Ester 2

1 After these events, when the fury of king Achashverosh was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what had been decreed concerning her.

2 Thus said the king’s young men, his servants, Let there be sought for the king virgins handsome in appearance;

3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the young virgins, handsome in appearance, unto Shushan the capital, into the house of the women, under the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women; and let them give them their customary anointings;

4 And let the maiden who may be pleasing in the eyes of the king become queen instead of Vashti: and the speech was pleasing in the eyes of the king, and he did so.

5 There was a certain Jew in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Yair, the son of Shim’i, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

6 Who had been carried away into exile from Jerusalem with the exiles who had been exiled with Jeconyah, the king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried into exile.

7 And he had brought up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle; for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden was beautiful in form and handsome in appearance; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai had taken her to himself as a daughter.

8 And it came to pass, when the king’s order and his decree were heard, and when many maidens were brought together unto Shushan the capital, under the custody of Hegai, that Esther also was brought unto the king’s house, under the custody of Hegai, the keeper of the women.

9 And the maiden was pleasing in his eyes, and she obtained favor before him; and he made haste to give her her anointings, with her presents, and the seven maidens, who were selected to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maidens with the best things in the house of the women.

10 Esther told nothing of her people or of her descent; for Mordecai had charged her that she should not tell.

11 And day by day did Mordecai walk before the court of the house of women, to ascertain the well–being of Esther, and what would be done with her.

12 And when the turn of every maiden was come to go in unto king Achashverosh, at the expiration of the time that she had been treated according to the custom of the women, twelve months; for so were the days of their anointings accomplished, six months with the oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other ointments of the women;

13 And thus came the maiden unto the king; and whatsoever she asked for was given her to go with her out of the house of the women as far as the house of the king.

14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned unto the second house of the women, to the custody of Sha’ashgas, the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the concubines: she used not to come again unto the king, except the king desired for her, and she was called by name.

15 And when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abichayil, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her to himself as a daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, said: and Esther obtained grace in the eyes of all those that beheld her.

16 And Esther was taken unto king Achashverosh, unto his royal house, in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor before him more than all the virgins; and he placed the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.

18 And the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, the feast of Esther; and he made a release of taxes to the provinces, and gave presents, according to the ability of the king.

19 And when virgins were gathered together the second time, then was Mordecai sitting in the king’s gate.

20 But Esther had not yet told of her descent nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her; and Esther did fulfill the order of Mordecai, equally as when she was under his guardianship.

21 In those days, while Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate, Bigthan and Theresh, two chamberlains of the king, of those who kept the door, became wroth, and sought to lay their hand on king Achashverosh.

22 And the thing became known to Mordecai, and he told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther said it to the king in the name of Mordecai.

23 And the thing was inquired into and found true; and they were both of them hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of chronicles before the king.