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Mordecai
Mordecai
is one of the main personalities in the Book of Esther
Book of Esther
in the Hebrew Bible. He was the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. The name is also written as Mordechai (Hebrew: מָרְדְּכַי‬, Modern Mardəkī, Tiberian Māredeḵī, Persian: مردخای‎ Merdekha, IPA value: [moʁdoˈχaj]).

Contents

1 Biblical account 2 History

2.1 Name 2.2 Age

3 Prophet
Prophet
status 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Biblical account[edit] Mordecai
Mordecai
resided in Susa
Susa
(Shushan or Shoushan),[1] the metropolis of Persia (now Iran). He adopted his orphaned cousin ( Esther
Esther
2:7), Hadassah (Esther), whom he brought up as if she were his own daughter.[2] When "young virgins" were sought, she was taken into the presence of King Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus
and was made queen in the place of the exiled queen Vashti. Mordecai
Mordecai
was referred to subsequently as one of those who "sat in the king's gate" to indicate his position of closeness to the king. While holding this office, he discovered a plot of the king's chamberlains Bigthan and Teresh
Bigthan and Teresh
to assassinate the king. Because of Mordecai's vigilance, the plot was foiled. His services to the king in this matter were duly recorded in the king's royal diary. Haman the Agagite had been raised to the highest position at court. In spite of the king's decree that all should prostrate themselves before Haman, Mordecai
Mordecai
refused to do so. Though the Hebrew Scriptures attest to Israelites
Israelites
or Jews
Jews
bowing out of respect and submission (e.g. Gen. 33: 3; 1 Sam. 24:8), Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites, their ancient enemies ( Esther
Esther
3:1; 1 Sam. 15:8).[3] Haman, stung by Mordecai's refusal, resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale murder of the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire. Learning of Haman's scheme, Mordecai
Mordecai
communicated with Queen Esther
Esther
regarding it, and by her bold intervention the scheme was frustrated by distributing arms to the Jews
Jews
of Susa
Susa
and other Persian cities where they lived and clashed with Haman's militia, until the king rescinded the edict to murder the empire's Jews. Mordecai
Mordecai
was raised to a high rank, donned in the royal gray cloak, and Haman was executed on gallows he had by anticipation erected for Mordecai. In memory of the deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews
Jews
to this day celebrate the feast of Purim
Purim
or "Lots" because of the lots that were drawn by Haman to decide the date on which the slaughter of the Jews
Jews
would take place. The Biblical account ends: "And all the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai
Mordecai
the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking goodliness for his people, and speaking peace to all his seed." ( Esther
Esther
10:2–3) History[edit] Name[edit] The name "Mordecai" is of uncertain origin but is considered identical to the name Marduka or Marduku (Akkadian: 𒀫𒌓) attested as the name of officials in the Persian court in thirty texts (the Persepolis Administrative Archives) from the period of Xerxes I and his father Darius, and may refer to up to four individuals, one of which might have served as the prototype for the biblical Mordecai. The name is commonly interpreted as a theophoric name referring to the god Marduk
Marduk
with the understanding that it means "[servant/follower/devotee] of Marduk" in Aramaic. (The Book of Daniel contains similar accounts of Jews
Jews
living in exile in Babylonia being assigned names relating to Babylonian gods.) Some[who?] suggest that as Marduk
Marduk
was a war-god, the expression "[servant] of Marduk" may simply denote a warrior – the popular translation of "warrior" is commonly found in naming dictionaries. Others[who?] note that Marduk was the creator in Babylonian mythology
Babylonian mythology
whence the term might have been understood by Jews
Jews
to mean simply "[servant] of God".[citation needed] The Talmud
Talmud
(Menachot 64b and 65a) relates that his full name was "Mordechai Bilshan" (which occurs in Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7). Hoschander interpreted this as the Babylonian " Marduk
Marduk
Belshunu" (𒀭𒀫𒌓𒂗𒋗𒉡, dMarduk-Bel-šu-nu, meaning " Marduk
Marduk
is their lord") "Mordecai" being thus a hypocorism. Another interpretation of the name is that it is of Persian origin meaning "little boy". Other suggested meanings of "contrition" (Hebrew root m-r-d), "bitter" (Hebrew root m-r) or "bruising" (Hebrew root r-d-d) are listed in Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary of the late 19th century. There is also speculation that the name is derived from Aramaic mar dochi; mar being a title address for a gentleman and dochi, meaning "one who incurs merit" (cf. Hebrew zoche). The Talmud
Talmud
provides a Midrashic interpretation of the name Mordechai Bilshan as mara dachia ("pure myrrh") alluding to Exodus 30:23 and ba'al lashon ("master of languages") reminding us that as a member of the Great Assembly he was familiar with many foreign languages.

