Chap 2 vs 1 After these things, is what happened in chapter 1 and the campaign against Greece where Xerxes was defeated. In deep dejection back at his palace, he remembers that he put away his queen and the king is really miserable. The servants have been watching the king and they know his state of mind and they know something has to be done.
vs 2-3 What must be done is a beauty pageant to end all beauty pageants. The entire kingdom will be searched to find the best looking gal for the king. The number of women could have been in the hundreds. Keeper – Of all the women, both virgins and concubines: only the virgins he himself took care of, as requiring more care and caution, and the concubines be committed to Shaashgaz, ver. 14 , his deputy. Purification – That is, to cleanse them from all impurities, to perfume, and adorn, and every way prepare them for the king: for the legal purification of the Jews he never regarded.
vs 4 The king will be the only judge of the contest.
vs 5 So far the story has just been setting the stage for the real reason that this book is included in God’s Word. God’s providence will begin to be seen. God will overrule through these events. God’s overruling power is one of the important lessons in the Book of Esther. Mordecai, a certain jew from the tribe of Benjamin. What is he doing here?
vs 6 God had permitted His people to return to the land. Cyrus had given the decree to return, but very few did return. The greater number stayed and made a place for themselves in the land of captivity. The ones that stayed were out of the will of God. Mordecai was one of them and of all jobs, he had a political one. Joseph and Daniel had political jobs, but they were in the will of God. The providence of God will begin and to use a modern definition is how God coaches the man on second base. God will bring Mordecai home even though he is not looking to come home. There is really no turning to God, no mention of God or of prayer in this book.
vs 7 Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah, which means “Star.” Mordecai probably saw all the other women and knew that none could compare to the beauty of Esther.
vs 8-9 Another sign that Mordecai was out of God’s Will, he is taking his young cousin to intermarry with a heathen. God is taking command of the situation, Esther is brought to the king’s house, she pleases Hegai, the keeper of the women, she obtains kindness from him and she gets everything to make her even more beautiful.
vs 10 Shew it – Lest the knowledge here should either make her contemptible, or bring some inconvenience to the whole nation; but there was also the hand of God in causing this to be concealed, for better accomplishment of that which he designed, though Mordecai was ignorant of it. Anti-Semitism has always been a curse in the nations of the world. Also, silence is denial of their religion. Just like today, those that are out of the will of God have little to say about their faith in God.
vs 11 When one is in the will of God, they can rest on the fact that God is causing all things to work together for good. Mordecai, out of God’s will is biting his nails, pacing around, wondering if he has made the right decision.
vs 12 Does your wife or girlfriend take an hour or so to get ready? These girls spent a whole year! Pagan culture puts the emphasis on the physical. The further anyone gets from God, the more important physical things become. God’s providence.
vs 13-14 Soon it would be Esther’s turn and she was taking a great risk. If she did not win, she would become one of the concubines of the king of Persia, which would have been a terrible thing for a Jewish maiden. This is why Mordecai was biting his fingernails.