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Esther, a Level-Headed Youth

Updated on December 29, 2019
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

Over three decades ago I become interested in the Bible, having drank from the heavenly cup once, I have not been tired to drink more

Esther, crowned Queen
Esther, crowned Queen

Introduction

In this article I will be focusing on the pre-wedding life of this maiden, Hadassah (Esther).

Hadassah is the Hebrew name, which is written as “הדסּה”, the Romanized form is hădassâh which is pronounced as had-as-saw'. This Hebrew word has the same root as “הדס”, which has this Romanized form, hădas (phonetical spelling is had-as') which means myrtle. The word is feminine. Myrtle is said to be a symbol of beauty and love in the past (www.gardenia.net). It is therefore logical from this definition to say that the Hebrew word means beauty and love.

However, after the people of Israel have been carried away captive to another land, Babylon land, by Nebuchadnezzar because of their sins which God vehemently and consistently warned them against, the name Hadassah perhaps for easy pronunciation or because of its alien nature, because it is not associated with the gods of Babylon, the country which later was to split to Persian and Median changed Hadassah to Esther. The Hebrew word is “אסתּר” which when Romanized becomes 'estêr (phonetic spelling is es-tare'). The meaning of this (Esther) in Jewish heroine.

Google defines heroine as a woman admired for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Esther’s deeds later showed that she was indeed a Jewish heroine.

We, therefore, could say from this that Esther which was the Persian name given to Hadassah means courage.

Bringing the two translations together we can say that, her name means courage, beauty and love. This is a wonderful combination and the woman so named, demonstrated all these qualities while alive.

The author of the book of proverbs says that, “a good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. (Pro 22:1). Esther chose good name and afterwards riches that was beyond her comprehension becomes hers’.

Level-headed is defined as calm and sensible, able to make good decisions even in difficult situations.

Heads Up

The incident that led to the death of the parents of this maiden was not stated. It may be the aftermath of war, or some other unforeseen developments after they had been carried into Babylon.

One thing, however, is sure that this maiden was very young by the time her parents died and may likely be the only child of her parents as no mention is made of her siblings like it did happen for Lot after his father’s (parents) death.

Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.

And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.

And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah. (Gen 11:27-29)

After her parents’ death, Mordechai her uncle started taking care of her, and soon afterwards adopted her to be his child.

And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. (Est 2:7)

They have been living like this, as father and daughter in the land, they have forsooth settled down in the country according to the word of prophet Jeremiah that they should settle down wherever they are being carried captive to, get married there, build houses there and seek the good of the land where they are being carried to, for in doing this that is when their lives too would have meaning.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. (Jer 29:4-7)

Mordechai believed this word of the Prophet of God and settled down in the country, faithfully serving the king of the land and would perhaps would have been looking for who would be married to Hadassah his foster daughter until the unexpected happened in the palace at Shushan.

After the general festivity all over the country (provinces and regions) among all the inhabitants of the country, the palace was set agog again as the King wanted to honor those in the palace, thence he set aside seven days during which they would be entertained, seven days of enjoyment for them.

When the feast was nearing its completion, the king became happy and wanted his wife, the queen to be a part of the happiness. She has been a part of the happiness all along, but he wants it to be opened, he wants the people to appreciate her, he wants people to see “a living angel” in his palace, the person who has always make him happy.

He thence sent emissaries to his queen, Vashti that she should come to the banquet hall where people are gathered, but the queen did not answer the King. This grieved the mind of the King and when the cabinet met on the woman’s action, they resolved that she should be removed from her position with other ladies found for the King to be married to.

King Ahasuerus approved this, and other beautiful virgins were sought for all over the country for the King.

Because Mordechai has been seeking for settlement for Hadassah, he has been looking for a responsible male to be married to her foster daughter, he saw the information being doled out as an opportunity for the maiden to be married to a responsible person, the King of the land.

