14 An initial reading of this verse seems to indicate Mordecai’s unwavering hope in the providence of God. Even if Esther keeps silent, deliverance will arise from another place, but Esther herself has the opportunity to be a significant player in the deliverance of her people. Nevertheless, it is not at all clear how to read the statement about deliverance by itself and then how to read it in the context of the rest of the verse and the potential threat at the end of v. 13. For whatever reason, Mordecai has just warned Esther that she is not immune in the king’s household, and he repeats the warning here: “you and your father’s house will perish.” The latter warning includes him, as he is her only “family.” That would be particularly poignant for her as she has been nurtured by him in the absence of her “father’s house.”
Furthermore, his challenge to consider the reason she has been brought to the royal position has its force only if there were no other alternative! Otherwise, she could easily be tempted to do nothing but simply rest in the hope that relief will indeed come from somewhere else. One way of addressing the issue is to posit that help might arise (yaʿamôd), but elsewhere, and the proximity of the royal palace to Haman and the center of the maelstrom would mean that Esther and Mordecai will get swept away.
John M. Wiebe (“Esther 4:14: ‘Will Relief and Deliverance Arise for the Jews from Another Place?’ ” CBQ 53/3 (1991): 409–15) interprets the second clause of this verse as a rhetorical question that assumes a negative response. The relevant portion would read, “if you keep silent at this time, will help and deliverance come for the Jews from another place? [Answer: ‘No, it won’t …;] and you and your father’s house will perish [‘as well’].” This rendition addresses the problems that are incumbent in the traditional reading of the text, namely, that if help does arise from (whatever is meant by) “another place,” why would not Esther’s family, and especially Mordecai, also be delivered by this agent? As a result of the truly dire nature of Mordecai’s challenge, Esther’s mood changes dramatically, and the narrative takes a decisive turn.
The use of “who knows” in this context is not an ambivalent expression of doubt but rather a strong statement that Esther is indeed the Jews’ only hope and that she has been brought to this point for this time. On the confidence of the expression, see Joel 2:14 and Jonah 3:9. Mordecai’s closing statement may be an oblique acknowledgment that Esther’s experience in getting to that point has been a horrifying one for her and for him as her guardian.
4:14 — “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place .… ”
God is never bound by our faithlessness or cowardice. He desires to use us to bless His people, but if we fail to trust Him, He will use someone else. But He will always accomplish His will.
4:14 relief and deliverance. Mordecai exhibited a healthy faith in God’s sovereign power to preserve His people. He may have remembered the Lord’s promise to Abraham (cf. Ge 12:3; 17:1–8). you … will perish. Mordecai indicated that Esther would not escape the sentence or be overlooked because of her prominence (cf. 4:13). such a time as this. Mordecai indirectly appealed to God’s providential timing.
4:14 deliverance will rise. Despite his emotional turmoil (v. 4), deep down Mordecai is sure that the Jews will survive. This reflects his faith that God will protect his people, though the text does not make this explicit. from another place. Mordecai does not seem to know what other source of help would appear, but he expresses confidence that God will somehow rescue his people. your father’s house. Esther’s family on her father’s side. Since Mordecai is sure the Jews will be delivered, his statement that Esther and her family will perish presumably means that they will be punished for Esther’s refusal to act. God is apparently the one who will punish them, though again, this is not explicitly said. you have … come … for such a time as this. The strongest hint yet of Mordecai’s belief in divine providence.
4:14 For if indeed you keep silent This remark of Mordecai’s is one of the most faithful responses in the book, yet it lacks any direct mention of God. Mordecai’s thinking seems to reflect that of Judaism in general—that God would find a way for his people to survive, no matter what (compare Isa 10:20). Mordecai may see this relief coming from another person, another city, or God in general.
you and the family of your father will perish Mordecai could be saying that it will be too late for the Jewish people living in Susa by the time deliverance comes or that divine retribution would come to Esther for her inaction (compare Num 14:18).
Who knows Mordecai’s remark parallels Joel 2:14, where a similar phrase occurs. In both passages, divine relief and deliverance are sought.
for a time such as this Mordecai does not assert why Esther has been appointed queen, but seems to imply that it very well could have been for a divine purpose.
4:14 Though the name of God does not appear in the Book of Esther, the phrases “who knows” and “from another place” in this verse are clearly “God language” set within a context giving evidence that Yahweh God has placed Esther in a position to save her people, who also are God’s people by way of covenant.
4:14 Mordecai acknowledged the sovereignty of God. He knew that Haman could not ultimately succeed in his campaign because God’s design cannot be thwarted. God is the one in control and He was committed to the preservation of the Jews, who are beneficiaries of God’s covenant with Abraham (Gn 17:1–9).
 Phillips, E. (2010). Esther. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 Chronicles–Job (Revised Edition) (Vol. 4, pp. 634–635). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
 Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Es 4:14). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Es 4:14). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 858). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Es 4:14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Es 4:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
 Cabal, T., Brand, C. O., Clendenen, E. R., Copan, P., Moreland, J. P., & Powell, D. (2007). The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (p. 726). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.