New International Version
Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them.
King James Bible
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:
Darby Bible Translation
and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the young virgins of beautiful countenance to Shushan the fortress, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given.
World English Bible
Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the beautiful young virgins to the citadel of Susa, to the women's house, to the custody of Hegai the king's eunuch, keeper of the women. Let cosmetics be given them;
Young's Literal Translation
and the king doth appoint inspectors in all provinces of his kingdom, and they gather every young woman -- virgin, of good appearance -- unto Shushan the palace, unto the house of the women, unto the hand of Hege eunuch of the king, keeper of the women, and to give their purifications,
Esther 2:3 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Hege the king's chamberlain - הגא סריס המלך Hege seris hammelech, "Hege, the king's eunuch;" so the Septuagint, Vulgate, Targum, and Syriac. In the Eastern countries the women are intrusted to the care of the eunuchs only.
Let their things for purification be given them - תמרקיהן tamrukeyhen, their cosmetics. What these were we are told in Esther 2:12; oil of myrrh, and sweet odours. The myrrh was employed for six months, and the odours for six months more, after which the person was brought to the king. This space was sufficient to show whether the young woman had been chaste; whether she were with child or not, that the king might not be imposed on, and be obliged to father a spurious offspring, which might have been the case had not this precaution been used.
Instead of the oil or myrrh, the Targum says it was the oil of unripe olives which caused the hair to fall off, and rendered the skin delicate.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
in all the provinces.
that they may gather. This was the usual way in which the harem, or seraglio, was furnished; the finest women in the land, whether of high or low birth, were sought out and brought to the harem. They all became the king's concubines; but one was raised as chief wife, or sultana, to the throne; and her issue was especially entitled to inherit.
the custody. Heb. the hand. Hege.
Hegai. the king's chamberlain. Saris hammelech, 'the king's eunuch:' so the LXX., Vulgate, Targum, and Syriac.
'As many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' John 1:12. Having spoken of the great points of faith and justification, we come next to adoption. The qualification of the persons is, As many as received him.' Receiving is put for believing, as is clear by the last words, to them that believe in his name.' The specification of the privilege is, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.' The Greek word for power, exousia, signifies …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
This is what happened during the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush:
At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,
Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.
When the king's order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king's palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem.
She pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king's palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.
Before a young woman's turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics.
When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.
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