Esther Is Received by the King
1On the third day, when she ended her prayer, she took off the garments in which she had worshiped, and arrayed herself in splendid attire. 2Then, majestically adorned, after invoking the aid of the all-seeing God and Savior, she took her two maids with her, 3leaning daintily on one, 4while the other followed carrying her train. 5She was radiant with perfect beauty, and she looked happy, as if beloved, but her heart was frozen with fear. 6When she had gone through all the doors, she stood before the king. He was seated on his royal throne, clothed in the full array of his majesty, all covered with gold and precious stones. And he was most terrifying.
7Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. And the queen faltered, and turned pale and faint, and collapsed upon the head of the maid who went before her. 8Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness, and in alarm he sprang from his throne and took her in his arms until she came to herself. And he comforted her with soothing words, and said to her, 9"What is it, Esther? I am your brother. Take courage; 10you shall not die, for our law applies only to the people.a Come near."
11Then he raised the golden scepter and touched it to her neck; 12and he embraced her, and said, "Speak to me." 13And she said to him, "I saw you, my lord, like an angel of God, and my heart was shaken with fear at your glory. 14For you are wonderful, my lord, and your countenance is full of grace." 15But as she was speaking, she fell fainting. 16And the king was agitated, and all his servants sought to comfort her.