From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [1]

A name rendered memorable in Scripture history, from the person so called being made an instrument in the Lord's hand for the deliverance of his people, and the destruction of his enemies. (See  Esther 3:1-15 and following.)The name of Mordecai seems to be derived from Marar, bitter: or, as some have supposed, from Mur, myrrh; and Duc, to bruise. We ought not to dismiss our record of Mordecai with his name only, since the Holy Ghost hath thought proper to give the church so large an account of his history, in the book of Esther, which is principally, if not wholly, recorded for this purpose, No doubt, that the almighty Spirit intended the relation of it for much usefulness to his people in all ages; and therefore it becomes both our duty and our wisdom to attend to it.

The faithfulness of Mordecai exposed him to the anger and resentment of Haman the Hagagite. This poor despised Jew could not in conscience bow down and do homage to one of the spawn of Agag. Mordecai knew well that Haman was of that spawn; and what was yet infinitely higher and more important; he knew well, that the Lord had sworn to have war with Amalek, (now changed in name, but not in principle, to the Agagite) from generation to generation. Let the reader, for his information of the cause, consult  Exodus 17:3-16, compared with  1 Samuel 15:1-35. Hence, therefore, the faithful Mordecai, zealous, like another Phineas, for God's cause and his people's welfare, would not, for he dared not, bow down to the sworn foe of the Lord and Israel. (See  Numbers 15:1-13.) Oh, for grace to be found faithful amidst all the Hamans and Agagites of the present day! Oh, that the Lord would raise up, in this sense, many faithful Mordecais from the midst of our British Israel!

Reader, let us not turn away from this history of Mordecai and Haman, until that we have taken one instruction more. Look at Haman. What, Haman! could not all the glory, all the riches, all the multitude of children, that you boasted, satisfy you? (See  Esther 5:9-14.) What I had you your harem full of women for the riot of your lustful hours, concubines upon concubines, and the king's favour so great that none of the princes stood so high as yourself, and shall the sight of one poor miserable Jew, because he pays you no reverence, be enough to throw down all the props of this boasted grandeur? Must the blood of this man be shed before that Haman will acknowledge himself to be happy? yea, not this one poor. Jew only, but every Jew shall, die. for it, because Mordecai sat in he king's gate, and would not rise to give you reverence! (See  Esther 3:8-9.) Is it indeed so, and is this the case? Ah, wretched, wretched Haman! what a representation you afford of the state of a heart of malignity! what a portrait of human life in all its highest characters void of grace! One baleful passion is enough, like the dye of crimson, or of scarlet, to tinge and give a colouring to the whole heart. Nothing can make the prosperous sinner truly happy so long as this spectre, like the Jew at the gate, riseth up and haunts the imagination. Precious Jesus! what everlasting blessedness hast thou introduced into the circumstances of our fallen state, when by thy visit to our world, and redemption of our nature in it, thou hast raised thy people from the ruins of the fall, and cleansed our hearts by thy blood from all those evil passions of our fallen nature.

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

was the son of Jair, of the race of Saul, and a chief of the tribe of Benjamin. He was carried captive, to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, with Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah, king of Judah, A.M. 3405,  Esther 2:5-6 . He settled at Shushan, and there lived to the first year of Cyrus, when it is thought he returned to Jerusalem, with several other captives; but he afterward returned to Shushan. There is great probability that Mordecai was very young when taken into captivity. The book of Esther gives the whole history of Mordecai's elevation, the punishment of Haman, and the wonderful deliverance of the Jews, in clear and regular narrative. But it may be asked, For what reason did Mordecai refuse to pay that respect to Haman, the neglect of which incensed him against the Jews?  Esther 3:1-6 . Some think the reason was, because Haman was an Amalekite; a people whom the Israelites had been commissioned from God to destroy, because of the injuries they had formerly done them,  Deuteronomy 25:17-19 . But this scarcely seems to be a sufficient account of Mordecai's refusing civil respect to Haman, who was first minister of state; especially when by so doing he exposed his whole nation to imminent danger. Beside, if nothing but civil respect had been intended to Haman, the king need not have enjoined it on his servants after he had made him his first minister and chief favourite,  Esther 3:1-2; they would have been ready enough to show it on all occasions. Probably, therefore, the reverence ordered to be done to this great man was a kind of divine honour, such as was sometimes addressed to the Persian monarchs themselves; which, being a species of idolatry, Mordecai refused for the sake of a good conscience. And perhaps it was because Haman knew that his refusal was the result of his Jewish principles, that he determined to attempt the destruction of the Jews in general, knowing they were all of the same mind. As to another question, why Haman cast lots, in order to fix the day for the massacre of the Jews,  Esther 3:7; from whence the feast of purim, which is a Persia word, and signifies lots, took its name,   Esther 9:26; it was no doubt owing to the superstitious conceit which anciently prevailed, of some days being more fortunate than others for any undertaking; in short, he endeavoured to find out, by this way of divining, what month, or what day of the month, was most unfortunate to the Jews, and most fortunate for the success of his bloody design against them. It is very remarkable, that while Haman sought for direction in this affair from the Persian idols, the God of Israel so overruled the lot as to fix the intended massacre to almost a year's distance, from Nisan the first month to Adar the last of the year, in order to give time and opportunity to Mordecai and Esther to defeat the conspiracy.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

