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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Esther 2

 

 

Verses 1-23


The Choice of Esther to be Queen. Mordecai's Service

1. He remembered, etc.] LXX has 'he thought no more of Vashti, remembering what,' etc.

3. The house of the women] This was the house of the virgins, as contrasted with the house of the concubines (Esther 2:14).

Their things for purification] Various perfumed oils and ointments (Esther 2:12).

5. Mordecai] The name, though used by Jews (cp. Ezra 2:2; Nehemiah 7:7), was derived from tfie Babylonian deity Merodaeh (Marduk).

Shimei.. Kish] probably Mordecai's grandfather and great grandfather (Esther 2:6 applying to Kish). Others regard the genealogy as abbreviated, and take Shimei and Kish to be remoter ancestors, identifying them with the Shimei and Kish of 2 Samuel 16:5; 1 Samuel 9:1 (in which case Esther 2:6 must refer to Mordecai's family two or three generations back).

7. Hadassah] a Hebrew name meaning 'Myrtle.' Esther] connected by some with the Persian word for 'star'; according to others, the same as the Babylonian 'Ishtar,' the Canaanite 'Ashtoreth.'

9. Such things as belonged to her] lit. 'her portions'; perhaps richer viands than ordinary: cp. Daniel 1:5.

11. And Mordecai walked, etc.] He apparently occupied a position in the king's household (cp. Esther 3:2), and in the apocryphal 'Rest of Esther' (11:3) he is expressly styled a servitor in the king's court. He would thus have opportunities of communicating with Esther.

12. After that she had been, etc.] RV 'after that it had been done to her according to the law for the women, twelve months.'

13. Whatsoever she desired] i.e. for the adornment of her person.

14. Into the second house of the women] so LXX. Some render, 'returned a second time' (i.e. back again) 'into the house of the women,' but at any rate into a different quarter of it, where they were under the charge of Shaasghaz, not of Hegai.

15. She required nothing, etc.] i.e. instead of selecting her articles of attire for herself like other maidens (Esther 2:13), she left everything to the choice of Hegai.

16. Tebeth] i.e. December-January. The seventh year] i.e. 479 b.c. Thus four years elapsed between the degradation of Vashti and the promotion of Esther (see Esther 1:3). In the interval between 483 and 479 Xerxes' expedition into Greece took place, the battle of Salamis being fought in 480 b.c.

18. Made a release] Either from taxation or military service. Some would render 'granted a holiday.' According to the state] RV 'according to the bounty of': i.e. with regal generosity.

19. And when the virgins, etc.] Some connect this with Esther 2:14, and take 'the virgins' to mean 'the young women.' Others render, 'now when virgins were gathered together a second time' (as on the earlier occasion described in Esther 2:8). Sat in the king's gate] perhaps as the official who received applicants that desired to have audience with the king.

23. Hanged] or, 'impaled,' a form of punishment frequently inflicted by Persian sovereigns. The book of the chronicles] Herodotus relates instances of Xerxes' similarly recording the names of certain men who distinguished themselves in the war against Greece.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Esther 2:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/esther-2.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, August 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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