Pre-Marriage Character of Esther

Let us see some of the characters the lady possesses that makes her a level-headed lady among her peers during her days, some of the decisions she made at her tender age, though passing through hard times, when they were still slaves.

Esther
Esther

1. She is Teachable

As a lady who is living with her uncle, and perhaps with the man’s wife and the children of the man, (although the bible is silent on this, because the bible most often is silent on women) we did not read anywhere that the lady misbehaved to the man neither his wife nor nephews and niece. She comports herself orderly throughout the time she was living with them.

Some people when they are being raised by foster parents, they would be misbehaving and would be saying assuming their parents were alive they would give them better treatment that the ones those foster parents are given them, but this lady does not say this, she abide by the rules and regulations of the man, even post wedding wise.

Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.

Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. (Est 2:10 & 20)

2. Keeps Herself Pure

During the time she was with Mordechai, she keeps herself pure and holy, maintained her chaste nature, thus, it was not difficult for Mordechai to nominate her when the occasion calls for it.

Many slave ladies wouldn’t want to do that, because they would be looking for means of escape, or means of being integrated into the society as such, they would start flirting with the people of the land, they wouldn’t have reasons to think that they could be married to any of the leaders of the land let alone the king and would have been polluted. But esther did not do this she kept herself pure.

We need know that keeping oneself a virgin is a deliberate act by individuals, because it is not everywhere that Mordechai would be following her to, not to even talk of the fact that he was a staff in the palace of the king. Thence, if she went out and do what wasn’t expected she wouldn’t know, because as people used to say, “sex is a fun and it does not have meters that could be read”.

It thence does not matter whether a father or a mother takes her daughter to obstetrician to check her hymen yearly or even monthly what matters is that the youth be determined to keep herself pure, to keep her virginity.

I said this because if the girl child knows the obstetrician the parents are taken her to every month or year, she could connive with those people and her secret would be covered after all the parent wouldn’t be with her when she is being examined for assuming the parents could examine the child themselves they wouldn’t bother to take her to the obstetrician in the first place.

3. Her Purity Wasn’t Questioned

Her way of life, her disposition to things when she was brought with others to their keeper Hegai couldn’t make her chasteness to be questioned by the man, Hegai.

Some people’s ways of life do make people to question them when they said they possess something. People have a means of marrying ways of life with our possessions in life.

I therefore believe that the purity of some of the nominated virgins at the palace would be questioned because of their ways of life such that when they got there, they may be disqualified because of the strong doubt people have toward what they said they possess. They wouldn’t have been doubted assuming their ways of life wasn’t questionable in the first instance.

It is being said that the military and paramilitary personnel do undergo some psychological trainings, why? It is because they would study humans’ characters and from that could make assertions when dealing with a criminal so that when the criminal is lying, they would infer by looking at his or her face or through any other means.

The man who has been appointed to be in charge of the chaste lady is said to be an eunuch from the Xerxes, this man too may have underwent trainings like this during their days, to be able to make deductions if some of the ladies were lying and they were out to just be married to the King under subterfuge of lies, this she would detected.

Poll 1: Way of Life

Is your way of life not making people to question your character?

See results

4. Accepts Good Counsel

When Mordechai told her of the opportunity available that the king is looking for a virgin to be married to, she accepts the counsel and instruction to try her luck for assuming it is some other people she may not agree, saying the man wanted to take advantage of her because he was a staff at the palace.

She may on the other note say that the king was old enough to be her father as such she wouldn’t want to do anything with him and would prefer to be married to someone of lower cadre, lower age with whom she would build their family and lives together.

So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. (Est 2:8)

She agreed to go to the palace to be screened alongside with others as could be seen from the above bible verse for it was not stated there that she was dragged there neither compelled to be there, she was there freely, out of her own volition did she go to the place after being instructed of the notification.

5. Saved Through Counsels

The bible says, “where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. (Pro 11:14)

Her level headedness could again be seen during the training (or purification) as she was following the instructions of their custodians, and when she was through with her trainings and was about to enter to the king for assessment and maybe conferment or denial, she again stuck to the counsel of Hegai.

