Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Esther - Chapter 2

Esther - Chapter 2

E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 2

1. After these events, when King Ahasuerus's fury subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what had been decreed upon her.   א. אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה כְּשֹׁךְ חֲמַת הַמֶּלֶךְ אַחֲשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ זָכַר אֶת וַשְׁתִּי וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂתָה וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר נִגְזַר עָלֶיהָ:
he remembered Vashti: her beauty, and he became sad.  
2. And the king's young men, his servants, said, "Let them seek for the king young maidens of comely appearance.   ב. וַיֹּאמְרוּ נַעֲרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מְשָׁרְתָיו יְבַקְשׁוּ לַמֶּלֶךְ נְעָרוֹת בְּתוּלוֹת טוֹבוֹת מַרְאֶה:
3. And let the king appoint commissioners to all the provinces of his kingdom, and let them gather every young maiden of comely appearance to Shushan the capital, to the house of the women, to the custody of Hege, the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, and let their ointments be given them.   ג. וְיַפְקֵד הַמֶּלֶךְ פְּקִידִים בְּכָל מְדִינוֹת מַלְכוּתוֹ וְיִקְבְּצוּ אֶת כָּל נַעֲרָה בְתוּלָה טוֹבַת מַרְאֶה אֶל שׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה אֶל בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים אֶל יַד הֵגֵא סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים וְנָתוֹן תַּמְרֻקֵיהֶן:
And let the king appoint commissioners: since each commissioner is familiar with the beautiful women in his province.  
their ointments: These are things that cleanse, like (Lev. 6:21): “it shall be scoured (וּמֹרַק) and rinsed.” [This includes] perfumed oil, various ingredients and spices that cleanse and smoothen the skin.  
4. And let the maiden who pleases the king reign instead of Vashti." And the matter pleased the king, and he did so.   ד. וְהַנַּעֲרָה אֲשֶׁר תִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ תִּמְלֹךְ תַּחַת וַשְׁתִּי וַיִּיטַב הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן:
5. There was a Judean man in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair the son of Shimei the son of Kish, a Benjamite,   ה. אִישׁ יְהוּדִי הָיָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה וּשְׁמוֹ מָרְדֳּכַי בֶּן יָאִיר בֶּן שִׁמְעִי בֶּן קִישׁ אִישׁ יְמִינִי:
a Judean man: because he was exiled with the exile of Judah; all those who were exiled with the kings of Judah were called יְהוּדִים [Judeans, Jews] among the nations, even if they were from another tribe.  
a Benjamite: He was from Benjamin. That is the simple meaning, but our Sages explained what they explained.  
6. who had been exiled from Jerusalem with the exile that was exiled with Jeconiah, king of Judah, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had exiled.   ו. אֲשֶׁר הָגְלָה מִירוּשָׁלַיִם עִם הַגֹּלָה אֲשֶׁר הָגְלְתָה עִם יְכָנְיָה מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה אֲשֶׁר הֶגְלָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל:
7. And he had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden was of comely form and of comely appearance, and when her father and mother died, Mordecai took her to himself for a daughter.   ז. וַיְהִי אֹמֵן אֶת הֲדַסָּה הִיא אֶסְתֵּר בַּת דֹּדוֹ כִּי אֵין לָהּ אָב וָאֵם וְהַנַּעֲרָה יְפַת תֹּאַר וְטוֹבַת מַרְאֶה וּבְמוֹת אָבִיהָ וְאִמָּהּ לְקָחָהּ מָרְדֳּכַי לוֹ לְבַת:
for a daughter: Heb. לְבַת. Our Sages explained: לבית, for a house, meaning for a wife.  
