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Esther Made Queen
1After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasue´rus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her. 2Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair 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 fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them: 4and let the maiden which pleaseth 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 Mor´decai, the son of Ja´ir, the son of Shim´e-i, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6#2 Kgs 24.10-162 Chr 36.10 who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconi´ah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnez´zar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7And he brought up Hadas´sah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mor´decai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. 8So 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 He´gai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of He´gai, keeper of the women. 9And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women. 10Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred: for Mor´decai had charged her that she should not show it. 11And Mor´decai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
12Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasue´rus, 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 odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women,) 13then 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. 14In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Sha-ash´gaz, 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.
15Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Ab´ihail the uncle of Mor´decai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what He´gai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her. 16So Esther was taken unto king Ahasue´rus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
Mordecai Reveals a Conspiracy against the King
19And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mor´decai sat in the king's gate. 20Esther had not yet showed her kindred nor her people, as Mor´decai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mor´decai, like as when she was brought up with him. 21In those days, while Mor´decai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasue´rus. 22And the thing was known to Mor´decai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mor´decai's name. 23And 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.
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