Esther 2:15
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 to the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked on her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Esther 2:15. She required nothing — Not being desirous to set herself off with artificial beauty, nor, probably, to please the king; having been brought to the king’s house without and against her own inclination and choice. But what Hegai, the king’s chamberlain, appointed — Being covetous of nothing, she left it entirely to the king’s chamberlain to give her what he pleased, which was a mark of a modest and generous temper in her. And Esther obtained favour of all them that looked upon her — All that beheld her admired her beauty, which needed no ornament; for the greatest ornaments of virgins are, modesty, silence, well-disciplined eyes, a serene countenance, without levity, and horror of all wantonness; which, all meeting in her, made her agreeable in the eyes of all that saw her.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.She required nothing - The other virgins perhaps loaded themselves with precious ornaments of various kinds, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, and the like. Esther let Hegai dress her as he would. 12. Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus—A whole year was spent in preparation for the intended honor. Considering that this took place in a palace, the long period prescribed, together with the profusion of costly and fragrant cosmetics employed, was probably required by state etiquette. She required nothing, to show that she was not desirous to please the king, and that she was brought to the king without and against her own inclination and choice.

Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her, i.e. was admired by them for her beauty. Now when the turn of Esther the daughter of Abihail,.... For this was her father's name, and not Aminadab, as the Septuagint version:

the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter; which makes it quite clear that Mordecai was not Esther's uncle, as Josephus, but her own cousin: now when her turn

was come to go in unto the king; which the virgins under purification took by turns, Esther 2:14,

she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed; what he ordered her to have, or to do, she submitted to, being in his hands, and so obeyed his orders; but more she asked not, either for ornament or attendance, being not at all solicitous whether the king liked her or not; for it was not of choice, but by constraint, she went unto him; nor needed she anything to recommend her, her virtue, modesty, and beauty, were sufficient:

and Esther obtained favour of all them that looked upon her: when she came to court, the eyes of all were attracted to her; all admired her beauty, her innocent and modest look, and her graceful mien and deportment.

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, {g} appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.

(g) In which her modesty appeared because she did not seek to dress to command her beauty but sought the eunuch's appointment.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. Abihail] Esther’s father is mentioned again in Esther 9:29. In both places the LXX. reads Aminadab, which is its equivalent for Abinadab. The object of introducing again at this point the description of Esther’s connexion with Mordecai seems to be to call attention to the contrast between the modesty of her requirements and those of her companions on an occasion on which so much depended, and which would in all likelihood prove unique for each one. Her ‘requiring nothing’ served to emphasize the attractions of her person, and thus was intended to be reckoned to the credit of the Jewish nation.Verse 15. - Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai. Literally, "the paternal uncle," or "father's brother." The genealogy may be thus exhibited: - Kish —> Shimei —> {(Jair—>Abihail) (Mordecai—>Esther)} Who had taken her for his daughter (see the comment on ver. 7). She required nothing, etc. Esther would not trust to the extraneous and adventitious beauty of dress or ornaments, or at any rate would give herself no trouble about such things. If she succeeded, it should be without effort. Hegai might dress her as he pleased. She left all to him. Esther obtained favour, etc. Either this is intended as a general assertion - "No one could ever see Esther without admiring her and feeling favourably disposed towards her," - or it has special reference to the particular occasion - "No one who saw Esther on this evening but admired her and felt well disposed towards her." When, then, the king's commandment and decree was heard, i.e., proclaimed throughout the kingdom, and many maidens gathered together in Susa, Esther also was received into the royal harem, under the keeping of Hegai. The maiden pleased him and won his favour (חסד נשׂא, to bear away love, i.e., to obtain favour, synonymous with חן נשׂא, Esther 2:15 and Esther 5:2). וגו ויבהל, and he hastened to give her her ointments for purification, and the seven maidens appointed to her from the king's house. The infinitives להּ לתת are, according to the Aramaean idiom, placed after their objects and dependent on יבהל. On תּמרוּקים, see on Esther 2:3. מנות, portions, are here portions of food, as in Esther 9:19, Esther 9:22, and 1 Samuel 1:4. The seven maidens (הנּערות with the article) are the maids appointed to wait upon a young virgin selected for the king. The participle ראיּות: chosen for a particular purpose-in the Talmud and rabbinical Hebrew ראוּי, dignus, decens, conveniens, - occurs only here. ישׁנּה, he changed her and her maids into the best of the house of the women, i.e., he took them out of the ordinary rooms and placed them in the best apartments, probably in the state-rooms, where those who were accustomed to be brought to the king used to dwell.
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