Esther 2

VIN(i) 1 After this, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed about her. 2 And the king's servants attending him said, "Let them seek attractive young virgins for the king. 3 Let the king appoint officials in all the provinces of his kingdom to bring all the beautiful young virgins into the harem in Susa the capital. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women to give them their beauty treatments. 4 and let the maiden who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." The thing pleased the king, and he did so. 5 Now there was a certain Jew in Shushan named Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6 who had been brought a prisoner from Jerusalem, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried into captivity. 7 And he had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter; for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; and as her father and mother were dead, Mordecai had taken her for his own daughter. 8 The king's order and edict was proclaimed, and many young women were brought to Susa the capital under the care of Hegai. Esther was taken to the palace into the care of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. 9 The young woman pleased him and she won favor in his presence, and he quickly provided for her beauty treatment and her portion of food, with seven chosen maids to give to her from the king's palace, and he advanced her and her maids to the best part of the harem. 10 Esther had not said what family or people she came from, for Mordecai gave her orders not to do so. 11 Every day Mordecai would walk back and forth in front of the court of the harem to find out about Esther's well-being and what was happening to her. 12 Now the time for every young woman to go to the king was when she had compleated twelve months; for thus were the days of their purification fulfilled. Six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and six months with aromatics and lotions used by women. 13 in this way, the girl goes to the king and all that she asks is given to her to take with her from the harem to the king's palace. 14 In the evening she would go and in the morning she would return to the second harem under the care of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch in charge of the concubines. She would not go back to the king unless the king delighted in her and she was called by name. 15 When the turn came near for Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as a daughter, to go to the king, she did not ask anything except what Hegai the eunuch of the king who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther carried favor in the eyes of everyone that saw her. 16 Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, to his palace, in the tenth month that is Tebeth in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won his favor and loyalty more than all the virgins, so he put a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet, Esther's banquet, for all his officials and servants. And he granted a tax amnesty to the provinces and he gave gifts with royal liberality. 19 When the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate. 20 Now Esther had not declared her heritage or her people, just as Mordecai had instructed her, for Esther did what Mordecai told her just as she had done when she was raised by him. 21 At that time when Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs among those who guarded the threshold, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Ahasuerus. 22 When Mordecai learned about the plot, he told Queen Esther, and she told the king in Mordecai's name. 23 And the matter was investigated and found to be so; and the two of them were hanged on the gallows, and it was written in the scroll of the events of the days before the presence of the king.