A Persian name according to Gesenius, "worshipper of Merodach". But a Babylonian idol's name would not have been given him under the Persian dynasty, which rejected idols. It is rather Matacai. Ctesias (Prideaux Connect. 1:231-233), who probably saw the Medo-Persian chronicles mentioned in  Esther 10:2, names a Matacas, Xerxes' chief favorite, the most powerful of the eunuchs. Xerxes sent Matacas to spoil Apollo's temple at Delphi (Miletus?) a work congenial to a Jew, as the order was to the iconoclastic king. Mordecai had neither wife nor child, brought up his cousin Esther in his own house, and had access to the court of the women, all which circumstances accord with his being a eunuch as Matacas was, a class from whom the king had elevated many to the highest posts.

Xerxes delighted in extravagant acts; and Haman, who knew his weakness, naturally suggested the extraordinary honors exceeding all that a king ought, in respect for his own dignity, to grant to a subject, because he thought it was for himself they were intended. Mordecai was a Benjamite at Shushan who reared his uncle's daughter Esther:  Esther 2:5-7. (See Esther .) The instrument under Providence in saving the Jews from extermination by Haman, as his not bowing to that Amaleldte was the occasion of Haman's murderous spite against the chosen race. Xerxes' prime minister, or vizier. Instituted the feast Purim. (See Haman .)

Probably wrote the book of Esther. Esther's favorable reception by Ahasuerus when she ventured at the risk of death, unasked, to approach him, and his reading in the Medo-Persian chronicles the record of Mordecai's unrewarded service in disclosing the conspiracy, on the very night before Haman came, and Haman's being constrained to load with kingly honors the man whom he had come to ask leave to hang, and then being hanged on the gallows he made for Mordecai, are most remarkable instances of the working of Providence, and of God's secret moral government of the world, in spite of all appearances to the contrary. (See Ahasuerus .)

Mordecai was great grandson of Kish the Benjamite taken captive in Jeconiah's captivity, 599 B.C. Four generations thence, or 120 years, bring Mordecai exactly down to 479, the sixth year of Xerxes, thus proving Ahasuerus' identity and Mordecai's own date. At Xerxes' death, or even before, Mordecai probably led to Jerusalem a body of Jews, as recorded in  Ezra 2:2;  Nehemiah 7:7. The rabbis designate him "the just." His tomb and Esther's are shown at Hamadan or Ecbatana (?). Others place his tomb at Susa. The palace at Shushan, begun by Darius Hystaspes, Loftus (Chaldaea, 28) discovered remains of; the bases of the great colonnade remain, and accord with the description in Esther 1.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

1. One who returned from exile.  Ezra 2:2;  Nehemiah 7:7 .

2. A Benjamite, first cousin of Esther, queen of Ahasuerus, who, being an orphan, had been brought up by him. All that is known of his history is contained in the book of Esther. Though a captive he had liberty to sit at the gate of the palace, and when Haman was promoted, the faith of Mordecai shines out in that he refused to bow to Haman an Agagite, even at the command of the king. His reason is not given, but it was doubtless because Haman was an Amalekite, upon whom the curse of God rested. Saul was told to utterly destroy them, even to the asses.   Exodus 17:14,16;  Deuteronomy 25:19;  1 Samuel 15:3 . Mordecai, by this action, put his life in danger because of the position of Haman; but, though warned, he was staunch in his refusal.

