Esther 2 Expanded 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.