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. (Est 2:15)

By this word, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed it shows that other virgins who might have entered seen the king and other jurists before her were not sticking to what Hegai says, when they appeared before the king, but she stuck to what she was instructed.

Many people have died because they failed to stay by the instruction. Take as instance some of the drivers on the road who saw notification that they shouldn’t exceed 100 kilometers per hour but was speeding beyond that and the vehicle has accident and he died, whose fault is it? It is his because he has failed to abide by the instructions given.

Ladies instructor, Eunuch
Ladies instructor, Eunuch

6. Stayed Under Hegai Their Instructor

Their instructor neither had a reason to complain about her while undergoing trainings (or the purification) nor excommunicate her, this is because she comports herself, she lives orderly.

And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. (Est 2:9)

An arrogant person wouldn’t be pleasing to anyone, not even someone who is himself arrogant loves an arrogant person.

Esther cannot be arrogant and yet found favor in the sight of her instructor. For the Hebrew word written as kindness here is “חסד”, which if Romanized becomes chêsêd (phonetic spelling is kheh'-sed) which means favor, merciful.

An arrogant person no matter how his or her ancestors may have prayed for her before being given birth to, she would not find favor with people, because his arrogancy would put people off her.

7. Follows Instruction

She is a lady who follows instruction. She doesn’t read or listen to instructions alone, but she makes sure that she follows what was said or what she read.

Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it (Est 2:10)

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. (Est 2:15)

This word, “…she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed perhaps suggested to me that other virgins who have gone in before her did not follow the instruction of their instructor, Hegai. In other words, this eunuch, Hegai gave all of them a level field of playing, as he told each person at her time of entering to the king what they needed to ask from the king, but those people who had gone in before esther (and perhaps after her though this wasn’t stated that other virgins enter after her) did not stick to what Hegai told them, they asked other things from the King, they seize the opportunity that presented itself unto them, they perhaps would have said, opportunities come but once, and since they have had the opportunity of scaling through the purification stages and periods and given the chance to go into the King they should ask what they wanted from the King in case he does not favor them, in case they were not the chosen one.

I said perhaps other virgins may have entered the King’s presence after Esther because in a competition, to show all and sundry that they are being given a fair play, everyone would be allowed to partake in the competition.

And in this book, we weren’t told that Esther was the last virgin in the compound, but what we read was that when it was her turn to enter, she was told what she should ask from the King.

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. (Est 2:15)

Therefore, she wasn’t the last person, and other virgins in the purification arena would be allowed to compete too, for they were not invited there to be disqualified before appearing before the King, doing that would make the King unfair.

Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) (Est 2:12)

Someone may wish to ask that where would Esther be then, after appearance before the King? As I earlier said that it is a competition and every beautiful virgin within the province was invited to partake in the competition. View it as the worldly competition too, when a person enters a competition hall she would be kept in another room and if she is not kept in another room like those who entered for oral examination, the person wouldn’t be aware of his or her scores until after the oral interview has been completed, then after it has been completed he or she would be contacted either before all or individually that she has done brilliantly and is the winner of the program.

The interviewers cannot be questioned for choosing person A and leaving candidate B, because it is what they have been trained to do and they know what they are looking for in their candidates.

Thus, based on the above ipso facto, I can say that despite being allowed to enter the King’s presence as the competition demanded after Esther and they were told what they should ask from the King, they did not, they laid their burdens at once before the King, showing that they are not discrete, they do not apply wisdom.

The word appointed here is Hebrew word which is “אמר”, Romanized form is 'âmar (phonetic spelling is aw-mar') which means certify.

Hegai written in Hebrew as “הגי הגא”, Romanized form as hêgê' hêgay, (phonetic spelling is hay-gay', hay-gah'ee) is an eunuch of the Xerxes. The name Hege (Hegai) is probably of Persian origin.

