Esther’s Request to the King

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes(A) and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s(B) hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.(C)

Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,(D) it will be given you.”

“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine,(E) the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,(F) it will be granted.”(G)

Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: If the king regards me with favor(H) and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet(I) I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

Haman’s Rage Against Mordecai

Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage(J) against Mordecai.(K) 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh,(L) his wife, 11 Haman boasted(M) to them about his vast wealth, his many sons,(N) and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person(O) Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.(P)

14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits,[a](Q) and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled(R) on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Mordecai Honored

That night the king could not sleep;(S) so he ordered the book of the chronicles,(T) the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.(U)

“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.

“Nothing has been done for him,”(V) his attendants answered.

The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.

His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”

“Bring him in,” the king ordered.

When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”

Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, have them bring a royal robe(W) the king has worn and a horse(X) the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!(Y)’”

10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

11 So Haman got(Z) the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”

12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered(AA) in grief, 13 and told Zeresh(AB) his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall(AC) has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”(AD) 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet(AE) Esther had prepared.

Footnotes

  1. Esther 5:14 That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner(A) for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy(B) of the calling(C) you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another(D) in love.(E) Make every effort to keep the unity(F) of the Spirit through the bond of peace.(G) There is one body(H) and one Spirit,(I) just as you were called to one hope when you were called(J); one Lord,(K) one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all,(L) who is over all and through all and in all.(M)

But to each one of us(N) grace(O) has been given(P) as Christ apportioned it. This is why it[a] says:

“When he ascended on high,
    he took many captives(Q)
    and gave gifts to his people.”[b](R)

(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended(S) higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)(T) 11 So Christ himself gave(U) the apostles,(V) the prophets,(W) the evangelists,(X) the pastors and teachers,(Y) 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ(Z) may be built up(AA) 13 until we all reach unity(AB) in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God(AC) and become mature,(AD) attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.(AE)

14 Then we will no longer be infants,(AF) tossed back and forth by the waves,(AG) and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.(AH) 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,(AI) we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head,(AJ) that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows(AK) and builds itself up(AL) in love,(AM) as each part does its work.

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Footnotes

  1. Ephesians 4:8 Or God
  2. Ephesians 4:8 Psalm 68:18
  3. Ephesians 4:9 Or the depths of the earth

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