Esther 2:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.

New Living Translation
Let the king appoint agents in each province to bring these beautiful young women into the royal harem at the fortress of Susa. Hegai, the king's eunuch in charge of the harem, will see that they are all given beauty treatments.

English Standard Version
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them.

New American Standard Bible
"Let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to the citadel of Susa, to the harem, into the custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let their cosmetics be given them.

King James Bible
And 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:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Let the king appoint commissioners in each province of his kingdom, so that they may assemble all the beautiful young women to the harem at the fortress of Susa. Put them under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women, and give them the required beauty treatments.

International Standard Version
Let the king appoint officials in all the provinces of his kingdom to bring all the beautiful young virgins into the harem in Susa the capital. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women to give them their beauty treatments.

NET Bible
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 under the authority of Hegai, the king's eunuch who oversees the women, and let him provide whatever cosmetics they desire.

New Heart English Bible
Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to the citadel of Susa, to the women's house, to the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, keeper of the women. Let cosmetics be given them;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
And appoint scouts in all the provinces of your kingdom to gather all the attractive young virgins and bring them to the fortress of Susa, to the women's quarters. There, in the care of the king's eunuch Hegai, the guardian of the women, they will have their beauty treatment.

JPS Tanakh 1917
and 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 castle, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their ointments be given them;

New American Standard 1977
“And let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to Susa the capital, to the harem, into the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the women; and let their cosmetics be given them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
and 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 eunuch, keeper of the women; and let them be given that which is necessary for their purification;

King James 2000 Bible
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins unto Shushan the citadel, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, keeper of the women; and let their beautifying ointments be given them:

American King James Version
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, to the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

American Standard Version
and 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 Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the house of the women under the hand of Egeus the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king's women: and let them receive women's ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.

Darby Bible Translation
and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the young virgins of beautiful countenance to Shushan the fortress, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given.

English Revised Version
and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that young virgins unto Shushan the palace, they may gather together all the fair to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

Webster's Bible Translation
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may collect all the fair young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, into the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

World English Bible
Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to the citadel of Susa, to the women's house, to the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, keeper of the women. Let cosmetics be given them;

Young's Literal Translation
and the king doth appoint inspectors in all provinces of his kingdom, and they gather every young woman -- virgin, of good appearance -- unto Shushan the palace, unto the house of the women, unto the hand of Hege eunuch of the king, keeper of the women, and to give their purifications,
Study Bible
Seeking Vashti's Successor
2Then the king's attendants, who served him, said, "Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. 3"Let the king appoint overseers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather every beautiful young virgin to the citadel of Susa, to the harem, into the custody of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let their cosmetics be given them. 4"Then let the young lady who pleases the king be queen in place of Vashti." And the matter pleased the king, and he did accordingly.…
Cross References
Esther 1:1
Now it took place in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,

Esther 1:2
in those days as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne which was at the citadel in Susa,

Esther 2:4
"Then let the young lady who pleases the king be queen in place of Vashti." And the matter pleased the king, and he did accordingly.

Esther 2:8
So it came about when the command and decree of the king were heard and many young ladies were gathered to the citadel of Susa into the custody of Hegai, that Esther was taken to the king's palace into the custody of Hegai, who was in charge of the women.

Esther 2:9
Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king's palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.

Esther 2:12
Now when the turn of each young lady came to go in to King Ahasuerus, after the end of her twelve months under the regulations for the women-- for the days of their beautification were completed as follows: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and the cosmetics for women--

Esther 2:15
Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter, came to go in to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the women, advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.

Esther 2:19
When the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate.
Treasury of Scripture

And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, to the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:

in all the provinces.

Esther 1:1,2 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus …

that they may gather. This was the usual way in which the harem, or seraglio, was furnished; the finest women in the land, whether of high or low birth, were sought out and brought to the harem. They all became the king's concubines; but one was raised as chief wife, or sultana, to the throne; and her issue was especially entitled to inherit.

the custody. Heb. the hand. Hege.

Esther 2:8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard…

Hegai. the king's chamberlain. Saris hammelech, 'the king's eunuch:' so the LXX., Vulgate, Targum, and Syriac.

their things.

Esther 2:12-14 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after …

Isaiah 3:18-23 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling …

(3) The house of the women.--The harem, then as now, a prominent feature in the establishment of an Eastern king.

Hege.--Called Hegai in Esther 2:8; a eunuch whose special charge seems to have been the virgins, while another, named Shaashgaz (Esther 2:14), had the custody of the concubines. The whole verse shows, as conclusively as anything could do, in how degrading an aspect Eastern women were, as a whole, viewed. It was reserved for Christianity to indicate the true position of woman, not man's plaything, but the help meet for him, able to aid him in his spiritual and intellectual progress, yielding him intelligent obedience, not slavery.

Verse 3. - The house of the women. In an Oriental palace the women's apartments are always distinct from those of the men, and are usually placed in a separate building, which the Greeks called the gynaeceum, and the Jews "the house of the women." At Susa this was a large edifice, and comprised several subdivisions (see ver. 14). Hege, the king's chamberlain. Literally, "the king's eunuch, i.e. one of the royal eunuchs (see Esther 1:10). Keeper of the women. Strictly speaking, Hege seems to have been keeper of the virgins only (see ver. 14); but he may have exercised a certain superintendence over the entire gynaeceum. Their things for purification. See ver. 12. Such a divinity lodged in the Persian king that even pure maidens had to be purified before approaching him! It would have been well if the divinity had been himself less impure. And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom,.... Who best knew where beautiful virgins might be found in their respective provinces, in which they dwelt:

that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace; the metropolis of the kingdom, where was the royal palace:

to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women; in which house it seems were two apartments, one for the virgins before they were introduced to the king, the other for them when they were become his concubines, which had a keeper also; but this Hege seems to have been over the whole house, Esther 2:14. It was not only usual with the eastern people, as with the Turks now, for great personages to have keepers of their wives and concubines, but with the Romans also (d):

and let their things for purification be given them; such as oil of myrrh, spices, &c. to remove all impurity and ill scent from them, and make them look smooth and beautiful.

(d) "Pone seram, cohibe", &c. Juvenal. Satyr. 6. ver. 346, 347. 2:1-20 We see to what absurd practices those came, who were destitute of Divine revelation, and what need there was of the gospel of Christ, to purify men from the lusts of the flesh, and to bring them back to the original institution of marriage. Esther was preferred as queen. Those who suggest that Esther committed sin to come at this dignity, do not consider the custom of those times and countries. Every one that the king took was married to him, and was his wife, though of a lower rank. But how low is human nature sunk, when such as these are the leading pursuits and highest worldly happiness of men! Disappointment and vexation must follow; and he most wisely consults his enjoyment, even in this present life, who most exactly obeys the precepts of the Divine law. But let us turn to consider the wise and merciful providence of God, carrying on his deep but holy designs in the midst of all this. And let no change in our condition be a pretext for forgetting our duties to parents, or the friends who have stood in their place.
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OT History: Esther 2:3 Let the king appoint officers in all (Est Esth. Es) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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