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Chapter 2:1-7 (ESV)

Posted on November 22, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 2:1-7 (ESV) - After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king's young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king. And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them. And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.

Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away. He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter. 

Question to consider: Does the name Ahasuerus (mighty man) seem to fit the description of this king? Why or why not?

I find it interesting that the king could make a law of the Persians and Medes while in a state of drunken rage. Given this entire scenario where Xerxes spent six months showing off the conquests of his father, Darius, and went on a seven-day drinking binge, I really have to wonder whether Ahasuerus (mighty man) was either a self-prescribed name or given to him as a means of flattery. Darius appeared to be the true mighty man, and Xerxes acted like an immature frat boy who made decisions that he regretted when he sobered up.

This image is further implied when he agreed to gather all of the beautiful young virgins to choose the one who pleased him to be queen. It is here where we are introduced to Mordecai and Esther. We learn that Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah which means “myrtle”. If you went through my study of Genesis, you may remember that Abraham created an oasis of myrtle trees in the desert where he showed hospitality to people of the nations and preached to them about the Lord.

However, Mordecai was a Persian variation of the god, Marduk, and Esther was a variation of the goddess Ishtar which can be compared with the Greek Venus or Roman Aphrodite. They went by Persian names in order to hide the fact that they were Jews.

From the text, we see that Mordecai was Esther’s uncle who raised her as his own daughter when her parents died. His lineage went back to Kish who was exiled with king Jeconiah of Judah. This most likely means that Mordecai was a nobleman, and this is further addressed in both Nehemiah and Ezra when they described him as being one of the nobles who came back to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel at the beginning of the rebuilding period of Jerusalem.

Hadassah was named Esther because she had the face and figure of a goddess, and Mordecai believed that her beauty was enough to make the king forget about Vashti.


Dear heavenly Father, even though Your name is not mentioned in this text, we praise You for the events that brought Esther into the presence of the king. May we view the events in our own life, good or bad, in light of Your eternal plan of redemption through Christ Jesus. Amen.