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15-16 Xerxes had been king for seven years when Esther’s turn came to go to him during Tebeth,[a] the tenth month of the year. Everyone liked Esther. The king’s personal servant Hegai was in charge of the women, and Esther trusted Hegai and asked him what she ought to take with her.[b]

17 Xerxes liked Esther more than he did any of the other young women. None of them pleased him as much as she did, and right away he fell in love with her and crowned her queen in place of Vashti. 18 In honor of Esther he gave a big dinner for his leaders and officials. Then he declared a holiday everywhere in his kingdom and gave expensive gifts.

Mordecai Saves the King’s Life

19 When the young women were brought together again, Esther’s cousin Mordecai had become a palace official. 20 He had told Esther never to tell anyone that she was a Jew, and she obeyed him, just as she had always done.

21 Bigthana and Teresh were the two men who guarded King Xerxes' rooms, but they got angry with the king and decided to kill him. 22 Mordecai found out about their plans and asked Queen Esther to tell the king what he had found out. 23 King Xerxes learned that Mordecai’s report was true, and he had the two men hanged. Then the king had all of this written down in his record book as he watched.

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  1. 2.15,16 Tebeth: The tenth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-December to mid-January.
  2. 2.15,16 her: The Hebrew text adds, “Esther was the daughter of Abihail and was the cousin of Mordecai, who had adopted her after her parents died” (see verse 7).