Esther 2v1-23 “The Beauty of the Pagent.”



Imagine living in a foreign country where there was a dictatorship in power – you have no rights – your life is not your own.

A)You are an orphan – you are a woman which means you have no rights what so ever – you are regarded as a piece of property.


B)And on top of all of that  you are a minority in that country – a minority that is hated and looked on with suspicion.


C)The only good thing happening in your life is You are being raised by a cousin – who has done a  good job of raising you as his daughter.

1)Raising you in the ways of the Lord


C)That is the life that Esther was living!


The place is Persia – Shushan the Citadel to be exact

Winter Palace of the Persian King

The time is 482 BC 


The King is Ahasuerus – We know him as Xerxes

It is the 3rd year of his 21 year reign


CH. 2 After these things,   What things

A)Here is what we need to know is that there is about a 3 year gap in between the events of ch. 1-2

B)Recap on Ch. 1 – 6 month Banquet – leaders from 127 Providences


C) Partying for 6 months –

1)Purpose: Win approval and support for a war with Greece.


C) Turning point: Final seven days – calls for his wife – Parade – Crown –

1)Disgrace –


D)She refuses – Emergency meeting

1)Instead of humbling himself and asking for forgiveness


E) Ahasuerus takes the advice of little men and decides to make Queen an example to all women in Persia who defy their wives


F)Queen Vashti is banished!


That is how Ch. 1 ended – inbtween Ch. 1-2 History tells us Xerxes – tried to attack Greece –

A)Unsuccessful in conquering them.


B)Ch. 2 Begins with a sad and dejected King – no queen – no longer mad at her!


C)About 3 yrs have gone by since he put her away in Ch. 1 – we know that because we are told the events of Ch.1 take place in the 3rd yr of his reign

D)The events of Ch. 2 take place in the 10th month of the 7th year of the kings reign

1)And the text tells us that the ladies were each given a year to prepare to meet the King


E)Thus we know at least 3 years have gone by!


Esther 2:1-4

After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her. 2 Then the king's servants who attended him said: "Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king; 3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the citadel, into the women's quarters, under the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, custodian of the women. And let beauty preparations be given them.  4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti."


Lets have a Miss Persia Pageant { Sole Judge


This thing pleased the king, and he did so.


Now we are going to meet the Beauty of the Pageant




V. 5 In Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite. 6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.


So When the Babylonians led by Neb  invaded Judah during the reign Jeconiah

A)Mordecai’s great grandfather Kish and his family were taken captive in that group.


B)Which means Mordecai was born in Persia.


C) We will find that Mordecai is a godly Jewish man – living in Persia - Very wise – very insightful –

1)Man of great faith and integrity.


D)He is a man who is going to take on the role of a father to his cousin Hadassah

1)A role that will have ramifications beyond what he could ever possibly imagine.


7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful. When her father and mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.



At this point in the story – this information is given as sort of a passing thought –

A)Oh and by the way- when his uncle died – he raised his uncle’s daughter as his own …


B)And by the way she was Lovely and beautiful.


C) Hadassah is a Hebrew name that means myrtle – Myrtle bush- myrtle = fragrance –

1)Myrtle branches are still carried during the Feast of Tabs Signifying Peace and thanksgiving


D)The Persian name she is given is Esther which means Star –

1)Ray Stedman points of one Hebrew Scholar translates Esther to mean to hide or hidden


I like the combo of those two definitions because up to this point – God had indeed hidden a Star in Persia for his People.

A)God had his hand on this little forgotten orphan and was going to do something huge thru her life.


B)When Esther lost her mom and dad at a young age she might have thought her life was over.

1)In reality it had just begun


C)God would bring this godly relative into her life to love her and care for her

1)To raise her in the ways of the Lord


D)God had something great in Store – Mordecai had no idea – { Never know the impact

1)Time invested in one life – one person – one young

Teenager – JR. High student – Mike Harris

    Greg Laurie / Raul/ Mike / Brokeness -


I love the description that we are given here of Esther – Lovely and beautiful

A)Original language – beautiful in form and lovely to look at.


B)We will also see that she was lovely on the inside as well. – That is what matters most!


8 So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the citadel, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's palace, into the care of Hegai the custodian of the women.

A)Now there are two important things to point out here from the text –


B)#1 The Beauty pageant was a decree – the decree said that all the girls deemed beautiful would be brought to the Palace.


C)#2 Word concerning Esther that she was taken

Idea – taken against her will. Taken by force


D)She was a reluctant participant in this whole thing

I think some Bible Commentators I read – ignore the text here and start thinking Cinderella

A)Mordecai and Esther conspiring together to advance Esther in a worldly fashion


B)Use her good looks to get ahead.


C)That is not what is happening here at all.

1)Esther is spotted for her beauty and is taken against her will.


D)All to Mordecai’s dismay – because both know that if she is not chosen to be Queen

1)There is a good Chance she will become a part of the Kings Harem. {He must have been heartbroken


E)At this moment Esther and Mordecai have no idea what God is doing. – All they can do is trust God


F)Your situation tonight – In the dark – confused – don’t understand what God is doing / not doing

1)TRUST HIM !!!!!  


