Women in the Bible
Lesson Eleven: by turtle

Esther 2:1-23 KJV
(1)  After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he
remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
(2)  Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair
young virgins sought for the king:
(3)  And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they
may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the
house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of
the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
(4)  And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And
the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
(5)  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.
(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.
(10)  Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had
charged her that she should not shew it.
(11)  And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to
know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
(12)  Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that
she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were
the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh,
and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the
women;)
(13)  Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was
given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.
(14)  In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second
house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which
kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted
in her, and that she were called by name.
(15)  Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai,
who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required
nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women,
appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon
her.
(16)  So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth
month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
(17)  And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and
favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon
her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
(18)  Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even
Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to
the state of the king.
(19)  And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai
sat in the king's gate.
(20)  Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had
charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was
brought up with him.
(21)  In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's
chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and
sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
(22)  And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen;
and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
(23)  And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore
they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles
before the king.

I really am hesitating about starting chapter 2 of Esther. Esther life is one of
tragedy turned from little orphan Annie to living with an uncle and then meeting
a rich king. Some would call it lady luck. Fact is no luck is involved in this story
though it would seem to be. The fact remains, no matter what hand life deals you,
sometimes God rewards you in big ways. But even so this story is mixed with
traditions as well as living with circumstances that one might not want to live
with, yet with the times it was a tradition for kings to have concubines and other
mistresses. It was a sign of wealth and prestige. However in God’s eyes it is
not one of prestige and honor. God ordain one man and one woman to be united.

Genesis 2:24 KJV
(24)  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto
his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew 19:4-6 KJV
(4)  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made
them at the beginning made them male and female,
(5)  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave
to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
(6)  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath
joined together, let not man put asunder.

Yet in the story of Esther and marriage it goes against God's law. Now one must
take in consideration the law of the land, the fact that the Jews were in Exile and
Esther was from a Jewish family. Her uncle worked in the kings court so to speak,
but had no real power. Esther's parents are dead and the fact remains that she has
nothing really going for her. And she is selected among other virgins to be
presented to the king for possible marriage candidate. She had no choice in her
situation. She could not tell the king no if she wanted to live. She could not go
against the rules if she wanted to live. Some women today live under this same
type of conditions. They make a choice to live according to the land. The fact
remains that she was in survival mode in a since.

Often people do things to survive and to get by whether they agree or disagree
with traditions of the land. Esther herself was not breaking any of God's laws, yet
her husband to be was. He had more then one lover. Yet the king was not a Jew
and did not follow Jewish law.

Esther through out her reign would take advice from her uncle as well as speak on
her uncle's and Jewish people behalf. Living for God in her circumstances and
obeying God in her situation. If you are in a situation are you choosing to obey
God and His will and purpose for your life? See God had a special will for Esther
and in the next few studies we will see what that will is and also see how God
allows Esther to use the power for good. Are you using your situation that has
been dealt to you for good. You don't have to be a king or a queen to live and do
God's will.