Esther 2:21
In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
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(21) In those days.—Here the thread of Esther 2:19 is taken up, then I say, in those days—“

Bigthan.—Called Bigtha in Esther 1:10; Bigthana in Esther 6:2.

Sought to lay hand on the king.—It is noticeable that Xerxes was ultimately murdered by Artabanus, captain of the guard, and Mithridates, a chamberlain.

Esther 2:21. Two of the king’s chamberlains — “These were two great men, who perhaps kept the door of the king’s bed-chamber, and being either incensed at the divorce of Vashti, whose creatures they were, or at the advancement of Esther, who they thought would in all probability raise her kinsman Mordecai above them, took disgust thereat, and so resolved to avenge themselves on the king.” — Dodd. See Prideaux, and Esther 6:2-3.

2:21-23 Good subjects must not conceal any bad design they know of against the prince, or the public peace. Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, but a remembrance was written. Thus, with respect to those who serve Christ, though their recompence is not till the resurrection of the just, yet an account is kept of their work of faith and labour of love, which God is not unrighteous to forget. The servant of God must be faithful to every trust, and watchful for those who employ him. If he appear to be neglected now, he will be remembered hereafter. None of our actions can be forgotten; even our most secret thoughts are written in lasting registers, Re 20:12.Conspiracies inside the palace were ordinary occurrences in Persia. Xerxes was ultimately murdered by Artabanus, the captain of the guard, and Aspamitras, a chamberlain and eunuch. Es 2:21-23. Mordecai, Discovering a Treason, Is Recorded in the Chronicles.

21. In those days … two of the king's chamberlains … were wroth and sought to lay hand on the king, &c.—This secret conspiracy against the king's life probably arose out of revenge for the divorce of Vashti, in whose interest, and at whose instigation, these eunuchs may have acted. Through the vigilance of Mordecai, whose fidelity, however, passed unnoticed, the design was frustrated, while the conspirators were condemned to be executed and as the matter was recorded in the court annals, it became the occasion afterwards of Mordecai's preferment to the place of power and influence for which, in furtherance of the national interests of the Jews, divine providence intended him.

Which kept the door; either,

1. Of the king’s chamber. Or,

2. Of his court; and so they sat in the gate, as Mordecai did, who by that means contracting some familiar acquaintance with them, might make some discovery of their minds and design.

Sought to lay hand, i.e. violent hand; to kill him, as this phrase is used, Esther 3:6, and elsewhere.

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate,.... Being, as before observed, an officer at court:

two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those that kept the door; of the inner court, as Aben Ezra, of the doors of his bedchamber; perhaps they were the chief of his bodyguards, as the Septuagint version; in later times, such officers were about the chambers of great personages as their guards (a):

these were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the King Ahasuerus; to poison him, as Jarchi and both the Targums; however, to take away his life by some means or another. Gorionides (b) says their design was, while the king was asleep, to cut off his head, and carry it to the king of Greece; there being at that time great wars between the kingdom of Greece and the kingdom of Persia, which exactly agrees with the times of Xerxes, and with this part of his reign, about the seventh year of it, what was the occasion of this wrath is not said, it is thought to be either the divorce of Vashti, whose creatures they were, or the marriage of Esther, and particularly the promotion of Mordecai, fearing they should be turned out of their places; so the former Targum.

(a) Vid. Pignorium de Servis, p. 408, &c. & Popma de Servis, p. 33. & Alstorph. de Lectis Vet. c. 12. (b) Hist. Heb. l. 2. c. 1. p. 72.

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay {n} hand on the king Ahasuerus.

(n) Meaning, to kill him.

21. In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate] The main course of the story is thus resumed from Esther 2:19.

chamberlains] eunuchs.

Bigthan and Teresh] The former is possibly the Bigtha of Esther 1:10. In Esther 6:2 he is called Bigthana.

of those which kept the door] who guarded the entrance to the room where the king slept. It was a position in which the strictest fidelity was obviously needed, and which gave a conspirator who could attain it a great prospect of success. In point of fact Xerxes himself in the end fell a victim to a murderous attack by an officer of this kind (Diodor. xi. 69. 1), and such too was the fate of one of his successors, Artaxerxes III (Ochus), in b.c. 338.

Verse 21. - In those days. Or, "at that time" - i.e. at the time when the second gathering of the virgins took place (see ver. 19). Two of the king's chamberlains. Rather, "eunuchs." Bigthan, or Bigthana (Esther 6:2), is probably the same name as the Bigtha of Esther 1:10, and possibly the same personage. Teresh is not mentioned elsewhere. Of those which kept the door. Two of the eunuchs who guarded the entrance to the king's sleeping apartment. This was a position of the highest possible trust, and gave conspirators a terrible advantage. Xerxes actually lost his life through a conspiracy formed by Artabanus, the captain of his guard, with Aspamitras, a eunuch and chamberlain (Ctes., 'Exc. Pers.,' § 29). Esther 2:21The definition of time in Esther 2:19 is again take up by the words: in those days; then the explanatory clause, Esther 2:20, is repeated; and after this we are informed what it was that had then occurred. In those days Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's courtiers, who were the threshold-keepers (palace-watchers, lxx ἀρχισωματοφύλακες), were wroth, and sought to lay hands on King Ahashverosh, i.e., to slay him. Esther 2:22. This thing was known to Mordochai, and by him communicated to Esther, who told it, in Mordochai's name, to the king. Esther 2:23. The matter was investigated (sc. by the king), and found out, sc. as Mordochai had testified. The two criminals were hanged on a tree, i.e., impaled on a stake, a sort of crucifixion, - see rem. on Esther 6:11, - and the circumstance entered in the book of the chronicles, i.e., the chronicles of the kingdom. המּלך לפני, before the king, i.e., in his presence, immediately after sentence had been passed by a court over which the monarch presided.
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