Book of Esther
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|Author:||--- Background & Theme ---||dated at:|
|Believed to be Mordecai, Ezra or Nehemiah.||
Queen Esther (a Jew) replaced the current queen and
interceded to save the Jewish people living in the Persian empire, at the peril
of her own life. The reoccurring theme of the book is:
"for such a time as this".
1During the reign of king Ahasuerus, of the Persian empire. Ahasuerus reigned for twenty-five years, from 485-464bc, and was over one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. 2And the king sat on his throne in the capital city of Elam.
3In the third year of his reign, there was a feast for all his princes and servants and for all the governors of his provinces and they were all there. 4For up to six months, he showed off the riches of his glorious kingdom and his excellent majesty. 5After these days, the king held a grand feast in the palace gardens, lasting for seven days, for both small and great who were present in the palace, 6The gardens were elaborately decorated with various hangings, pillars of marble, gold and silver couches, upon a pavement of marble and precious stones. 7And everybody drank out of vessels of gold, each being unique from each other and the royal wine flowed in abundance. 8And the drinking according to the law was that; no one was forced: for the king had commanded that all should do according to every man's pleasure. 9Also at that time, queen Vashti made a feast for the woman, in the royal house.
10Now on the seventh day of the feast, when the king's heart was merry with wine. He commanded his seven eunuchs, 11to bring his queen, wearing the royal crown before them. So as to show the people her beauty, for she was very beautiful. 12But the queen refused to come at the kings request, and the king became very angry and his anger burned within him. 13At this, the king took counsel with his close advisors, as was the custom of the king. 14And the seven princes of Persia were around him, having also seen the kings face and his rage. 15And it was debated, what should be done to queen Vashti? Since she refused to follow one of the king's orders.
16Now one of the seven replied, the queen has not only done wrong to the king, but also to all the nobles in the palace and all the people in every province. 17For the knowledge of what queen Vashti has done will come to all women and they will began to be in rebellion to their husbands. 18And this will set up a precedence with the women of Persia and much contempt and wrath will come of it. 19My advice to the king is to write a royal and legal decree, that cannot be altered, saying that queen Vashti shall not come any longer before the king and let the king give her position as queen to someone who is more deserving. 20This decree shall then be published throughout all of your empire, the wives then, regardless of their social status, shall give their husband's honor.
21This pleased the king and the other princes and the king did according. 22 And the king's decree was published in all the provinces in every man's language, so that every man should bear rule in his own house.
1Given time, when the anger of the king had subsided, he remembered about queen Vashti, what she had done and his decree against her. 2And the king's servants, that he took counsel from said to him; Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. 3And said, let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of the kingdom to gather all the fair young virgins and bring them back to the palace. To be put in the house of the women, under the king's eunuch, that they may do this for their purification. 4And the maiden that pleases the king, she shall be queen rather then Vashti. This pleased the king and he did likewise.
5Now in the capital city of Elam, there was a Jew named Mordecai of the tribe of Benjamin. 6For he had been taken captive from Jerusalem by the king of Babylon. 7And Mordecai had raised Esther as his own, for both her father and mother were dead and the young woman was very fair. 8And so it was that when all the maidens were gathered together, Esther was also brought to the king's house and put in the house of the women.
9Now Esther pleased the king and received from him kindness and was given beauty treatments and choice foods. Also, seven young women were given to her as attendants and the king moved her and her servant women into the best place of the house of the women. 10But Esther had not revealed that she was a Jew, for Mordecai had told her not to. 11Every day Mordecai would walk by the king's house for the women, to know how Esther faired and what might become of her. 12For after each girl completed her beauty treatments, (six months of using oil of myrrh and six months of using sweet smelling perfumers), they were then sent before the king.
13When it came time for each young woman to go before the king, she was given whatever she asked for, in order to dress for the king. 14When she made this appearance, unless the king delighted in her, she would not be allowed to go before the king again, unless he called her by name. 15Now when Esther's time had come, she asked the advice of what the king's chamberlain suggested and she obtained favor in the sight of all who looked on her. 16She appeared before the king in the tenth month of the seventh year of the kings reign, (NOTE: this took place five years after the removal of queen Vashti). 17And the king loved Esther and gave her grace and favor above all the other virgins. So much so that the king placed the royal crown upon her head and she was made queen instead of Vashti. 18The king then held a great feast, in Esther's name, for all his princes and servants, giving gifts according to the will of the king and he sent forth word of his new queen into all of his provinces.
