Today, the search began for a replacement for Vashti. After she had been punished for her disobedience, the king’s wrath subsided, and his servants advised that he should look for beautiful virgins all around the kingdom, bring them to the Shushan (the capital), give them beauty treatments, and then whichever of them pleases the king most, should replace Vashti.
So, there was this Jew, Mordecai by name, who had been carried away from Jerusalem with other captives by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Mordecai brought up Hadassah i.e. Esther , his uncle’s daughter, as both of her parents were dead. Esther was described as lovely and beautiful! So she was also taken with others to the king’s palace. Esther was very pleasing and obtained favour in the sight of Hegai, the custodian of the young women. He ensured that Esther had the best place in the house of the women, enough beauty preparations beyond her allowance, and seven choice maidservants.
Finally, the time came for the women to appear before the king, after twelve months of beauty preparations. – I have not heard of a longer make up session! The young woman would go in the evening and return in the morning to the second house for women, where concubines are kept. Such would never see the king again unless the king delighted in her and call for her by name. Such was the margin between success and failure in this beauty contest, it was all fame or shame!
The turn came for Esther to go, and she followed Hegai’s advise to details. Esther was favored in the sight of all who saw her, and the king was also pleased with her- he loved her more than all the other women, and set the royal crown upon her head to make her queen in place of Vashti. We can conclude that the king called Esther by name.
God has also called us by name. It is a honour a privilege to be called by name by the king. Jesus knows your name and mine, he has called us to himself, we are seated with him in the heavenly places, and he has placed on us a crown of righteousness bought with his blood.
In the concluding part of the chapter, Mordecai uncovered a plot to murder the king, and Esther informed the king. It was proven to be true and the act was recorded in the book of the chronicles.
Where do we go next in the study? Do follow along.
Some verses to remember
13-14 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. 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.
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.