Psalm 122

A song of ascents. Of David.

I rejoiced with those who said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
    in your gates, Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built like a city
    that is closely compacted together.
That is where the tribes go up—
    the tribes of the Lord
to praise the name of the Lord
    according to the statute given to Israel.
There stand the thrones for judgment,
    the thrones of the house of David.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
    “May those who love(A) you be secure.
May there be peace(B) within your walls
    and security within your citadels.(C)
For the sake of my family and friends,
    I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God,
    I will seek your prosperity.(D)

The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews

That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman,(A) the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. The king took off his signet ring,(B) which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.(C)

Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite,(D) which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter(E) to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor(F) and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”(G)

King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled(H) him on the pole he set up. Now write another decree(I) in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal(J) it with the king’s signet ring(K)—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”(L)

At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.[a](M) These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.(N) 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.

11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children,[b] and to plunder(O) the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.(P) 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day(Q) to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.(R)

The Triumph of the Jews

15 When Mordecai(S) left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold(T) and a purple robe of fine linen.(U) And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.(V) 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy,(W) gladness and honor.(X) 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy(Y) and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear(Z) of the Jews had seized them.(AA)

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Footnotes

  1. Esther 8:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  2. Esther 8:11 Or province, together with their women and children, who might attack them;

To the Church in Smyrna

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna(A) write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last,(B) who died and came to life again.(C) I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich!(D) I know about the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not,(E) but are a synagogue of Satan.(F) 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you,(G) and you will suffer persecution for ten days.(H) Be faithful,(I) even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.(J)

11 Whoever has ears, let them hear(K) what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.(L)

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