This morning as I was reading chapter two of Esther (in the car on the way to run errands) I began wondering how Hadassah--Esther-- must feel. An orphan, she was taken into her cousin Mordecai's home to be raised. Still at a young age (I'm not sure how old she would be at this time) she is taken to live at the palace in the women's quarters, as part of the search for the new queen. The bible tells us she is very beautiful, and because of her beauty (I'm guessing her beauty included her attitude and temperament as well) she gained the favor of the chamberlain. She was given the best area of the house, seven maids, and along with all the other young women, oils of myrrh and sweet fragrances during their twelve month stay and purification. Mordecai has not left her alone. He works in the area and checks on her every day.
Esther has been told by Mordecai not to reveal that she is a Jew, and she hasn't. I wonder if she ate things and did things that went against her faith, or did she find a way to circumvent that without raising suspicion? We know in later chapters that she was a very intelligent and resourceful woman. The bible does not say one way or the other so my thoughts are purely speculation on that point.
At the end of twelve months, each of the girls were to spend a night with the king, and would afterward go to live in the concubine's house, never to see the king again unless he specifically called for her. Esther found much favor with King Ahasuerus. He loved her above all others and made her queen. Even after being made queen, she kept her heritage a secret, as Mordecai asked her to.
Tomorrow we will look more at Esther. I love reading your comments, even when I don't reply. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Esther.