Book of Esther - Chapter 2


Mordecai surrenders Esther to king’s harem. Esther wins king’s favor and he chooses her from harem to be his new queen. Mordecai discovers plot by two eunuchs to assassinate king.



(2:1) After these things... After what things? (DD) After Xerxes had returned from his failed invasion of Greece.
(2:2) Let beautiful virgins be sought...

(AC) This was the usual way in which the harem or seraglio was furnished: the finest women in the land, whether of high or low birth, were sought out, and brought to the harem. They all became the king's concubines: but one was raised, as chief wife or sultana, to the throne; and her issue was specially entitled to inherit.

(2:3) Let their cosmetics be given to them.

(DD) Cosmetics consisted of a burner that supplied volatile oils that were absorbed by the skin.

(2:8) ... Esther also was taken into the king's palace...

(TS) Esther was taken against her will.

(2:12) ...after being twelve months under the regulations for the women...

(AC) The myrrh was employed for six months, and the odours for six months more, after which the person was brought to the king. This space was sufficient to show whether the young woman had been chaste; whether she were with child or not, that the king might not be imposed on, and be obliged to father a spurious offspring, which might have been the case had not this precaution been used.

(2:14) ...and in the morning she would return to the second harem...

(AC) This was the place where the king's concubines were kept. They went out no more, and were never given in marriage to any man, and saw the king's face no more unless specially called.

(2:16) And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, ... (DD) c. 478 BCE - after Xerxes was defeated by the Greeks
(2:16) Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate...

(AC) Mordecai might have been one of the officers of the king, as the gate was the place where such usually attended to await the king's call.

Discussion Questions