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The Access Bible New Revised Standard Bible, written and edited with first-time Bible readers in mind.

Chapter 2

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1After these things, the king's anger abated, and he no longer was concerned about Vashti a Gk Astin or remembered what he had said and how he had condemned her. 2Then the king's servants said, “Let beautiful and virtuous girls be sought out for the king. 3The king shall appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, and they shall select beautiful young virgins to be brought to the harem in Susa, the capital. Let them be entrusted to the king's eunuch who is in charge of the women, and let ointments and whatever else they need be given them. 4And the woman who pleases the king shall be queen instead of Vashti.” a Gk Astin This pleased the king, and he did so.

5Now there was a Jew in Susa the capital whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei b Gk Semeios son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin; 6he had been taken captive from Jerusalem among those whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had captured. 7And he had a foster child, the daughter of his father's brother, Aminadab, and her name was Esther. When her parents died, he brought her up to womanhood as his own. The girl was beautiful in appearance. 8So, when the decree of the king was proclaimed, and many girls were gathered in Susa the capital in custody of Gai, Esther also was brought to Gai, who had custody of the women. 9The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with ointments and her portion of food, c Gk lacks of food as well as seven maids chosen from the palace; he treated her and her maids with special favor in the harem. 10Now Esther had not disclosed her people or country, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. 11And every day Mordecai walked in the courtyard of the harem, to see what would happen to Esther.

12Now the period after which a girl was to go to the king was twelve months. During this time the days of beautification are completed—six months while they are anointing themselves with oil of myrrh, and six months with spices and ointments for women. 13Then she goes in to the king; she is handed to the person appointed, and goes with him from the harem to the king's palace. 14In the evening she enters and in the morning she departs to the second harem, where Gai the king's eunuch is in charge of the women; and she does not go in to the king again unless she is summoned by name.

15When the time was fulfilled for Esther daughter of Aminadab, the brother of Mordecai's father, to go in to the king, she neglected none of the things that Gai, the eunuch in charge of the women, had commanded. Now Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16So Esther went in to King Artaxerxes in the twelfth month, which is Adar, in the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther and she found favor beyond all the other virgins, so he put on her the queen's diadem. 18Then the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all his Friends and the officers to celebrate his marriage to Esther; and he granted a remission of taxes to those who were under his rule.

19Meanwhile Mordecai was serving in the courtyard. 20Esther had not disclosed her country—such were the instructions of Mordecai; but she was to fear God and keep his laws, just as she had done when she was with him. So Esther did not change her mode of life.

21Now the king's eunuchs, who were chief bodyguards, were angry because of Mordecai's advancement, and they plotted to kill King Artaxerxes. 22The matter became known to Mordecai, and he warned Esther, who in turn revealed the plot to the king. 23He investigated the two eunuchs and hanged them. Then the king ordered a memorandum to be deposited in the royal library in praise of the goodwill shown by Mordecai.

Notes:

a Gk Astin

b Gk Semeios

c Gk lacks of food

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