12 Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;) 13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house. 14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name. Esther 2:12-14
This portion of scripture explains the process by which a new queen would be named. The women would spend a total of twelve months in preparation.
Each woman would spend one night with the king. After the king’s desire was fulfilled, the woman would return to the custody of the king’s chamberlain in the “second” house. They were not allowed to go back to the original place. Adam Clark says, “This was the place where the king’s concubines were kept. They went out no more, and were never given in marriage to any man, and saw the king’s face no more unless specially called.”
What a sad life these women faced if they were not chosen to be queen. Basically, if not chosen, most would live an isolated life.
Join me the next time to meet the new queen.