Some time later, when King Ahasuerus' rage had cooled down, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what was decided against her.
The king's personal attendantsa suggested, "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.
Let the king appoint commissioners in each province of his kingdom, so that they may assemble all the beautiful young virgins to the harem at the fortress of Susa. [Put them] under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women, and give them the required beautyb treatments.
Then the young woman who pleases the king will reign in place of Vashti." This suggestion pleased the king, and he did accordingly.
A Jewish man was in the fortress of Susa named Mordecai son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite.
He had been taken into exile from Jerusalem with the other captives when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took King Jeconiahc of Judah into exile.d7
Mordecai was the legal guardian of his cousine Hadassah (that is, Esther), because she didn't have a father or mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter.f8
When the king's command and edict became public knowledge, many young women gathered at the fortress of Susa under Hegai's care. Esther was also taken to the palace and placed under the care of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.
The young woman pleased him and gained his favorg so that he accelerated the process of the beauty treatments and the special diet that she received. He assigned seven hand-picked female servants to her from the palace and transferred her and her servants to the harem's best quarters.
Esther did not reveal her ethnic background or her birthplace, because Mordecai had ordered her not to.