According to the opinion that Queen Esther was married to Mordechai.

Achashveirosh was looking for unmarried girls (Esther 2:2–4). Why did he take a married woman? Especially considering that Queen Esther was not looking to get married, why didn't she just make her marital state public?

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    You could improve this question by editing in a citation (not just a link) of where you can find the opinion you're referring to and by backing up your claim that Achashveirosh was looking for unmarried girls.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 18:59
  • It says in the Gemara there that Queen Ester used to go back to live with Mordechai after being with Ashashveirosh. I don't remember where the famous Drash (Labas=Labayis) is. Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 19:04
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    @AmHaaretzGamurMideoraysa It's on the previous amud.
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:05

3 Answers 3


It is possible that, though the idea as originally outlined for the king by his advisers did in fact include the criterion of 'besulot', when the king issued the edict that criterion was omitted. Hence we do not find it listed in 2:8 and on, where it lists נְעָרוֹת alone:

וַיְהִי, בְּהִשָּׁמַע דְּבַר-הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתוֹ, וּבְהִקָּבֵץ נְעָרוֹת רַבּוֹת אֶל-שׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה, אֶל-יַד הֵגָי

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    +1, nice. This also fits in well with "bikesh lit'om...", which I never understood considering that he had only sought b'sulos.
    – msh210
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 5:41
  • You might want to add that Rashi 2:17 is also explicit that they also took married women.
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 18:29

I know this isn't the most geshmake answer, but Ibn Ezra (2:7 - p. 8 here) is clearly bothered by a similar question and says that perhaps the drasha that Mordechai took Esther for a wife doesn't mean that he actually married her, but that such was his intention. (I would add that in order to keep all the drashos one would have to conclude that he had at least betrothed her, otherwise one would not be able to substantiate the drasha of כאשר אבדתי אבדתי - from where Chazal derive that with her willful relations with Achashverosh she became forbidden to Mordechai.)


Assuming we are translating besulah as 'unmarried' I would further assume that they kept their marriage quiet lest she become unmarried by dint of the king killing her husband. This seems to be a pervasive concern as it crops up by Avraham and Yitzchak.

Furthermore it would seem that the marriage was kept quiet even amongst the Jewish people, otherwise it would be hard to understand how the king (and Haman) was unable to determine her background considering she was married to a member of the Sanhedrin.

Source: My own conjecture

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    Are you saying they killed all husbands? I think not. If a woman was married, the guards moved on to the next house Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 17:51

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