15 When the turn came for Esther (A)the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what (B)Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her. 16 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, 17 the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set (C)the royal crown[a] on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. 18 Then the king (D)gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther's feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.

Mordecai Discovers a Plot

19 Now when the virgins were gathered together (E)the second time, Mordecai was sitting (F)at the king's gate. 20 (G)Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just (H)as when she was brought up by him. 21 In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king's gate, (I)Bigthan and (J)Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. 22 And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, (K)and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai. 23 When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows.[b] And it was recorded in (L)the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.

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Footnotes

  1. Esther 2:17 Or headdress
  2. Esther 2:23 Or wooden beam or stake; Hebrew tree or wood. This Persian execution practice involved affixing or impaling a person on a stake or pole (compare Ezra 6:11)

12 (A)Then the king's scribes were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's (B)satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the officials of all the peoples, (C)to every province in its own script and every people in its own language. It was written (D)in the name of King Ahasuerus (E)and sealed with the king's signet ring. 13 Letters were sent (F)by couriers to all the king's provinces with instruction (G)to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, (H)in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, (I)and to plunder their goods.

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12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. 13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. 14 For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” 15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for (A)three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, (B)and if I perish, I perish.”[a] 17 Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him.

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Footnotes

  1. Esther 4:16 Hebrew if I am destroyed, then I will be destroyed

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. And on the second day, as they were drinking wine after the feast, the king again said to Esther, (A)“What is your wish, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? (B)Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, (C)“If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be granted me for my wish, and my people for my request. (D)For we have been sold, I and my people, (E)to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have been silent, for our affliction is not to be compared with the loss to the king.” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has dared[a] to do this?” And Esther said, (F)“A foe and enemy! This wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen.

Haman Is Hanged

And the king arose in his wrath from the wine-drinking and went into (G)the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm was determined against him by the king. And the king returned from (H)the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was falling on (I)the couch where Esther was. And the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the word left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman's face. Then (J)Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Moreover, (K)the gallows[b] that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, (L)whose word saved the king, is standing at Haman's house, fifty cubits[c] high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 (M)So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. (N)Then the wrath of the king abated.

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Footnotes

  1. Esther 7:5 Hebrew whose heart has filled him
  2. Esther 7:9 Or wooden beam; also verse 10 (see note on 2:23)
  3. Esther 7:9 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters

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