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Esther 2:2-3

Context
2:2 The king’s servants who attended him said, “Let a search be conducted in the king’s behalf for attractive young women. 1  2:3 And let the king appoint officers throughout all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the attractive young women to Susa the citadel, to the harem 2  under the authority of Hegai, the king’s eunuch who oversees the women, and let him provide whatever cosmetics they desire. 3 

Esther 2:17

Context
2:17 And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval 4  more than all the other young women. 5  So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen 6  in place of Vashti.

Esther 2:19

Context
Mordecai Learns of a Plot against the King

2:19 Now when the young women were being gathered again, 7  Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 8 

1 tn Heb “young women, virgins, good of form.” The same phrase also occurs in v. 3.

2 tn Heb “the house of the women” (so KJV, ASV). So also in vv. 9, 11, 13, and 14.

3 tn Heb “their ointments”; cf. NIV, CEV, NLT “beauty treatments.”

4 tn Heb “grace and loyal love.” The expression is probably a hendiadys.

5 tc The LXX does not include the words “more than all the other young women.”

6 tn Heb “caused her to rule.”

7 tc The LXX does not include the words “Now when the young women were being gathered again.” The Hebrew word שֵׁנִית (shenit, “a second time”) is difficult in v. 19, but apparently it refers to a subsequent regathering of the women to the harem.

8 sn That Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate apparently means that he was a high-ranking government official. It was at the city gate where important business was transacted. Being in this position afforded Mordecai an opportunity to become aware of the plot against the king’s life, although the author does not include the particular details of how this information first came to Mordecai’s attention.



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