Esther

Chapter: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
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Esther 1

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus (this was the Ahasuerus who reigned over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India to Ethiopia),
2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
3 that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants; the powers of Persia and Media, the nobles, and the rulers of the provinces being before him;
4 when he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent greatness for many days, even one hundred and eighty days.
5 And when these days were completed, the king made a feast lasting seven days for all the people who were found in Shushan the palace, from great to small, in the court of the garden of the king's palace.
6 There were white and violet linen curtains fastened with cords of fine linen and purple on silver rods and marble pillars; and the couches were of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of red, turquoise, and pearl and black marble.
7 And they served drinks in golden vessels, each vessel being different from the other, with royal wine in abundance, according to the hand of the king.
8 In accordance with the law, the drinking was not compulsory; for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household, that they should do according to each man's pleasure.
9 Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to King Ahasuerus.
10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven officials who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,
11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials; for she was beautiful in appearance.
12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his officials; therefore the king was furious, and his rage burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who understood the times (for this was the king's manner toward all who knew law and judgment,
14 those closest to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven rulers of Persia and Media, who had access to the king's presence, and who sat first in the kingdom):
15 What shall we do to Queen Vashti, according to law, because she has not observed the command of King Ahasuerus brought to her by the officials?
16 And Memucan answered before the king and the rulers: Queen Vashti has not only wronged the king, but also all the rulers, and all the people who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.
17 For the queen's behavior will become known to all women, so that they will despise their husbands in their eyes, when they report, King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come.
18 And this day the noble ladies of Persia and Media will say the same to all the king's officials, when they have heard of the behavior of the queen. Thus there will be more than enough contempt and wrath.
19 If it please the king, let a royal decree go out from him, and let it be recorded in the laws of Persia and Media, so that it shall not become obsolete, that Vashti shall come no more before King Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal power to another woman who is better than she.
20 And when the king's decree which he will make is proclaimed throughout all his empire (for it is great), all wives will honor their husbands, both great and small.
21 And the words pleased the king and the rulers, and the king did according to the word of Memucan.
22 Then he sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own writing, and to every people in their own language: That each man should rule in his own house; and that it should be spoken in the language of each nation.

Esther 2

1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus subsided, he remembered Vashti, what she had done, and what had been decreed against her.
2 Then the king's servants who ministered to him said: Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king;
3 and let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan the palace, into the women's house, under the hand of Hegai the king's official, custodian of the women. And let cosmetics be given to them.
4 Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king, and he did so.
5 Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite.
6 Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And Mordecai had brought up Hadassah (that is, Esther), his uncle's daughter, for she had neither father nor mother. And the young woman was of a beautiful figure and good appearance. At the death of her father and mother Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter.
8 So it was, when the king's command and decree were heard, and when many young women were gathered at Shushan the palace, under the hand of Hegai, that Esther also was taken to the king's house, into the hand of Hegai the custodian of the women.
9 Now the young woman was good in his eyes, and she obtained his favor; so he rushed to supply her cosmetics, along with her other provisions. And seven choice maidservants were provided for her from the king's house, and he moved her and her maidservants to the best place in the house of the women.
10 Esther had not revealed her people or family, for Mordecai had charged her not to reveal it.
11 And every day Mordecai walked around in front of the court of the women's house, to learn of Esther's welfare and what was happening with her.
12 Each young woman's turn came to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their beautification accomplished: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women.
13 Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she requested to take with her from the women's house to the king's house.
14 In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women, to the hand of Shaashgaz, the king's official who kept the concubines. She would not go in to the king again unless the king delighted in her and summoned her by name.
15 Now when the turn came for Esther (the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter), to go in to the king, she requested nothing but what Hegai the king's official, the custodian of the women, commanded. And Esther rose to favor in the eyes of all who saw her.
16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal house, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his presence more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 And the king made a great feast, the Feast of Esther, for all his rulers and servants; and he instituted a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the hand of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
20 Now Esther had not revealed her kindred nor her people, just as Mordecai had charged her, for Esther obeyed the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him.
21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's officials, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22 And the matter became known to Mordecai, who told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai's name.
23 And when an inquiry was made into the matter, it was confirmed, and both were hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