19When the young women would gather, Mordecai would be sitting in the king's gate. 20Now Esther had not revealed herself as a Jew, for she did as Mordecai had instructed her. 21While Mordecai sat in the king's gate, it was made known to him that two of the king's eunuchs were angry with the king and were planning to kill the king. 22Mordecai told this to Esther and Esther the queen relayed this to the king, speaking in Mordecai's name. 23When this matter was looked into the charge was found to be valid and the two eunuchs were hung on a tree and the matter was written in the king's book of chronicles.
1After this the king promoted Haman, one of his men to a position above all of his other princes. 2all the king's servants, that were in the kings gate bowed and reverenced Haman, as the king had commanded. But, Mordecai refused to bow or give reverence to Haman. 3The king's servants then inquired of Mordecai as to why he did not reverence Haman? 4And though they spoke daily to him, he did not answer them other than saying; I am a Jew. So the servants told Haman to see if Mordecai's matter would stand. 5Now when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow to him nor give him honor, he was filled with wrath. 6And he thought to kill Mordecai, but knowing that Mordecai was a Jew, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, throughout the entire kingdom.
7In the first month of the twelfth year of the king, (NOTE: Esther had now been queen for approximately four years). Haman was determining the day and month to destroy the Jews. 8Haman then said to the king, there is a certain group of people scattered throughout the kingdom, whose laws are different from ours and neither do they keep the king's laws. Therefore, it is to the king's profit not to tolerate them. 9So if it pleases the king, let a decree be written that these people shall be destroyed and I will deposit ten thousand talents of silver to the kings account. 10The king agreed to this and removed his signet ring from his hand, giving it to Haman, (the enemy of the Jews). 11The king then said to Haman; Just as the silver has been given, so are these people in your hands to do with as seems good to you.
12On the thirteenth day of the first month, Haman called in the king's scribes and he had them write to all the king's lieutenants and governors over all the provinces and it was sealed with the kings ring. 13The letters were then sent to all the king's provinces, to destroy all the Jews, both young and old. The day set for this slaughter was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month and they were also instructed to take the spoil. 14And the letters were given as a commandment and posted in every province, so that the people would be aware of that day. 15The posting of the decree went out with haste and the king and Haman sat down to eat and drink, but the people of the city were perplexed by the decree.
1When Mordecai realized what had happened, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes and went out into the streets of the city, crying out with a loud bitter cry. 2He even stood before the king's gate, for none were to enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3In every province, there was also a great mourning together with fasting, weeping and wailing, for many of the Jews sat in sackcloth and ashes.
4When Esther was informed of this, the queen was also very grieved and she sent clothing to Mordecai, to take away his sackcloth, but he would not receive it. 5Esther then asked one of the king's chamberlains to speak to Mordecai and to report back to her concerting this matter. 6So one of the king's eunuchs spoke to Mordecai, in the city streets. 7And Mordecai told him of the ten thousand talents that Haman promised to pay the king, upon the destruction of the Jews. 8He also gave him the copy of the decree that was written to destroy them, to give to Esther, so that she might make a request before the king, on behalf of her people. 9And, all the words of Mordecai were told to Esther.
10Esther then sent word back to Mordecai, through her chamberlain. 11Saying; the king's protocol is that no man or woman shall come into his inner court unless they are called and violation of this is death, unless the king should hold out his golden scepter to you. And I have not been called to come before the king these last thirty days. 12Esther's words were then relayed back to Mordecai.
13Mordecai replied back to Esther, not to think only of herself but for the lives of all the Jews. 14For if you keep quiet about this, the Jews's deliverance shall come from another, and I and your father's house shall be destroyed, perhaps you have come into the kingdom for such a time as this?
15Esther's response to Mordecai was; 16Gather all the Jews together that are in the city and fast for me, neither eating nor drinking for three days. My maidens and I will do likewise and I will then go before the king, which is contrary to the law and if I perish, I perish. 17And Mordecai did all that Esther had told him to do.
1Now, on the third day, Esther put on her royal apparel and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, at the time when the king was sitting upon his royal throne. 2When the king saw queen Esther standing in the court, she was granted his favor and the king held out the golden scepter to her. Then she came near and touched the top of the scepter. 3The king asked her, What is your desire queen Esther? Ask and it shall be given to you, even up to half of my kingdom. 4And Esther answered, If it seems good to the king, may the king and Haman come today to a banquet that I have prepared for you.
