“Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish.” The scholars are divided about this genealogy, some saying that it only uses important names in the genealogy of Mordecai, while others say that the four generations follow one after the other, which is most likely correct. That Mordecai would have an ancestor named “Kish” would be common, because the names of famous people were often repeated in genealogies. That Mordecai’s genealogy was given back to his great-grandfather Kish was likely to make the connection between Kish, the father of King Saul, the great enemy of the Amalakites, and Haman, a descendant of the Amalekites who hated the Jews. Actually, the fact that the genealogy mentions Kish and not King Saul is evidence that it is genuine, because if it was an invented genealogy and the book of Esther was an invented story, like some liberal theologians teach, then we would expect that the name in the genealogy would have been “Saul” so the parallel between Saul and the Amalakites and Haman and the Jews would have been more obvious and dramatic.
“palace-fortress.” See commentary on Esther 1:2.