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Esther 7-8 Good News Translation (GNT)

And so the king and Haman went to eat with Esther for a second time. Over the wine the king asked her again, “Now, Queen Esther, what do you want? Tell me and you shall have it. I'll even give you half the empire.”

Queen Esther answered, “If it please Your Majesty to grant my humble request, my wish is that I may live and that my people may live. My people and I have been sold for slaughter. If it were nothing more serious than being sold into slavery, I would have kept quiet and not bothered you about it;[a] but we are about to be destroyed—exterminated!”

Then King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who dares to do such a thing? Where is this man?”

Esther answered, “Our enemy, our persecutor, is this evil man Haman!”

Haman faced the king and queen with terror. The king got up in a fury, left the room, and went outside to the palace gardens. Haman could see that the king was determined to punish him for this, so he stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life. He had just thrown himself down on Esther's couch to beg for mercy, when the king came back into the room from the gardens. Seeing this, the king cried out, “Is this man going to rape the queen right here in front of me, in my own palace?”

The king had no sooner said this than the eunuchs covered Haman's head. Then one of them, who was named Harbonah, said, “Haman even went so far as to build a gallows at his house so that he could hang Mordecai, who saved Your Majesty's life. And it's seventy-five feet tall!”

“Hang Haman on it!” the king commanded.

10 So Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai. Then the king's anger cooled down.

The Jews Are Told to Fight Back

That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther all the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was related to her, and from then on Mordecai was allowed to enter the king's presence. The king took off his ring with his seal on it (which he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman's property.

Then Esther spoke to the king again, throwing herself at his feet and crying. She begged him to do something to stop the evil plot that Haman, the descendant of Agag,[b] had made against the Jews. The king held out the gold scepter to her, so she stood up and said, “If it please Your Majesty, and if you care about me and if it seems right to you, please issue a proclamation to keep Haman's orders from being carried out—those orders that the son of Hammedatha the descendant of Agag gave for the destruction of all the Jews in the empire. How can I endure it if this disaster comes on my people, and my own relatives are killed?”

King Xerxes then said to Queen Esther and Mordecai, the Jew, “Look, I have hanged Haman for his plot against the Jews, and I have given Esther his property. But a proclamation issued in the king's name and stamped with the royal seal cannot be revoked. You may, however, write to the Jews whatever you like; and you may write it in my name and stamp it with the royal seal.”

This happened on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. Mordecai called the king's secretaries and dictated letters to the Jews and to the governors, administrators, and officials of all the 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia.[c] The letters were written to each province in its own language and system of writing and to the Jews in their language and system of writing. 10 Mordecai had the letters written in the name of King Xerxes, and he stamped them with the royal seal. They were delivered by riders mounted on fast horses from the royal stables.

11 These letters explained that the king would allow the Jews in every city to organize for self-defense. If armed men of any nationality in any province attacked the Jewish men, their children, or their women, the Jews could fight back and destroy the attackers; they could slaughter them to the last man and take their possessions. 12 This decree was to take effect throughout the Persian Empire on the day set for the slaughter of the Jews, the thirteenth of Adar, the twelfth month. 13 It was to be proclaimed as law and made known to everyone in every province, so that the Jews would be ready to take revenge on their enemies when that day came. 14 At the king's command the riders mounted royal horses and rode off at top speed. The decree was also made public in Susa, the capital city.

15 Mordecai left the palace, wearing royal robes of blue and white, a cloak of fine purple linen, and a magnificent gold crown. Then the streets of Susa rang with cheers and joyful shouts. 16 For the Jews there was joy and relief, happiness and a sense of victory. 17 In every city and province, wherever the king's proclamation was read, the Jews held a joyful holiday with feasting and happiness. In fact, many other people became Jews, because they were afraid of them now.