Esther 3

1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the rulers who were with him.
2 And all the king's servants who were in the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow nor pay homage.
3 Then the king's servants who were in the king's gate said to Mordecai, Why do you transgress the king's command?
4 Now it happened, when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with rage.
6 But it was contemptible in his eyes to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Therefore, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus; the people of Mordecai.
7 In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman from day to day and month to month, until it fell on the twelfth month, the month of Adar.
8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people's, and they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain.
9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the one harassing the Jews.
11 And the king said to Haman, The money and the people are given to you, to do with them as seems good to you.
12 Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded; to the king's satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the rulers of all the people, to every province according to its writing, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring.
13 And the letters were sent by runners into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to exterminate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions;
14 a copy of the document to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.
15 The runners went out, hastened by the king's command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the palace. So the king and Haman sat down to drink. But the city of Shushan was perplexed.

Esther 4

1 When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried out with a loud and bitter cry.
2 He went as far as the front of the king's gate: for no one was to enter the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in every province where the king's command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 So Esther's maids and officials came and reported it to her, and the queen was exceedingly distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them.
5 Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king's officials whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was.
6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king's gate.
7 And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews.
8 He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people.
9 So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spoke to Hathach, and charged him to say to Mordecai:
11 All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been summoned, has but one law: to put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Furthermore, I have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.
12 And they told Mordecai Esther's words.
13 And Mordecai told them to answer Esther: Do not think in your soul that you will escape in the king's house any more than all the other Jews.
14 For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house shall perish. Yet who knows whether you have attained unto the kingdom for such a time as this?
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai:
16 Go, gather all the Jews who are found in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I have perished, I have perished!
17 So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

Esther 5

1 Now it happened on the third day that Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king's house, across from the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, in front of the gate of the house.
2 So it was, when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, that she found favor in his eyes, and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther went near and touched the top of the scepter.
3 And the king said to her, What do you wish, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you, even to half the kingdom.
4 And Esther answered, If it pleases the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.
5 Then the king said, Summon Haman quickly, that he may do according to Esther's word. So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
6 At the banquet of wine the king said to Esther, What is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your request? And it shall be done, even to half the kingdom.
7 Then Esther answered and said, My petition and request is this:
8 If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, then let the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do according to the word of the king.
9 So Haman went out that day joyful and with a glad heart. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and that he did not stand or tremble before him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went to his house, and he sent and summoned his friends and his wife Zeresh.
11 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, the multitude of his children, everything in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the rulers and servants of the king.
12 Moreover Haman said, In addition to that, Queen Esther invited no one to come in with the king to the banquet that she prepared, except me; and tomorrow I am again invited by her, along with the king.
13 Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Let a gallows be made, fifty cubits high, and in the morning suggest to the king that Mordecai be hanged on it; then go joyfully with the king to the banquet. And these words were good to Haman; so he had the gallows made.

Esther 6

1 That night sleep fled from the king. So it was commanded to bring the book of the records of the chronicles; and they were recited before the king.
2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officials, the doorkeepers who had sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
3 Then the king said, What honor or dignity has been bestowed upon Mordecai for this? And the king's servants who attended him said, Nothing has been done for him.
4 So the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king's house to suggest that the king hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5 The king's servants said to him, Behold, Haman is standing in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
6 So Haman came in, and the king said unto him, What shall be done for the man whom the king delights to honor? Now Haman thought in his heart, Whom would the king delight to honor more than myself?
7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delights to honor:
8 Let the royal apparel be brought which the king has worn, and a horse on which the king has ridden, and the royal crown which has been placed upon his head.
9 Then let this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble rulers, that he may array the man whom the king delights to honor. Then have him ride on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him: Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!
10 Then the king said to Haman, Hurry! Take the apparel and the horse, just as you have suggested, and do so for Mordecai the Jew who sits in the king's gate! Do not fail to do any of all that you have spoken.
11 So Haman took the apparel and the horse, arrayed Mordecai and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor!
12 Afterward Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.
13 When Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the seed of the Jews, you will not prevail against him but shall be thrown down and fall before him.
14 While they were still talking with him, the king's officials came, and hastened to bring Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.

