Esther 2: Extra Notes, Just in case you’re Wondering
The second chapter of Esther opens with a depressed king and co-dependent advisors. As I study this, the commentaries seem to suggest that when they suggest searching for a new queen, Memucan’s motives are less than honorable. Just in case you’re wondering, it is customary for the queen to be chosen from the nobles. Memucan hopes for his daughter to rise to the throne.
Instead they round up all the beautiful young girls from the realm to be considered.
Esther is taken from her home. It’s difficult in my 21st century mindset to fathom this injustice. Click To Tweet
It’s difficult in my 21st century mindset to fathom this injustice. But whereas many young girls and their families would be horrified by the prospect of being taken to the king’s harem, some may have looked upon it as an opportunity.
Gathering young virgins from 127 provinces of the king’s realm sounds like a huge task. It must be kept in mind that possessing a harem full of beautiful women was just as much of a political statement as wearing the crown. It spoke of power and influence. Our king is feeling a little low on both, so maybe this wide-net gathering of virgins is meant to boost his political morale.
Esther is Taken from Her Home
A young orphan girl named Hadassah is taken from her Uncle Mordecai. My heart aches for her because she has known the loss of her parents. And, now she is taken from the safe place of her uncle’s home.
Mordecai has seen the fate of Jews in his years of exile. It is very possible Hadassah’s parents were killed because of this. So his warnings to Hadassah, now called Esther, to protect her heritage are clear: Tell no one you are a Jew.
Once taken to the harem, they would have no contact. What a tough place to be as Esther’s guardian. I can envision his angst. For a year, Esther and the other girls undergo beauty treatments to prepare them for their encounter with the king. And, all the while Mordecai paces in front of the gate each day, wondering how Esther is doing.Mordecai paces in front of the gate each day, wondering how Esther is doing. Click To Tweet
Just in case you’re wondering…
After the girls go for their night with the king, they are sent to a second harem of concubines to live out the rest of their days. They will not see the king again unless he summons them by name. They will also never go home.Then the part of this story that sounds like a fairy tale, princess love story happens. Click To Tweet
Then the part of this story that sounds like a fairy tale, princess love story happens. Esther finds favor with the king and she becomes queen. It can be easy to leave our minds there. Love at first sight. Esther wins the crown. But God is up to so much more.Esther wins the crown. But God is up to so much more. Join us as we read #QueenEsther Click To Tweet
You might remember other stories like Joseph who is put in a place to make a difference in the lives of his people. God is not mentioned in Esther’s story, but His fingerprints are there just the same.God is not mentioned in Esther's story, but His fingerprints are there just the same. Click To Tweet
There is a lot to take in…I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment or question below.
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