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1After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was pacified, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2Then said the king’s servants who ministered to him, Let there be beautiful young virgins sought for the king: 3and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, to the custody of Hegai the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let cosmetics be given them; 4and let the maiden who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. The thing pleased the king; and he did so. 5There was a certain Jew in Shushan the palace, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, 6who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7He brought up Hadassah, who is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden was fair and beautiful; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter. 8So it happened, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together to Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken into the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9The maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her cosmetics, with her portions of food, and the seven maidens who were meet to be given her out of the king’s house: and he removed her and her maidens to the best place of the house of the women. 10Esther had not made known her people nor her relatives; for Mordecai had charged her that she should not make it known. 11Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did, and what would become of her. 12Now when the turn of every maiden was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after it had been done to her as prescribed for the women twelve months (for so were the days of their purification accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors and with the things for the purifying of the women), 13then in this wise came the maiden to the king: whatever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women to the king’s house. 14In the evening she went, and on the next day she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, who kept the concubines: she came in to the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and she were called by name. 15Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, came to go in to the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those who looked at her. 16So Esther was taken to king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17The king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained favor and kindness in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18Then the king made a great feast to all his princes and his servants, even Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the bounty of the king. 19When the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate. 20Esther had not yet made known her relatives nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. 21In those days, while Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who kept the threshold, were angry, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus. 22The thing became known to Mordecai, who shown it to Esther the queen; and Esther told the king of it in Mordecai’s name. 23When inquisition was made of the matter, and it was found to be so, they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
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