This man has studied the king over the time, thus he has known what the king loves and what he does not love. Those things were not revealed to them during their training period, but after qualifying and were appointed, given a date to go into the King the man would tell them what each person should ask from the King.

It is like someone who wants to appear before the embassy, the agents of the person would put the person through of what he should do and what he shouldn’t do while going there, and if it is someone who is not going through an agent, the person would try and contact some people who have traveled out of their country before, even if the person hasn’t travel to the country she is going, she would still make the inquiries either directly or not, to know what it takes to appear before an ambassador. And whatever the person is told, he would work towards so that he wouldn’t be denied visa by the consular.

That is the position of Hegai unto all the virgins. Apart from training them, and ensuring that they follow the purification procedures, he equally told them what they should ask from the King, what the King would be delighted in if they could ask him that, what would move the king and the king would say this lady is not only beautiful but also knowledgeable, sensible.

Appallingly none among the beautiful virgins followed the instruction of Hegai except Esther.

May I say this before I continue that beauty alone is nothing, as the author of the book of proverbs says, it is vain, but a lady should balance her beauty with sound knowledge, understanding, wisdom and discretion.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. (Pro 31:30)

If a lady places everything she does on her beauty without seeking for knowledge, understanding, discretion, and wisdom, such a lady would be rejected in the society and even if she is married, the marriage would soon end for the rocks, the marriage would soon collapse, because it takes wisdom to build a home, raise a family.

And the bible says, “every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands. (Pro 14:1)

Poll 2: Woman

Which kind of woman are you?

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When you build your own house, you are a wise woman, but doing otherwise would keep you in the companion of the foolish woman in the society. Therefore, it is essential that a lady and or a young man doesn’t just jump into marriage, look before you leap.

Rare faith
Rare faith

8. Demonstrated Rare Faith

When other beautiful virgins that compete with Esther did not follow the instruction of their instructor, Hegai, Esther ensured that she followed the instructions given her.

Others couldn’t follow the instruction because they saw the occasion as a rare opportunity that couldn’t present itself again, they did not have faith that they would win the competition, but that wasn’t the case of esther, she believes that she would win the competition she has hope, which is one of the attributes of faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Heb 11:1, 33-34)

Her hope does not put her to shame as she won the competition and was crowned the new Queen instead of Vashti.

And hope maketh not ashamed; .(Rom 5:5a)

Be ascertained that your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ will not put you to shame if you are trusting in him for something, however, know that how the miracle will happen may not be through the means you know and are expecting.

Rewarded for her trust
Rewarded for her trust

9. She Received the Reward of Her Trust

Everything we do in life has reward. When we trust someone implicitly, we shall receive the reward of reposing our confidence in the person.

It is no understatement that it is the person one trusts that one would take to his or her word without questioning, but the person one does not trust after the person has finished speaking with us, we shall not take to the world, we shall hiss behind his back because we do not trust him or her.

Mary and Martha trusted Jesus and they sent message to him to come and heal their brother Lazarus, but Jesus did not appear at the time they were thinking until their brother gave up the ghost. When he arrived, he asked them for their trust, and they said they trusted him, and he brought back their dead brother to life (John 11). They received the reward of their implicit trust in Jesus.

In the same vein shall we see in this account that Esther trusted their instructor, Hegai such that she followed what the man said without adding to it neither subtracting from it.

Jesus aptly describes what Esther did unto his disciples and yea us by saying that,he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. (Mat 10:41)

The Greek word for “receiveth” in this word, he that receiveth a…” is “δέχομαι”, Romanized form is dechomai (pronounced as dekh'-om-ahee) which means accept.

While the word “receive” in this word, “shall receive a prophet's reward” is “λαμβάνω”, the Romanized form is lambanō, (pronounced as lam-ban'-o) means “to take”, “to catch”, “to get hold of”

Jesus is saying if a righteous person, or prophet, or instructor, or moral man etc. is accepted in the name in which the person presents himself, one shall receive the associated reward of believing or trusting that person. This is also true if one receives a dubious man, or cunny man in the name of a dubious person, one shall receive the reward associated with it.

