1. After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus had calmed down, he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2. And the king’s servants who served him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king.
3. And let the king choose officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, so that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, into the custody of Hegai the king’s officer, keeper of the women. And let their ointments be given.
4. And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” And the thing pleased the king, and he did so.
5. Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite,
6. Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away.
7. And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter. For she had neither father nor mother, and the young woman was fair and beautiful, whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
8. And it came to pass when the king’s command and his order was heard, and when many young women had been gathered to Shushan the palace, into the hand of Hegai, Esther was also brought to the king’s house, into the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9. And the young woman pleased him, and she received kindness from him. And he quickly gave to her beauty preparations and her portion—and seven young maidens who were fit to be given her, out of the king’s house. And he moved her and her servant women to the best place in the house of the women.
10. Esther had not revealed her people nor her kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her that she should not show it.
11. And Mordecai walked every day in front of the court of the women’s house in order to know how Esther did and what was to become of her.
12. Each young woman’s turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after she had been purified twelve months, according to the law of the women (for so the days of their anointing were done, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with the perfumes of the women).
13. And in this way each young woman came to the king. Whatever she desired was given her to take with her out of the house of the women to the king’s house.
14. She went in the evening, and on the next day she returned to the second house of the women, into the hand of Shaashgaz, the king’s officer who kept the concubines. She did not come in to the king’s presence any more, unless the king delighted in her, and she was called by name.
15. And when Esther’s turn, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her for his daughter, had come to go in to the king, she asked nothing but what was chosen by Hegai the king’s officer, the keeper of the women. And Esther had favor in the sight of all who looked upon her.
16. So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus into 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 rose in grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins. And he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18. And the king made a great feast to all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast. And he ordered a rest day for the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
19. And when the virgins were gathered the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.
20. Esther had not yet revealed her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had commanded her. For Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as she did when she was brought up by him.
21. In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s officers, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22. And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told Esther the queen. And Esther told the king about it in Mordecai’s name.
23. And when the matter was searched into, it was found out, and the two of them were hanged on a tree. And it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
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