5The king agreed and sent word to Haman, that he might do as Esther had said. So both the king and Haman were at the banquet that night. 6At the banquet, as they were drinking wine. The king again asked Esther what her desire was? saying; it shall be granted to you, even up to half my kingdom. 7Esther, replied: 8If I have found favor with the king and if it pleases you to grant my request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them tomorrow and then I will do as the king has said.
9That day as Haman left the banquet he was joyful and his heart was glad, but when Haman saw Mordecai sitting in the king's gate and that he neither stood up, nor moved for him, he was filled with indignation against Mordecai. 10Nevertheless Haman refrained himself and when he had arrived home, he called for his friends and his wife. 11Haman then told all of his children, of how the king had promoted him, the wealth that he had archived and how he was advanced above all the princes. 12How queen Esther invited him only along with the king to a banquet and that she has also set a banquet tomorrow for only him and the king. 13But all this means nothing to me, for it grieves me when I see Mordecai, the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
14His wife together with all his friends then said to him, Make a gallows that is seventy-five feet high and tomorrow request the king's permission that Mordecai shall be hung on it. Then you shall be in merriment when you go to your banquet. This pleased Haman, so he ordered the gallows to be made.
1That night the king could not sleep, so he commanded his servants to bring him the book of the chronicles, (the records of the kingdom). 2In the book, it was written; that Mordecai had informed Esther of the conspiracy of the two eunuchs to kill the king. 3The king then asked of his servants; what honor has been given to Mordecai for this? And the king's servants replied, nothing has been done for him.
4Looking up, the king asked; Who is in the court? For Haman had come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5And the king said to the servants, send Haman in. 6When Haman came in, the king asked him. How shall the king show honor to a certain man, that the king delights in? Now Haman thought in his heart that this tribute was for him, for he knew of no other man that was as worthy as himself. 7And Haman answered; For the man that you wish to honor, 8Robe him in royal apparel, even which the king use to wear, sit him on the horse that the king rides upon and put the royal crown on his head: 9Let the horse be led by the hand of one of the king's most noble dignitaries and let this man array the man in the royal garments, leading the horse through the street, proclaiming; Thus shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.
10The king then said to Haman, go quickly and take the apparel and the horse, as you have said and do this to Mordecai, the Jew, whom sits at the king's gate. Let none of your words be altered. 11So Haman took the apparel and arrayed Mordecai in it, set him on the horse and led the horse through the city streets. Proclaiming; Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor.
12Afterwards Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But, Haman hurried to his house, thoroughly mortified and hiding his face. 13Haman told his wife and all his friends of this and the grief that had befallen him. Then his wife and his wise advisors said to him; If Mordecai is of the Jewish nation and you being before him have begun to fall, you will surly not prevail against him, but shall fall before him. 14While they were yet talking with him, the king's chamberlains came, to bring Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
1So the king and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the queen. 2Now the second day of the banquet, as they were drinking wine. The king again asked queen Esther, what her request was? For I shall grant it to you, even up to half of my kingdom.
3Esther then answered, saying; If I have found favor with the king and if it please the king. My plea is that, my life and the life of my people be given to me. 4For we have been sold, my people and I and marked for destruction. If only we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I would have held my tongue, even though the enemy could not prevail over the king's authority. 5Then the king said to Esther, Who is doing this? How dare he even presume to do such a thing. 6Esther replied, the adversary is this wicked man Haman. When Esther said this, Haman was in fear, before the king.
7The king then filled with anger, arose from the banquet table and went into the palace garden. And Haman stood up to plead for his life to queen Esther, for he sensed that evil was planned against him, by the king. 8When the king returned from the palace garden back to the banquet, Haman had fallen upon the couch where Esther was. The king abruptly said; will he even force the queen right before my own eyes in my house? As these words left the king's mouth, Haman became terrified. 9Just then, one of the chamberlains came in and said before the king; The seventy-five foot gallows that Haman has made for Mordecai, who had spoken well of the king, is complete and stands in the house of Haman. To this the king said, Hang Haman upon it. 10Haman was then hung on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai and the king's wrath was appeased.
1That same day the king gave Haman's house to queen Esther, also that day Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told the king what their relationship was. 2The king then gave Mordecai the signet ring that he had taken from Haman and Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
3Esther then fell at the king's feet, with tears and spoke yet again before the king, beseeching to undo the decree that Haman had put in place against the Jews. 4And the king held out his golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king. 5Saying; If I have found favor in the king's sight, being pleasing to my king and thus seems right before the king; may it be written to reverse the letter devised by Haman that he wrote to destroy the Jews that are in the king's provinces. 6For how could I bear to see the evil that shall come unto my people and the destruction of my kindred?
