Esther is no Sunday School role-model | Esther 2.8-9


So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in the citadel of Susa in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with her cosmetic treatments and her portion of food, and with seven chosen maids from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best place in the harem.

Esther 2.8-9

She “pleased him.”  You know what that means, right?

Here and throughout the book are instances where Esther shows herself time and time again to not be faithful to her people or her God in any way. She is selfish, power-hungry, narcissistic, unmerciful, and only helps her people once she is scared she will get killed with the rest of them. She’s kind of a terrible human being. No wonder this book wasn’t accepted as canonical by huge communities of Jews.

See other Marginalia here. Read more about the series here.

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4 thoughts on “Esther is no Sunday School role-model | Esther 2.8-9

  1. Isn’t it possible that the man was a eunuch? It seems to me that it was common practice to use eunuch slaves to serve the King’s harem to prevent that very same kind of practice. Though I am not disagreeing with the idea that Esther might have faults (as do most biblical leaders), I do not think the word “pleased” had anything to do with anything sexual. The Bible is usually pretty upfront about sexual relations and I don’t think Esther was seducing the person in charge.

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    • Crap. I copied and pasted the wrong verses. Here’s what I meant:

      “And let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so….

      The turn came for each girl to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their cosmetic treatment, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the girl went in to the king she was given whatever she asked for to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she went in; then in the morning she came back to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name…

      When Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal palace in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the other women; of all the women she won his favor and devotion, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.”

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  2. Pingback: #Marginalia Weekly Round-Up #2 [3/3-7/14] | the long way home | Prodigal Paul

  3. Pingback: How to read Esther Christianly | Esther 7:4–10 | the long way home | Prodigal Paul

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