Esther 2:20
Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
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(20) Esther had not yet . . .—Perhaps this verse is added to meet the supposition that the king wished to replace Esther through finding out her nation.

Esther 2:20. Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, &c. — A rare example of virtue, that she should be so observant of him when she was a queen: for most persons forget what they were when they are unexpectedly advanced to great honour, dignity, or riches.

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.When the virgins ... - Rather, "when virgins" etc. The words begin a new paragraph. There was a second collection of virgins (after that of Esther 2:8), and it was at the time of this second collection that Mordecai had the good fortune to save the king's life. 17. the king loved Esther above all the women—The choice fell on Esther, who found favor in the eyes of Ahasuerus. He elevated her to the dignity of chief wife, or queen. The other competitors had apartments assigned them in the royal harem, and were retained in the rank of secondary wives, of whom Oriental princes have a great number.

he set the royal crown upon her head—This consisted only of a purple ribbon, streaked with white, bound round the forehead. The nuptials were celebrated by a magnificent entertainment, and, in honor of the auspicious occasion, "he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king." The dotation of Persian queens consisted in consigning to them the revenue of certain cities, in various parts of the kingdom, for defraying their personal and domestic expenditure. Some of these imposts the king remitted or lessened at this time.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Esther had not showed her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her,.... As not before, so neither since she was made queen, see Esther 2:10, though, according to the Targums, she was urged to it by the king himself:

for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him: which showed great humility in her, notwithstanding her advancement, great respect to him, and a sense of gratitude for the kindness he had shown; and this charge to her was still continued by Mordecai, partly that she might not fall into contempt, and partly to prevent hatred and envy to the Jewish nation, through her promotion; but chiefly so it was ordered in Providence, the proper time being not yet come.

Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
20. Esther had not yet shewed etc.] In the East, when persons rise in rank, it is expected that their relatives will rise with them. But the connexion between Esther and Mordecai had not been disclosed, the queen having been faithful in carrying out the direction of her foster-father to that effect. There is no great improbability of a secret of this sort having been kept under the circumstances of the story.

Verse 20. - Esther had not yet showed, etc. This is inserted to account for the humble position still occupied by Mordecai. In the East a person's relations usually rise with him; and the reader would naturally expect that when Esther was once queen, Mordecai would have become rich and great. Esther's silence accounts for Mordecai's low estate; Mordecai's command (see ver. 10) accounts for Esther's silence. For Esther did the commandment of Mordecai. The royal dignity did not change Esther's heart. She was still the dutiful child she had been so many years. Mordecai had forbidden her to tell her kindred; he had not removed his prohibition, so she had kept silence. Esther 2:20Esther 2:19-23 relate the intervention of an incident of great importance in the subsequent development of the narrative. When virgins were for the second time gathered together, two courtiers were incensed with the king, and sought to lay hands upon him. This thing was known to Mordochai, who sat in the gate of the palace and kept up a constant communication with Esther even after she became queen, and by him communicated to her, that she might bring it to the knowledge of the king. The matter being investigated and found to have been truly reported, the offenders were punished, and an entry of the particulars made in the chronicles of the kingdom. The words "when virgins were assembled for the second time," which serve to define the time when the conspiracy of the two courtiers took place, as is obvious from the circumstance that ההם בּיּמים, Esther 2:21, refers to בת בּהקּבץ, Esther 2:19, are obscure. The obscurity lies in the fact that no reason for assembling virgins can be perceived, after the choice of Ahashverosh had fallen upon Esther. The sentence שׁנית בּתוּלות וּבהקּבץ unmistakeably corresponds with נערות וּבהקּבץ of v. 8. This was already rightly perceived by Grotius, who, however, wrongly infers: est ἐπάνοδος (retrogressio), referendum enim hoc ad illa quae supra, ii. 2. This is, however, not only incompatible with שׁנית, but also with the circumstance that, according to the correct understanding of the sentences in Esther 2:21 and Esther 2:22, Esther was then already queen, and Mordochai was sitting in the gate of the king's palace, and thence keeping up communication with her; while as long as Esther was in the women's house preparing for her interview with the king, under the guardianship of Hegai, he walked day by day before the court of the women's house (Esther 2:11). Still less admissible is the view of Drusius, received by Bertheau, that the gathering of the virgins for the second time is to be understood from the circumstance, that after going in to the king, they had to go into the second house of the women, under the stricter guardianship of Shaashgaz (Esther 2:14). For, being no longer בּתוּלות, but פּילגשׁים (Esther 2:14), their reception into the house of the concubines could not be called a second gathering together, since as virgins they were formerly in a different house. The only explanation of the שׁנית left us is the view, that even after the choice of Esther to be queen, a second gathering together of virgins actually took place; for this, as C. a Lapide remarks, is what the words undoubtedly declare. The matter itself was in accordance with the prevailing custom of polygamy, which kings carried to such an extent, that, as C. a Lapide points out, Solomon, e.g., had 700 wives and 300 concubines, i.e., secondarias uxores. From וּמרדּכי, Esther 2:19, onwards, explanatory circumstantial clauses follow: "The Mordochai sat in the king's gate" introduces the parenthetical sentence, "Esther had not yet showed her kindred and her people (comp. Esther 2:10), as Mordochai had charged her; for Esther did the commandment of Mordochai as when she was under his care;" i.e., Esther obeyed, after her elevation to be queen, the command of Mordochai not to make her Jewish descent known, as she had formerly done while she was yet his foster-daughter. אמנה, care, education, is a substantive derived from אמן.
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