16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening,(A) morning(B) and noon(C)
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,(D)
    who does not change—
he will hear(E) them and humble them,
    because they have no fear of God.(F)

20 My companion attacks his friends;(G)
    he violates his covenant.(H)
21 His talk is smooth as butter,(I)
    yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,(J)
    yet they are drawn swords.(K)

22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;(L)
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.(M)
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit(N) of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful(O)
    will not live out half their days.(P)

But as for me, I trust in you.(Q)

Read full chapter

Mordecai Honored

That night the king could not sleep;(A) so he ordered the book of the chronicles,(B) 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.(C)

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

“Nothing has been done for him,”(D) 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(E) the king has worn and a horse(F) 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!(G)’”

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(H) 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(I) in grief, 13 and told Zeresh(J) 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(K) has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”(L) 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet(M) Esther had prepared.

Haman Impaled

So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet,(N) and as they were drinking wine(O) on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom,(P) it will be granted.(Q)

Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor(R) with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated.(S) If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]

King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”

Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”

Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen.

Footnotes

  1. Esther 7:4 Or quiet, but the compensation our adversary offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer

Israel’s Unbelief

30 What then shall we say?(A) That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;(B) 31 but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness,(C) have not attained their goal.(D) 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.(E) 33 As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble
    and a rock that makes them fall,
    and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[a](F)

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire(G) and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous(H) for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.(I) Christ is the culmination of the law(J) so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.(K)

Footnotes

  1. Romans 9:33 Isaiah 8:14; 28:16