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

The king got up in a rage,(A) left his wine and went out into the palace garden.(B) But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate,(C) stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch(D) where Esther was reclining.(E)

The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”(F)

As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.(G) Then Harbona,(H) one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[a](I) stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

The king said, “Impale him on it!”(J) 10 So they impaled(K) Haman(L) on the pole(M) he had set up for Mordecai.(N) Then the king’s fury subsided.(O)

The King’s Edict in Behalf of the Jews

That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman,(P) 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,(Q) which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.(R)

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,(S) which he had devised against the Jews. Then the king extended the gold scepter(T) to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

“If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor(U) 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?”(V)

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(W) him on the pole he set up. Now write another decree(X) in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal(Y) it with the king’s signet ring(Z)—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”(AA)

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.[b](AB) 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.(AC) 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,[c] and to plunder(AD) 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.(AE) 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(AF) 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.(AG)

The Triumph of the Jews

15 When Mordecai(AH) left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold(AI) and a purple robe of fine linen.(AJ) And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration.(AK) 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy,(AL) gladness and honor.(AM) 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy(AN) and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear(AO) of the Jews had seized them.(AP)


  1. Esther 7:9 That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters
  2. Esther 8:9 That is, the upper Nile region
  3. Esther 8:11 Or province, together with their women and children, who might attack them;

Love for Enemies

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a](A) and hate your enemy.’(B) 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,(C) 45 that you may be children(D) of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.(E) 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?(F) Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.(G)

Read full chapter


  1. Matthew 5:43 Lev. 19:18

Bible Gateway Recommends