Esther accepts the word of the instructor as a good instructor and she get hold of the reward associated with doing this, which was the ultimate reward as she won the competition she was crowned as the Queen.

Dripping oil from leaf
Dripping oil from leaf

10. Endures The Purification Period

The time of their purification is well stated in the bible and it is 12 months. Though the process is divided into two: first six months they will be using oil of myrrh and knowing how to use it and the second six months they will be using sweet odours and knowing its usage while purifying their bodies, for so it is required by their custom and when they are married to the king they should know how to use these in case their aesthetics miss it, they would correct them.

Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) (Est 2:12)

These periods were endured by Esther.

Training periods should be endured if anyone who wants to become a leader.

11. She Was Contented

Contentment is defined by Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as a feeling of satisfaction or happiness. She was satisfied with what her leader taught her, she was satisfied with what her leader told her to ask contrary to others who were neither have feelings of satisfaction nor happiness on what their instructor asked them to stick to and ask from the king when they entered to the king.

Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. (Est 2:15)

Apostle Paul talks of believers’ contentment and he says that, “but godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Ti 6:6)

Being godly without being contented would lead to wrong perception and assessment of the person, but anyone who could add contentment with his or her godly lifestyle would gain a lot in the world.

Esther ensured that she balanced the two, she lived a godly life and balanced it with feelings of happiness that is why she could be satisfied with what she has, either little or much as Apostle Paul says, “and having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (1 Ti 6:8)

Poll 3: Contentment

Are you satisfied with the little you have?

See results

Being satisfied with what one has does not mean one would not aspire to make progress in life, but what it means is that one wouldn’t envy others, one wouldn’t be overtly anxious to possess some things, when others are becoming agitated in spirit and mind about possessing and acquiring something one would be calm because one knows that soonest one would possess that too when one is yet living.

Esther was contented with the little she has, the little that could be afforded her at home and during the training and purification period, but she also has her mind in becoming the queen over the land, the favorable maiden among all the virgins that entered for the competition.

Contentment would allow you to live peacefully and peaceably among the people of the world, it would seem as if you are not pursuing anything, as if you do not have dreams, but in the real sense, your dream may even be higher than those who are not contented, whose lives have been on the edge because of their failure to be contented in life.

12. Keep Secret

One of the things that defines a good leader is ability to keep secrets. Some situations would be limited to some people until it is resolved, but if one of those who are supposed to keep the words discussed or the situation to their chest is the type that cannot keep secrets and he started telling people about the meeting and the discussions, the person would do more harm to the management than the intended good of breaking the news or gist about it with people.

Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. (Est. 2:20)

What Mordechai told her that she should keep her identity secret for the time being she kept it secret and wouldn’t reveal it to anyone.

It is the belief of some people that women cannot keep secret, but Esther shows us here that women too can keep secret until the appropriate time for the secret to be made known to the public.

As wise woman it is not everything about your family that you should be divulging to friends outside always know that it is not everyone who wants it well with you and your people. No matter how close you are with some people, try and wait until the appropriate time before telling some people the progress of your life and career.

Not covetous
Not covetous

13. Not Covetous

Esther was not a greedy person, for assuming she was, when her uncle told her about those who wanted to overthrow the king, she would have told the king in her name, to win accolade to herself, but she did not do that, she told the king in the name of the person who tells her what those people wanted to do.

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.

And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king. (Est 2:21-23)

It is act of greediness to want to bring to ourselves what ought not to be ours.

It should be known that,

Esther demonstrated level-headedness among her peers who entered for the competition and at the end of it all her level-headedness paid off as she became crowned as the queen, sure replacement for the queen who misbehaved.

Simple Quiz For Personal Assessment

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