Verse 1 – It is clear from verse 16 in this chapter, that Esther did not meet King Ahasuerus until four years after the first events (479-478 B.C.). Some scholars have suggested that the search for a replacement queen only started when Ahasuerus returned from fighting with the Greeks.
Verses 3, 14-17 – Persian Kings collected not only vast amounts of jewelry, but also great numbers of women. These young virgins were taken from their homes and required to live in a separate building near the palace, called a harem. Their sole purpose was to await a call from the king for sexual pleasure. However, Esther’s beauty pleased the king enough that he crowned her queen in place of Vashti.
Verses 5, 6 – The Jewish population had increased since their exile 100 years earlier. The Bible says that Mordecai was carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. This word “who,” referring to Mordecai, could also mean his family. If it was truly Mordecai, then he would be over 100 years old which is not that hard to imagine. We shouldn’t read things into scripture that is not there.
Verse 10 – It’s not clear why Mordecai told Esther to keep her heritage quiet, but she did so until the proper time. As Christians, we shouldn’t have to tell others that we are a Christian. It should be obvious the difference God makes in our lives.
Verse 17 – God placed Esther on the throne even before the Jews faced the possibility of complete destruction so that when trouble came, she would already be in position to help. Sometimes, we are just unable to figure out why God has placed us where He does. More than likely, it is always for a higher purpose.