Translated by Mordecai Housman
© Copyright 2011
The Search For A New Queen
1 After these events, King Achashvairosh’s anger abated, and he remembered Vashti and what had happened to her.
2 The king’s personal servants said, «Let them search for beautiful young virgins for the king.
3 «The king should appoint officials in each of the provinces of his empire to gather all the beautiful young virgins at the harem in Shushan Capital, under the administration of the king’s eunuch Hegei, guardian of the women, and give them cosmetics.
4 «And the woman that the king likes can rule instead of Vashti.» The King liked this idea, so he did it.
Mordechai and Esther
5 There was a Jewish man in Shushan Capital whose name was Mordechai, son of Yair, son of Shim’i, from the family of Kish, from the tribe of Benjamin.
6 He had been exiled from Jerusalem with the exiles who had been expelled with Yechonyah king of Yehudah when Nevuchadnezzar king of Babylon had banished them.
7 He had raised his cousin Hadassah after she lost her parents. The Gentiles knew her as Esther. She was a beautiful woman, with pleasant features, and when her parents died Mordechai adopted her.
8 When word of the king’s decree became known, and many women were being gathered at Shushan Capital under Hegai’s direction, Esther was taken forcibly to the palace, to Hegai, guardian of the women.
9 He liked the young woman, and he approved of her, so he rushed to give her cosmetics, food, and the seven maids due her from the palace, and he transferred her and her maids to the best part of the harem.
10 Esther did not reveal her race or nationality, because Mordechai had ordered her not to.
11 Every day Mordechai would walk near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was doing and what was happening with her.
12 The line of women proceeding to the king progressed, as each woman underwent the usual twelve-month treatment for women, which involved six months’ application of oil of myrrh and six months of perfumes and feminine cosmetics.
13 And that’s how they came before the king. In addition, each woman was given whatever she wanted to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 She would arrive in the evening, and she would return in the morning to the second harem, under the direction of the eunuch Shaashgaz, guardian of the concubines. She would not return to the king unless the king wanted her and requested her by name.
15 When the time came for Esther, daughter of Avichayil the uncle of Mordechai, who had adopted her as his daughter, to come before the king, she made no requests at all, and took only what the eunuch Hegai, guardian of the women, told her to take. Esther pleased everyone who met her.
16 Esther was taken to King Achashvairosh at his palace in the tenth month, Teves, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she pleased him more than all the virgins, so he set a royal crown on her head, and he made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 The king made a big feast for all his ministers and servants, called Esther’s Feast, and he declared a tax reduction for the provinces, and gave royal gifts.
19 Then they gathered virgins a second time. At that time, Mordechai was appointed to sit with the ministers at the King’s Gate,
20 And Esther still did not reveal her nationality or race, as Mordechai had ordered her. Esther obeyed the words of Mordechai just as she did when he was raising her.
The Plot Against the King
21 Once, while Mordechai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigsan and Seresh, two officers of the king’s night guards, became angry at the king, and they conspired to poison the king.
22 Mordechai found out about it, so he told Queen Esther, and Esther told it to the king, citing Mordechai as her source.
23 They investigated the matter, and it was verified, and they were both hanged on gallows. It was then recorded in the royal book of chronicles.