Esther 41And so, after this had been carried out, and the indignation of king Artaxerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what had happened to her. 2And the servants of the king, and his ministers, said, “Let young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful, 3and let investigators be sent throughout all the provinces for young women, beautiful and virgins. And let them bring them to the city of Susa, and deliver them to the house of the women under the hand of Hegai the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king’s women. And let them receive feminine ornaments, and other things necessary for their use. 4And whoever among them all will please the king’s eyes, let her reign instead of Vashti.” The idea pleased the king, and so he ordered it to be done as they had suggested. 5There was a Jewish man in the city of Susa, by the name of Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, of the house of Benjamin, 6who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried away Jeconiah king of Judah, 7who had raised his brother’s daughter Hadassah, who by another name was called Esther. And she had lost both her parents. She was very beautiful, with a graceful appearance. Since her father and mother had both died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter. 8And when the king’s command became very well-known, in accordance with his command, many beautiful virgins were brought to Susa, and were delivered to Hegai the eunuch. Likewise, Esther, along with the other young women, was delivered to him, to be protected with the assembled women. 9She was pleasing to him, and she found favor in his sight. And he commanded a eunuch to hasten the women’s ornaments, and to deliver her share to her, along with seven of the most beautiful young women of the king’s house, so as to both adorn and honor her and her handmaids. 10She was not willing to reveal to him her people or her native land. For Mordecai had instructed her that she should keep silent about all these things. 11He went for a walk every day, in the front courtyard of the house in which the chosen virgins were kept, having concern for Esther’s welfare and wanting to know what would happen to her. 12But, when the time came for each in the line of young women to go in to the king, after everything had been completed concerning feminine grooming, the twelfth month had been reached, to the extent that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for another six months they used certain types of makeup and perfumes. 13And when they were going in to the king, whatever they requested to adorn themselves, they received, and when each was pleased with herself, having been prepared in the chamber of the women, she passed on to the king’s chamber. 14And whoever entered at evening, departed in the morning, and then from there she was led to the second house, which was under the hand of Shaashgaz the eunuch, who presided over the king’s concubines. Nor did she have the power to return again to the king, unless the king desired it and had summoned her by name. 15But, as the order continued to progress, the day arrived when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mordecai, whom he had adopted as his daughter, was required to go in to the king. She did not seek feminine ornaments, except that whatever Hegai the eunuch and keeper of the virgins chose, he gave her to adorn her. For she was very attractive, and her incredible beauty made her appear gracious and amiable in the eyes of all. 16And so she was led to the chamber of king Artaxerxes, in the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17It was inquired into and discovered, and they were both hanged on a gallows. And it was committed to the histories and the chronicles which are delivered in the sight of the king.
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