BSB Esther 2:10 Esther did not reveal her people or her lineage, because Mordecai had instructed her not to do so. 11 And every day Mordecai would walk back and forth in front of the court of the harem to learn about Esther’s welfare and what was happening to her.

Obviously, Esther and Mordecai knew each other.

21In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthane and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the entrance, grew angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
22When Mordecai learned of the plot, he reported it to Queen Esther, and she informed the king on Mordecai’s behalf.

Obviously, Mordecai could access the king through Esther.

Esther 3:5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or pay him homage, he was filled with rage. 6And when he learned the identity of Mordecai’s people, he scorned the notion of laying hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he sought to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the kingdom of Xerxes.

Did Haman underestimate the reach of Modecai and the Jews when he proposed the genocide?

1 Answer 1


The whole plot of the book of Esther is predicated on the royal court, including Haman, being completely ignorant of either:

  • Esther's enthicity
  • Esther's family connection to Mordecai

That is, Esther remained loyal to Mordecai's strict instruction in Est 2:10, 20 -

(10) Esther did not reveal her people or her lineage, because Mordecai had instructed her not to do so. (20) Esther still had not revealed her lineage or her people, just as Mordecai had instructed. She obeyed Mordecai’s command, as she had done under his care.

The dramatic element of the story of Esther is greatly increased when Esther's two relationships to her people and Mordecai are surprisingly revealed toward the end of the story that results in Haman's demise.

Why did not Haman notice either relationship?

Clearly, Esther disguised them well from the royal court. As far as the story is concerned it was well that she did because it turned for advantage and the advantage of the Jews. Whether Mordecai understood this fully is both unlikely and unknown.

Factors Contributing to Esther's maintenance of her secret

It is relatively easy to disguise one's ethnicity; and, if no one looked (why would they?) no one would even suspect that they was any relationship with the hated Mordecai - members of the harem were merely the king's private affair! Further, Haman's almost fanatical hatred of both Mordecai and the Jews almost certainly limited his ability to read and discern people properly.

The story is also told in a very dramatic way that Haman fanatical hatred, and his narcissism grow throughout the story to make his final demise more sensational. He become more and more obsessed and more irrational - even bragging to his wife and children, as well as himself! (Est 5:11, 6:6)

The story of Esther is also a lesson for others about such obsessive fanaticism - it invariably interferes with the normal functioning of our everyday lives.

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