Mordecai was the son of Jair, of the tribe of Benjamin, descended from one of the captives transported to Babylon with Jehoiachin. He was a resident at Susa, then the metropolis of the Persian empire, and had under his care his niece Hadessa, otherwise known as Esther, whose parents had both died. When King Ahasuerus was looking for a replacement for Queen Vashti, Mordecai placed Esther among the group of beautiful young women to be displayed before the king. Ahasuerus chose Esther, not knowing of her Jewish descent.
Mordecai seems to have held some office at the court, where he became aware of a plot to kill the king. He was able to warn Esther, who in turn warned Ahasuerus, and the plot was thwarted. However, at that time Mordecai received no recognition for his efforts.
On the rise of Haman, an Amlekite, to power at court, Mordecai alone, of all the nobles and officers who crowded the royal gates, refused to show the customary signs of homage. Haman noticed this lack of respect and brooded over it from day to day. Knowing that the Israelites had vowed eternal enmity towards the Amalekites, vowed by one great stroke to exterminate the Hebrew nation.
When Mordecai heard of Haman's intentions, he covered himself with sackcloth and ashes, and rent the air with his cries. Esther sent a messenger to find out the cause of Mordecai's grief; she risked her life in order to speak to Ahasueurus and avert Haman's attempts to destroy the Jews.
In the meantime, Haman had constructed gallows with which to hang Mordecai, but instead, the king, Haman the humiliating task of handing Mordecai the royal robes and conducting him in a magnificent cavalcade throughout the city.
Mordecai was invested with great power. His first use of it was to counteract the decree obtained by Haman, and although some blood was shed, many lives were also saved due to Mordecai's efforts. The Feast of Purim was instituted in memory of this deliverance and is celebrated to this day.
These pictures of Mordecai are from my collection of old bible books. Feel free to use these illustrations of Mordecai in your work. Click on the drawings below to see more details about saving a free image or about purchasing an image of Mordecai at a higher resolution.