2 After these things, when the rage of King A·has·u·eʹrus+ had subsided, he remembered Vashʹti+ and what she had done+ and what had been decided against her.+ 2 Then the king’s attendants, his ministers,+ said: “Let them seek+ young women, virgins,+ beautiful in appearance, for the king, 3 and let the king appoint commissioners in all the jurisdictional districts+ of his realm, and let them collect together all the young women, virgins, beautiful in appearance, at Shuʹshan the castle,+ at the house of the women in charge of Hegʹa·i+ the king’s eunuch,+ the guardian of the women; and let there be a giving* of their massages. 4 And that young woman who seems pleasing in the king’s eyes will be queen instead of Vashʹti.”+ And the thing was pleasing in the king’s eyes, and he proceeded to do that way. 5 A certain man, a Jew, happened to be in Shuʹshan+ the castle, and his name was Morʹde·cai+ the son of Jaʹir the son of Shimʹe·i the son of Kish a Benʹja·min·ite,+ 6 who had been taken into exile+ from Jerusalem with the deported people* who were taken into exile with Jec·o·niʹah*+ the king of Judah whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar+ the king of Babylon* took into exile. 7 And he came to be the caretaker+ of Ha·dasʹsah,* that is, Esther, the daughter of his father’s brother,+ for she had neither father nor mother; and the young woman was pretty in form and beautiful in appearance,+ and at the death of her father and her mother Morʹde·cai took her as his daughter. 8 And it came about that, when the king’s word and his law were heard, and when many young women were collected together at Shuʹshan+ the castle in charge of Hegʹa·i,+ then Esther was taken to the king’s house in charge of Hegʹa·i the guardian of the women. 9 Now the young woman was pleasing in his eyes, so that she gained loving-kindness*+ before him and he made haste to give her her massages+ and her appropriate food, and to give her seven selected young women from the king’s house, and he proceeded to transfer her and her young women to the best place of the house of the women. 10 Esther had not told about her people+ or about her relatives, for Morʹde·cai himself had laid the command upon her that she should not tell.+ 11 And day after day Morʹde·cai was walking before the courtyard of the house of the women to know of Esther’s welfare and what was being done with her. 12 And when the turn of each young woman arrived to go in to King A·has·u·eʹrus after it had happened to her according to the women’s regulation for twelve months, for that was the way the days of their massage procedure were gradually fulfilled, six months with oil of myrrh+ and six months with balsam oil+ and with the massages of the women; 13 then on these conditions the young woman herself came in to the king. Everything that she would mention would be given her, to come with her from the house of the women to the king’s house.+ 14 In the evening she herself came in, and in the morning she herself returned to the second house of the women in charge of Sha·ashʹgaz the king’s eunuch,+ the guardian of the concubines. She would not come in anymore to the king unless the king had taken delight in her and she had been called by name.+ 15 And when the turn of Esther the daughter of Abʹi·ha·il the uncle of Morʹde·cai, whom he had taken as his daughter,+ arrived to come in to the king, she did not request anything+ except what Hegʹa·i+ the king’s eunuch, the guardian of the women, proceeded to mention (all the while Esther was continually gaining favor in the eyes of everyone seeing her).+ 16 Then Esther was taken to King A·has·u·eʹrus at his royal house in the tenth month, that is, the month Teʹbeth,* in the seventh year+ of his reign. 17 And the king came to love Esther more than all the other women, so that she gained more favor and loving-kindness before him than all the other virgins.+ And he proceeded to put the royal headdress upon her head and make her queen+ instead of Vashʹti. 18 And the king went on to hold a great banquet for all his princes and his servants, the banquet of Esther; and an amnesty+ for the jurisdictional districts he granted, and he kept giving presents according to the means of the king. 19 Now when virgins+ were collected together a second time, Morʹde·cai was sitting in the king’s gate.+ 20 Esther was not telling about her relatives and her people,+ just as Morʹde·cai+ had laid the command upon her;+ and the saying of Morʹde·cai Esther was performing, just as when she happened to be under care by him.+ 21 In those days while Morʹde·cai was sitting in the king’s gate, Bigʹthan and Teʹresh, two court officials of the king, doorkeepers, became indignant and kept seeking to lay hand+ on King A·has·u·eʹrus. 22 And the thing came to be known to Morʹde·cai, and he immediately told+ Esther the queen. In turn Esther talked to the king in Morʹde·cai’s name.+ 23 So the matter was sought out and eventually found out, and both of them got to be hanged+ on a stake;*+ after which it was written in the book of the affairs+ of the days before the king.
^ “Let there be a giving.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.
^ Or, “the exiled people.” Heb., hag·go·lahʹ.
^ “Babylon,” LXXVg; MSy, “Babel.”
^ Meaning “Myrtle; Joy.” Heb., Hadhas·sahʹ.
^ Or, “loyal love.”
^ The postexilic name of the tenth month of the sacred calendar. See App 8B.
^ Or, “timber.” Lit., “tree (wood),” M; Lat., pa·tiʹbu·lo.