Esther 2:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.

King James Bible
And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

American Standard Version
And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what would become of her.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins werre kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her.

English Revised Version
And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what would become of her.

Esther 2:11 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Before relating how this matter was carried into execution, the historian introduces us to the two persons who play the chief parts in the following narrative. Esther 2:5. There was (dwelt) in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the name of Mordochai (מרדּכי, in more correct editions מרדכי), the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite (ימיני אישׁ like 1 Samuel 9:1). Jair, Shimei, and Kish can hardly mean the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of Mordochai. On the contrary, if Jair were perhaps his father, Shimei and Kish may have been the names of renowned ancestors. Shimei was probably the son of Gera, well known to us from the history of David, 2 Samuel 16:5. and 1 Kings 2:8, 1 Kings 2:36., and Kish the father of Saul, 1 Chronicles 8:33; 1 Samuel 9:1; for in genealogical series only a few noted names are generally given; comp., e.g., 1 Chronicles 9:19; 1 Chronicles 6:24. Upon the ground of this explanation, Josephus (Ant. xi. 6) makes Esther of royal descent, viz., of the line of Saul, king of Israel; and the Targum regards Shimei as the Benjamite who cursed David. The name Mordochai occurs in Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7 as that of some other individual among those who returned from captivity with Zerubbabel, but can hardly be connected with the Persian mrdky, little man. Aben Ezra, Lightfoot, and others, indeed, are of opinion that the Mordochai of the present book really came up with Zerubbabel, but subsequently returned to Babylon. Identity of name is not, however, a sufficient proof of identity of person. The chronological statement, Esther 2:6 : who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah, king of Judah, etc., offers some difficulty. For from the captivity of Jeconiah in the year 599 to the beginning of the reign of Xerxes (in the year 486) is a period of 113 years; hence, if the אשׁר is referred to Mordochai, he would, even if carried into captivity as a child by then, have reached the age of from 120 to 130 years, and as Esther was not made queen till the seventh year of Xerxes (Esther 2:16), would have become prime minister of that monarch at about the age of 125. Rambach, indeed, does not find this age incredible, though we cannot regard it as probable that Mordochai should have become minister at so advanced an age.

(Note: Baumg. aptly remarks, l.c., p. 125: Etsi concedendum est, non esse contra naturam, si Mordechaeus ad illam aetatem pervenerit, et summa hac constitutus senectute gravissimis negotiis perficiendis par fuerit, tamen est hoc rarissimum et nisi accedit certum testimonium, difficile ad credendum.)

On this account Clericus, Baumgarten, and others refer the relative אשׁר to the last name, Kish, and understand that he was carried away with Jeconiah, while his great-grandson Mordochai was born in captivity. In this case Kish and Shimei must be regarded as the great-grandfather and grandfather of Mordochai. We grant the possibility of this view; nevertheless it is more in accordance with the Hebrew narrative style to refer אשׁר to the chief person of the sentence preceding it, viz., Mordochai, who also continues to be spoken of in Esther 2:7. Hence we prefer this reference, without, however, attributing to Mordochai more than 120 years of age. For the relative clause: who had been carried away, need not be so strictly understood as to assert that Mordochai himself was carried away; but the object being to give merely his origin and lineage, and not his history, it involves only the notion that he belonged to those Jews who were carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar with Jeconiah, so that he, though born in captivity, was carried to Babylon in the persons of his forefathers. This view of the passage corresponds with that formerly presented by the list of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jacob who went down with him to Egypt; see the explanation of the passage in question.

(Note: Baumgarten also considers this view admissible, rightly remarking, p. 127: Scriptoribus sacris admodum familiare est singulos homines non per se et sepositos spectare, sed familias et gentes ut corpora quasi individua complecti, ita ut posteri majorum personis quasi contenti et inclusi, majores vero in posteris ipsi subsistere et vivere existimentur. Ex hac ratione Mordechaeus captus esse dici potest, quamvis ipse satis diu post Jechoniae tempora ex iis, qui a Nebucadnezaro abducti sunt, natus fuerit.)

Esther 2:7. Mordochai was אמן, keeper, bringer up, i.e., foster-father, to Hadassh (אמן constructed as a participle with את). הדסּה means a myrtle (הדס in the Shemitish), like the Greek name Μυρτία, Μυῤῥίνη. "That is Esther," the queen known by the name of Esther. The name אסתּר is the Old-Persian stara with א prosthetic, and corresponds with the Greek ἀστήρ, star, in modern Persian sitareh. She was בּת־דּדו, daughter of his father's brother, and adopted by Mordochai after the death of her parents; we are told, moreover, that she had a fine figure and beautiful countenance. Her father, whose name, according to Esther 2:15, was Abihail, was uncle to Mordochai, and hence Esther was his cousin.

Esther 2:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Mordecai. The apartments of the women are accounted so inviolable, that it is even a crime to enquire what passes within their walls. A man, says Chardin, may walk a hundred days, one after the other, by the house where the women are, and yet know no more what is done there than at the farther end of Tartary. This sufficiently explains the conduct of Mordecai.


Esther 2:13,14 Then thus came every maiden to the king...

how Esther did. Heb. the peace of Esther.

Genesis 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray you, see whether it be well with your brothers, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again...

1 Samuel 17:18 And carry these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and look how your brothers fare, and take their pledge.

Acts 15:36 And some days after Paul said to Barnabas...

Cross References
Esther 2:10
Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known.

Esther 2:12
Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women--

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