Esther 2:19 (ESV)

19 Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate.

The author interrupts the story to give an important side note (from Esther 2:19–23).

Does the phrase the second time indicate that there was there another campaign, during which more virgins were brought into the king’s harem? This is a possibility. Another possibility is that a small error has crept into the Hebrew text. By changing only one Hebrew letter, the word that is translated as the second time can be changed into a word that means various. Then the sentence should read, When the various virgins were assembled… This will refer simply to the first campaign, during which Esther was taken to the harem.

In ancient times, the gate of a city or palace was the place where leaders held their meetings. Gate refers not only to the entrance, but also to the city square and to the buildings situated behind the entrance. The fact that Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate shows us that he was one of the king’s staff members.

Mordecai’s position was another proof of God’s providence. His position enabled him to stay in touch with Esther, without revealing their relation.