2 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 Kish and Shimei.6 His family[a] had been among those who, with King Jehoiachin[b] of Judah, had been exiled from Jerusalem 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.
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