Queen Vashti Deposed

This is what happened during the time of Xerxes,[a](A) the Xerxes who ruled over 127 provinces(B) stretching from India to Cush[b]:(C) At that time King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa,(D) and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet(E) for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendor and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days,(F) in the enclosed garden(G) of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches(H) of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality.(I) By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

Queen Vashti also gave a banquet(J) for the women in the royal palace of King Xerxes.

10 On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits(K) from wine,(L) he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,(M) Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Karkas— 11 to bring(N) before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty(O) to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. 12 But when the attendants delivered the king’s command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.(P)

13 Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times(Q) 14 and were closest to the king—Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memukan, the seven nobles(R) of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.

15 “According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?” he asked. “She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her.”

16 Then Memukan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, “Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. 17 For the queen’s conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, ‘King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.’ 18 This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen’s conduct will respond to all the king’s nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.(S)

19 “Therefore, if it pleases the king,(T) let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed,(U) that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. 20 Then when the king’s edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest.”

21 The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memukan proposed. 22 He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language,(V) proclaiming that every man should be ruler over his own household, using his native tongue.

Footnotes

  1. Esther 1:1 Hebrew Ahasuerus; here and throughout Esther
  2. Esther 1:1 That is, the upper Nile region

Esther Made Queen

Later when King Xerxes’ fury had subsided,(A) he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. Then the king’s personal attendants proposed, “Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful young women into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.

Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish,(B) who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin[a](C) king of Judah.(D) Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther,(E) had a lovely figure(F) and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

When the king’s order and edict had been proclaimed, many young women were brought to the citadel of Susa(G) and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king’s palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. She pleased him and won his favor.(H) Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food.(I) He assigned to her seven female attendants selected from the king’s palace and moved her and her attendants into the best place in the harem.

10 Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so.(J) 11 Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.

12 Before a young woman’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes(K) and cosmetics. 13 And this is how she would go to the king: Anything she wanted was given her to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. 14 In the evening she would go there and in the morning return to another part of the harem to the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines.(L) She would not return to the king unless he was pleased with her and summoned her by name.(M)

15 When the turn came for Esther (the young woman Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail(N)) to go to the king,(O) she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor(P) of everyone who saw her. 16 She was taken to King Xerxes in the royal residence in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

17 Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen(Q) instead of Vashti. 18 And the king gave a great banquet,(R) Esther’s banquet, for all his nobles and officials.(S) He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.(T)

Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy

19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate.(U) 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.(V)

21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana[b] and Teresh, two of the king’s officers(W) who guarded the doorway, became angry(X) and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were impaled(Y) on poles. All this was recorded in the book of the annals(Z) in the presence of the king.(AA)

Footnotes

  1. Esther 2:6 Hebrew Jeconiah, a variant of Jehoiachin
  2. Esther 2:21 Hebrew Bigthan, a variant of Bigthana

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord.[a](A)

Praise God in his sanctuary;(B)
    praise him in his mighty heavens.(C)
Praise him for his acts of power;(D)
    praise him for his surpassing greatness.(E)
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,(F)
    praise him with the harp and lyre,(G)
praise him with timbrel and dancing,(H)
    praise him with the strings(I) and pipe,(J)
praise him with the clash of cymbals,(K)
    praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything(L) that has breath praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 150:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 6

Sin, Faith, Duty

17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble(A) are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.(B) It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones(C) to stumble.(D) So watch yourselves.

“If your brother or sister[a] sins against you, rebuke them;(E) and if they repent, forgive them.(F) Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”(G)

The apostles(H) said to the Lord,(I) “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed,(J) you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.(K)

“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me(L) while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”(M)

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem,(N) Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee.(O) 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[b](P) met him. They stood at a distance(Q) 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master,(R) have pity on us!”

14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”(S) And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God(T) in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.(U)

17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”(V)

The Coming of the Kingdom of God(W)

20 Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come,(X) Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’(Y) because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”[c]

22 Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man,(Z) but you will not see it.(AA) 23 People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.(AB) 24 For the Son of Man in his day[d] will be like the lightning,(AC) which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things(AD) and be rejected(AE) by this generation.(AF)

26 “Just as it was in the days of Noah,(AG) so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

28 “It was the same in the days of Lot.(AH) People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.

30 “It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.(AI) 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.(AJ) 32 Remember Lot’s wife!(AK) 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.(AL) 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”(AM) [36] [e]

37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.

He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”(AN)

Footnotes

  1. Luke 17:3 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a fellow disciple, whether man or woman.
  2. Luke 17:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
  3. Luke 17:21 Or is within you
  4. Luke 17:24 Some manuscripts do not have in his day.
  5. Luke 17:36 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Matt. 24:40.

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