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Greek Esther 5Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Esther’s Banquet

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace, opposite the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to the palace; and when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the court, she found favor in his sight and he held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter.

Esther Is Received by the King

15 On the third day, when she ended her prayer, she took off the garments in which she had worshiped, and arrayed herself in splendid attire. Then, majestically adorned, after invoking the aid of the all-seeing God and Savior, she took her two maids with her, leaning daintily on one, while the other followed carrying her train. She was radiant with perfect beauty, and she looked happy, as if beloved, but her heart was frozen with fear. When she had gone through all the doors, she stood before the king. He was seated on his royal throne, clothed in the full array of his majesty, all covered with gold and precious stones. And he was most terrifying.

Lifting his face, flushed with splendor, he looked at her in fierce anger. And the queen faltered, and turned pale and faint, and collapsed upon the head of the maid who went before her. Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness, and in alarm he sprang from his throne and took her in his arms until she came to herself. And he comforted her with soothing words, and said to her, “What is it, Esther? I am your brother. Take courage; 10 you shall not die, for our law applies only to the people.[a] Come near.”

11 Then he raised the golden scepter and touched it to her neck; 12 and he embraced her, and said, “Speak to me.” 13 And she said to him, “I saw you, my lord, like an angel of God and my heart was shaken with fear at your glory. 14 For you are wonderful, my lord, and your countenance is full of grace.” 15 But as she was speaking, she fell fainting. 16 And the king was agitated, and all his servants sought to comfort her.

And the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom.” And Esther said, “If it please the king, let the king and Haman come this day to a dinner that I have prepared for the king.” Then said the king, “Bring Haman quickly, that we may do as Esther desires.” So the king and Haman came to the dinner that Esther had prepared. And as they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “What is your petition? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” But Esther said, “My petition and my request is: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition and fulfil my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow[b] to the dinner which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.”

Haman Plans to Have Mordecai Hanged

And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of heart. But when Haman saw Mor′decai in the king’s gate, that he neither rose nor trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mor′decai. 10 Nevertheless Haman restrained himself, and went home; and he sent and fetched his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 And Haman recounted to them the splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and the servants of the king. 12 And Haman added, “Even Queen Esther let no one come with the king to the banquet she prepared but myself. And tomorrow also I am invited by her together with the king. 13 Yet all this does me no good, so long as I see Mor′decai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” 14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have Mor′decai hanged upon it; then go merrily with the king to the dinner.” This counsel pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.

Footnotes:

  1. Greek Esther 5:2 The meaning of the Greek text of this clause is obscure
  2. Greek Esther 5:8 Gk: Heb lacks tomorrow
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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