Tomb of Esther
Esther
and Mordechai

In the King James Version of the deuterocanonical Greek additions to Esther, his name is spelled as Mardocheus. Age[edit] The Pentecostal
Pentecostal
minister Finis Dake interprets the Bible verses Esther 2:5–6 (" Mordecai
Mordecai
son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jeconiah
Jeconiah
king of Judah") to mean that Mordecai
Mordecai
himself was exiled by Nebuchadnezzar.[4] Biblical scholar Michael D. Coogan discusses this as an inaccuracy regarding Mordecai's age.[5][6] In the passage, either Mordecai
Mordecai
or his great-grandfather Kish is identified as having been exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar (in 597 BC). If this refers to Mordecai, he would have had to live over a century to have witnessed the events described in the Book of Esther
Book of Esther
(assuming the biblical Ahasuerus
Ahasuerus
is indeed Xerxes I).[5] However, the verse may be read as referring not to Mordecai's exile to Babylon, but to his great-grandfather Kish's exile—a reading which many accept.[7][8][9][10] Prophet
Prophet
status[edit] The Talmud
Talmud
lists Mordecai
Mordecai
and Esther
Esther
as prophets.[11] The Talmud
Talmud
says Mordecai
Mordecai
prophesied in the second year of Darius. Mordecai's genealogy in the second chapter of the Book of Esther
Book of Esther
is given as a descendant of Kish of the Tribe of Benjamin. Kish was also the name of the father of King Saul, and the Talmud
Talmud
accords Mordecai the status of a descendant of the first King of Israel.[12] The Targum Sheni
Targum Sheni
gives his genealogy in more detail, as follows: "Mordecai, son of Ya'ir, son of Shim'i, son of Shmida, son of Baana, son of Eila, son of Micah, son of Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, son of Saul, son of Kish, son of Aviel, son of Tzror, son of Bechorath, son of Aphiah, son of Sh'charim, son of Uziah, son of Sheshak, son of Michael, son of Elyael, son of Amihud, son of Shephatya, son of Psuel, son of Pison, son of Malikh, son of Jerubaal, son of Yerucham, son of Chananya, son of Zavdi, son of Elpo'al, son of Shimri, son of Zecharya, son of Merimoth, son of Hushim, son of Sh'chora, son of Gazah, son of 'Azza, son of Gera, son of Bela, son of Benjamin, son of Jacob
Jacob
the firstborn, whose name is called Israel." [13] See also[edit]

Marduk Persian Jews

References[edit]

^ Esther
Esther
2:5–6 of the Bible (New International Version):

Now there was in the citadel of Susa
Susa
a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai
Mordecai
son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, who has been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jeconiah
Jeconiah
king of Judah.

^ Esther, Ch. 2, translation by Rabbi A. J. Rosenberg. ^ Moore, Carey A. (1971) Esther. New York: Doubleday. pp. 36–37 ^ Dake's Annotated Reference Bible ^ a b Coogan, Michael and Coogan, David
David
(2009) A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament: The Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
in Its Context. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 396. ISBN 0195332725. ^ White Crawford, Sidnie (2003) "Esther", in The New Interpreters Study Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha, ed. Walter J. Harrison and Donald Senior. Nashville: Abingdon Press. pp. 689–690. ISBN 0687278325. ^ Another possibility is Mordechai was carried into exile as he was an infant, and The Torah
Torah
timeline is only 70 years till Cyrus the Great and only about 10 more till the Purim
Purim
Epic. See Legacy of Sinai by Z. Fendel, and Purim
Purim
in the Persian Empire by Landry to understand the Torah
Torah
chronology, which is in dispute with the current conventional one. New King James Version, translation of Esther
Esther
2:6 ^ Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (Ed.) (1982) International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Volume II, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. p. 159 (entry: Book of Esther) ^ Wiersbe, Warren W. (2004) Bible Exposition Commentary: Old Testament History, David
David
C Cook p. 712 ^ Halley's Bible Handbook ^ See Megillah 15. ^ Esther's Echo to the Past – Purim ^ An Explanatory Commentary on Esther
Esther
with Four Appendices consisting of The Second Targum Translated From the Aramaic With Notes, Mithra, The Winged Bulls of Persepolis, And Zoroaster by Professor Paulus Cassel, D.D., Berlin, Translated by Rev. Aaron
Aaron
Bernstein, B.D., T&T Clark, 38 George Street, Edinburgh, 1888, pp 298-299, retrieved Oct 25, 2017

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mordecai.

Jewish Encyclopedia: Mordecai
Mordecai
in Esther
Esther
and in Rabbinical literature Modesty and Myrrh: Mordecai
Mordecai
in Kabbalah

v t e

Purim
Purim
 (פּוּרִים)

Overview

Gragger Purim
Purim
spiel Purim
Purim
Torah

Foods

Hamantash Fazuelos Kreplach Mishloach manot

Background

Book of Esther Esther (in rabbinic literature) Haman (in rabbinic literature) Mordecai Ahasuerus Bigthan and Teresh Vashti Zeresh

Religious

Fast of Esther Shushan Purim Purim
Purim
HaMeshulash Purim
Purim
Katan

v t e

Prophets in the Hebrew Bible

Pre-Patriarchal

Abel Kenan Enoch Noah (in rabbinic literature)

Patriarchs / Matriarchs

Abraham Isaac Jacob Levi Joseph Sarah Rebecca Rachel Leah

Israelite prophets in the Torah

Moses (in rabbinic literature) Aaron Miriam Eldad and Medad Phinehas

Mentioned in the Former Prophets

Joshua Deborah Gideon Eli Elkanah Hannah Abigail Samuel Gad Nathan David Solomon Jeduthun Ahijah Shemaiah Elijah Elisha Iddo Hanani Jehu Micaiah Jahaziel Eliezer Zechariah ben Jehoiada Huldah

Major

Isaiah (in rabbinic literature) Jeremiah Ezekiel Daniel (in rabbinic literature)

Minor

Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah (in rabbinic literature) Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Noahide

Beor Balaam Job (in rabbinic literature)

Other

Amoz Beeri Baruch Agur Uriah Buzi Mordecai Esther (in rabbinic literature) Oded Azariah

Italics indicate persons whose status as prophets is not uni

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