Saturday, May 17, 2008

Esther is Chosen as Queen

Esther Is Made Queen

Esther 2

1Later, when King Xerxes was not so angry, he remembered Vashti and what
she had done and his order about her. 2Then the king’s personal servants
suggested, “Let a search be made for beautiful young girls for the king. 3Let the
king choose supervisors in every state of his kingdom to bring every beautiful
young girl to the palace at Susa. They should be taken to the women’s quarters
and put under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the women. And
let beauty treatments be given to them. 4Then let the girl who most pleases the
king become queen in place of Vashti.” The king liked this idea, so he did as they

5Now there was a Jewish man in the palace of Susa whose name was
Mordecai son of Jair. Jair was the son of Shimei, the son of Kish. Mordecai was
from the tribe of Benjamin, 6which had been taken captive from Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They were part of the group taken into
captivity with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7Mordecai had a cousin named
Hadassah, who had no father or mother, so Mordecai took care of her. Hadassah
was also called Esther, and she had a very pretty figure and face. Mordecai had
adopted her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

8When the king’s command and order had been heard, many girls had been
brought to the palace in Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther was also
taken to the king’s palace and put under the care of Hegai, who was in charge of
the women. 9Esther pleased Hegai, and he liked her. So Hegai quickly began
giving Esther her beauty treatments and special food. He gave her seven servant
girls chosen from the king’s palace. Then he moved her and her seven servant
girls to the best part of the women’s quarters.

10Esther did not tell anyone about her family or who her people were, because
Mordecai had told her not to. 11Every day Mordecai walked back and forth near
the courtyard where the king’s women lived to find out how Esther was and what
was happening to her.

12Before a girl could take her turn with King Xerxes, she had to complete
twelve months of beauty treatments that were ordered for the women. For six
months she was treated with oil and myrrh and for six months with perfumes and
cosmetics. 13Then she was ready to go to the king. Anything she asked for was
given to her to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. 14In
the evening she would go to the king’s palace, and in the morning she would
return to another part of the women’s quarters. There she would be placed under
the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the slave women. The girl
would not go back to the king again unless he was pleased with her and asked for
her by name.

15The time came for Esther daughter of Abihail, Mordecai’s uncle, who had
been adopted by Mordecai, to go to the king. She asked for only what Hegai
suggested she should take. (Hegai was the king’s eunuch who was in charge of
the women.) Everyone who saw Esther liked her. 16So Esther was taken to King
Xerxes in the royal palace in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, during
Xerxes’ seventh year as king.

17And the king was pleased with Esther more than with any of the other girls.
He liked her more than any of the other girls, so he put a royal crown on her head
and made her queen in place of Vashti. 18Then the king gave a great banquet for
Esther and invited all his important men and royal officers. He announced a
holiday for all the empire and had the government give away gifts.

Mordecai Discovers an Evil Plan

19Now Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate when the girls were gathered
the second time. 20Esther still had not told anyone about her family or who her
people were, just as Mordecai had commanded her. She obeyed Mordecai just as
she had done when she was under his care.

21Now Bigthana and Teresh were two of the king’s officers who guarded the
doorway. While Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, they became angry and
began to make plans to kill King Xerxes. 22But Mordecai found out about their
plans and told Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king how Mordecai had
discovered the evil plan. 23When the report was investigated, it was found to be
true, and the two officers who had planned to kill the king were hanged. All this
was written down in the daily court record in the king’s presence.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


Esther was the niece of Mordecai, a Jewish official in the royal court. Mordecai aroused the hostility of Haman, a higher official. Haman determined to take revenge, but he was not satisfied with engineering Mordecai's death. Instead Haman determined to wipe out Mordecai's whole race.

Haman was successful in winning permission for this early holocaust from the king, and began to throw dice to determine the propitious moment to carry out his plan.

In the meantime, Queen Vashti was deposed, and Esther was selected to be queen.

Through a series of God-ordained events, King Ahasuerus discovered that Mordecai had once saved his life. When Queen Esther exposed "this wicked Haman" (Est. 7:6), the king ordered Haman's execution on the very gallows Haman had erected to hang Mordecai.

Together Mordecai and Esther created a decree that not only saved the Jewish people, but also rid the Jews of their most virulent enemies.

When we first meet Esther she is young girl of marriageable age living in Mordecai's household. She is selected as one of the empire's beauties, to be considered the king as a possible queen. It is significant that when Esther was chosen and placed the royal women's quarters to undergo a year of training and beauty treatments she quickly won the allegiance of Hegai, the custodian of the women. Esther's sweet spirit and personality matched her physical attractiveness.

Even when Esther had been selected the king to become his queen, Esther maintained contact with Mordecai and sought his advice. When Mordecai uncovered a plot to murder the king, Esther passed the information on to Ahasuerus, giving credit to her source.

When Mordecai informed Esther of the danger Haman posed to the Jewish people and urged her to intercede with the king, Esther was afraid. The king had not called for her in over a month, and if she should go to him uninvited, he might be angered and have her executed. After consideration, Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews in the capital city to fast for three days. The implication is that the fasting was intended to enable the Jews to concentrate in their prayers, asking God to act for them. Esther and her maids fasted also. Only when Esther was sure that God's help had been sought earnestly did she risk approaching the king.

In the end Esther found in her faith the courage to approach the king and appeal to him. And her appeal was successful. Because of the great deliverance she won for the Jewish people, her courage is commemorated in an annual celebration called the Feast of Purim, and Jewish women's groups everywhere have adopted Esther's Jewish name, Hadassah.

  • Mordecai reminded Esther that perhaps God had made her queen to meet the challenge that Haman posed to her people. Perhaps, we have come to our own “kingdom” for God’s special purpose through us.

  • Esther showed wisdom and patience in a terrible situation while dealing with a difficult husband. She operated within God’s will in the situation, and used every gift He had given her. We too are to do what is right. But let’s do it wisely, using our God-given gifts.

  • Esther was a model adult daughter. While she was free to act as she chose, she carefully weighed Mordecai’s advice.

  • Mordecai is a good example of a wise parent of an adult child. He gave wise advice but let the child make up her own mind.

(From Every Woman in the Bible by Sue and Larry Richards).

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