Esther 2:14 - In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king
again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.

I don't know why this scene never stood out to me before. After the king banishes Vashti, the virgins of the land are taken to the king's palace, placed in a harem, given beauty treatments, forced spend a night with the king to see in whom he most delights, and are placed in a second harem under the care of a eunuch who oversees the concubines. It is not unfair to assume that the king had relations with the virgins upon becoming aware of these circumstances.

Did Esther and the rest of the virgins sleep with the king? My sources say yes.
Cliff Graham does not believe that mighty King Ahasuerus, a great conqueror and worshipper of pagan gods, spent his time pining for one special girl to whom he could give his heart. Like any good ancient monarch, he had harems specifically for his concubines. When the chance came for more beautiful virgins to be brought to him, Ahasuerus gladly accepted the offer. In Graham's opinion, the king undoubtedly slept with Esther and the other virgins.

In his article "Esther: Harlot or Heroine?" Preston Sprinkle agrees with Cliff Graham's answer and adds reasons why Esther could potentially be considered a harlot. He points out that Esther  seems to have forsaken her Jewish customs and the Mosaic law because she did not resist being taken into the king's palace, she spent the night with the king before they were married, she married the pagan king, and she wined and dined with him (something Daniel and his friends explicitily chose not to do).  
There was only one occurrence of an opposing answer that I came across. It wasn't really a legitimate source; it is in a forum. But the author of the comment seems to have a seemingly valid argument, so I will include it. MiserableSinner says, "When Esther was selected, she entered the harem. No one else other than the king would have ever been allowed to sleep with her after that, regardless of whether or not she was chosen to be queen... Don't confuse becoming queen with becoming married. She 'married' the  king when she was selected for the harem." Easton's Bible Dictionary supports MiserableSinner's statement by saying that "concubines in the Bible denote a female conjugally united to a man, but in a relation inferior to that of a wife... The concubine was a wife of secondary rank." So, technically, once the virgins were placed in the harem, they all became the king's wives. This would make Esther's sleeping with the king not an adulterous act. This opinion doesn't actually oppose the fact that Esther slept with the king; it just denies that Esther committed adultery.

I found these verses in the New Living Translation of the Bible interesting.
Esther 2:12 & 14 - Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and ointments... That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the next morning she was brought to the second harem, where the king’s wives lived.

The obviousness of the wording seems to leave no question that the king had sexual relations with the virgins. Because of this research, I now believe that this did happen. But no matter what side is taken, we can be sure it didn't happen like this:
(Since the video doesn't seem to work, use this link to access it and watch from 7:40 to 10:30.)
 


Comments




Leave a Reply