King James 2000
Esther Becomes Queen
1After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was abated, 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 beautiful young virgins sought out for the king:
3And 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:
4And let the maiden who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
5Now in Shushan the citadel there was a certain Jew, 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 with the captives who had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7And he had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took as 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 citadel, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her beautifying ointments, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, who were suitable to be given her, out of the king's house: and he moved her and her maidens unto the best place of the house of the women.
10Esther had not revealed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it.
11And Mordecai 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 maiden's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after she had been there twelve months, according to the regulations for the women, (for so were the days of their beautification accomplished, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes, and with other preparations for beautifying 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 the next day she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch, who 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 Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's eunuch, the keeper of the women, advised. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
16So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17And the king loved Esther more than 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 holiday in all the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the liberality of the king.
Mordecai Uncovers a Plot
19And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
20Esther had not yet made known her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai, just as when she was brought up with him.
21In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, of those who kept the door, were angry, and sought to lay hands on king Ahasuerus.
22And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther informed the king of it in Mordecai's name.
23And when inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.