Esther 2:1-18

Esther Made Queen

1 Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her.
2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.
3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.
4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,
6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin[a] king of Judah.
7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.
9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.
11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set 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 nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.

Esther 2:1 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
1 After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her.
NLT
1 But after Xerxes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vashti and what she had done and the decree he had made.
MSG
1 Later, when King Xerxes' anger had cooled and he was having second thoughts about what Vashti had done and what he had ordered against her,
CSB
1 Some time later, when King Ahasuerus' rage had cooled down, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what was decided against her.

Esther 2:1-18 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ESTHER 2

By the advice of the ministers of King Ahasuerus, fair virgins were sought for throughout his dominions, and brought to his chamberlain, the keeper of the women, among whom was Esther, a Jewish virgin, Es 2:1-8, who found favour with the chamberlain, and afterwards with the king, who made her queen instead of Vashti, and a feast on that account, Es 2:9-18. Mordecai, to whom Esther was related, and according to whose advice she acted, sitting in the king's gate, discovered a conspiracy against the king, which he now made known to Esther, Es 2:19-23.

Esther 2:1-18 In-Context

1 Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her.
2 Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.
3 Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.
4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,
6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah.
7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.
9 She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.
11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set 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 nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.
19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate.
20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai.

Cross References 20

  • 1. Esther 1:19-20; Esther 7:10
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 9:1; Esther 3:2
  • 3. S 2 Kings 24:6,15; 2 Chronicles 36:10,20
  • 4. Daniel 1:1-5; Daniel 5:13
  • 5. Genesis 41:45
  • 6. S Genesis 39:6
  • 7. ver 3,15; Nehemiah 1:1; Esther 1:2; Daniel 8:2
  • 8. S Genesis 39:21
  • 9. ver 3,12; S Genesis 37:3; 1 Samuel 9:22-24; S 2 Kings 25:30; Esther 9:19; Ezekiel 16:9-13; Daniel 1:5
  • 10. ver 20
  • 11. Proverbs 27:9; Song of Songs 1:3; Isaiah 3:24
  • 12. 1 Kings 11:3; Song of Songs 6:8; Daniel 5:2
  • 13. Esther 4:11
  • 14. Esther 9:29
  • 15. Psalms 45:14
  • 16. S Genesis 18:3; S Genesis 30:27; Esther 5:8; Esther 7:3; Esther 8:5
  • 17. Esther 1:11; Ezekiel 16:9-13
  • 18. S 1 Kings 3:15; Esther 1:3
  • 19. S Genesis 40:20
  • 20. S Esther 1:7

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew "Jeconiah," a variant of "Jehoiachin"
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