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Hebrew: מָרְדְּכַי —transliteration: Mordekay —meaning not known (of non-Hebrew origin), but may be related to the name Marduk —occurrences: 60

At least 2 men are named Mordecai in the Bible.

  1. Mordecai ben Jair, cousin and adoptive father of Queen Esther

    He is a son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. Through a series of providential events, he although an exiled Jew became the 2nd most powerful man in the empire of Persia, vizier to King Xerxes.

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    It has been alleged that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that he must have been at least 129 years old in the 12th year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion.

    It was probably Kish of whom it is said (Esther 2:5-6)that he “had been carried away withJeconiah king of Judah.”

    Mordecai the Benjamite lived at Susa, the metropolis of Persia.

    He adopted his cousin Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he tenderly brought up as his own daughter.

    When she was brought into the king's harem and made queen in the room of the deposed queen Vashti, he was promoted to some office in the court of Ahasuerus, and was one of those who “sat in the king's gate” (Esther 2:21).

    While holding this office, he discovered a plot by the eunuchs to assassinate the king. Through his vigilance, this murder avoided. His services to the king in this matter were duly recorded in the royal chronicles.

    Haman the Agagite had been raised to the highest position at court. Mordecai refused to bow down before him; and Haman, being stung to the quick by the conduct of Mordecai, resolved to accomplish his death in a wholesale destruction of the Jewish exiles throughout the Persian empire (Esther 3:8-15).

    Tidings of this cruel scheme soon reached the ears of Mordecai, who communicated with Queen Esther regarding it, and by her wise and bold intervention the scheme was frustrated.

    The Jews were delivered from destruction, Mordecai was raised to a high rank, and Haman was executed on the gallows he had by anticipation erected for Mordecai (6:2-7:10). In memory of the signal deliverance thus wrought for them, the Jews to this day celebrate the feast (9:26-32) of Purim.

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  2. Mordecai, companion of Zerubbabel

    He is one of the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon. He is mentioned in Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7.

    These came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah. … —Ezra 2:2 NASB excerpt

    These are the people [literally: “sons”] of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had taken into exile, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his city, who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah [Seraiah], Raamiah [Reelaiah], Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth [Mispar], Bigvai, Nehum [Rehum], and Baanah. —Nehemiah 7:6-8 NASB

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Article Version: August 4, 2021