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I have been trying to calculate Mordechai's age, and according to my estimates he must have been around 100, if not older, when the Purim saga begins.

Are there any textual sources which provide the precise age of Mordechai during the Purim story?

  • Any somewhat academic commentary would likely address this, depending on how they identify each of the characters. I would check Daat Mikra, and I know for a fact that I saw a discussion of it in Isaac Samuel Reggio's commentary. – רבות מחשבות Mar 13 at 12:28
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    @רבותמחשבות Thanks! Da'at Mikra didn't provide an age, though it did reject the possibility of Mordechai being over 110 years old at the time. – Chaim Mar 14 at 1:39
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Second Version of Ibn Ezra on Esther 2:6 Calculates that Mordechai was at more than 90 years old when Achashveros married Esther.

  • 11 years of Tzidkiyahu's kingship, after Yehoyachin (together with Mordechai) was exiled
  • 70 years from general exile from Jerusalem until Koresh was king (I didn't look it up, but see Ibn Ezra HaAruch on Daniel 9:2, where he explains that this took 70 years)
  • 4 (or 5 years) of the rulership of Koresh and Daryavesh
  • 7 years of Achashverosh's rulership, until he married Esther (Esther 2:16)

Even if Mordechai was one month old when he left Israel, he would have been 92 when Esther married Achashverosh.

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According to the calculations of Isaac Samuel Reggio (Italy, 1784 – 1855) in his מפתח אל מגילת אסתר, based on adding up the various reigns of Persian kings throughout those years, Mordechai was a modest "103 or 104" years old at the time.

Although this is not a Midrashic source, this does satisfy the OP's request for a "textual source" as to the age of Mordechai.

HT: רבותמחשבות

  • The Megillah attests that Mordechai went into galus with Yechaniah, making him at least 70. If we assume he didn’t leave as a newborn (as Rava seems to in Megillah 13a), then roughly 100 doesn’t seem too far off. – DonielF Mar 14 at 1:50
  • If Mordechai was this old, I hope that Esther wasn’t actually 40, as some claim. – DonielF Mar 14 at 1:51
  • @DonielF in Da'at Mikra they posit that Achashverosh's reign wasn't until 110 years after the galus of Yechaniah. See the comments to 2:6 here. Which would make the age gap even more... perplexing. – Chaim Mar 14 at 1:57
  • Rav Sa’adya Ga’on calculates that it was 70 years from the fourth year of Nevuchadnetzar, in which Yechaniah was exiled, until Achashveirosh’s reign began. – DonielF Mar 14 at 3:22
  • Mordechai's knowledge of 70 languages, which according to the Gemara, seems to have made him a member of the Sanhedrin HaGadol already preChurban I, means he must have been quite old. – MDjava Mar 14 at 4:17

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