And let the kingappointofficers in all the provinces of his kingdom, thatthey may gathertogether all the fairyoungvirginsuntoShushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’schamberlain, keeper of the women; and let theirthings for purification be giventhem:
And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’sdaughter: for she had neitherfather nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whomMordecai, when her father and motherweredead, took for his own daughter.
So it came to pass, when the king’scommandment and his decree was heard, and whenmanymaidensweregatheredtogetheruntoShushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, thatEsther was broughtalsounto the king’shouse, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
And the maidenpleased him, and she obtainedkindness of him; and he speedilygave her her things for purification, withsuchthings as belonged to her, and sevenmaidens, whichweremeet to be given her, out of the king’shouse: and he preferred her and her maidsunto the bestplace of the house of the women.
Now wheneverymaid’sturn was come to go in to kingAhasuerus, afterthat she had beentwelvemonths, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of theirpurificationsaccomplished, to wit, six monthswith oil of myrrh, and six monthswithsweetodours, and withotherthings for the purifying of the women;)
In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returnedinto the secondhouse of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’schamberlain, whichkept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the kingdelighted in her, and that she werecalled by name.
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 requirednothing but whatHegai the king’schamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Estherobtainedfavour in the sight of all themthatlookedupon her.