Esther 2:10
Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it.
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(10) Esther had not shewed . . .—From the hope on Mordecai’s part that she might pass for a native Persian, and that her Jewish birth should be no hindrance to her advancement. The king does not learn his wife’s nation till some time afterwards (Esther 7:4).

Esther 2:10. Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it — Lest the knowledge hereof should either make her contemptible, or bring some inconvenience to the whole nation: but there was also a hand of God in causing this to be concealed, for the better accomplishment of that which he designed, though Mordecai was ignorant of it. If Mordecai sought or desired that his niece should become either the king’s concubine or wife, he certainly acted contrary to the Jewish law, which forbid any marriage or communication of that sort with idolaters; but the circumstances of things, and perhaps the hopes he entertained of being able to do his nation great service thereby, may plead his excuse.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.The Persians had no special contempt for the Jews; but, of course, they despised more or less all the subject races. Esther, with her Aryan name, may have passed for a native Persian. 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]. Lest the knowledge hereof should either make her contemptible or odious, or bring some inconvenience to the whole nation, as things might happen. But there was also a hand of God in causing this to be concealed, for the better accomplishment of that which he designed, though Mordecai was ignorant of it. Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred,.... What nation or family she was of; it not being asked, she was under no obligation to declare it; and being born in Shushan, as very probable, she was taken to be a Persian:

for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it; lest she should be despised and ill treated on that account; fearing, if the king knew it, he would not marry her, as Aben Ezra; or rather, as the same writer thinks, that she might keep the law of God privately, observe the sabbath, &c.

Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
10. Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred] We must suppose that it would easily be discovered that she, like many of her companions (see Esther 2:3), was not Persian by nation. Thus what she desired to conceal was not simply that she was a foreigner, but that she was a Jewess. Nevertheless we have no knowledge from any other source that there was a special antipathy to her people on the part of the Persians. The concealment of her nationality must, one would think, have involved her in various acts both connected with food (cp. Daniel 1:8 etc.) and otherwise, which were inconsistent with Judaism. According to the Targum Shçnî the king on one occasion said to her, “Pray, tell me, who are thy people, and what is thy family?” She replied, “I am ignorant both concerning my people and concerning my family, because, when I was quite a child, my father and mother died and left me.” (Cassel, Comm. p. 302.)Verse 10. - Esther had not showed her people. To have confessed that she was a Jewess would probably have roused a prejudice against her, or at any rate have prevented her from being received with special favour. Mordecai, knowing this, had instructed her to say nothing to Hegel on the subject, and no one else, it would seem, had enlightened him. When, after these things, the wrath of King Ahashverosh was laid (שׁך, from שׁכך, to be sunk, spoken of wrath to be laid), he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what was decreed against her (גּזר, to determine, to decree irrevocably; comp. גּזרה, 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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