Esther 2 ©
By advice of his servants Ahasuerus appointeth the fair virgins of his kingdom to be assembled in order to choose out a queen. Esther brought up by Mordecai. She is preferred by Hegai keeper of the women before all the other virgins, but by Mordecai's directions telleth not her kindred. The manner of purification and going in unto the king. Esther pleaseth him, and is made queen. Mordecai discovereth a plot against the king's life, which service is registered in the chronicles of the kingdom.
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, 1unto the custody of 2Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their 3things for purification be given them:
¶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 iHegai, 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 jshe obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her kthings for purification, with 7such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were *meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and 8he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
And Mordecai mwalked every day before the court of the women's house, 9to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
¶Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the *manner of the women, (for so 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;)
Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.
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 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 nturn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail othe uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, pshe *required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther qobtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
Esther had ynot yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was zbrought up with him.