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And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:
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;
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.
And 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.
And Esther obtained favour in sight of all them that looked upon her. And the king loved Esther, so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
Esther had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her : for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
In those days, (while Mordecai sat in the gate,) two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen, and Esther certified the king thereof, in Mordecai's name.
And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree : And it was written in the book of the Chronicles before the king.
LESSON CXXXII. ESTHER, CHAP. III. AFTER these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.
And all the king's servants that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman; for the king had so commanded concerning him: but Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence,
then was Haman full of wrath.
And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone, wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad, and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people, neither keep they the king's laws; therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them.
If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed; and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave
it unto Haman, and said unto him, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. And letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, (which is the month Adar,) and to take the spoil of them for a prey.
The posts went out, being hastened 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.
LESSON CXXXIII. ESTHER, CHAP. IV. V. VI.
When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and came even before the king's gate ; for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
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.
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.
So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate: 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 :
And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai. All the king's servants, and the people of the 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.
And they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape more than all the Jews.-For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall the enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed : and who knoweth that thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer; 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; I also and my maidens will fast likewise ; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.—So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Now it came to pass, on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house : and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house.
And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.
Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou queen Esther ? and what is thy request ? it shall be given thee to the half of the kingdom. And Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. “So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition ? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request ? even unto half the kingdom it shall be performed?
Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is; If I have found favour in the sight of the king, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to-morrow as the king hath said.
Then went Haman forth that day joyful, and with a glad heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to-morrow am I invited unto
er also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
Then said Zeresh his wife, and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to-morrow speak thou unto the king, that Mordecai may be hanged thereon; then go in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.
On that night could not the king sleep: and he commanded to bring the book of records of the Chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of two of the king's chamberlains, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
And the king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this? Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.
And the king said, Who is in the court ? (Now Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.) And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court -And the king said, Let him come in.
So Haman came in.
And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? (Now Haman thought in his heart, to whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself ?)
And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour, let the royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and the crown-royal which is set upon his head : And let this apparel be delivered to the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
Then took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour.
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate : but Haman hastened to his house mourning, and having his head covered. And Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shall surely fall before him.
And while they were yet talking with him came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
LESSON CXXXIV. ESTHER, CHAP. VII. VIII. So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on the second day, at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther ? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request ? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
Then Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my people at my request: for we are