And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may collect all the fair young virgins to Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, into the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
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.
So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree were heard, and when many maidens were assembled at Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also to the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness from him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens who were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids to the best place of the house of the women.
Esther had not showed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not show it.
Now when every maid's turn had 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 odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)
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, who kept the concubines: she came in to the king no more, except that the king delighted in her, and she was called by name.
Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, had come to go in to the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor 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.