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ESTHER

The Rest of the Story

by Ed Costanza

 

Esther, the beautiful Jewish wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus and her cousin Mordecai persuade the king to retract an order for the general annihilation of Jews throughout the empire.  The massacre had been plotted by the king's chief minister, Haman, and the date decided by casting lots.8 

 

But the work of God goes much deeper and farther than the book of Esther records.  The book of Esther is just the beginning of the history of God's chosen nation.  It begins with the prophecy of Isaiah (41:1-2; 44:24-28; 45:1-13) to send his people back to Israel to restore the temple and settle the land after the 70 years of captivity for the punishment of Israel's sins and to give the land her rest (seven year land rest).  Hidden in the books of the bible and revealed through the various prophets God reveals the means He used to raise up Cyrus.

 

Cyrus is the grandson of King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther.  Cambyses, Cyrus' father dies when he is 12 years old.  His grandparents (King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther) summon him and his mother (Mandane) to come live with them at the palace.  Cyrus is taught by Esther and the King about the laws of God and the prophecies written 150 years before by God through the prophets about him (Cyrus).  When the time comes Cyrus king of Persia issues the edict for the Jews to return to Israel:   "Isa 44:28  That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid."   Below is the Genealogy of Cyrus the Great, king of Persia and Darius King of the Medes complete with notes and references. 

 

 

Genealogy of Cyrus the Great and Darius King of the Medes

 

  Benjamin  
  Kish  
  Shimei  
Jair    Abihail1
Mordecai     Esther2 


(Astyages) King Ahasuerus3   Esther  
   Mandane  
    Cyaxares (Darius the Mede)6   

Cambyses   Mandane
  4Cyrus King of Persia  


 Cyaxares (Darius the Mede)    Wife unknown  
   Daughter of Cyaxares (Darius the Mede)   


  Daughter of Cyaxares
(Darius the Mede) 
 marries  Cyrus King of Persia

Unites the  Kingdoms of Mede and Persia with the Tribe of Benjamin
 
 
 
1Abihail  Brother to Jair (Uncle to Mordecai)  (Died in destruction of Jerusalem)
2Raised by her uncle Mordecai
3King Ahasuerus (Astyages) King of Persia  (See additional notes below)
7Darius is the son of Ahasuerus & Esther and Cyrus is the grandson of Ahasuerus & Esther
8Britannica.com Book of Esther, Summary & Facts, Britannica
 
 
 
 
The following are notes from which the geneology above was taken 
 
Isa 41:2 Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? he gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow.
 
My Notes on  righteous man from the east:  How can a gentile king be called righteous? 
 
 
1.  The following is the Brown, Driver Briggs definition of righteous: 
 
Righteous H6664    tsedeq         BDB Definition:

1) justice, rightness, righteousness
1a) what is right or just or normal, rightness, justness (of weights and measures)
1b) righteousness (in government)
1b1) of judges, rulers, kings
1b2) of law
1b3) of Davidic king, Messiah
1b4) of Jerusalem as seat of just government
1b5) of Godís attribute
1c) righteousness, justice (in case or cause)
1d) rightness (in speech)
1e) righteousness (as ethically right)
1f) righteousness (as vindicated), justification (in controversy), deliverance, victory, prosperity
1f1) of God as covenant-keeping in redemption
1f2) in name of Messianic king
1f3) of people enjoying salvation
1f4) of Cyrus
Part of Speech: noun masculine
A Related Word by BDB/Strongís Number: from H6663
 
2.  Esther and Mordecai (her cousin) are descendants of Israel (Jacob) through Benjamin, Kish and Shimei.  Esther and Mordecai trust God and obey His laws.
 
3.  Esther marries King Ahasuerus and they have a daughter named Mandane. They also have a son named  Darius (Cyaxares, who becomes king of the Medes) 
 
4.  Mandane marries Cambyses and they have a son named Cyrus who becomes King of Persia.  Cambyses dies when Cyrus is 12 years old.  Esther and King Ahasuerus brings Mandane and Cyrus to the palace to live.  Esther and Mandane continue to teach Cyrus the laws of God and the prophecies concerning him and his calling.
 
King Cyrus is the grandson of Esther, a covenant keeping woman of God (as is Mordecai her cousin).  Esther would have taught her children Mandane (daughter) and Cyaxares (Darius)(son) to keep God's covenant.  Esther and King Ahasuerus brings their grandson Cyrus and his mother Mandane to live in the court with them when Cyrus is 12 years old; therefore teaching him the things he needs to know

From Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible:

Isaiah 41:2
3. The third opinion, therefore, remains, that this refers to Cyrus, the Persian monarch, by whom Babylon was taken, and by whom the Jews were restored to their own land. In support of this interpretation, a few considerations may be adverted to.

(a) It agrees with the fact in regard to the country from which Cyrus came for purposes of conquest. He came from the land which is everywhere in the Scriptures called the East.
(b) It agrees with the specifications which Isaiah elsewhere makes, where Cyrus is mentioned by name, and where there can be no danger of error in regard to the interpretation (see Isa_44:28; Isa_45:1-4, Isa_45:13). Thus in Isa_46:11, it is said of Cyrus, ĎCalling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my commandments from a far country.
(c) The entire description here is one that applies in a remarkable manner to Cyrus, as will be shown more fully in the notes at the particular expressions which occur.
(d) This supposition accords with the design of the prophet.