This led to Haman's plotting in his pride, the destruction, not of Mordecai only, but of the Jews generally. God, however, was watching over His people, and when the right moment came, He wrought deliverance. He caused that the king should not sleep, and that the records should be read to him, which brought Mordecai's unrequited service to remembrance. The proud Agagite had to lead him, seated on the king's horse, through the city, and proclaim him as one whom the king delighted to honour. The fall of Haman rapidly followed, and the raising of Mordecai into power. Thus did God honour the faith of one of His people, though they were in captivity. The plot against the Jews was nullified and they became the victors, as it will be in a future day when God's set time has arrived. Mordecai was promoted to high honour and was next to the king; he sought the wealth of his people, 'speaking peace to all his seed.'

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

He resided 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 of the eunuchs to put the king to death, which, by his vigilance, was defeated. His services to the king in this matter were duly recorded in the royal chronicles.

Haman (q.v.) 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 (q.v.).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Mor'asthite, The. (Little Man, or Worshipper Of Mars). The deliverer, under divine Providence, of the Jews from the destruction plotted against them, by Haman, the chief minister of Xerxes; the institutor of the Feast of Purim . The incidents of his history are too well known to need to be dwelt upon. See Esther, The Book of .

Three things are predicated of Mordecai in the book of Esther:

(1) That he lived in Shushan;

(2) That his name was Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, the Benjamite who was taken captive with Jehoiachin;

(3) That he brought up Esther.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

MORDECAI . 1. A cousin (?) of queen Esther, who thwarted Haman’s plot against the Jews. See Esther and Esther [Book of]. 2. One of those who returned with Zerub. (  Ezra 2:2 ,   Nehemiah 7:7 ); called in   Esther 5:8  Esther 5:8 Mardocheus .

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [8]

Mordecai was a Jew who lived in the Persian capital and whose cousin Esther became queen to the Persian Emperor ( Esther 2:5-7;  Esther 2:17). Between them, Mordecai and Esther saved the Jewish people from threatened destruction, and Mordecai later became the Emperor’s chief minister ( Esther 10:3). (For details see Esther .)

People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

Mordecai ( Môr'De-Kâí ), Little Man. A Jew in the Persian court who caused the deliverance of the Jews from the destruction plotted by Haman. This led to the institution of the feast of Purim. See Esther.

Holman Bible Dictionary [10]


2. A man who returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Zerrubbabel ( Ezra 2:2;  Nehemiah 7:7 ).

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [11]

