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THE BOOK OF ESTHER.
NOW it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces :)
2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, i 3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants ; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him:
4. When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdoin and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.
7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.
8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel : for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they
should do according to every man's pleasure.
9 Also Vashti the queen 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, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty : for she was fair to look on.
12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains : therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Adinatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom :)
15. What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandinent of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains ?
16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashe ti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that
are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their busbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.
19 If it please the king, let there go a royal comınandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.
21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:
22 For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every people.
peased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them:
4 And let the maiden which pleaseth 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 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.
8 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.
AFTER these things, when the -wrath of king Ahasuerus was ap
9 And the maiden pleased him, what Hegai the king's chamberlain, and she obtained kindness of him; the keeper of the women, appointed. and he speedily gave her her things And Esther obtained favour in the for purification, with such things as sight of all them that looked upon belonged to her, and seven maidens, her. which were meet to be given her, 16 So Esther was taken unto king out of the king's house: and he pre Ahasuerus into his house royal in ferred her and her maids unto the the tenth month, which is the month best place of the house of the wo Tebeth, in the seventh year of his men.
reign. 10 Esther had not shewed her 17 And the king loved Esther people nor her kindred: for Mor above all the women, and she obdecai had charged her that she tained grace and favour in his sight should not shew it.
more than all the virgins; so that 11 And Mordecai walked every he set the royal crown upon her day before the court of the women's head, and made her queen instead house, to know how Esther did, and of Vashti. what should become of her.
18 Then the king made a great 12 Now when every maid's turn feast unto all his princes and his serwas come to go in to king Ahasu vants, even Esther's feast; and he erus, after that she had been twelve made a release to the provinces, and months, according to the manner of gave gifts, according to the state of the women, (for so were the days of the king. their purifications accomplished, to 19 And when the virgins were wit, six months with oil of myrrh, gathered together the second time, and six months with sweet odours, then Mordecai sat in the king's and with other things for the purify gate. ing of the women;)
20 Esther had not yet shewed her 13 Then thus came every maiden kindred nor her people; as Mordeunto the king; whatsoever she de cai had charged her: for Esther did sired was given her to go with her the commandment of Mordecai, like out of the house of the women unto as when she was brought up with the king's house.
him. 14 In the evening she went, and 21 In those days, while Mordecai on the morrow she returned into the sat in the king's gate, two of the second house of the women, to the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and custody of Shaashgaz, the king's Teresh, of those which kept the chamberlain, which kept the concu door, were wroth, and sought to lay bines: she came in unto the king no hand on the king Ahasuerus. more, except the king delighted in 22 And the thing was known to her, and that she were called by Mordecai, who told it unto Esther name.
the queen; and Esther certified the 15 Now when the turn of Esther, king thereof in Mordecai's name. the daughter of Abibail the uncle of 23 And when inquisition was made Mordecai, who had taken ber for his of the matter, it was found out; daughter, was come to go in unto therefore they were both hanged on the king, she required nothing but Il a tree: and it was written in the
book of the chronicles before the hasuerus, There is a certain people king.
scattered abroad and dispersed a
mong the people in all the provinces CHAP. III.
of thy kingdom; and their laws are
diverse from all people; neither AFTER these things did king A keep they the king's laws: therehasuerus promote Haman the son fore it is not for the king's profit of Hammedatha the Agagite, and to suffer them. advanced him, and set his seat a 9 If it please the king, let it be bove all the princes that were with written that they may be destroyed : him.
and I will pay ten thousand talents 2 And all the king's servants, that of silver to the hands of those that were in the king's gate, bowed, and have the charge of the business, to reverenced Haman: for the king bring it into the king's treasuries. had so commanded concerning him. 10 And the king took his ring But Mordecai bowed not, nor did from his hand, and gave it unto him reverence.
Haman the son of Hammedatha the 3 Then the king's servants, which Agagite, the Jews' enemy. were in the king's gate, said unto 11 And the king said unto HaMordecai, Why transgressest thou man, The silver is given to thee, the king's commandment?
the people also, to do with them as 4 Now it came to pass, when they it seemeth good to thee. spake daily unto him, and he heark 12 Then were the king's scribes ened not unto them, that they told called on the thirteenth day of the Haman, to see whether Mordecai's first month, and there was written matters would stand: for he had told according to all that Haman had them that he was a Jew.
commanded unto the king's lieute5 And when Haman saw that nants, and to the governors that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him were over every province, and to reverence, then was Haman full of the rulers of every people of every wrath.
province according to the writing 6 And he thought scorn to lay thereof, and to every people after hands on Mordecai alone; for they their language; in the name of king had shewed him the people of Mor Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed decai: wherefore Haman sought to with the king's ring destroy all the Jews that were 13 And the letters were sent by throughout the whole kingdom of posts into all the king's provinces, Ahasuerus, even the people of Mor to destroy, to kill, and to cause to decai.
perish, all Jews, both young and 7 In the first month, that is, the old, little children and women, in month Nisan, in the twelfth year of one day, even upon the thirteenth king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that day of the twelfth month, which is is, the lot, before Haman from day the month Adar, and to take the to day, and from month to month, spoil of them for a prey. to the twelfth month, that is, the 14 The copy of the writing for a month Adar.
commandment to be given in every 8 And Haman said unto king A-ll province was published unto all peo
ple, that they should be ready against that day.
15 The posts went out, being bastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4 So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.
5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was.
6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.
7 And Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's
treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to inake request before him for her people.
9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
13 Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: