1After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king.
3And let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom so that they can gather together all the beautiful young virgins to the palace-fortress of Susa, to the house of the women, to the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who is in charge of the women. Let cosmetics be given them,
4and let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice pleased the king, and so that is what he did.
5There was a certain Jew in the palace-fortress of Susa 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 among the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7He was bringing up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his own daughter.
8So it came to pass, when the king’s command and his decree was heard and when many young women were gathered together to the palace-fortress of Susa to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken into the king’s house, under the authority of Hegai who was in charge of the women.
9The young woman was pleasing in his eyes, and she found favor with him. So he quickly gave her cosmetics and her portions of food, and seven chosen young women who were given to her out of the king’s house. He moved her and her young women to the best place in the house of the women.
10Esther had not made known her people or her relatives, because Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known.
11And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the house of the women, to find out how Esther was doing and what was happening to her.
12Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after it had been done to her according to the law of the women for 12 months (for this is the way the days of their purification were accomplished: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet fragrances and with preparations for beautifying women),
13then the young woman came to the king like this: she was given whatever she desired to take with her out of the house of the women to the king’s house.
14In the evening she would go in, and on the next day she would return to a second house for women, under the authority of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She never went to the king again unless the king desired her and she was 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 eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. Esther obtained favor in the eyes of all those who saw her.
16So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained more favor and kindness from him than did any of the other virgins. So he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18Then the king made a great banquet—Esther’s banquet—for all his officials and his servants, and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the king’s bounty.
19When the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate.
20Esther had not yet made known her relatives or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her; for Esther obeyed Mordecai like she did when she was brought up by him.
21In those days, while Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, who were doorkeepers, were angry, and sought to assassinate King Ahasuerus.
22This thing became known to Mordecai, who told Esther the queen, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name.
23When this matter was investigated and it was found to be so, they were both hanged on a tree; and in the presence of the king it was written in the scroll of the Events of the Days.