Bible: Esther 2:1-11

Esther Becomes Queen in Vashti’s Place

2:1 When these things had been accomplished 1  and the rage of King Ahasuerus had diminished, he remembered 2  Vashti and what she had done and what had been decided 3  against her. 2:2 The king’s servants who attended him said, “Let a search be conducted in the king’s behalf for attractive young women. 4  2:3 And let the king appoint officers throughout all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the attractive young women to Susa the citadel, to the harem 5  under the authority of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who oversees the women, and let him provide whatever cosmetics they desire. 6  2:4 Let the young woman whom the king finds most attractive 7  become queen in place of Vashti.” This seemed like a good idea to the king, 8  so he acted accordingly.

2:5 Now there happened to be a Jewish man in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai. 9  He was the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite, 2:6 who had been taken into exile from Jerusalem 10  with the captives who had been carried into exile with Jeconiah 11  king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken into exile. 2:7 Now he was acting as the guardian 12  of Hadassah 13  (that is, Esther), the daughter of his uncle, for neither her father nor her mother was alive. 14  This young woman was very attractive and had a beautiful figure. 15  When her father and mother died, Mordecai had raised her 16  as if she were his own daughter.

2:8 It so happened that when the king’s edict and his law became known 17  many young women were taken to Susa the citadel to be placed under the authority of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the royal palace 18  to be under the authority of Hegai, who was overseeing the women. 2:9 This young woman pleased him, 19  and she found favor with him. He quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her rations; he also provided her with the seven specially chosen 20  young women who were from the palace. He then transferred her and her young women to the best quarters in the harem. 21 

2:10 Now Esther had not disclosed her people or her lineage, 22  for Mordecai had instructed her not to do so. 23  2:11 And day after day Mordecai used to walk back and forth in front of the court of the harem in order to learn how Esther was doing 24  and what might happen to her.

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