Esther 2Expanded Bible (EXB)
Esther Is Made Queen
2 Later, when King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was not so angry, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and his ·order [decree; edict] about her. 2 Then the king’s personal ·servants [attendants] suggested, “Let a search be made for ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] for the king. 3 Let the king choose ·supervisors [commissioners] in every ·state [province] of his kingdom to bring ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa. They should be taken to the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·women [harem]. And let ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] be given to them. 4 Then let the ·girl [young woman] who ·most pleases [L is good in the eyes of] the king become queen in place of Vashti.” The king ·liked [was pleased/delighted by] this idea, so he did as they said.
5 Now there was a Jew in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. Jair was the son of Shimei, the son of Kish [C these are relatives of Saul, showing that Mordecai was his descendant; 1 Sam. 9:1–3; 2 Sam. 16:5]. Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin, 6 which had been taken ·captive [into exile] from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They were part of the group taken into ·captivity [exile] with Jehoiachin king of Judah [C 597 bc; 2 Kin. 24:8–17]. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, who had no father or mother, so Mordecai ·took care of her [was her guardian; brought her up]. Hadassah was also called Esther, and she ·had a very pretty figure and face [L was beautiful of form]. Mordecai had ·adopted [raised; taken] her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
8 When the king’s command and ·order [decree; edict] had been ·heard [proclaimed], many ·girls [young women] had been brought to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] in Susa and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai. Esther was also taken to the king’s ·palace [L house] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. 9 Esther ·pleased [impressed; L was good in his eyes] Hegai, and ·he liked her [L found favor with him]. So Hegai quickly began giving Esther her ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] and special food. He gave her seven ·servant girls [maids; attendants] chosen from the king’s ·palace [L house]. Then he ·moved [transferred] her and her ·seven servant girls [maids; attendants] to the best part of the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women].
10 Esther did not tell anyone about her ·family [people; nationality] or ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage], because Mordecai had ·told [instructed] her not to. 11 Every day Mordecai walked back and forth ·near [in front of] the courtyard ·where the king’s women lived [of the harem] to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Before a girl could take her turn ·with [to go to] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments ·that were ordered [prescribed; required] for the women. For six months she was treated with oil ·and [or of] myrrh and for six months with ·perfumes [spices] and ·cosmetics [ointments]. 13 Then she ·was ready to go [would go in this way] to the king. Anything she ·asked for [desired] was given to her to take with her from the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] to the king’s ·palace [L house]. 14 In the evening she would go to the king’s ·palace [L house], and in the morning she would return ·to another part of the [or to a second; or again to the] ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women]. There she would be placed under the ·care [custody; authority] of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·slave women [concubines; C secondary wives]. The girl would not go back to the king again unless he was pleased with her and ·asked for [summoned; requested] her by name.
15 The ·time [L turn] came for Esther daughter of Abihail, Mordecai’s uncle [C Esther was Mordecai’s younger cousin, v. 7], who had been raised [taken] by Mordecai as his own daughter, to go to the king. She asked for only what Hegai ·suggested [advised; recommended] she should take. (Hegai was the king’s eunuch who ·was in charge of [supervised] the women.) Everyone who saw Esther ·liked [favored] her. 16 So Esther was taken to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] in the royal ·palace [L house] in the tenth month [C early winter], the month of Tebeth, during ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] seventh year ·as king [of his reign].
17 And the king ·was pleased with [loved] Esther more than with any of the other ·virgins [young women]. He liked her more than any of the ·others [other virgins], so he put a royal crown on her head and ·made [proclaimed; declared] her queen in place of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great banquet for Esther and invited all his ·important men [nobles; officials] and ·royal officers [ministers; servants]. He announced a holiday for all the ·empire [L provinces] and ·had the government give away gifts [gave gifts with royal liberality/generosity].
Mordecai Discovers an Evil Plan
19 Now Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate [C an indication he was likely a government official] when the girls were ·gathered the second time [or transferred to the second harem; or gathered again]. 20 Esther still had not told anyone about ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage] or her ·family [people; nationality], just as Mordecai had ·commanded [instructed] her. She ·obeyed Mordecai [followed Mordecai’s instructions] just as she had done when ·she was under his care [he was raising her].
21 Now Bigthana and Teresh were two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the ·doorway [entrance; L threshold]. While Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, they became angry and ·began to make plans [plotted; conspired] to ·kill [assassinate; L send a hand against] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. 22 But Mordecai found out about their ·plans [plot] and told Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king ·how Mordecai had discovered the evil plan [L in Mordecai’s name]. 23 When the report was investigated, it was found to be ·true [so], and ·the two officers who had planned to kill the king [L they both] were ·hanged [impaled; C on a stake or sharpened pole, a common form of execution]. All this was written down in the ·daily court record [book of the annals/chronicles] in the king’s presence.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.