Footnotes:

  1. Esther 7:4 Probable text and not … it; Hebrew unclear.
  2. Esther 8:3 See 3.1.
  3. Esther 8:9 Hebrew Cush: Cush is the ancient name of the extensive territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. This region was called Ethiopia in Graeco-Roman times, and included within its borders most of modern Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia (Abyssinia).
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Esther 7-8 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

So the king and Haman went in to feast with Queen Esther. On the second day, as they were drinking wine, the king again said to Esther, “What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall be fulfilled.” Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have won your favor, O king, and if it pleases the king, let my life be given me—that is my petition—and the lives of my people—that is my request. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; but no enemy can compensate for this damage to the king.”[a] Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he, who has presumed to do this?” Esther said, “A foe and enemy, this wicked Haman!” Then Haman was terrified before the king and the queen. The king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace garden, but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that the king had determined to destroy him. When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had thrown himself on the couch where Esther was reclining; and the king said, “Will he even assault the queen in my presence, in my own house?” As the words left the mouth of the king, they covered Haman’s face. Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “Look, the very gallows that Haman has prepared for Mordecai, whose word saved the king, stands at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high.” And the king said, “Hang him on that.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the anger of the king abated.

Esther Saves the Jews

On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told what he was to her. Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. So Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Then Esther spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet, weeping and pleading with him to avert the evil design of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews. The king held out the golden scepter to Esther, and Esther rose and stood before the king. She said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have won his favor, and if the thing seems right before the king, and I have his approval, let an order be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote giving orders to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of the king. For how can I bear to see the calamity that is coming on my people? Or how can I bear to see the destruction of my kindred?” Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to the Jew Mordecai, “See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he plotted to lay hands on the Jews. You may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king’s ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s ring cannot be revoked.”

The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and an edict was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia,[b] one hundred twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. 10 He wrote letters in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed them with the king’s ring, and sent them by mounted couriers riding on fast steeds bred from the royal herd.[c] 11 By these letters the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods 12 on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the writ was to be issued as a decree in every province and published to all peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies. 14 So the couriers, mounted on their swift royal steeds, hurried out, urged by the king’s command. The decree was issued in the citadel of Susa.

15 Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king, wearing royal robes of blue and white, with a great golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 For the Jews there was light and gladness, joy and honor. 17 In every province and in every city, wherever the king’s command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a festival and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the peoples of the country professed to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

Footnotes:

  1. Esther 7:4 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Esther 8:9 Or Nubia; Heb Cush
  3. Esther 8:10 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

Esther 7-8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

So the king and Haman went to Queen Ester’s banquet; and the king again said to Ester at the wine banquet, “Whatever your request, Queen Ester, you will be granted it; whatever you want, up to half the kingdom, it will be done.” Ester the queen answered, “If I have won your favor, king, and if it pleases the king, then what I ask be given me is my own life and the lives of my people. For we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, killed, exterminated. If we had only been sold as men- and women-slaves, I would have remained quiet; since then [our] trouble would not have been worth the damage it would have caused the king [to alter the situation].” King Achashverosh asked Ester the queen, “Who is he? Where is the man who dared to do such a thing?” Ester said, “A ruthless enemy — it’s this wicked Haman!” Haman stood aghast, terrified before the king and queen. In a rage, the king got up from the wine banquet and went out to the palace garden. But Haman remained, pleading with Ester the queen to spare his life; for he could see that the king had decided to do him in. Haman had just fallen on the couch where Ester was, when the king returned from the palace garden to the wine banquet. He shouted, “Is he even going to rape the queen here in the palace, before my very eyes?” The moment these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. Harvonah, one of the king’s attendants, said, “Look! The gallows seventy-five feet high that Haman made for Mordekhai, who spoke only good for the king, is standing at Haman’s house.” The king said, “Hang him on it.” 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordekhai. Then the king’s anger subsided.

That same day King Achashverosh gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Ester the queen. Also Mordekhai appeared before the king, for Ester had revealed his relationship to her. The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordekhai. Then Ester put Mordekhai in charge of Haman’s house.

