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ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ

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1 And after this the king’s anger was pacified, and he no more mentioned Astin, bearing in mind what she had said, and how he had condemned her. 2 Then the servants of the king said, Let there be sought for the king chaste [and] beautiful young virgins. 3 And let the king appoint local governors in all the provinces of his kingdom, and let them select fair [and] chaste young damsels [and bring them] to the city Susa, into the women’s apartment, and let them be consigned to the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women; and let things for purification and other attendance be given [to them]. 4 And let the woman who shall please the king be queen instead of Astin. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. 5 Now there was a Jew in the city Susa, and his name was Mardochaeus, the [son] of Jairus, [the son] of Semeias, [the son] of Cisaeus, of the tribe of Benjamin; 6 who had been brought a prisoner from Jerusalem, which Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried into captivity. 7 And he had a foster child, daughter of Aminadab his father’s brother, and her name [was] Esther; and when her parents were dead, he brought her up for a wife for himself: and the damsel was beautiful. 8 And because the king’s ordinance was published, many damsels were gathered to the city Susa under the hand of Gai; and Esther was brought to Gai the keeper of the women. 9 And the damsel pleased him, and she found favour in his sight; and he hasted to give her the things for purification, and her portion, and the seven maidens appointed her out of the palace: and he treated her and her maidens well in the women’s apartment. 10 But Ether discovered not her family nor her kindred: for Mardochaeus had charged her not to tell. 11 But Mardochaeus used to walk every day by the women’s court, to see what would become of Esther. 12 Now this was the time for a virgin to go into the king, when she should have fulfilled twelve months; for so are the days of purification fulfilled, six months while they are anointing themselves with oil of myrrh, and six months with spices and women’s purifications. 13 And then [the damsel] goes in to the king; and [the officer] to whomsoever he shall give the command, will bring her to come in with him from the women’s apartment to the king’s chamber. 14 She enters in the evening, and in the morning she departs to the second women’s apartment, where Gai the king’s chamberlain [is] keeper of the women: and she goes not in to the king again, unless she should be called by name. 15 And when the time. was fulfilled for Esther the daughter of Aminadab the brother of Mardochaeus’ father to go in to the king, she neglected nothing which the chamberlain, the women’s keeper, commanded; for Esther found grace in the sight of all that looked upon her. 16 So Esther went in to king Artaxerxes in the twelfth month, which is Adar, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther, and she found favour beyond all the [other] virgins: and he put on her the queen’s crown. 18 And the king made a banquet for all his friends and great men for seven days, and he highly celebrated the marriage of Esther; and he made a release to those who were under his dominion. 19 But Mardochaeus served in the palace. 20 Now Esther had not discovered her kindred; for so Mardochaeus commanded her, to fear God, and perform his commandments, as when she was with him: and Esther changed not her manner of life. 21 And two chamberlains of the king, the chiefs of the body-guard, were grieved, because Mardochaeus was promoted; and they sought to kill king Artaxerxes. 22 And the matter was discovered to Mardochaeus, and he made it known to Esther, and she declared to the king the matter of the conspiracy. 23 And the king examined the two chamberlains, and hanged them: and the king gave orders to make a note for a memorial in the royal records of the good offices of Mardochaeus, as a commendation. ΚΑΙ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ἐκόπασεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ θυμοῦ καὶ οὐκέτι ἐμνήσθη τῆς ᾿Αστίν, μνημονεύων οἷα ἐλάλησε καὶ ὡς κατέκρινεν αὐτήν. 