1. And so, after this had been carried out, and the indignation of king Artaxerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what had happened to her.
2. And the servants of the king, and his ministers, said, “Let young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful,
3. and let investigators be sent throughout all the provinces for young women, beautiful and virgins. And let them bring them to the city of Susa, and deliver them to the house of the women under the hand of Hegai the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king’s women. And let them receive feminine ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.
4. And whoever among them all will please the king’s eyes, let her reign instead of Vashti.” The idea pleased the king, and so he ordered it to be done as they had suggested.
5. There was a Jewish man in the city of Susa, by the name of Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, of the house of Benjamin,
6. who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried away Jeconiah king of Judah,
7. who had raised his brother’s daughter Hadassah, who by another name was called Esther. And she had lost both her parents. She was very beautiful, with a graceful appearance. Since her father and mother had both died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.
8. And when the king’s command became very well-known, in accordance with his command, many beautiful virgins were brought to Susa, and were delivered to Hegai the eunuch. Likewise, Esther, along with the other young women, was delivered to him, to be protected with the assembled women.
9. She was pleasing to him, and she found favor in his sight. And he commanded a eunuch to hasten the women’s ornaments, and to deliver her share to her, along with seven of the most beautiful young women of the king’s house, so as to both adorn and honor her and her handmaids.
10. She was not willing to reveal to him her people or her native land. For Mordecai had instructed her that she should keep silent about all these things.
11. He went for a walk every day, in the front courtyard of the house in which the chosen virgins were kept, having concern for Esther’s welfare and wanting to know what would happen to her.
12. But, when the time came for each in the line of young women to go in to the king, after everything had been completed concerning feminine grooming, the twelfth month had been reached, to the extent that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for another six months they used certain types of makeup and perfumes.
13. And when they were going in to the king, whatever they requested to adorn themselves, they received, and when each was pleased with herself, having been prepared in the chamber of the women, she passed on to the king’s chamber.
14. And whoever entered at evening, departed in the morning, and then from there she was led to the second house, which was under the hand of Shaashgaz the eunuch, who presided over the king’s concubines. Nor did she have the power to return again to the king, unless the king desired it and had summoned her by name.
15. But, as the order continued to progress, the day arrived when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mordecai, whom he had adopted as his daughter, was required to go in to the king. She did not seek feminine ornaments, except that whatever Hegai the eunuch and keeper of the virgins chose, he gave her to adorn her. For she was very attractive, and her incredible beauty made her appear gracious and amiable in the eyes of all.
16. And so she was led to the chamber of king Artaxerxes, in the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17. And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favor and mercy in his eyes above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and he made her queen instead of Vashti.
18. And he ordered a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the rulers, and for his servants, because of the union and wedding of Esther. And he gave a holiday to all the provinces, and he bestowed gifts befitting of princely generosity.
19. And when the virgins were sought for the second time and gathered together, Mordecai remained at the king’s gate.
20. Esther had not yet declared her native land and her people, according to his command. For whatever he instructed, Esther observed. And so she did all things as she had become accustomed in the time when he raised her from early childhood.
21. Therefore, at that time, when Mordecai was staying at the king’s gate, Bagatha and Thara, two of the king’s eunuchs, who were gatekeepers and who presided over the first entryway of the palace, were angry, and they decided to rise up against the king and kill him.
22. But Mordecai did not keep this secret, and immediately he reported it to queen Esther, and she reported it to the king in Mordecai’s name, who had brought the matter to her.
23. It was inquired into and discovered, and they were both hanged on a gallows. And it was committed to the histories and the chronicles which are delivered in the sight of the king.