Esther 2

Vashti’s Successor Sought

After these things a when the anger of King Ahasuerus had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and b what had been decreed against her. Then the king’s attendants, who served him, said c Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. Let the king appoint overseers in d all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to the citadel of Susa, to the harem, into the custody of e Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and f let their cosmetics be given them. Then let the young lady who pleases the king be queen in place of Vashti.” And the matter pleased the king, and he did accordingly.

Now there was at the citadel in Susa a Jew whose name was g Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, h who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the captives who had been exiled with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had exiled. He was bringing up Hadassah, that is i Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had no father or mother. Now the young lady was beautiful of form and
Lit good of appearance
face, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.

Esther Finds Favor

So it came about when the command and decree of the king were heard and k many young ladies were gathered to the citadel of Susa into the custody of l Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king’s
Lit house
palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.
Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her n cosmetics and
Lit portions
food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.
10  p Esther did not make known her people or her kindred, for Mordecai had instructed her that she should not make them known. 11 Every day Mordecai walked back and forth in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and how she fared.

12 Now when the turn of each young lady came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the end of her twelve months under the regulations for the womenfor the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women 13 the young lady would go in to the king in this way: anything that she
Lit said
desired was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 In the evening she would go in and in the morning she would return to the second harem, to the
Lit hand
custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not again go in to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.

15 Now when the turn of Esther s the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what t Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the women
Lit said
advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.
16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus to his royal palace in the tenth month which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

Esther Becomes Queen

17 The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found favor and kindness with him more than all the virgins, so that v he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then w the king gave a great banquet, Esther’s banquet, for all his princes and his servants; he also made a holiday for the provinces and gave gifts x according to the king’s bounty.

19  y When the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai z was sitting at the king’s gate. 20  aa Esther had not yet made known her kindred or her people, even as Mordecai had commanded her; for Esther did
Lit the word of Mordecai
what Mordecai told her as she had done ac when under his care.

Mordecai Saves the King

21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate ad Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to
Lit send a hand against
lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22 But the
Lit matter, so also v 23
plot became known to Mordecai and ag he told Queen Esther, and Esther
Lit told
informed the king in Mordecai’s name.
23 Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a
Lit tree
gallows; and it was written in aj the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence.
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