14 Nov. Esther 2:19-23

14 Nov. Mordecai uncovers a plot to kill the king

“Now Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate [in Susa] when the girls were gathered the second time. Esther still had not told anyone about her family or who her people were, just as Mordecai had commanded her. She obeyed Mordecai just as she had done when she was under his care.”

“Now Bigthana and Teresh were two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway. While Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, they became angry and began to make plans to kill King Xerxes.”

“But Mordecai found out about their plans and told Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king how Mordecai had discovered the evil plan.”

“When the report was investigated, it was found to be true, and the two officers who had planned to kill the king were hanged. All this was written down in the daily court record in the king’s presence.”

          (Esther 2:19-23)

 

 

After Esther became Queen of Persia, her cousin, Mordecai, uncovered a plot to assassinate King Xerxes. He reported the details to Queen Esther, who passed on this information to the king. The plotters were arrested, found guilty of treason and hanged.

This action both raised Mordecai’s profile in the royal court, and made the king grateful to Mordecai for saving him from an attempted assassination. This was to be critical to Mordecai’s standing and influence as the story unfolds.

By the reign of Xerxes I (486-465BC), the Persian Emperors regularly used four or five of their royal palaces - located at far-flung regional capitals - as places where they could issue decrees and mete out local justice. Each of these royal palaces – at Pasargadae and Persepolis (in Parsa), Susa (in Elam), Ecbatana (in Media) and Babylon (in Babylonia) – had their own magnificent audience hall, and each regional capital had its own royal court.

Each year, the king and his courtiers made a seasonal progression from one regional capital to the next. The stiflingly hot summer months were spent at Ecbatana, high on the Iranian plateau where cool winds blew down from the surrounding mountains; the long winters were spent in the warmer climes of Susa on the edge of the Mesopotamian floodplain.

The ruins of ancient Susa stand today on two tells (settlement mounds) beside the River Shaur (or Chaour) to the east of the modern city of Susa. The remnants of a temple complex can be found on the southern tell, while the ruins of the royal palace and audience hall built by King Darius are located to the north.

The story of Esther is set in the royal palace built by King Darius at Susa. The photo (by Jastrow) shows a lion on a decorative panel from Darius I's Palace at Susa (in the Louvre Museum).

You can read more about Susa @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/35-the-exiles-return-to-judah/esther-becomes-queen-of-persia/


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