So beautiful girls are gathered from all 127 provinces to the Palace – Josephus – tells us ….. 400 girls

V.9 Now the young woman pleased him, (Hegai)and she obtained his favor; so he readily gave beauty preparations to her, besides her allowance. Then seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's palace, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.

So Esther catches the eye of Hegai – something about her that he really likes

A)Notice that phrase again in V. she obtained his favor


B)The literal translation of the original language is pregnant with meaning

1)It says She lifted up grace before his face.


C)That is an awesome expression – one worthy of taking note of.


D)Her countenance was grace magnified -


Here she is taken against her will – thrust into this pageant– all these other girls – the competition and atmosphere had to be intense – cut throat

A)In the midst of all that Esther did not display a Sour attitude.


B)She didn’t display a “it is all about me attitude”


C)Instead she chose to model grace before this influential servant of the king


Great trait -  What do you Model in difficulty?

1)Peter sleeping 

2)Paul and Silas singing


A)Self Centered – all about you – mentality ?


B)What about you – Complaining – grumpy – downcast – woe is me – my life is so hard

1)Been guilty of that – Lord help me


C)Viki Alred – Saint – Others oriented in spite of her pain.


Esther Modeled grace – God blesses her for it

Hegai starts to give her some special attention.

A)Obvious – God is working here – Given Esther favor in the eyes of the Custodian of these girls


B) He is giving her extra spa treatments – extra maidens to help her – not just extra but CHOICE

1)Best of the Best – trainers beauticians


C)And he moves her to the Best place in the house!


Now from a human perspective we could look at this and think – NOT FAIR –

A)No wonder Esther is going to Win – She got all this extra treatment


B)But the way that we need to see this is – Here the Lord is coming along side this Scared young girl and is letting her know – I AM WITH YOU!


C)When everything around us is seemingly falling apart and filled with  uncertainty

1)God has his ways of reminding us – He is there


D)My life - Letters Emails – Calls – opportunities


That I believe is what He is doing here with Esther – He is assuring her – Don’t worry Trust me!


10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it. 

      Danger Anti Semetic


Again Some commentators take this too far – Mordecai is being secretive and isn’t practicing Judiasm – {Next Ch. Not bowing }


Not the point:  Being wise no one in that circle would have even suspected Esther as being a Jew

A)Mordecai is calling on her to exercise some verbal restraint and self control


B) A little bit of Mystery is attractive


C)Because women are more expressive than guys exercising restraint can be difficult for them.

1)Facebook Myspace


Men and women are different -  “I just need a good Cry” – What does that mean? Never had a good cry.

A)Emotional – Noah Carter – Sobbed


B)Wasn’t a good cry – didn’t feel better


C)Women good cry ?

D)Women are expressive – Retreats – first night

1)Guys maybe on the drive home


But let me say this to you gals – There is a certain attractiveness when a women uses some verbal restraint

A)Attractive Mystery in not knowing what is always going on in your head.


B)Don’t finish your husbands sentences


C)So Esther Wisely exercises some restraint here


11 And every day Mordecai paced in front of the court of the women's quarters, to learn of Esther's welfare and what was happening to her.


Precious – Dad – worried


12 Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months' preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women./  One Whole year of nothing but Beautifying {Wow – sounds awesome right?

13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women's quarters to the king's palace.

14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.


This is like the Bachelor – Persia Style – one shot


Esther’s turn:

15 Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch, the custodian of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her.


Obtained Favor – Grace was all over her!

A)God’s grace causing everyone to like her.


Proverbs 11:16 “A gracious woman attains honor.”


Psalm 5:12

“For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;

With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”


Proverbs 12:2

“ A good man obtains favor from the Lord,

But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.”


16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.

A)The King loved her is literally more attracted to her than all the others.


B)I think the king is going to grow to love her which is why he gives her some special priviledges later

1)Right now – all attraction – Physical and this special Grace


C)Right now it is all God – moving working in the invisible to orchestrate events – to put his Star into Place – { So She can Shine –for Him


18 Then the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his officials and servants; and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king.


19 When virgins were gathered together a second time, {more for the Harem} Mordecai sat within the king's gate. 20 Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.

Esther was teachable: Still listening to Mordecai –even after she is chosen to be queen.

A)Not getting prideful with her position.


B)Lesson for women today:  Compassion for women


C)World – Portrayal – Strong yet sexy – Aggressive

Unsubmissive – yet tender


Esther: Her beauty on the inside made her stand out more than on the outside.

A)Teachable – watches what she says –


B)Gracious under difficult circumstances


As the Chapter ends we move from Beauty to something really ugly 

21 In those days, {What days- Everyone is feasting celebrating – happy things are going well. }

while Mordecai sat within the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. Now isn’t this the way it always happens


Things are going great – these two guys get angry with the king – not sure why they just do

A)They start to plan an assassination plot –


B)That is they way evil is – angry – let it grow leads to bitterness –


C)Anger is allowed to fester it leads to rage and sometimes murder.


Ephesians 4:26

"Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.


Don’t let the Devil get his foot in the door!


22 So the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name. 23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.


That little piece of information is going to become very important later in the Story.