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Esther: Chapter 2

Out of the choice of virgins a queen is to be chosen, 1-4. Mordecai the adoptive father of Esther, 5-7. Esther preferred before the rest, 8-11. The manner of purification, and going in to the king, 12-14. Esther best pleasing the king, is made queen, 15-20. Mordecai discovering a treason, is recorded in the chronicles, 21-23.

1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2 Then the king's servants who ministered to him said, "Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king. 3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, so that they may collect all the fair young virgins to the palace of Shushan, to the house of the women, into the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women. And let their things for purification be given to them. 4 And let the maiden who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." And the thing pleased the king, and he did so.

5 Now in the palace of Shushan there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite, 6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the 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 maid was fair and beautiful. And when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter.

8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree were heard, and when many maidens were assembled at the palace of Shushan, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also to the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness from him. And he speedily gave her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens who were suitable to be given to her, out of the king's house. And he preferred her and her maids to the best place of the house of the women. 10 Esther had not revealed her people nor her kindred, for Mordecai had charged her that she should not disclose it. 11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what would become of her.

12 Now when every maid's turn had come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after she had been there twelve months, according to the manner of the women (for thus were the days of their purifications accomplished, namely, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women), 13 Then in this manner every maiden came to the king: whatever she desired was given to her to go with her out of the house of the women to the king's house. 14 In the evening she went, and on the next day she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, who kept the concubines. She came in to the king no more, unless the king delighted in her, and she was called by name.

15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, had come to go in to the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those who looked upon her. 16 Thus 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 obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king made a great feast to all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast. And he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

19 And when the virgins were assembled the second time, Mordecai sat in the king's gate. 20 Esther had not yet revealed her kindred, nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther performed the commandment of Mordecai, as when she was brought up with him.

21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who kept the door, were angry, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus. 22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it to Esther the queen. And Esther told the king of it in Mordecai's name. 23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, and it was discovered, they were both hanged on a tree. And it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.