THE BOOK OF
Esther 2 ©
Ahasuerus remembers Vashti, v. 1. Many beautiful virgins are gathered together, 2. That the king would choose one from among them to be queen in Vashti’s stead, 4. Mordecai brings also Esther among those maidens, 8. She finds favor with Hegai the keeper of the maidens, 9. Hegai gives to her her ornaments, 12. She is brought unto the king, 16. He places the crown upon her head, and makes her queen, 17. And he makes a great marriage feast to her honor, 18. Two chamberlains seek to murder king Ahasuerus, 21. Mordecai discovers this plot, 22. It is recorded in the chronicles, 23.
AFTER these things, when 1the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he 2remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
Then said the king’s 3servants that ministered unto him, Let there be 4fair young virgins sought for the king:
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may 5gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house 6of the women, unto 7the custody of 8Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their 9things for purification be given them:
And let the maiden which 10pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
¶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 11Benjamite;
Who had been carried away from Jerusalem witha the 12captivity which had been carried away with 13Jeconiah king of Judah, 14whom 15Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
And he brought up Hadassah, that is, 16Esther, 17his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
¶So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when 18many 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.
And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her 19things for purification, 20with such things as belonged to her, and seven 21maidens, which were meet to be given 22her, out of the king's house: and he 23preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai 24had charged her that she should not shew it.
And Mordecai walked 25every day before the court 26of the women's house, to know 27how Esther did, and 28what should become of her.
¶Now when 29every maid’s 30turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, 31after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for 32so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)
33Then thus came every maiden unto the king; 34whatsoever she desired was given her 35to go with her out of the house of the women 36unto the king's house.
In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into 37the second house of the women, to 38the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
¶Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, 39who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she 40required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, 41appointed. And Esther obtained 42favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
So Esther was 43taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month 44Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
And the king loved Esther above all the 45women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set 46the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
47Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even 48Esther’s feast; and 49he made a release to the provinces, and 50gave gifts, 51according to the state of the king.
And when the virgins were gathered together 52the second time, 53then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged 54her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as 55when she was brought up with him.
¶In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, 56Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were 57wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
And when inquisitionb was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on 58a tree: and it was written 59in the book of the chronicles 60before the king.