the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin. It has been alleged
that he was carried into captivity with Jeconiah, and hence that
he must have been at least one hundred and twenty-nine years old
in the twelfth year of Ahasuerus (Xerxes). But the words of
Esther do not necessarily lead to this conclusion. It was
probably Kish of whom it is said (ver. 6) that he "had been
carried away with the captivity."

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.).