Esther - Page 5

E s t h e r 2 : 1 8
Esther Becomes Queen
But after Xer­xes’ anger had subsided, he began thinking about Vash­ti
and what she had done and the decree he had made. 2 So his personal
attendants suggested, “Let us search the empire to find beautiful young
virgins for the king. 3 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. 4 After that, the young woman who
most pleases the king will be made queen instead of Vash­ti.” This advice
was very appealing to the king, so he put the plan into effect.
5 At that time there was a Jew­ish man in the fortress of Susa whose
name was Mor­de­cai son of Jair. He was from the tribe of Ben­ja­min and
was a descendant of K
­ ish and Shim­ei. 6 His fam­i­ly* had been among
those who, with King Je­hoi­a­chin* of Ju­dah, had been exiled from Je­ru­sa­
lem to Bab­ylon by King Neb­u­chad­nez­zar. 7 This man had a very beautiful
and lovely young cousin, Ha­das­sah, who was also called Esther. When
her father and mother died, Mor­de­cai adopted her into his fam­i­ly and
raised her as his own daughter.
8 As a result of the king’s decree, Esther, along with many other young
women, was brought to the king’s harem at the fortress of Susa and
placed in He­gai’s care. 9 ­He­gai was very impressed with Esther and
treated her kindly. He quickly ordered a special menu for her and pro­
vided her with beauty treatments. He also assigned her seven maids
specially chosen from the king’s palace, and he moved her and her maids
into the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not told anyone of her nationality and fam­i­ly back­
ground, because Mor­de­cai had directed her not to do so. 11 Every day
Mor­de­cai would take a walk near the courtyard of the harem to find
out about Esther and what was happening to her.
12 Before each young woman was taken to the king’s bed, she was given
the prescribed twelve months of beauty treatments—six months with
oil of myrrh, followed by six months with special perfumes and oint­
ments. 13 When it was time for her to go to the king’s palace, she was given
her choice of whatever clothing or jewelry she wanted to take from the
harem. 14 That evening she was taken to the king’s private rooms, and the
next morning she was brought to the second harem,* where the king’s
wives lived. There she would be under the care of Sha­ash­gaz, the king’s
eu­nuch in charge of the concubines. She would never go to the king again
unless he had especially enjoyed her and requested her by name.
15 Esther was the daughter of Ab­i­hail, who was Mor­de­cai’s uncle.
(Mor­de­cai had adopted his younger cousin Esther.) When it was Esther’s
turn to go to the king, she accepted the advice of He­gai, the eu­nuch in
charge of the harem. She asked for nothing except what he suggested,
and she was admired by every­one who saw her.
16 Esther was taken to King Xer­xes at the royal palace in early winter*
of the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than
any of the other young women. He was so delighted with her that he set
the royal crown on her head and declared her queen instead of Vash­ti.
18 To celebrate the occasion, he gave a great banquet in Esther’s honor for
all his nobles and officials, declaring a public holiday for the provinces
and giving generous gifts to every­one.
2:6a Hebrew He. 
2:6b Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin. 2:14 Or to another
part of the harem. 
2:16 Hebrew in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth. A number of dates
in the book of Esther can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related
accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred
within the months of December 479 b.c. and January 478 b.c. 
17B-ESTH_Inspire_Catholic_NLT.indd 601
5/2/2018 9:06:09 AM

Powered by

Full screen Click to read
Paperturn flip book system
Download as PDF
Shopping cart
Full screen
Exit full screen