|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-20 We see to what absurd practices those came, who were destitute of Divine revelation, and what need there was of the gospel of Christ, to purify men from the lusts of the flesh, and to bring them back to the original institution of marriage. Esther was preferred as queen. Those who suggest that Esther committed sin to come at this dignity, do not consider the custom of those times and countries. Every one that the king took was married to him, and was his wife, though of a lower rank. But how low is human nature sunk, when such as these are the leading pursuits and highest worldly happiness of men! Disappointment and vexation must follow; and he most wisely consults his enjoyment, even in this present life, who most exactly obeys the precepts of the Divine law. But let us turn to consider the wise and merciful providence of God, carrying on his deep but holy designs in the midst of all this. And let no change in our condition be a pretext for forgetting our duties to parents, or the friends who have stood in their place.
Verse 19. - When the virgins were gathered together. Rather, "When virgins." There is no article. The fact seems to be mentioned simply as furnishing a date, and we must suppose both that there was a second gathering, and that the time when it happened was generally known to the Jews and Persians. Then Mordecai sat, etc. The three verses, 19, 20, 21, hang together, and form a single sentence: "When virgins were gathered together a second time, and Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate - now Esther had not showed her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther did the command of Mordecai like as when she was brought up with him - in those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, being of the number of them which kept the threshold, were wroth," etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when the virgins were gathered together the second time,.... Some think this second collection is that which was made when Esther was taken and brought to the keeper of the women, called the second, in reference to a former collection of them, made when Vashti was taken and made queen; but as there is no proof of any such collection then made, rather the case was this, such was the lust of the king, though he had a queen he loved, and a multitude of concubine's, yet a second collection of virgins was made for his gratification:
then Mordecai sat in the king's gate; or court, being an officer in it, promoted by the interest of Esther, though not as yet known to be a relation of her's: so in Xenophon (z) is used of the court of the king of Persia, as the Ottoman or Turkish court is now called the "Porte".
(z) Cyropaedia, l. 8. c. 2, 5, 11, 40.
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