Greek Esther 2 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Esther Becomes Queen
2 After these things, the king’s anger abated, and he no longer was concerned about Vashti[a] or remembered what he had said and how he had condemned her. 2 Then the king’s servants said, “Let beautiful and virtuous girls be sought out for the king. 3 The king shall appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, and they shall select beautiful young virgins to be brought to the harem in Susa, the capital. Let them be entrusted to the king’s eunuch who is in charge of the women, and let ointments and whatever else they need be given them. 4 And the woman who pleases the king shall be queen instead of Vashti.”[b] This pleased the king, and he did so.
5 Now there was a Jew in Susa the capital whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei[c] son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin; 6 he had been taken captive from Jerusalem among those whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had captured. 7 And he had a foster child, the daughter of his father’s brother, Aminadab, and her name was Esther. When her parents died, he brought her up to womanhood as his own. The girl was beautiful in appearance. 8 So, when the decree of the king was proclaimed, and many girls were gathered in Susa the capital in custody of Gai, Esther also was brought to Gai, who had custody of the women. 9 The girl pleased him and won his favor, and he quickly provided her with ointments and her portion of food,[d] as well as seven maids chosen from the palace; he treated her and her maids with special favor in the harem. 10 Now Esther had not disclosed her people or country, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. 11 And every day Mordecai walked in the courtyard of the harem, to see what would happen to Esther.
12 Now the period after which a girl was to go to the king was twelve months. During this time the days of beautification are completed—six months while they are anointing themselves with oil of myrrh, and six months with spices and ointments for women. 13 Then she goes in to the king; she is handed to the person appointed, and goes with him from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she enters and in the morning she departs to the second harem, where Gai the king’s eunuch is in charge of the women; and she does not go in to the king again unless she is summoned by name.
15 When the time was fulfilled for Esther daughter of Aminadab, the brother of Mordecai’s father, to go in to the king, she neglected none of the things that Gai, the eunuch in charge of the women, had commanded. Now Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16 So Esther went in to King Artaxerxes in the twelfth month, which is Adar, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther and she found favor beyond all the other virgins, so he put on her the queen’s diadem. 18 Then the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all his Friends and the officers to celebrate his marriage to Esther; and he granted a remission of taxes to those who were under his rule.
The Plot Discovered
19 Meanwhile Mordecai was serving in the courtyard. 20 Esther had not disclosed her country—such were the instructions of Mordecai; but she was to fear God and keep his laws, just as she had done when she was with him. So Esther did not change her mode of life.
21 Now the king’s eunuchs, who were chief bodyguards, were angry because of Mordecai’s advancement, and they plotted to kill King Artaxerxes. 22 The matter became known to Mordecai, and he warned Esther, who in turn revealed the plot to the king. 23 He investigated the two eunuchs and hanged them. Then the king ordered a memorandum to be deposited in the royal library in praise of the goodwill shown by Mordecai.