Esther 2:9
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.
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(9) 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.

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.Hadassah, הדסה hădassâh from הדס hădas ("myrtle") would seem to have been the Hebrew, and Esther the Persian, name of the damsel. Esther is thought to be connected through the Zend with ἀστήρ astēr, "star." But there is not at present any positive evidence of the existence in Old Persian of a kindred word. 5. Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew—Mordecai held some office about the court. But his "sitting at the king's gate" (Es 2:21) does not necessarily imply that he was in the humble condition of a porter; for, according to an institute of Cyrus, all state officers were required to wait in the outer courts till they were summoned into the presence chamber. He might, therefore, have been a person of some official dignity. This man had an orphan cousin, born during the exile, under his care, who being distinguished by great personal beauty, was one of the young damsels taken into the royal harem on this occasion. She had the good fortune at once to gain the good will of the chief eunuch [Es 2:9]. Her sweet and amiable appearance made her a favorite with all who looked upon her (Es 2:15, last clause). Her Hebrew name (Es 2:7) was Hadassah, that is, "myrtle," which, on her introduction into the royal harem, was changed to Esther, that is, the star Venus, indicating beauty and good fortune [Gesenius]. 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 the maiden pleased him,.... Not the king, into whose presence she was not yet introduced, but the chamberlain; her beauty and her behaviour recommended her to him, and he concluded within himself that she was the person that of all would be acceptable to the king:

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 he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women; removed her and them to it, which was the most splendid, had large, airy, and pleasant rooms.

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.
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. Esther 2:9When, 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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