In Esther 6:13 Zeresh says 'If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him.'

Wasn't it already well-known that Mordechai was Jewish? Haman even told Zeresh that Mordechai is Jewish a chapter earlier (Esther 5:13).

  • 1
    I don't understand the question? Yes, she knows he is Jewish. What is the question?
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 21:15
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    @DoubleAA, she had previously advised him to hang Mordechai. What new information led her to the conclusion that it would not be possible to prevail over him?
    – Michoel
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 21:33
  • @Michoel Seemingly, that Haman had begun to fall before Jews. IAE your question doesn't seem to be the OP's, just going on what he wrote.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 21:35
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    I think you may be mistranslating the Hebrew word "Im", in this context. I think, here it means "since" rather than "if".
    – DanF
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 21:36
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    probably a rhetorical question.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Sep 16, 2015 at 23:36

4 Answers 4


The Targum there translates it as "זרעא דצדיקיא"; righteous seed. She could have known earlier that Mordechai was Jewish, but not specifically righteous.

See also Gemorah Megilah 16b which interprets this line as, ”If Mordechai desends from the tribes of Yehudah etc. you will not not be able to prevail over him. However, if he is from one of the other tribes you will."


Alshich explains that if Mordechai is the progeny of King Saul......................

Seems like everyone knew that Mordechai was a Jew, however they did not know what his roots were.


I think it is reflective of her personality.

In the first instance, during Haman's rise, he is discussing plans with "אוהביו" - his loved ones. They are supporting him, egging him on... most likely being yes-men in general.

After things start to turn sour, and Haman is losing the King's good grace, then all of a sudden they turn around and become "חכמיו" - his wise people, and start advising him on his downfall.
"Oh it's all your fault! I told you all along not to mess with him! But nooo, you wouldn't listen!"


See Malbim's explanation. The gist of what he states is:

Haman had planned to tell Achashverosh about his plan to hang Mordechai. When he arrives at the palace (while he was supposedly sleeping, yet - not what Zeresh advised, as she said to go in the morning),not only does Haman not have a chance to tell Achashverosh of his plans, but he ends up leading his own enemy Mordechai on the royal horse!

Then he goes back home and tells his wife and wise men what happened. So Zeresh says, "Well, if this was G-d's will, apparently, and these people are protected by G-d, this wasn't just coincidence. It was a result of Mordechai's praying and fasting and G-d is protecting the Jewish people. It was not just a strange coincidence that aall this occurred. Furthermore, you started your own fall, and no one else was involved, b/c you went against the advice of your wise men who said to go in the morning, but you went in the middle of the night. Also, you fell before Mordechai did. He was going to fall, had you been able to advise the king. But you fell before Mordechai did."

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