It was to be an assurance to them not only that God would raise up such a man, but that they should be delivered; and as this was intended to comfort them in Babylon, it was intended that when they were apprised of the conquests of Cyrus, they were to be assured of the fact that God was their protector; and those conquests, therefore, were to be regarded by them as a proof that God would deliver them. This opinion is held by Vitringa, Rosenmuller, and probably by a large majority of the most intelligent commentators. The only objection of weight to it is that suggested by Lowth, that the character of Ďa righteous maní does not apply to Cyrus. But to this it may be replied, that the word may be used nor to denote one that is pious, or a true worshipper of God, but one who was disposed to do justly, or who was not a tyrant; and especially it may be applied to him on account of his delivering the Jews from their hard and oppressive bondage in Babylon, and restoring them to their own land.

That was an act of eminent public justice; and the favors which he showed them in enabling them to rebuild their city and temple, were such as to render it not improper that this appellation should be given to him. It may be added also that Cyrus was a prince eminently distinguished for justice and equity, and for a mild and kind administration over his own subjects. Xenophon, who has described his character at length, has proposed him as an example of a just monarch, and his government as an example of an equitable administration. All the ancient writers celebrate his humanity and benevolence (compare Diod. xiii. 342, and the Cyropedia of Xenophon everywhere). As there will be frequent occasion to refer to Cyrus in the notes at the chapters which follow, it may be proper here to give a very brief outline of his public actions, that his agency in the deliverance of the Jews may be more fully appreciated.

4Cyrus was the son of Cambyses, the Persian, and of Mandane, the daughter of Astyages, king of the Medes. Astyages is in Scripture called Ahasuerus. Cambyses was,í according to Xenophon (Cyr. i.), king of Persia, or, according to Herodotus (i. 107), he was a nobleman. If he was the king of Persia, of course Cyrus was the heir of the throne. Cyrus was born in his fatherís court, A.M. 3405, or 595 b.c., and was educated with great care. At the age of twelve years, his grandfather, Astyages, sent for him and his mother Mandane to court, and he was treated, of course, with great attention. Astyages, or 3Ahasuerus, had a son by the name of Cyaxares [Darius], who was born about a year before Cyrus, and who was heir to the throne of Media. Some time after this, the son of the king of Assyria having invaded Media, 7Astyages [Ahasuerus ], with his son Cyaxares [Darius], and his grandson Cyrus, marched against him. Cyrus defeated the Assyrians, but, was soon after retailed by his father Cambyses to Persia, that he might be near him.

At the age of sixteen, indeed, and when at the court of his grandfather, Cyrus signalized himself for his valor in a war with the king of Babylon. Evil-Merodach, the son of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had invaded the territories of Media, but was repelled with great loss, and Cyrus pursued him with great slaughter to his own borders. This invasion of Evil-Merodach laid the foundation of the hostility between Babylon and Media, which was not terminated until Babylon was taken and destroyed by the united armies of Media and Persia. When Astyages died, after a reign of thirty-five years, he was succeeded by his son Cyaxares, the uncle of Cyrus. He was still involved in a war with the Babylonians. Cyrus was made general of the Persian troops, and at the head of an army of 30,000 men was sent to assist Cyaxares, whom the Babylonians were preparing to attack. The Babylonian monarch at this time was Neriglissar, who had murdered Evil-Merodach, and who had usurped the crown of Babylon. Cyaxares and Cyrus carried on the war against Babylon during the reigns of Neriglissar and his son Laborosoarchod, and of Nabonadius. The Babylonians were defeated, and Cyrus carried his arms into the countries to the west beyond the river Halys - a river running north into the Euxine Sea - and subdued Cappadocia, and conquered Croesus, the rich king of Lydia, and subdued almost all Asia Minor. Having conquered this country, he returned again, re-crossed the Euphrates, turned his arms against the Assyrians, and then laid siege to Babylon, and took it (see the notes at Isa. 13; 14), and subdued that mighty kingdom.

During the life of Cyaxares his uncle, he acted in conjunction with him. On the death of this king of Media, Cyrus married his daughter, and thus united the crowns of Media and Persia. After this marriage, he subdued all the nations between Syria and the Red Sea, and died at the age of seventy, after a reign of thirty years. Cyaxares, the uncle of Cyrus, is in the Scripture called Darius the Mede Dan_5:31, and it is said there, that it was by him that Babylon was taken. But Babylon was taken by the valor of Cyrus, though acting in connection with, and under Cyaxares; and it is said to have been taken by Cyaxares, or Darius, though it was done by the personal valor of Cyrus. Josephus (Ant. xii. 13) says, that Darius with his ally, Cyrus, destroyed the kingdom of Babylon. Jerome assigns three reasons why Babylon is said in the Scriptures to have been taken by Darius or Cyaxares; first, because he was the older of the two; secondly, because the Medes were at that time more famous than the Persians; and thirdly, because the uncle ought to be preferred to the nephew. The Greek writers say that Babylon was taken by Cyrus, without mentioning Cyaxares or Darius, doubtless because it was done solely by his valor. For a full account of the reign of Cyrus, see Xen. Cyr., Herodotus, and the ancient part of the Universal History, vol. iv. Ed. Lond. 1779, 8vo.


Est 2:5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
Est 2:6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
Est 2:7 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.



Adam Clarke Esther 2:7

He brought up Hadassah - הדשה hadassah signifies a myrtle in Chaldee: this was probably her first or Babylonish name. When she came to the Persian court, she was called Esther, aster, or sitara, which signifies a star in Persian: the name is undoubtedly Persian. Esther was the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, and therefore must have been Mordecaiís cousin, though the Vulgate and Josephus make her Mordecaiís niece: but it is safest here to follow the Hebrew.
6Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;
 
Ezr 6:14  And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.
 
Dan 11:1  Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.  (Note:  Darius had doubts about the command to rebuild Jerusalem, but the angel spoken of in Daniel chapter 10 went to encourage him to continue with the commandment of Cyrus to rebuild.)

by Ed Costanza
 
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