And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids to the best place of the house of the women.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Obtained kindness of him.—This is the same phrase as that which is rendered “obtained favour in his sight” in Esther 2:17.Esther 2:9. The maiden pleased him — Because she was very beautiful, therefore he supposed she would be acceptable to the king; and by the divine power, which moveth the hearts of men which way he pleaseth.The maiden pleased him; partly because she was very beautiful, and therefore he supposed she would be very acceptable to the king, which would be his advantage; and partly by the Divine Power, which moveth the hearts of men which way he pleaseth.
and she obtained kindness of him: had favours shown others had not:
and he speedily gave her things for purification; as oil, spices, &c. that she might be the sooner fitted to be had into the king's presence:
with such things as belonged to her; food and drink from the king's table; the Targum interprets it gifts, as chains and royal apparel:
and seven maidens, which were given her, out of the king's house; to wait upon her the seven days of the week, as the same Targum:And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. she obtained kindness of him] This or a synonymous expression is a favourite one with the author (Esther 2:15; Esther 2:17, Esther 5:2).
speedily] In order that the prescribed period of twelve months’ preparation (see Esther 2:12) might be accomplished as soon as possible in Esther’s case, Hegai gave her precedence over others in its commencement.
her things for purification] See on Esther 2:3.
with her portions] A.V. has more vaguely, with such things as belonged to her. The reference is not to unguents of any kind, but to special food given as part of the preparation of those who were to be admitted to the king. So Nebuchadnezzar appointed for the youths who were to ‘stand before the king’ (Daniel 1:5) a daily portion of the king’s dainties and of the wine which he drank.
and the seven maidens] The article (wrongly omitted in the A.V.) indicates that it was the custom to assign seven attendants or maids of honour to persons in Esther’s position as candidates for the king’s favour.
which were meet to be given her] suitable to her exceptional claims on the ground of her beauty.
and he removed etc.] A.V. has and he preferred etc. In this sense, viz. to advance, promote, the verb (occurring also in A.V. of Daniel 6:3; John 1:15; John 1:27) is now but little used, although the substantive preferment has held its ground in common parlance. The Heb. verb simply denotes change, and it is the remainder of the clause which expresses the fact that the change was for the better.
and her maidens] The word in the LXX. (ἅβρα) is employed to denote female attendants of the choicer kind, like the French fille d’honneur. If it be an actual Greek word, it properly means graceful, delicate, but in the sense in which it is here used, it may be of foreign origin. Elsewhere it is used of the attendants upon Pharaoh’s daughter (Exodus 2:5), also of Judith’s maid (Jdg 8:33), and again in this Book (Esther 4:4; Esther 4:16) and so in the apocryphal Additions (Esther 15:2, 7).Verse 9. - The maiden pleased him. Literally, "was good in his eyes," the same expression as that which occurs in Esther 1:21. And she obtained kindness of him. This is a phrase peculiar to the Book of Esther, and a favourite one with the author (see vers. 15, 17; and Esther 5:2). It is better translated "she obtained favour" (as in all the other places where it occurs) than "she obtained kindness," though the latter translation is more literal. Her things for purification. See ver. 12. With such things as belonged to her. Literally, as in the margin, "with her portions" - by which is probably meant her daily allowance of food. And seven maidens. Rather, "and her seven maidens." It is implied that each virgin had seven female attendants assigned to her. Meet to be given her. It was in this point that the "favour" or "kindness of Hegel was shown. He selected for her use the most suitable of the attendants. Daniel 4:14); a desire for reunion with her evidently making itself felt, accompanied perhaps by the thought that she might have been too harshly treated. To prevent, then, a return of affection for his rejected wife ensuing, - a circumstance which might greatly endanger all who had concurred in effecting her repudiation, - the servants of the king, i.e., the court officials who were about him, said: "Let there be young maidens, virgins fair to look on, sought for the king." בּתוּלות, virgins, is added to נערות, the latter word signifying merely young women of marriageable age. Esther 2:3. "And let the king appoint (ויפקד is the continuation of יבקּשׁוּ) officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together every virgin who is fair to look on to the citadel of Susa, to the house of the women, unto the hand of Hega the king's eunuch, the keeper of the women, and let them appoint their things for purification; and let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti." To the hand of Hega, i.e., to his care and superintendence, under which, as appears from Esther 2:12, every maiden received into the house of the women had to pass a year before she was brought before the king. Hega (called Hegai, Esther 2:8 and Esther 2:15) was an eunuch, the keeper of the women, i.e., superintendent of the royal harem. ונתון is the infin. abs., used instead of the verb. fin. to give prominence to the matter: let them appoint. תּמרקום, from מרק, to rub, to polish, signifies purification and adornment with all kind of precious ointments; comp. Esther 2:12. This speech pleased the king, and he acted accordingly.
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