June 5

Esther 4:1 — 7:10

4 And Mordecai himself got knowledge of everything that had been done; and Mordecai proceeded to rip his garments apart and put on sackcloth and ashes and go out into the middle of the city and cry out with a loud and bitter outcry. 2 Finally he came as far as in front of the king’s gate, for no one was to come into the king’s gate in clothing of sackcloth. 3 And in all the different jurisdictional districts, wherever the king’s word and his law were reaching, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting and weeping and wailing. Sackcloth and ashes themselves came to be spread out as a couch for many. 4 And Esther’s young women and her eunuchs began to come in and tell her. And the queen was very much pained. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and to remove his sackcloth off him. And he did not accept [them]. 5 At this Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, whom he had made to attend upon her, and she proceeded to give him a command concerning Mordecai, to know what this meant and what this was all about.

6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai into the public square of the city that was before the king’s gate. 7 Then Mordecai told him about all the things that had befallen him and the exact statement of the money that Haman had said to pay to the king’s treasury against the Jews, to destroy them. 8 And a copy of the writing of the law that had been given in Shushan to have them annihilated he gave him to show Esther and to tell her and to lay the command upon her to come in to the king and implore favor of him and make request directly before him for her own people.

9 Hathach now came in and told Esther Mordecai’s words. 10 Then Esther said to Hathach and commanded him concerning Mordecai: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s jurisdictional districts are aware that, as regards any man or woman that comes in to the king at the inner courtyard who is not called, his one law is to have [him] put to death; only in case the king holds out to him the golden scepter, he will also certainly stay alive. As for me, I have not been called to come in to the king now for thirty days.”

12 And they proceeded to tell Mordecai the words of Esther. 13 Then Mordecai said to reply to Esther: “Do not imagine within your own soul that the king’s household will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you are altogether silent at this time, relief and deliverance themselves will stand up for the Jews from another place; but as for you and your father’s house, YOU people will perish. And who is there knowing whether it is for a time like this that you have attained to royal dignity?”

15 Accordingly Esther said to reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews that are to be found in Shushan and fast in my behalf and neither eat nor drink for three days, night and day. I too with my young women, I shall fast likewise, and upon that I shall come in to the king, which is not according to the law; and in case I must perish, I must perish.” 17 At this Mordecai passed along and proceeded to do according to all that Esther had laid in command upon him.

5 And it came about on the third day that Esther went dressing up royally, after which she took her stand in the inner courtyard of the king’s house opposite the king’s house, while the king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal house opposite the entrance of the house. 2 And it came about that, as soon as the king saw Esther the queen standing in the courtyard, she gained favor in his eyes, so that the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Esther now came near and touched the top of the scepter.

3 Then the king said to her: “What do you have, O Esther the queen, and what is your request? To the half of the kingship—let it even be given to you!” 4 In turn Esther said: “If to the king it does seem good, let the king with Haman come today to the banquet that I have made for him.” 5 Accordingly the king said: “YOU men, have Haman act quickly on the word of Esther.” Later the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had made.

6 In time the king said to Esther during the banquet of wine: “What is your petition? Let it even be granted you! And what is your request? To the half of the kingship—let it even be done!” 7 To this Esther answered and said: “My petition and my request is, 8 If I have found favor in the king’s eyes and if to the king it does seem good to grant my petition and to act on my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall hold for them [tomorrow], and tomorrow I shall do according to the king’s word.”

9 Consequently Haman went out on that day joyful and merry of heart; but as soon as Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and that he did not rise and did not quake on account of him, Haman was immediately filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 However, Haman kept control of himself and came into his house. Then he sent and had his friends and Zeresh his wife brought in; 11 and Haman proceeded to declare to them the glory of his riches and the large number of his sons and everything with which the king had magnified him and how he had exalted him over the princes and the servants of the king.