8. And it came to pass, when the king's order and his decree were heard, and when many maidens were gathered to Shushan the capital, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.   ח. וַיְהִי בְּהִשָּׁמַע דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתוֹ וּבְהִקָּבֵץ נְעָרוֹת רַבּוֹת אֶל שׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה אֶל יַד הֵגָי וַתִּלָּקַח אֶסְתֵּר אֶל בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל יַד הֵגַי שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים:
9. And the maiden pleased him, and she won his favor, and he hastened her ointments and her portions to give [them] to her, and the seven maidens fitting to give her from the king's house, and he changed her and her maidens to the best [portions in] the house of the women.   ט. וַתִּיטַב הַנַּעֲרָה בְעֵינָיו וַתִָּא חֶסֶד לְפָנָיו וַיְבַהֵל אֶת תַּמְרוּקֶיהָ וְאֶת מָנוֹתֶהָ לָתֶת לָהּ וְאֵת שֶׁבַע הַנְּעָרוֹת הָרְאֻיוֹת לָתֶת לָהּ מִבֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיְשַׁנֶּהָ וְאֶת נַעֲרוֹתֶיהָ לְטוֹב בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים:
and he hastened her ointments: He was more diligent and quicker with bringing her [ointments] than those of all of them.  
fitting to give to her: to serve her, and so they would do for all of them; and our Sages explained what they explained.  
10. Esther did not reveal her nationality or her lineage, for Mordecai had ordered her not to reveal it.   י. לֹא הִגִּידָה אֶסְתֵּר אֶת עַמָּהּ וְאֶת מוֹלַדְתָּהּ כִּי מָרְדֳּכַי צִוָּה עָלֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר לֹא תַגִּיד:
not to reveal: so that they should say that she was from an ignoble family and dismiss her, for if they knew that she was of the family of King Saul, they would detain her.  
11. And every day, Mordecai would walk about in front of the court of the house of the women, to learn of Esther's welfare and what would be done to her.   יא. וּבְכָל יוֹם וָיוֹם מָרְדֳּכַי מִתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי חֲצַר בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים לָדַעַת אֶת שְׁלוֹם אֶסְתֵּר וּמַה יֵּעָשֶׂה בָּהּ:
and what would be done to her: He was one of two righteous men to whom a hint of salvation was given: David and Mordecai. David-as it is said (I Sam. 17:36): “Both the lion and the bear has your bondsman smote.” He said [to himself], “This incident happened to me only to teach me to have faith that I can battle with this one [Goliath].” Likewise, Mordecai said [to himself], “The only reason that this righteous woman was taken to the bed of a gentile was because she is destined to arise and save Israel.” He therefore went around to find out what would be her fate.  
12. And when each maiden's turn arrived to go to King Ahasuerus, after having been treated according to the practice prescribed for the women, for twelve months, for so were the days of their ointments completed, six months with myrrh oil, and six months with perfumes, and with the ointments of the women.   יב. וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר נַעֲרָה וְנַעֲרָה לָבוֹא | אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ מִקֵּץ הֱיוֹת לָהּ כְּדָת הַנָּשִׁים שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ כִּי כֵּן יִמְלְאוּ יְמֵי מְרוּקֵיהֶן שִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בְּשֶׁמֶן הַמֹּר וְשִׁשָּׁה חֳדָשִׁים בַּבְּשָׂמִים וּבְתַמְרוּקֵי הַנָּשִׁים:
turn: Heb. תֹּר, her time.  
13. Then with this the maiden would come to the king; whatever she would request would be given to her to come with her from the house of the women to the king's house.   יג. וּבָזֶה הַנַּעֲרָה בָּאָה אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵת כָּל אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר יִנָּתֵן לָהּ לָבוֹא עִמָּהּ מִבֵּית הַנָּשִׁים עַד בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ:
whatever she would request: any entertainment or types of music.  
14. In the evening she would go, and in the morning she would return to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, the guard of the concubines; she would no longer come to the king unless the king wanted her, and she was called by name.   יד. בָּעֶרֶב | הִיא בָאָה וּבַבֹּקֶר הִיא שָׁבָה אֶל בֵּית הַנָּשִׁים שֵׁנִי אֶל יַד שַׁעַשְׁגַז סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר הַפִּילַגְשִׁים לֹא תָבוֹא עוֹד אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי אִם חָפֵץ בָּהּ הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנִקְרְאָה בְשֵׁם:
to the second house of the women: Heb. שֵּׁנִי [Like the usual form] הַשֵּׁנִי.  
15. Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail, Mordecai's uncle, who had taken her for a daughter, came to go in to the king, she requested nothing, except what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the guard of the women, would say, and Esther obtained grace in the eyes of all who beheld her.   טו. וּבְהַגִּיעַ תֹּר אֶסְתֵּר בַּת אֲבִיחַיִל | דֹּד מָרְדֳּכַי אֲשֶׁר לָקַח לוֹ לְבַת לָבוֹא אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ לֹא בִקְשָׁה דָּבָר כִּי אִם אֶת אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר הֵגַי סְרִיס הַמֶּלֶךְ שֹׁמֵר הַנָּשִׁים וַתְּהִי אֶסְתֵּר נֹשֵׂאת חֵן בְּעֵינֵי כָּל רֹאֶיהָ:
16. So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, to his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.   טז. וַתִּלָּקַח אֶסְתֵּר אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אֶל בֵּית מַלְכוּתוֹ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָעֲשִׂירִי הוּא חֹדֶשׁ טֵבֵת בִּשְׁנַת שֶׁבַע לְמַלְכוּתוֹ:
in the tenth month: the cold season, when one body enjoys [the warmth of] another body. The Holy One, blessed be He, designated that cold season in order to endear her to him.  
17. And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor before him more than all the maidens, and he placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.   יז. וַיֶּאֱהַב הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת אֶסְתֵּר מִכָּל הַנָּשִׁים וַתִָּא חֵן וָחֶסֶד לְפָנָיו מִכָּל הַבְּתוּלוֹת וַיָּשֶׂם כֶּתֶר מַלְכוּת בְּרֹאשָׁהּ וַיַּמְלִיכֶהָ תַּחַת וַשְׁתִּי:
more than all the women:  
18. And the king made a great banquet for all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast, and he granted a release to the provinces and gave gifts according to the bounty of the king.   יח. וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ מִשְׁתֶּה גָדוֹל לְכָל שָׂרָיו וַעֲבָדָיו אֵת מִשְׁתֵּה אֶסְתֵּר וַהֲנָחָה לַמְּדִינוֹת עָשָׂה וַיִּתֵּן מַשְׂאֵת כְּיַד הַמֶּלֶךְ:
and he granted a release: In her honor, he released them from the tax that was [levied] upon them.  
and gave gifts: He sent them gifts, and everything was in order to entice her, perhaps she would tell her nationality. But nevertheless-Esther would not tell.  
19. And when the maidens were gathered a second time, and Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate   יט. וּבְהִקָּבֵץ בְּתוּלוֹת שֵׁנִית וּמָרְדֳּכַי ישֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ:
20. Esther would not tell her lineage or her nationality, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther kept Mordecai's orders as she had when she was raised by him.   כ. אֵין אֶסְתֵּר מַגֶּדֶת מוֹלַדְתָּהּ וְאֶת עַמָּהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה עָלֶיהָ מָרְדֳּכָי וְאֶת מַאֲמַר מָרְדֳּכַי אֶסְתֵּר עֹשָׂה כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה בְאָמְנָה אִתּוֹ:
Esther would not tell her lineage: because Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate; he was encouraging her and hinting to her about it.  
21. In those days, when Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, of the guards of the threshold, became angry and sought to lay a hand on King Ahasuerus.   כא. בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם וּמָרְדֳּכַי יוֹשֵׁב בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ קָצַף בִּגְתָן וָתֶרֶשׁ שְׁנֵי סָרִיסֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מִשֹּׁמְרֵי הַסַּף וַיְבַקְשׁוּ לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בַּמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ:
to lay a hand: to give him poison to drink.  
22. And the matter became known to Mordecai, and he told [it] to Queen Esther, and Esther told [it] to the king in Mordecai's name.   כב. וַיִּוָּדַע הַדָּבָר לְמָרְדֳּכַי וַיַּגֵּד לְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר לַמֶּלֶךְ בְּשֵׁם מָרְדֳּכָי:
And the matter became known to Mordecai: For they were discussing their affairs before him in the Tarsean language, and they did not know that Mordecai was familiar with seventy languages, for he was one of those who sat in the Chamber of Hewn Stone.  
23. And the matter was investigated and found [to be so], and they were both hanged on a gallows, and it was written in the diary [that was read] before the king.   כג. וַיְבֻקַּשׁ הַדָּבָר וַיִּמָּצֵא וַיִּתָּלוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם עַל עֵץ וַיִּכָּתֵב בְּסֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ:
and it was written in the diary: the favor that Mordecai did for the king.  
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG