Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. 8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. Esther 2:5-8
In the last blog I explained how the women were picked. I was always under the impression that the women went under their own free will. The more I studied the more I realized they did not go under their own power but more than likely most were forced.
We now come to Esther, the main character. The Hebrew meaning of Esther is” a star”, while the Persian name of Hadassah means “myrtle”. The facts of Esther’s life are sad, but she was a survivor. She was a captive from Jerusalem taken to Babylon. Esther was an orphan and adopted by her cousin, Mordecai. We also learn that Esther was beautiful and was one of the “gathered” young women by the officers of the king.
Mordecai was a very important person in Esther’s life. He treated her as a daughter and gave her guidance in her daily living. Mordecai’s name means “little man”. As we continue throughout the book we will find he is anything but a “little man”. Mordecai’s name is mentioned 58 times in the Book of Esther. As the story unfolds we will discover he was one of the key players in the history of the Jews.
Join me the next time to discover what happens under “the custody of Hegai”.