Harper’s Bible Dictionary
edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)
You are strongly recommended to add to your library the excellent revised edition of Harper's Bible Dictionary titled, The Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, Revised Edition [book review], edited by Paul J. Achtemeier, with the Society of Biblical Literature (NY: Harper Collins, 1996). It is currently the best one-volume Bible dictionary in English, and it is available at Border's Books, Christian Science Reading Rooms, http://www.borders.com, or http://www.christianbook.com.
Mordecai; from Akkadian Marduk, Merodach).
1 One of the exiles who returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:2; Neh. 7:7; 1 Esd. 5:8).
2 The hero of the book of Esther. Mordecai raised his orphaned cousin Esther and enabled her to become the queen of King Ahasuerus of Persia. But Mordecai aroused the anger of the kings vizier, Haman, by refusing to bow down to him. Haman therefore plotted to have Mordecai and all the Jews of Persia killed in revenge. Mordecai prompted Esther to appeal to Ahasuerus to spare her people. Ahasuerus, who had belatedly honored Mordecai for saving his life, was outraged to learn of the plot. He ordered Hamans execution and allowed the Jews to destroy their enemies. This deliverance is now celebrated in the Jewish festival of Purim, called the Day of Mordecai in 2 Macc. 15:36. Noting the historical problems the book raises, scholars consider the story of Esther to be fictitious. While this view is undoubtedly correct, the identification of an official named Marduka in the court of King Xerxes I (485-465 b.c., generally identified as Ahasuerus) suggests to some a potential historical basis for the existence of Mordecai.
Edited for BibleTexts.com by Robert Nguyen Cramer