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So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

2:8 many maidens. The Jewish historian Josephus cites a tradition that four hundred beautiful virgins were conscripted for Xerxes’ harem.

2:8 Esther was brought. The fact that Esther “was brought” instead of “came” may suggest that her participation in this “contest” to become queen was not voluntary on her part, but compulsory. In any event, the Lord used it and her to deliver His people at a time of great crisis.

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