“Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known” (2:10). Powerful King Xerxes was drunk, pompous and blustering, and his wife refused to obey his inappropriate summons (ch 1). The contrast between them and Mordecai and Esther is startling. Esther trusted Mordecai and obeyed all his instructions, and later she took advice from the palace eunuch (2:15). Meanwhile, Mordecai foiled a plot against the King (2:22), yet he refused to bow to Hamman (3:2).
As Jews in the Persian Empire, Mordecai and Esther were weak in status and power. Yet, they displayed the kind of strength that flows from the heart: integrity, humility, and courage.