Esther Chapter 2  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: Esther 2
Est 2:1(top)
Est 2:2(top)
Est 2:3

“palace-fortress.” See commentary on Esther 1:2.

“house of the women.” This was in keeping with the custom of keeping women’s quarters separate from where men lived and worked. The “house of the women” is the harem (the word “harem” was used both for the place where the wives lived and also for the wives themselves).

Est 2:4(top)
Est 2:5

“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.

Est 2:6

“Jeconiah.” Jeconiah has several names in the Bible. He is called Jehoiachin (cp. 2 Kings 24:8-12), and also “Coniah” (cp. Jer. 22:24, 28).

Est 2:7(top)
Est 2:8

“palace-fortress.” See commentary on Esther 1:2.

Est 2:9(top)
Est 2:10(top)
Est 2:11(top)
Est 2:12(top)
Est 2:13(top)
Est 2:14(top)
Est 2:15(top)
Est 2:16(top)
Est 2:17(top)
Est 2:18(top)
Est 2:19

“Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate.” In the biblical culture of the Old Testament, it was the custom that the elders of a city would sit at the city gate (Gen. 19:1, 9; Deut. 21:19; 22:15; 25:7; Josh. 20:4; Ruth 4:11; 1 Sam. 4:18; Esther 2:19, 21; 3:2; Lam. 5:14; Dan. 2:49). In order for Mordecai to sit in the king’s gate, he would have had to have already been recognized in the city as an important person. He would have been some kind of elder or official with position and power. He did not “just happen to be there,” that would not have been allowed. Even the use of the word “sit” in this context meant he had some kind of powerful or ruling position.

[For more on the elders at the gate, see commentary on Ruth 4:11. For Wisdom being at the city gate, see commentary on Proverbs 1:21. For more on the meaning of “sit” in this context, see commentary on Isaiah 14:13, “sit.”]

Est 2:20(top)
Est 2:21

“was sitting in the King’s Gate.” It was customary for kings and officials to sit in the gate and judge the people of the city and conduct business (e.g., 2 Sam. 19:8; 1 Kings 22:10; 2 Chron. 18:9; Esther 2:21; Jer. 38:7; Dan. 2:49). The fact that Mordecai was sitting in the King’s Gate points out that he was an official or important man of some rank, otherwise he would not have been allowed to sit there.

“assassinate.” The literal Hebrew is an idiom: they sought to “stretch forth a hand against” King Ahasuerus. They wanted to kill him.

Est 2:22(top)
Est 2:23

“the scroll of the Events of the Days.” More literally, the “Words of the Days,” but here “words” more closely means our events. This was the daily chronicle of what happened in the Persian kingdom.


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