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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Esther 1

 

 

Verses 1-23

1:1-2:23 ESTHER BECOMES QUEEN

Officials and leading citizens from all over the Persian Empire had gathered in the winter capital for an exhibition designed to display the riches and magnificence of the royal court. The exhibition lasted six months and was brought to a fitting climax by a lavish seven-day banquet (1:1-9). The week of wine and merriment so excited the king that his sexual urges were in danger of getting out of control. Consequently, when he told his queen Vashti to display her beauty before the crowd of wine-soaked men at the banquet, Vashti refused (10-12). The queen had defied the king's authority and his pride was hurt. In anger he removed her from being queen (13-22).

For some time the king made no attempt to replace Vashti. He still had plenty of concubines, but his advisers suggested that he appoint an official queen (2:1-4). The most beautiful young women in the land were therefore brought together in the palace, where they were further beautified and trained so that the king might choose one as his queen. Among them was an orphan Jew named Esther, who had been brought up by her cousin Mordecai. But she did not reveal to anyone in the palace that she was a Jew (5-11).

After a year of beauty preparation, all the young women were taken in turn to the king. In the end he chose Esther and crowned her queen (12-18). (This happened four years after he removed Vashti; cf. 1:3; 2:16.)

Mordecai apparently worked in or around the palace (see v. 11,19). When he heard that two of the palace guards were plotting to assassinate the king, he passed on the information to the king by way of Esther. The guards were executed, and Mordecai's good deed was noted in the official records (19-23).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Esther 1:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/esther-1.html. 2005.

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