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:
Keeper — Of all the women, both virgins and concubines: only the virgins he himself took care of, as requiring more care and caution, and the concubines be committed to Shaashgaz, verse 14, his deputy.
Purification — That is, to cleanse them from all impurities, to perfume, and adorn, and every way prepare them for the king: for the legal purification of the Jews he never regarded.
 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.
Esther — Hadassah was her Hebrew name before her marriage; and she was called Esther by the king after it.
 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.
Pleased — Because she was very beautiful, therefore he supposed she would be acceptable to the king; and by the Divine power, which moveth the hearts of men which way he pleaseth.
 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
Shew it — Lest the knowledge hereof should either make her contemptible, or bring some inconvenience to the whole nation; but there was also an hand of God in causing this to be concealed, for the better accomplishment of that which he designed, though Mordecai was ignorant of it.
 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.
Desired — For ornament, or by way of attendance. And it should be observed, that every one whom the king took to his bed, was his wife of a lower rank, as Hagar was Abraham's, so that it would have been no sin or dishonour to Esther, though she had not been made queen.
 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
Sat — By office, as one of the king's guards or ministers; being advanced to this place by Esther's favour.