1 After these events, when King Achashverosh's wrath had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed upon her. 2 So the king's attendants advised: "Let beautiful virgin girls be sought for the King.

3 And let the King appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, and let them gather every beautiful virgin girl to Shushan the capital, to the harem, under the charge of Heigai, chamberlain of the King, custodian of the women, and let their cosmetics be provided. 4 Then let the girl who finds favor in the King's eyes become queen in Vashti's stead." The plan pleased the king and he acted accordingly.

5 There was a Jewish man in Shushan the capital, whose name was Mordechai, son of Yair, son of Shim'iy, son of Kish, a Benjaminite, 6 who had been exiled from Jerusalem with the exiles that had been exiled along with Jechoniah, King of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had sent into exile. 7 He had raised his cousin Hadassah, also called Esther, for she had neither father nor mother. The girl was shapely and beautiful, and when her father and mother died, Mordechai adopted her as his daughter. 8 Now when the king's order and edict became known, and many girls were gathered to Shushan the capital under the charge of Heigai, Esther was also taken to the palace under the charge of Heigai, custodian of the women. 9 The girl found favor in his eyes and won his kindness, so that he hurried to provide her with her cosmetics and meals, and the seven maids that were to be given her from the palace. He also transferred her and her maids to the best quarters in the harem. 10 [All the while] Esther did not divulge her race or ancestry, for Mordechai had instructed her not to tell. 11 Every day Mordechai would stroll in front of the harem courtyard to find out how Esther was faring and what would be done with her. 12 Now when each girl's turn came to go to King Achashverosh, after undergoing the prescribed twelve-month care for women (for only then would their period of beauty-care be completed: six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and women's cosmetics, 13 with which the girl would appear before the king), she would be provided with whatever she requested to accompany her from the harem to the palace. 14 In the evening she would go [to the king], and in the morning she would return to the second harem, under the charge of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, custodian of the concubines. She would not go to the king again, unless the king desired her, whereupon she would be summoned by name.

15 And when the time came for Esther, daughter of Avichayil uncle of Mordechai, who had taken her as a daughter, to go to the king, she did not ask for a thing other than that which Heigai, the king's chamberlain, custodian of the women, had advised. And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16 Esther was taken to King Achashverosh, to his palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tevet, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther more than all the women and she won his favor and kindness more than all the virgins; he placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in Vashti's stead. 18 Then the king made a grand feast for all his ministers and servants, The Feast of Esther. He lowered [taxes] for the provinces and gave presents befitting the king. 19 And when the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordechai was sitting at the king's gate. 20 Esther would [still] not divulge her ancestry or race, as Mordechai had instructed her. Indeed, Esther followed Mordechai's instructions just as she had done while under his care.

21 In those days, while Mordechai sat at the king's gate, Bigtan and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains from the threshold guards, became angry and planned to assassinate King Achashverosh. 22 The matter became known to Mordechai and he informed Queen Esther. Esther then informed the king of it in Mordechai's name. 23 The matter was investigated and found [to be true] and the two were hanged on the gallows. It was then recorded in the Book of Chronicles before the king.