Esther 2

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 that ministered unto 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 that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan, the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege, the king’s eunuch, keeper of the women; and let them be given that which is necessary for their purification;
4 and let the maiden which 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, the king of Babylon, had carried away.
7 And he had 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 as her father and mother were dead, Mordecai had taken her for his own daughter.
8 So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan, the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9 And the maiden pleased him, and she found mercy before him; and he speedily gave her that which was necessary for purification and her rations, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her out of the king’s house; and he moved her and her maids into the best place of the house of the women.
10 Esther had not declared her people nor her birth, for Mordecai had charged her that she should not declare it.
11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house to know the peace of Esther and what was done with her.
12 Now when each maid’s turn was come to go in to King Ahasuerus, after she had been twelve months according to the law regarding the women (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, that is, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with aromatic odours and oils for women),
13 then thus came each maiden unto the king; whatever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.
14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who kept the concubines; she came in unto the king no more, unless the king delighted in her and called for her by name.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail, the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai, the king’s eunuch, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained grace in the sight of all those that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto 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 mercy in his sight more than did all the other virgins so that he set the crown of the kingdom upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great banquet unto all his princes and his slaves, the banquet of Esther; and he made a release to the provinces of their taxes and gave gifts according to the power of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.
20 Esther had not yet declared her birth nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her; for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai as when she was being brought up with him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth and sought to lay hand on King Ahasuerus.
22 And the thing was known by Mordecai, who told it unto Esther, the queen; and Esther notified the king of this in Mordecai’s name.
23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore, they were both hanged on a tree; and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.