Thinking About Mordecai

I’m slowly working my way through the book of Esther (while posting thoughts on it in no particular order, other than what my mind is trying to grasp). I come today to the first glimpse we have of Mordecai. He doesn’t show until the second chapter (or in original, i. e. “non-chapterized” form until after Vashti is deposed). We are told only that he is “the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives” (Esther 2.5,6).

As a side note, we understand the “who” there to refer to Kish, not Mordecai, who was carried off to exile.
Mordecai is an enigmatic figure in Esther, we never quite understand his motives. He is a prime mover, and yet opaque and difficult to understand. What stands out to me in the narrative where Esther is trying to become queen is how involved in all of it that he is. Surely, it must have been Mordecai who suggested that Esther be taken to the harem at all. We definitely know that Mordecai takes an intimate interest in what is happening to Esther (Esther 2.11).
What stands out to me about Mordecai is that he seems to be the only person in the narrative who understands the import of what is going on. Why should the Jews care that a pagan king deposed his equally pagan wife? How will it affect their lives one way or the other?
As it so happens it will affect their lives tremendously because in short order their very existence as Jews will be threatened. Whether or not Mordecai understands that fact in Esther 2, we can’t be sure. What we can know for sure is that Mordecai seizes on an incident which will not affect the Jews in order to take an opportunity for the Jews to have influence at court. His actions will end up saving the Jews in exile in Persia.
We begin to see here that Mordecai is indeed a wise and thoughtful man with a gift of foresight. We do not mean to say a miraculous gift, but a natural gift of being able to look ahead and plan far in advance.
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One Response to Thinking About Mordecai

  1. It seemed to me that Mordecai did indeed possess keen insight, but was it natural? Because God is so conspicuous by His absence in this book, I wonder if Mordecai is unknowingly being guided by The Spirit of God? We are not told that but it is consistent with the way other characters in the OT behave when we KNOW that God is leading them.Just a thought. I think this is one of the "unsung" and underappreciated books of the OT.

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