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Esther 2:21-23


2:21 In those days while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan 1  and Teresh, 2  two of the king’s eunuchs who protected the entrance, 3  became angry and plotted to assassinate 4  King Ahasuerus. 2:22 When Mordecai learned of the conspiracy, 5  he informed Queen Esther, 6  and Esther told the king in Mordecai’s behalf. 7  2:23 The king then had the matter investigated and, finding it to be so, had the two conspirators 8  hanged on a gallows. 9  It was then recorded in the daily chronicles in the king’s presence.

Esther 6:1-3

The Turning Point: The King Honors Mordecai

6:1 Throughout that night the king was unable to sleep, 10  so he asked for the book containing the historical records 11  to be brought. As the records 12  were being read in the king’s presence, 6:2 it was found written that Mordecai had disclosed that Bigthana 13  and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, had plotted to assassinate 14  King Ahasuerus.

6:3 The king asked, “What great honor 15  was bestowed on Mordecai because of this?” The king’s attendants who served him responded, “Not a thing was done for him.”

1 tn This individual is referred to as “Bigthana,” a variant spelling of the name, in Esth 6:2.

2 tc The LXX does not include the names “Bigthan and Teresh” here.

3 tn Heb “guarders of the threshold”; NIV “who guarded the doorway.”

4 tn Heb “sought to send a hand against”; CEV “decided to kill.”

5 sn The text of Esther does not disclose exactly how Mordecai learned about the plot against the king’s life. Ancient Jewish traditions state that Mordecai overheard conspiratorial conversation, or that an informant brought this information to him, or that it came to him as a result of divine prompting. These conjectures are all without adequate support from the biblical text. The author simply does not tell the source of Mordecai’s insight into this momentous event.

6 tc The LXX simply reads “Esther” and does not include “the queen.”

7 tc The LXX adds here “the things concerning the plot.”

tn Heb “in the name of Mordecai” (so NRSV); NIV “giving credit to Mordecai.”

8 tn Heb “they both were hanged.” The referent (the two eunuchs who conspired against the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Or “on a pole”; KJV, ASV “on a tree.”

10 tn Heb “and the sleep of the king fled.” In place of the rather innocuous comment of the Hebrew text, the LXX reads here, “And the Lord removed the sleep from the king.” The Greek text thus understands the statement in a more overtly theological way than does the Hebrew text, although even in the Hebrew text there may be a hint of God’s providence at work in this matter. After all, this event is crucial to the later reversal of Haman’s plot to destroy the Jewish people, and a sympathetic reader is likely to look beyond the apparent coincidence.

11 tn Heb “the book of the remembrances of the accounts of the days”; NAB “the chronicle of notable events.”

12 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the records) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn This individual is referred to as “Bigthan,” a variant spelling of the name, in Esth 2:21.

14 tn Heb “to send a hand against”; NASB “had sought to lay hands on.”

15 tn Heb “honor and greatness.” The expression is a hendiadys (see the note on 5:10 for an explanation of this figure).

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