1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
8 So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.
10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)
13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.
14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
20 Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus.
22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.
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The second chapter of the Book of Esther in the King James Version (KJV) of the Holy Bible continues the story of Esther, a young Jewish woman who becomes queen of Persia and saves her people from destruction. This chapter introduces us to the main characters of the story and sets the stage for the events that will unfold in the rest of the book.
The chapter begins with King Ahasuerus, also known as King Xerxes, searching for a new queen after his first wife, Queen Vashti, disobeyed him and was banished. The king's servants suggest that he gather all the beautiful young virgins from the kingdom and choose a new queen from among them. The king agrees and a decree is issued for all the eligible young women to be brought to the palace in Susa.
Among the young women brought to the palace is Esther, a Jewish orphan who is being raised by her cousin Mordecai. Esther is described as beautiful and wins the favor of the king's eunuch, Hegai, who oversees the women. Hegai gives Esther special treatment and provides her with the best cosmetics and food.
Esther follows Hegai's advice and does not reveal her Jewish identity to anyone in the palace. She also follows the rules and regulations set by the king's eunuch and wins the favor of everyone who sees her. After a year of preparation, each woman is given one night with the king to try and win his favor. When it is Esther's turn, the king is immediately taken with her and she becomes the new queen of Persia.
Meanwhile, Mordecai, who works at the king's gate, overhears a plot to assassinate the king. He informs Esther, who tells the king and gives credit to Mordecai for uncovering the plot. The conspirators are hanged and the event is recorded in the king's chronicles.
On the surface, chapter 2 of the Book of Esther may seem like a simple story of a young woman becoming queen and her cousin saving the king's life. However, there are deeper themes and meanings that can be drawn from this chapter.
One of the main themes of this chapter is the providence of God. Throughout the chapter, we see how God works behind the scenes to bring about His plans and purposes. Esther's beauty and favor with the king are not just a coincidence, but rather a part of God's plan to save the Jewish people from destruction. Even Mordecai's position at the king's gate and his overhearing of the assassination plot are all part of God's providence. This chapter reminds us that God is always in control, even when we may not see it or understand it.
Another theme that can be drawn from this chapter is the importance of obedience and faithfulness. Esther's obedience to Hegai and her faithfulness to her Jewish identity ultimately lead to her becoming queen and being in a position to save her people. Mordecai's faithfulness to his duties at the king's gate and his obedience to God's laws also play a crucial role in the events that unfold. This chapter serves as a reminder that our obedience and faithfulness to God can have a significant impact on our lives and the lives of those around us.
Additionally, this chapter highlights the power dynamics and treatment of women in ancient Persia. The king's decree to gather all the beautiful young virgins and choose a new queen from among them shows the objectification and commodification of women in that society. Esther's story also sheds light on the limited agency and power that women had in the ancient world. However, we see Esther using her intelligence and wit to navigate these power dynamics and ultimately save her people. This serves as a reminder that even in oppressive systems, individuals can still make a difference and bring about change.
Furthermore, this chapter also foreshadows the conflict that will arise between Mordecai and Haman in later chapters. Mordecai's refusal to bow down to Haman, the king's second-in-command, hints at the tension and animosity that will develop between the two characters. This foreshadowing adds depth and complexity to the story and sets the stage for the events that will unfold in the rest of the book.
In conclusion, chapter 2 of the Book of Esther in the KJV Holy Bible is a crucial chapter that sets the foundation for the rest of the story. It introduces us to the main characters and themes of the book, such as God's providence, obedience and faithfulness, power dynamics, and foreshadowing of future conflicts. This chapter serves as a reminder of God's sovereignty and the impact that individuals can have in fulfilling His plans and purposes. It also highlights the importance of standing up for what is right, even in oppressive systems. Overall, chapter 2 of the Book of Esther is a powerful and thought-provoking chapter that sets the stage for the dramatic events that will unfold in the rest of the book.