Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Esther 2

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

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.

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