Esther 7

1 So the king and Haman went to feast with Queen Esther.
2 And on the second day, at the banquet of wine, the king again said to Esther, What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? It shall be done, even to half the kingdom.
3 Then Queen Esther answered and said, If I have found favor in your eyes, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request.
4 For we have been sold, my people and I, to be annihilated, killed and destroyed. Had we been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept silent, although the enemy could never compensate for the king's loss.
5 So King Ahasuerus answered and said to Queen Esther, Who is he, and where is he, who would dare presume in his heart to do such a thing?
6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this evil Haman! Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.
7 Then the king arose from the banquet of wine in his wrath and went into the palace garden; but Haman stood before Queen Esther, to request for his soul, for he perceived that evil was determined against him by the king.
8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the place of the banquet of wine, Haman had fallen on the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, Will he also violate the queen while I am in the house? As the word left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
9 Now Harbonah, one of the officials, said to the king, Behold, the gallows, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke good on the king's behalf, is standing at the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him on it!
10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king's wrath was pacified.

Esther 8

1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the one harassing the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her.
2 And the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.
3 And Esther spoke again to the king, falling down at his feet, and implored him with tears to take away the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the plans which he had devised against the Jews.
4 And the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king,
5 and said, If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor before him and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to exterminate the Jews who are in all the king's provinces.
6 For how can I endure to see the evil that will meet my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
7 Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he has stretched out his hand against the Jews.
8 You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as is good in your eyes, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for whatever is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's signet ring no one can revoke.
9 So the king's scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the rulers of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province in its own writing, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own writing and language.
10 And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king's signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses bred from swift steeds.
11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and take their stand for their souls; to exterminate, kill, and destroy all the forces of any people or province that would be hostile to them, even little children and women, and to plunder their possessions,
12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.
13 A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king's command. And the decree was issued in Shushan the palace.
15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of violet and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
16 The Jews had light and gladness, joy and honor.
17 And in every province and city, wherever the king's command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews fell upon them.

Esther 9

1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, the time came for the king's command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves overpowered those who hated them.
2 The Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, because fear of them fell upon all the people.
3 And all the rulers of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king's work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them.
4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai proceeded on into greatness.
5 Thus the Jews struck down all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.
6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
7 Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha;
10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews; they killed; but they did not lay a hand on the spoils.
11 On that day the number of those who were killed in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
12 And the king said to Queen Esther, The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done.
13 Then Esther said, If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow according to today's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows.
14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; but they did not lay a hand on the spoils.
16 The remainder of the Jews in the king's provinces gathered together and took a stand for their souls, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; but they did not lay a hand on the spoils.
17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth day of the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns made the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a day of gladness and feasting, as a good day, and for sending portions to one another.
20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus,
21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar,
22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of sending portions to one another and gifts to the needy.
23 So the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,
24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to exterminate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to destroy them and to exterminate them;
25 but when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that this evil plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the name Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them,
27 the Jews established and took it upon themselves and their seed and all who would join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days year after year, according to the writing and according to the appointed time;
28 that these days should be remembered and kept from generation to generation, by every family, in every province and every city, that these days of Purim should not pass away among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not cease among their seed.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.
30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their seed, concerning the matters of their fasting and of their cry.
32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters about Purim, and it was written in the book.

Esther 10

1 And King Ahasuerus imposed a tribute on the land and on the islands of the sea.
2 Now all the acts of his authority and his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia.
3 For Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and accepted by the multitude of his brethren, seeking the welfare of his people and speaking peace to all his seed.
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