2 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ διάκονοι τοῦ βασιλέως· ζητηθήτω τῷ βασιλεῖ κοράσια ἄφθορα καλὰ τῷ εἴδει· 3 καὶ καταστήσει ὁ βασιλεὺς κωμάρχας ἐν πάσαις ταῖς χώραις τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐπιλεξάτωσαν κοράσια παρθενικὰ καλὰ τῷ εἴδει εἰς Σοῦσαν τὴν πόλιν εἰς τὸν γυναικῶνα· καὶ παραδοθήτωσαν τῷ εὐνούχῳ τοῦ βασιλέως τῷ φύλακι τῶν γυναικῶν, καὶ δοθήτω σμῆγμα καὶ ἡ λοιπὴ ἐπιμέλεια· 4 καὶ ἡ γυνή, ἣ ἂν ἀρέσῃ τῷ βασιλεῖ, βασιλεύσει ἀντὶ ᾿Αστίν. καὶ ἤρεσε τῷ βασιλεῖ τὸ πρᾶγμα, καὶ ἐποίησεν οὕτως. 5 καὶ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ᾿Ιουδαῖος ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει, καὶ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Μαρδοχαῖος ὁ τοῦ ᾿Ιαΐρου, τοῦ Σεμεΐου, τοῦ Κισσαίου, ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμίν, 6 ὃς ἦν αἰχμάλωτος ἐξ ῾Ιερουσαλήμ, ἣν ᾐχμαλώτευσε Ναβουχοδονόσορ βασιλεὺς Βαβυλῶνος. 7 καὶ ἦν τούτῳ παῖς θρεπτή, θυγάτηρ ᾿Αμιναδὰβ ἀδελφοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ ᾿Εσθήρ· ἐν δὲ τῷ μεταλλάξαι αὐτῆς τοὺς γονεῖς ἐπαίδευσεν αὐτὴν ἑαυτῷ εἰς γυναῖκα· καὶ ἦν τὸ κοράσιον καλὸν τῷ εἴδει. 8 καὶ ὅτε ἠκούσθη τὸ τοῦ βασιλέως πρόσταγμα, συνήχθησαν πολλὰ κοράσια εἰς Σοῦσαν τὴν πόλιν ὑπὸ χεῖρα Γαΐ, καὶ ἤχθη ᾿Εσθὴρ πρὸς Γαΐ τὸν φύλακα τῶν γυναικῶν. 9 καὶ ἤρεσεν αὐτῷ τὸ κοράσιον καὶ εὗρε χάριν ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἔσπευσε δοῦναι αὐτῇ τὸ σμῆγμα καὶ τὴν μερίδα καὶ τὰ ἑπτὰ κοράσια τὰ ὑποδεδειγμένα αὐτῇ ἐκ βασιλικοῦ καὶ ἐχρήσατο αὐτῇ καλῶς καὶ ταῖς ἅβραις αὐτῆς ἐν τῷ γυναικῶνι. 10 καὶ οὐχ ὑπέδειξε ᾿Εσθὴρ τὸ γένος αὐτῆς οὐδὲ τὴν πατρίδα· ὁ γὰρ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐνετείλατο αὐτῇ μὴ ἀπαγγεῖλαι· 11 καθ’ ἑκάστην δὲ ἡμέραν περιεπάτει ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος κατὰ τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν γυναικείαν ἐπισκοπῶν τί ᾿Εσθὴρ συμβήσεται. 12 οὗτος δὲ ἦν καιρὸς κορασίου εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, ὅταν ἀναπληρώσῃ μῆνας δεκαδύο· οὕτως γὰρ αναπληροῦνται αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς θεραπείας, μῆνας ἓξ ἀλειφόμεναι ἐν σμυρνίνῳ ἐλαίῳ καὶ μῆνας ἓξ ἐν τοῖς ἀρώμασι καὶ ἐν τοῖς σμήγμασι τῶν γυναικῶν, 13 καὶ τότε εἰσπορεύεται πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα. καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν εἴπῃ, παραδώσει αὐτὴν συνεισέρχεσθαι αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τοῦ γυναικῶνος ἕως τῶν βασιλείων. 14 δείλης εἰσπορεύεται καὶ πρὸς ἡμέραν ἀποτρέχει εἰς τὸν γυναικῶνα τὸν δεύτερον, οὗ Γαΐ ὁ εὐνοῦχος τοῦ βασιλέως ὁ φύλαξ τῶν γυναικῶν, καὶ οὐκέτι εἰσπορεύεται πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, ἐὰν μὴ κληθῇ ὀνόματι. 15 ἐν δὲ τῷ ἀναπληροῦσθαι τὸν χρόνον ᾿Εσθὴρ τῆς θυγατρὸς ᾿Αμιναδὰβ ἀδελφοῦ πατρὸς Μαρδοχαίου εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα οὐδὲν ἠθέτησεν, ὧν ἐνετείλατο ὁ εὐνοῦχος ὁ φύλαξ τῶν γυναικῶν· ἦν γὰρ ᾿Εσθὴρ εὑρίσκουσα χάριν παρὰ πάντων τῶν βλεπόντων αὐτήν. 16 καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ᾿Εσθὴρ πρὸς ᾿Αρταξέρξην τὸν βασιλέα τῷ δωδεκάτῳ μηνί, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ, τῷ ἑβδόμῳ ἔτει τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ. 17 καὶ ἠράσθη ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Εσθήρ, καὶ εὗρε χάριν παρὰ πάσας τὰς παρθένους, καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτῇ τὸ διάδημα τὸ γυναικεῖον. 18 καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πότον πᾶσι τοῖς φίλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς δυνάμεσιν ἐπὶ ἡμέρας ἑπτὰ καὶ ὕψωσε τοὺς γάμους ᾿Εσθὴρ καὶ ἄφεσιν ἐποίησε τοῖς ὑπὸ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ. 19 ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐθεράπευεν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ. 20 ἡ δὲ ᾿Εσθὴρ οὐχ ὑπέδειξε τὴν πατρίδα αὐτῆς· οὕτως γὰρ ἐνετείλατο αὐτῇ Μαρδοχαῖος, φοβεῖσθαι τὸν Θεὸν καὶ ποιεῖν τὰ προστάγματα αὐτοῦ, καθὼς ἦν μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ᾿Εσθὴρ οὐ μετήλλαξε τὴν ἀγωγὴν αὐτῆς. 21 Καὶ ἐλυπήθησαν οἱ δύο εὐνοῦχοι τοῦ βασιλέως, οἱ ἀρχισωματοφύλακες, ὅτι προήχθη Μαρδοχαῖος, καὶ ἐζήτουν ἀποκτεῖναι ᾿Αρταξέρξην τὸν βασιλέα. 22 καὶ ἐδηλώθη Μαρδοχαίῳ ὁ λόγος, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ᾿Εσθήρ, καὶ αὐτὴ ἐνεφάνισε τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς 23 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἤτασε τοὺς δύο εὐνούχους καὶ ἐκρέμασεν αὐτούς· καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καταχωρίσαι εἰς μνημόσυνον ἐν τῇ βασιλικῇ βιβλιοθήκῃ ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐνοίας Μαρδοχαίου ἐν ἐγκωμίῳ.

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