7The king answered and said to Esther and Mordecai; this day have I given to you queen Esther the house of Haman and he has been hung upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews. 8Therefore, write also for the Jews, as you see fit, in my name and seal it with the my signet ring. For the writing that is in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring, no man shall reverse.
9So the king's scribes were called at that time, (NOTE: ten days and two months, had now passed since Haman had written his letter). And that which Mordecai spoke was written to the Jews, the lieutenants and governors of all the provinces, in everyone own language. 10The letter was written and sealed in the kings name and was then sent off by horseback. 11Stating that, the king has granted the Jews in ever city to gather themselves together and to stand for their own lives. Being prepared to slay and cause the people to perish who would assault them, both small and great and to take the spoil of them as a reward. 12On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. 13This writing was then published in every province unto all the people, that the Jews might be ready and on this day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14The posts quickly went out hastened by the king's commandment. And was known in the capital city. 15Mordecai then went out into the city wearing the royal apparel and a crown of gold and the capital city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16The Jews had a new hope and gladness, joy and honor. 17In every province and in every city, where the decree was posted, the Jews had joy and gladness and even prepared a feast. Also, many of the people of the land submitted themselves to the Jewish rite, for the fear of the Jews was upon them.
1Now on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the day specified in both letters. This was the day the enemies of the Jew had hoped to slay the Jews, however, it turned contrary. 2All the Jews gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces, to protect themselves from their enemy that was out to slay them, and no man could withstand them, for the fear of the Jews came upon all people. 3Even the rulers of the provinces and the lieutenants and the governors, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai came upon them. 4For Mordecai was great in the king's house and his fame went out throughout all the provinces, for each day he became greater. 5Thus the Jews destroyed all their enemies, who hated them with the sword.
6In the capital city of Shushan alone the Jews destroyed five hundred men. 7-10And they killed the ten sons of Haman, the chief enemy of the Jews, but the spoil they did not take. 11That day the number slain in the city of Shushan was brought before the king. 12And the king said to queen Esther, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in the city of Shushan and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the provinces? And what is your further petition? For it shall be granted to you. 13Esther said; If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which are in the city of Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree and let Haman's ten sons be hung upon the gallows. 14And the king commanded it to be done and the decree was given at Shushan and they hung Haman's ten sons. 15 For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together also on the fourteenth day of the month and destroyed three hundred more men at Shushan, but they did not take the spoil.
16And the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, standing for their lives and they destroyed seventy-five thousand men, and they now have rest from their enemies. 17For on the fourteenth day of the month they rested and held a feast with much gladness. 18But the Jews that were in the city of Shushan, assembled together and on the fifteenth day they rested and held a feast with much gladness. 19Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the rural towns, held their feast with much gladness on the fourteenth day of the month, holding a holiday and sending gifts to one another. 20Mordecai wrote all these things down and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces. 21And he established the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month as a yearly feast. 22For this was to mark the days when the Jews rested from their enemies, so that they should keep these days for feasting and joy, days of sending gifts to one another and likewise, the poor also. 23And so the Jews did, as Mordecai had written to them. 24Because Haman, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them.
25Now when queen Esther came before the king, the decree had been put into writing, that the wickedness of Haman's scheme should be returned on his own head and his household and that his sons should be hung from the gallows. 26These days and this matter, the Jews called 'Purim' after the name of Pur or the lots that Haman cast to determine the day. 27Keeping these two days became a yearly tradition, to the Jews, their children and all who joined themselves unto the Jews. 28That the days of Purim, should be kept throughout every family's generation of every province. 29And queen Esther confirmed the holiday of Purim, having the authority to do so. 30Letters from the king were then sent to all the Jews in all the provinces declaring words of peace and truth, 31-32To again confirm the appointed days of Purim, that Esther and Mordecai had declared, the dates were written in the king's book of chronicles, via prayer and fasting.
1The king then imposed a tax on all the land. 2Showing the acts of his power and of his might and declaring the greatness of Mordecai and all these things are written in the king's book of chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia. 3And Mordecai the Jew was next to the king, being great among the Jews and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking wealth for his people and speaking peace to all the Jews.