12 And Haman went on to say: “What is more, Esther the queen brought in with the king to the banquet that she had made no one but me, and tomorrow also I am invited to her with the king. 13 But all this—none of it suits me as long as I am seeing Mordecai the Jew sitting in the king’s gate.” 14 At that Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him: “Let them make a stake fifty cubits high. Then in the morning say to the king that they should hang Mordecai on it. Then go in with the king to the banquet joyful.” So the thing seemed good before Haman, and he proceeded to have the stake made.

6 During that night the king’s sleep fled. Therefore he said to bring the book of the records of the affairs of the times. Thus there came to be a reading of them before the king. 2 At length there was found written what Mordecai had reported concerning Bigthana and Teresh, two court officials of the king, doorkeepers, who had sought to lay hand on King Ahasuerus. 3 Then the king said: “What honor and great thing has been done to Mordecai for this?” To this the king’s attendants, his ministers, said: “Nothing has been done with him.”

4 Later the king said: “Who is in the courtyard?” Now Haman himself had come into the outer courtyard of the king’s house to say to the king to hang Mordecai on the stake that he had prepared for him. 5 Accordingly the king’s attendants said to him: “Here is Haman standing in the courtyard.” So the king said: “Let him come in.”

6 When Haman came in, the king proceeded to say to him: “What is to be done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight?” At this Haman said in his heart: “To whom would the king take delight in rendering an honor more than me?” 7 So Haman said to the king: “As for the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight, 8 let them bring royal apparel with which the king does clothe himself and a horse upon which the king does ride and on the head of which the royal headdress has been put. 9 And let there be a putting of the apparel and the horse into the charge of one of the king’s noble princes; and they must clothe the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight, and they must make him ride on the horse in the public square of the city, and they must call out before him, ‘This is how it is done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight.’” 10 At once the king said to Haman: “Quickly, take the apparel and the horse, just as you have said, and do that way to Mordecai the Jew who is sitting in the king’s gate. Do not let anything go unfulfilled of all that you have spoken.”

11 And Haman proceeded to take the apparel and the horse and clothe Mordecai and make him ride in the public square of the city and call out before him: “This is how it is done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight.” 12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. As for Haman, he hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered. 13 And Haman went on to relate to Zeresh his wife and to all his friends everything that had befallen him. At that his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him: “If it is from the seed of the Jews that Mordecai is before whom you have started to fall, you will not prevail against him, but you will without fail fall before him.”

14 While they were yet speaking with him the king’s court officials themselves arrived and proceeded hastily to bring Haman to the banquet that Esther had made.

7 Then the king and Haman came in to banquet with Esther the queen. 2 The king now said to Esther also on the second day during the banquet of wine: “What is your petition, O Esther the queen? Let it even be given to you. And what is your request? To the half of the kingship—let it even be done!” 3 At this Esther the queen answered and said: “If I have found favor in your eyes, O king, and if to the king it does seem good, let there be given me my own soul at my petition and my people at my request. 4 For we have been sold, I and my people, to be annihilated, killed and destroyed. Now if we had been sold for mere men slaves and for mere maidservants, I should have kept silent. But the distress is not appropriate when with damage to the king.”

5 King Ahasuerus now said, yes, he went on to say to Esther the queen: “Who is this, and just where is the one who has emboldened himself to do that way?” 6 Then Esther said: “The man, the adversary and enemy, is this bad Haman.”

As for Haman, he became terrified because of the king and the queen. 7 As for the king, he rose up in his rage from the banquet of wine [to go] to the garden of the palace; and Haman himself stood up to make request for his soul from Esther the queen, for he saw that bad had been determined against him by the king. 8 And the king himself returned from the garden of the palace to the house of the wine banquet; and Haman was fallen upon the couch on which Esther was. Consequently the king said: “Is there also to be a raping of the queen, with me in the house?” The word itself went out of the king’s mouth, and Haman’s face they covered. 9 Harbona, one of the court officials before the king, now said: “Also, there is the stake that Haman made for Mordecai, who had spoken good concerning the king, standing in Haman’s house—fifty cubits high.” At that the king said: “YOU men, hang him on it.” 10 And they proceeded to hang Haman on the stake that he had prepared for Mordecai; and the king’s rage itself subsided.