ יְמֵי מְרוּקֵיהֶן שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמֹּר וְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בַּבְּשָׂמִים וּבְתַמְרוּקֵי הַנָּשִׁים׃
Esth. 2:12 Now with the turn of maiden after maiden arriving to come to the king, Ahasuerus, after twelve months having passed for her according to the rule of women, for so would be filled the days of their anointing, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and with the ointments of women,
וּבָזֶה הַנַּעֲרָה בָּאָה אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר יִנָּתֵן לָהּ לָבֹוא עִמָּהּ מִבֵּית הַנָּשִׁים עַד־בֵּית 2:13
Esth. 2:13 then with this, the maiden came to the king -- anything that she would wish for would be given to her to go with her from the house of women to the house of the king.
בָּעֶרֶב הִיא בָאָה וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל־בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי אֶל־יַד שַׁעֲשְׁגַז סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר 2:14
הַפִּילַגְשִׁים לֹא־תָבֹוא עֹוד אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אִם־חָפֵץ בָּהּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנִקְרְאָה בְשֵׁם׃
Esth. 2:14 She went in the evening and she returned in the morning to the second house of women, into the hand of Shaashgaz, a eunuch of the king, keeper of the concubines; she would go no more to the king unless the king had delighted in her; then she would be called by name.
וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר־אֶסְתֵּר בַּת־אֲבִיחַיִל דֹּד מָרְדֳּכַי אֲשֶׁר לָקַח־לֹו לְבַת לָבֹוא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא בִקְשָׁה 2:15
דָּבָר כִּי אִם אֶת־אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר הֵגַי סְרִיס־הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים וַתְּהִי אֶסְתֵּר נֹשֵׂאת חֵן בְּעֵינֵי כָּל־רֹאֶיהָ׃
Esth. 2:15 And with the turn of Esther, daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, whom he had taken to himself for a daughter, arriving to go to the king, she did not request a thing except that which Hegai, the eunuch of the king, keeper of the women, would say, so Esther was sustaining favor in the eyes of everyone seeing her.
וַתִּלָּקַח אֶסְתֵּר אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹושׁ אֶל־בֵּית מַלְכוּתֹו בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ טֵבֵת 2:16
Esth. 2:16 And Esther was taken to the king, Ahasuerus, in the tenth month -- it was the month of Tevet, in his reign's seventh year.
וַיֶּאֱהַב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־אֶסְתֵּר מִכָּל־הַנָּשִׁים וַתִּשָּׂא־חֵן וָחֶסֶד לְפָנָיו מִכָּל־הַבְּתוּלֹת וַיָּשֶׂם כֶּתֶר־מַלְכוּת 2:17
בְּרֹאשָׁהּ וַיַּמְלִיכֶהָ תַּחַת וַשְׁתִּי׃
Esth. 2:17 And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she sustained more grace and favor before him than all the virgins, so he put the crown of royalty on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ מִשְׁתֶּה גָדֹול לְכָל־שָׂרָיו וַעֲבָדָיו אֵת מִשְׁתֵּה אֶסְתֵּר וַהֲנָחָה לַמְּדִינֹות עָשָׂה וַיִּתֵּן מַשְׂאֵת 2:18
Esth. 2:18 Then the king made a great feast for all his princes and his servants with a toasting of Esther, and ordained a holiday for the provinces, and gave gift as befitting the portion of the king.
וּבְהִקָּבֵץ בְּתוּלֹות שֵׁנִית וּמָרְדֳּכַי יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 2:19
Esth. 2:19 Now it was at the gathering of the second maidens that Mordecai remained near the gate of the king –
אֵין אֶסְתֵּר מַגֶּדֶת מֹולַדְתָּהּ וְאֶת־עַמָּהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה עָלֶיהָ מָרְדֳּכָי וְאֶת־מַאֲמַר מָרְדֳּכַי אֶסְתֵּר עֹשָׂה 2:20
כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה בְאָמְנָה אִתֹּו׃
Esth. 2:20 still Esther had not told of her kindred or her people as Mordecai had bidden her, and Esther attended to the command of Mordecai, as when she was being raised with him –
בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּמָרְדֳּכַי יֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ קָצַף בִּגְתָן וָתֶרֶשׁ שְׁנֵי־סָרִיסֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מִשֹּׁמְרֵי הַסַּף וַיְבַקְשׁוּ 2:21
לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בַּמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ׃
Esth. 2:21 in those days that Mordecai was sitting near the gate of the king, Bigthan was angry, and Teresh, two officials of the king, who were door keepers, and they conspired to extend a hand on king Ahasuerus.
וַיִּוָּדַע הַדָּבָר לְמָרְדֳּכַי וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשֵׁם מָרְדֳּכָי׃ 2:22
Esth. 2:22 As the thing was revealed to Mordecai, then he told to Esther, the queen, and Esther spoke to the king in the name of Mordecai.
וַיְבֻקַּשׁ הַדָּבָר וַיִּמָּצֵא וַיִּתָּלוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עַל־עֵץ וַיִּכָּתֵב בְּסֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 2:23
Esth. 2:23 And he inquired of the matter and found out, and both of them were hanged on a tree, and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles before the king.
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