The uncle of Esther, who rose to dignity and honor in the court of Ahasuerus. See the book of Esther.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Mor´decai, (supposed to come from the Persian word signifying littlesman, manikin; or, according to others, from the idol Merodach, thus signifying a votary of Merodach. The last supposition is not unlikely, seeing that Daniel had the Chaldean name of Belshazzar), son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin, descended from one of the captives transported to Babylon with Jehoiachin . He was resident at Susa, then the metropolis of the Persian Empire, and had under his care his niece Hadessa, otherwise Esther, at the time when the fairest damsels of the laud were gathered together, that from among them a fitting successor to queen Vashti might be selected for King Ahasuerus. Among them was Esther, and on her the choice fell; while, by what management we know not, her relationship to Mordecai and her Jewish descent, remained unknown at the palace. The uncle lost none of his influence over the niece by her elevation, although the seclusion of the royal harem excluded him from direct intercourse with her. He seems to have held some office about the court; for we find him in daily attendance there, and it appears to have been through this employment that he became privy to a plot of two of the chamberlains against the life of the king, which through Esther he made known to the monarch. This great service was however suffered to pass without reward at the time. On the rise of Haman to power at court, Mordecai alone, of all the nobles and officers who crowded the royal gates, refused to manifest the customary signs of homage to the royal favorite. It would be too much to attribute this to an independence of spirit, which, however usual in Europe, is unknown in Eastern courts. Haman was an Amalekite; and Mordecai brooked not to bow himself down before one of a nation which from the earliest times had been the most devoted enemies of the Jewish people. The Orientals are tenacious of the outward marks of respect, which they hold to be due to the position they occupy; and the erect mien of Mordecai among the bending courtiers escaped not the keen eye of Haman. He noticed it, and brooded over it from day to day: he knew well the class of feelings in which it originated, and—remembering the eternal enmity vowed by the Israelites against his people, and how often their conquering sword had all but swept his nation from the face of the earth he vowed by one great stroke to exterminate the Hebrew nation, the fate of which he believed to be in his hands. The temptation was great, and to his ill-regulated mind irresistible. He therefore procured the well-known and bloody decree from the king for the massacre of all the Israelites in the empire in one day. When this decree became known to Mordecai, he covered himself with sackcloth and ashes, and rent the air with his cries. This being made known to Esther through the servants of the harem, who now knew of their relationship, she sent Hatach, one of the royal eunuchs, to demand the cause of his grief: through that faithful servant he made the facts known to her, urged upon her the duty of delivering her people, and encouraged her to risk the consequences of the attempt. She was found equal to the occasion. She risked her life by entering the royal presence uncalled, and having by discreet management procured a favorable opportunity, accused Haman to the king of plotting to destroy her and her people. His doom was sealed on this occasion by the means which in his agitation he took to avert it; and when one of the eunuchs present intimated that this man had prepared a gallows fifty cubits high on which to hang Mordecai, the king at once said, 'Hang him thereon.' This was, in fact, a great aggravation of his offence, for the previous night, the king, being unable to sleep, had commanded the records of his reign to be read to him; and the reader had providentially turned to the part recording the conspiracy which had been frustrated through Mordecai. The king asked what had been the reward of this mighty service, and being answered 'Nothing,' he commanded that anyone who happened to be in attendance without, should be called. Haman was there, having come for the very purpose of asking the king's leave to hang Mordecai upon the gallows he had prepared, and was asked what should be done to the man whom the king delighted to honor? Thinking that the king could delight to honor no one but himself, he named the highest and most public honors he could conceive, and received from the monarch the astounding answer, 'Make haste, and do even so to Mordecai that sitteth in the king's gate!' Then was Haman constrained, without a word, and with seeming cheerfulness, to repair to the man whom he hated beyond all the world, to invest him with the royal robes, and to conduct him in magnificent cavalcade through the city, proclaiming, 'Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor.' After this it may seem that it was a strong sense of the fitness of the case for the literal application of the lex talionis, that induced the king, when he heard of the gallows prepared for Mordecai, to command that Haman himself should be hanged thereon.

Mordecai was invested with power greater than that which Haman had lost, and the first use he made of it was, as far as possible, to neutralize or counteract the decree obtained by him. It could not be recalled, as the kings of Persia had no power to rescind a decree once issued; but as the altered wish of the court was known, and as the Jews were permitted to stand on their defense, they were preserved from the intended destruction, although much blood was, on the appointed day, shed even in the royal city. The Feast of Purim was instituted in memory of this deliverance, and is celebrated to this day (; Esther 10) [PURIM].

A Mordecai, who returned from the exile with Zerubbabel, is mentioned in , and; but this cannot well have been the Mordecai of Esther, as some have supposed.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

môr´dḗ - kı̄ , môr - dḗ - kā´ı̄ ( מרדּכי , mordekhay  ; Μαρδοχαῖος , Mardochaı́os ): An Israelite of the tribe of Benjamin, whose fate it has been to occupy a distinguished place in the annals of his people. His great-grandfather, Kish, had been carried to Babylon along with Jeconiah, king of Judah (  Esther 2:5-6 ). For nearly 60 years before the scenes narrated in Esther, in which Mordecai was greatly concerned, took place, the way to Palestine had been open to the Israelites; but neither his father, Jair, nor afterward himself chose to return to the ancient heritage. This seems to have been the case also with the rest of his house, as it was with the vast majority of the Israelite people; for his uncle died in Persia leaving his motherless daughter, Hadassah, to the care of Mordecai. Employed in the royal palace at Susa, he attracted, through the timely discovery of a plot to assassinate the king, the favorable notice of Xerxes, and in a short time became the grand vizier of the Persian empire. He has been believed by many to have been the author of the Book of Esther; and in the earliest known notice of the Feast of Purim, outside of the book just mentioned, that festival is closely associated with his name. It is called "the day of Mordecai" (2 Macc 15:36). The apocryphal additions to Esther expatiate upon his greatness, and are eloquent of the deep impression which his personality and power had made upon the Jewish people. Lord Arthur Hervey has suggested the identification of Mordecai with Matacas, or Natacas, the powerful favorite and minister of Xerxes who is spoken of by Ctesias, the Greek historian. Few have done more to earn a nation's lasting gratitude than Mordecai, to whom, under God, the Jewish people owe their preservation.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

Bibliography Information McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Mordecai'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.