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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Esther 2

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-23

Chapter 2

And so, after these things, the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, and he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. Then said the king's servant that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king ( Esther 2:1-2 ):

Now, the feast that he had was the feast in preparation of his unsuccessful invasion of Greece and before two of the great battles of history. This feast was sort of in preparation of that, so that between chapters 1 and 2 he then went off on this expedition against Greece. And so between the two chapters there is a lapse of about four years' time. And so he went on this unsuccessful adventure against Greece, and he has now returned and settling back at home again. And he remembers Vashti and probably begins to miss her a bit, and so his servant said, "Hey, why don't you have a beauty contest, Miss Persia."

and gathered together all of the beautiful young virgins in the kingdom,... [and let them come before the king] and whichever one pleases the king the most let her become the queen in place of Vashti ( Esther 2:3-4 ).

And so, there was in Shushan, which was the winter capital of Persia, and there the king had his winter palace. It got too hot in the summertime; he had a different summer palace, but it was a great place for a winter palace. There was there in the city a young girl whose name was Esther. She was a Jew, and her cousin Mordecai who was actually a descendant of the same family of Saul, a Benjamite.

And he had raised Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and Esther was very beautiful, very fair; and after her father and mother died, he took her as his own daughter. So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and decree was heard, when many of the young girls were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, the keeper of the women. And she pleased him, and obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her the things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were necessary for her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. For Esther had not showed her nationality nor her family: for Mordecai [her cousin] had charged her that she should not show it. Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther was faring, and what had become of her. Now when every maid's turn was come to go into king Ahasuerus, after that she had been for twelve months, according to the manner of women, (so were the days of their purification accomplished, they spent six months bathing with oils of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women,) ( Esther 2:7-12 )

Can you imagine a beauty shop of that caliber, spending twelve months to fix you up?

And afterwards then it came every maiden unto the king; and whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house ( Esther 2:13 ).

So they were brought in and spent an evening with the king, and then they were placed in the harem. They were not called; they were just taken care of and all as part of the king's harem. But they may never see the king again, unless he was pleased and would call them back. But they just became a part of the harem.

Now when it came Esther's turn to come into the king she required nothing special only that which Hegai the king's chamberlain, told her that she should wear ( Esther 2:15 ).

As far as the apparel, she just left it up to him. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those that looked upon her.

And Esther was taken unto the king Ahasuerus into the house royal in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 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 had set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king made a great feast unto all of his princes, all of his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, he gave gifts, according to the state of the king. And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat at the king's gate. And Esther had not yet showed her family nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like when she was brought up with him ( Esther 2:16-20 ).

Now it so happened that in those days Mordecai was hanging around the gates and he heard a couple of the king's servants plotting to assassinate the king.

And so Mordecai, reported to Esther; and Esther certified [or told] the king using Mordecai's name. And so they had a big inquiry [and they found out that the assassination plot was for real]; therefore the two men [who were plotting against the king] were hanged on a tree: and it was recorded in the chronicles of the king ( Esther 2:22-23 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Esther 2". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/esther-2.html. 2014.
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