“5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. She pleased him and won his favour. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. 11 Every day he walked to and fro near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.”NIV

The lovely Esther (such a bright star in the Biblical firmament) was an orphan. She was raised by her cousin Mordecai, and there is something touching in the description of his care for her in (11). He loved her as his own child, and she honoured him as if he were her father (see verse 10. Matthew Henry comments: ‘…he did not bid her deny her country, nor tell a lie to conceal her parentage; if he had told her to do so, she must not have done it. But he only told her not to proclaim her country. All truths are not to be spoken at all times, though an untruth is not to be spoken at any time.’)

It was a lonely life for a girl in the harem. She would possibly be with the king just once, and only return to his bed if he specifically requested it. She would live the rest of her life in another part of the harem. Technically she was a widow (See 2 Samuel 20:3).True, her material needs would be met, but she couldn’t belong to another because, she was, in effect, a (secondary) wife of the king.

By the way, eunuchs were men who for one reason or another were unable to have sexual relations with women. So they made good employees to supervise the harems of ancient kings, because they could be trusted not to molest the king’s wives and concubines.

As I read verse 14 I couldn’t help reflect that the King of kings is ‘’pleased’’ with each of us in Jesus, and He does call us by name to be with Him in worship, fellowship, prayer, communion. What a privilege is ours.

‘’For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit’’ (Ephesians 2:18).

‘’In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence’’ (Ephesians 3:12).