God sometimes raises up the poor out of the dust to set them among princes.
Those who make sure of God’s favor usually find favor with man,
at least so far as it is good for them.
1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2 Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
5 ¶ Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
8 ¶ So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens 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, keeper of the women.
9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
12 ¶ Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)
13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.
14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
15 ¶ Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.
20 Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
21 ¶ In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.
23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
Esther 2:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:4-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:7-8 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:9-11 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:12-15 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:16-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2:21-23 – J. Vernon McGee
Esther 2 – The Service of a Foreigner
Esther’s Hebrew name meant Myrtle. It could not have been easy for her to retain her sweet simplicity amid the corruptions of her time, but her Persian name means “a star,” as though she were a garden enclosed, encircled by the atmosphere of the divine purity and protection. We must not judge Esther by our own standards, but by the custom of her time. Each of these young girls was considered to be married to the king, was kept under his roof, and was his wife of a lower rank. How great is the influence of Christianity in raising our standards and pervading the world with a loftier morality! She was not bidden to deny her parentage, but only advised not to proclaim it, Esther 2:10. When, afterwards, she was raised to power, she showed no flinching from identification with her race. So she attained the highest position in the world to which a woman could aspire. God lifted her there to serve a high and noble purpose. Her relative, Mordecai, discovered a plot against the king, and told it to his ward, the queen, and she to her royal spouse. The deed was unrewarded; in this, however, the faithful doorkeeper felt no disappointment. He acted not for reward, but from a sense of duty. But the act was registered both in heaven and on earth, and it bore fruit. It is enough for us to do our duty, and please God. —Through the Bible Day by Day
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3 And let the king appoint ________________ in all the provinces of his ______________, that they may gather together all the fair young ______________ unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the __________, unto the ______________ of Hege the king’s chamberlain, ____________ of the women; and let their things for ________________________ be given them:
4 And let the ____________ which pleaseth the king be __________ instead of ____________. And the thing ______________ the king; and he did so.
5 ¶ Now in Shushan the ____________ there was a certain ______, whose name was ________________, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
Esther 2:7—Hadassah, that is, Esther.
Through this one girl-life God was about to save His people, though He was all the while hidden from view. The peculiarity of this book is that there is no mention of the name of God; but there is no book in the Bible more full of the presence and working of God for His own. His name is clearly in the water-mark of the paper, if it do not appear in the print.
We know that the meshes of evil plotting were laid for the hurt of Israel long before the fatal decree was made for the destruction of the entire nation; but here we find that God has begun His preparations for deliverance long before. In the beauty of Esther, in the position her uncle held at court, in the favor she won with the king, in the discovery through Mordecai of the plot against the king’s life, there are the materials of a great and Divine deliverance. God was clearly beforehand to the devil. The angels of light were on the ground before those of darkness were marshalled.
It is a sweet thought to carry with us always: God prepares of His goodness for the poor. He prepares the good work in which we are to walk, and the deliverances by which He will succor us in the hour of need. Do not dread the foe, be not fearful nor dismayed, as he draws his net around thee; God has prepared a way of escape, so that thou shalt be able to bear it. In the meanwhile, rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; trust in the Lord; wait for the Lord; be silent to the Lord. He is more farseeing, His plans more far-reaching, His help more certain, than all the stratagems of evil. God laughs at them. Into the pit they have dug, thine enemies shall fall. —Our Daily Homily