Biblical People

Biblical People: Hegai

Hegai is not a well-known biblical figure. He’s virtually unheard of. His name only shows up four times in Scripture, all in Esther 2. At best, most readers consider him a footnote to Esther’s story. But his role may have been pivotal in her quest to find favor with the king.

Hegai, a eunuch, oversees the king’s harem of virgins as they await their turn to spend the night with him. Afterward, they join the king’s harem of concubines, under the direction of another eunuch.

As she awaits her turn, Esther wins the favor of Hegai. He gives her extra attention and a special place in the harem. When it’s her turn to sleep with the king, she seeks Hegai’s advice. We don’t know what he suggests, but he must have given her wise counsel, for the next day Xerxes proclaims Esther as queen.

Though this outcome is no doubt a result of Esther’s actions, let’s not dismiss Hegai’s role in this. God may have used his sound advice to bring about Esther’s success, putting her in position for what happens next.

When people seek our counsel, do we give them the soundest advice we can? Regardless of our job, do we always do our best?

[Read Hegai’s story in Esther 2:3–15.]

Learn about more biblical characters in Old Testament Sinners and Saints, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover. Get your copy today.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at