One Night with the King
Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Esther 2:12-23. The women who were chosen for King Xerxes went through twelve months of purification, six months of sweet odors and six months with oil of myrrh. Don’t you think this was some pretty extensive beauty treatments?
Persia was known for its preparation of brides, including ritualistic baths, plucking eye brows, painting hands and feet with henna, and make-up.
A beautifying paste was put on their entire body to lighten their skin and remove any spots or blemishes. You know they were looking good and smelling sweet after all this pampering.
Each maiden took her turn to go to the king. She was allowed to take anything she wanted with her to the king’s house. She went to spend the night with the king.
Then in the morning she was sent to a second house they had set up for the women, where Shaashgaz, one of the king’s chamberlains, kept the king’s concubines.
The ladies were not allowed to go to be with the king anymore unless the king asked for her by name. She was never free to marry another man; basically she was sentenced to the life of a widow.
There may have been as many as 400 women and 399 of them ended up with this sentence for the rest of their lives. Only one was chosen to be queen. Can you imagine how anxious these women were about this whole process?
When it was Esther’s turn to go to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai chose for her. Because of Esther’s godliness and beauty she was favored by everyone who saw her.
“For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.”
Esther was taken to the king’s royal house in the tenth month, Tebeth, in the Jewish calendar, the seventh year of his reign.
The king loved Esther more than all the other women, so much so he placed the royal crown on her head, and crowned her queen in place of Vashti.
Esther found grace and favor in the eyes of King Xerxes. This was not an accident, but part of God’s plan.
The king had a feast for all the princes and his servants to celebrate the crowning of Esther as queen, known as Esther’s feast.
He declared a holiday for all the provinces in honor of Esther and gave gifts with royal generosity. How special do you think Esther felt coming from her background and now to be the queen and be treated as royalty?
When the virgins gathered together for the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. This shows Mordecai had a place of importance in the kingdom.
Esther still did not reveal her background. She kept it a secret, just as Mordecai told her. She still followed his directions, just as she did when she was being raised by him. Esther honored Mordecai by obeying him like she would have her own parents.
Two of the king’s chamberlains were angry and plotted to kill the king. Mordecai overheard their plans and told Queen Esther about them.
Esther told the king what Mordecai heard. It was recorded in the king’s book of chronicles, that the king had the matter investigated and found out it was true, so he had both chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, hanged on a tree.
It was most likely not a hanging with a noose, but a hanging on a tree with a sharp point where the men were in a lot of agony before finally dying. This goes to show us that evil acts always have their consequences.
Daily Bible Reading:
12 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women:)
13 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.
14 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.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
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.
18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.
20 Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai’s name.
23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
Things to think about:
- Has God ever caused you to be given favor?
- How did God cause Esther to have favor?
- Have you ever been honored in any way that would make you feel special like Esther must have felt when the king crowned her and honored her with a feast?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
We thank You in this Scripture we can see the evidence of how You cause Your children to find grace and favor in the eyes of man, so they may be promoted to places of significance. We also see how evil plots against another can be found out and punished. Help us to always be in Your will so we will have Your grace and favor on our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This is an excerpt from The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor
If you haven’t already read the book be sure to get your copy now! We will only be sharing a few lessons on this blog. In order to read and study the entire book you will need to get a copy.
PS. Thank you for coming to DeborahHBateman.com to study the Bible with us. Please come back again tomorrow and invite your friends and family to join us for Bible Study.
by Deborah H. Bateman
About the book:
The Book of Esther: A Story of Love and Favor by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading study of the book of Esther from the Old Testament of the Bible. In the book of Esther, Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai. In a series of events and through fasting, prayer and God’s favor Esther was placed in a position to save the Jewish people. Esther was adopted by her cousin Mordecai, who told her maybe she was born for such a time as this.
God puts us all in circumstances where He can use us to further His kingdom and give Him glory, if we are willing and obedient. Esther found her purpose for life. Like Esther you were born for such a time as this.
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