Queen Vashti Defies King Ahasuerus
11 Now it came about in the days of Ahasuerus, (that Ahasuerus who was ruler of a hundred and twenty-seven divisions of the kingdom, from India as far as Ethiopia:) 2 That in those days, when King Ahasuerus was ruling in Shushan, his strong town, 3 In the third year of his rule he gave a feast to all his captains and his servants; and the captains of the army of Persia and Media, the great men and the rulers of the divisions of his kingdom, were present before him; 4 And for a long time, even a hundred and eighty days, he let them see all the wealth and the glory of his kingdom and the great power and honour which were his. 5 And at the end of that time, the king gave a feast for all the people who were present in Shushan, the king's town, small as well as great, for seven days, in the outer square of the garden of the king's house. 6 There were fair hangings of white and green and blue, fixed with cords of purple and the best linen to silver rings and pillars of polished stone: the seats were of gold and silver on a floor of red and white and yellow and black stone. 7 And they gave them drink in gold vessels, every vessel being different, and wine of the kingdom, freely given by the king. 8 And the drinking was in keeping with the law; no one was forced: for the king had given orders to all the chief servants of his house to do as was pleasing to every man. 9 And Vashti the queen gave a feast for the women in the house of King Ahasuerus.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was glad with wine, he gave orders to Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven unsexed servants who were waiting before Ahasuerus the king, 11 That Vashti the queen was to come before him, crowned with her crown, and let the people and the captains see her: for she was very beautiful. 12 But when the servants gave her the king's order, Vashti the queen said she would not come: then the king was very angry, and his heart was burning with wrath. 13 And the king said to the wise men, who had knowledge of the times, (for this was the king's way with all who were expert in law and in the giving of decisions: 14 And second only to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven rulers of Persia and Media, who were friends of the king, and had the first places in the kingdom:) 15 What is to be done by law to Vashti the queen, because she has not done what King Ahasuerus, by his servants, gave her orders to do? 16 And before the king and the captains, Memucan gave his answer: Vashti the queen has done wrong, not only to the king, but to all the captains and to all the peoples in all the divisions of the kingdom of King Ahasuerus; 17 For news of what the queen has done will come to the ears of all women, and they will no longer give respect to their husbands when it is said to them, King Ahasuerus gave orders for Vashti the queen to come before him and she came not. 18 And the wives of the captains of Persia and Media, hearing what the queen has done, will say the same to all the king's captains. So there will be much shame and wrath. 19 If it is pleasing to the king, let an order go out from him, and let it be recorded among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, so that it may never be changed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her place to another who is better than she. 20 And when this order, given by the king, is made public through all his kingdom (for it is great), all the wives will give honour to their husbands, great as well as small. 21 And this suggestion seemed good to the king and the captains; and the king did as Memucan said; 22 And sent letters to all the divisions of the kingdom, to every division in the writing commonly used there, and to every people in the language which was theirs, saying that every man was to be the ruler in his house, and that this order was to be given out in the language of his people.
Esther Made Queen
21 After these things, when the king's feelings were calmer, the thought of Vashti and what she had done and the order he had made against her, came back to his mind. 2 Then the servants who were waiting on the king said to him, Let search be made for some fair young virgins for the king: 3 Let the king give authority to certain men in all the divisions of his kingdom, to get together all the fair young virgins and send them to Shushan, the king's town, to the women's house, under the care of Hegai, the king's servant, the keeper of the women: and let the things needed for making them clean be given to them; 4 And let the girl who is pleasing to the king be queen in place of Vashti. And the king was pleased with this suggestion; and he did so. 5 Now there was a certain Jew in Shushan named Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6 Who had been taken away from Jerusalem among those who had been made prisoner with Jeconiah, king of Judah, when Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had taken him away. 7 And he had been a father to Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his father's brother: for she had no father or mother, and she was very beautiful; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai took her for his daughter. 8 So when the order made by the king was publicly given out, and a number of girls had been placed in the care of Hegai in the king's house in Shushan, Esther was taken into the king's house and put in the care of Hegai, the keeper of the women. 9 And he was pleased with the girl and was kind to her; and he quickly gave her what was needed for making her clean, and the things which were hers by right, and seven servant-girls who were to be hers from the king's house: and he had her and her servant-girls moved to the best place in the women's part of the house. 10 Esther had not said what family or people she came from, for Mordecai had given her orders not to do so. 11 And every day Mordecai took his walk before the square of the women's house, to see how Esther was and what would be done to her. 12 Now every girl, when her turn came, had to go in to King Ahasuerus, after undergoing, for a space of twelve months, what was ordered by the law for the women (for this was the time necessary for making them clean, that is, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with sweet perfumes and such things as are needed for making women clean): 13 And in this way the girl went in to the king; whatever she had a desire for was given to her to take with her from the women's house into the house of the king. 14 In the evening she went, and on the day after she came back to the second house of the women, into the keeping of Shaashgaz, one of the king's unsexed servants who had the care of the king's wives: only if the king had delight in her and sent for her by name did she go in to him again. 15 Now when the time came for Esther, the daughter of Abihail, his father's brother, whom Mordecai had taken as his daughter, to go in to the king, she made request for nothing but what Hegai, the king's servant and keeper of the women, had given her. And Esther was looked on kindly by all who saw her. 16 So Esther was taken in to King Ahasuerus in his house in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his rule. 17 And Esther was more pleasing to the king than all the women, and to his eyes she was fairer and more full of grace than all the other virgins: so he put his crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great feast for all his captains and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he gave orders through all the divisions of his kingdom for a day of rest from work, and gave wealth from his store.
Mordecai Reveals a Conspiracy against the King
19 And when the virgins came together in the second house of the women, Mordecai took his seat in the doorway of the king's house. 20 Esther had still said nothing of her family or her people, as Mordecai had given her orders; for Esther did what Mordecai said, as when she was living with him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai was seated at the king's doorway, two of the king's servants, Bigthan and Teresh, keepers of the door, being angry, were looking for a chance to make an attack on King Ahasuerus. 22 And Mordecai, having knowledge of their purpose, sent word of it to Esther the queen; and Esther gave the news to the king in Mordecai's name. 23 And when the thing had been looked into, it was seen to be true, and the two of them were put to death by hanging on a tree: and it was put down in the records before the king.