Again Ester spoke to the king; she fell at his feet and begged him with tears to put an end to the mischief Haman the Agagi had caused by the scheme he had worked out against the Jews. The king extended the gold scepter toward Ester. So Ester got up and stood in front of the king. She said, “If it pleases the king, if I have won his favor, if the matter seem right to the king and if I have his approval, then let an order be written rescinding the letters devised by Haman the son of Hamdata the Agagi, which he wrote to destroy the Jews in all the royal provinces. For how can I bear to see the disaster that will overcome my people? How can I endure seeing the extermination of my kinsmen?” King Achashverosh said to Ester the queen and Mordekhai the Jew, “Listen! I gave Ester the house of Haman, and they hanged him on the gallows, because he threatened the lives of the Jews. You should issue a decree in the king’s name for whatever you want concerning the Jews, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; because a decree written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s ring can’t be rescinded by anyone.”

The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan; and a decree was written according to everything Mordekhai ordered concerning the Jews, to the army commanders, governors and officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its script and to each people in their language, also to the Jews in their script and language. 10 They wrote in the name of King Achashverosh and sealed it with the king’s signet ring; they sent the letters by couriers on horseback riding fast horses used in the king’s service and bred from the royal stock. 11 The letters said that the king had granted the Jews in every city the right “to assemble and defend their lives by destroying, killing and exterminating any forces of any people or province that would attack them, their little ones or their women or would try to seize their goods as plunder 12 on the designated day in any of the provinces of King Achashverosh, namely, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.” 13 A copy of the edict was to be issued as a decree in every province and proclaimed to all the peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance against their enemies. 14 Couriers riding fast horses used in the king’s service left quickly, pressed by the king’s order; and the decree was issued in Shushan the capital.

15 Meanwhile, Mordekhai left the king’s presence arrayed in royal blue and white, wearing a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan shouted for joy. 16 For the Jews, all was light, gladness, joy and honor. 17 In every province and city where the king’s order and decree arrived, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a holiday. Many from the peoples of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews had overcome them.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Esther 7-8 The Message (MSG)

1-2 So the king and Haman went to dinner with Queen Esther. At this second dinner, while they were drinking wine the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what would you like? Half of my kingdom! Just ask and it’s yours.”

Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives.

“We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed—sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold off into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over.”

King Xerxes exploded, “Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!”

“An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman,” said Esther.

Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen.

7-8 The king, raging, left his wine and stalked out into the palace garden.

Haman stood there pleading with Queen Esther for his life—he could see that the king was finished with him and that he was doomed. As the king came back from the palace garden into the banquet hall, Haman was groveling at the couch on which Esther reclined. The king roared out, “Will he even molest the queen while I’m just around the corner?”

When that word left the king’s mouth, all the blood drained from Haman’s face.

Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, spoke up: “Look over there! There’s the gallows that Haman had built for Mordecai, who saved the king’s life. It’s right next to Haman’s house—seventy-five feet high!”

The king said, “Hang him on it!”

10 So Haman was hanged on the very gallows that he had built for Mordecai. And the king’s hot anger cooled.

1-2 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, archenemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king because Esther had explained their relationship. The king took off his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Esther appointed Mordecai over Haman’s estate.

3-6 Then Esther again spoke to the king, falling at his feet, begging with tears to counter the evil of Haman the Agagite and revoke the plan that he had plotted against the Jews. The king extended his gold scepter to Esther. She got to her feet and stood before the king. She said, “If it please the king and he regards me with favor and thinks this is right, and if he has any affection for me at all, let an order be written that cancels the bulletins authorizing the plan of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite to annihilate the Jews in all the king’s provinces. How can I stand to see this catastrophe wipe out my people? How can I bear to stand by and watch the massacre of my own relatives?”

7-8 King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew: “I’ve given Haman’s estate to Esther and he’s been hanged on the gallows because he attacked the Jews. So go ahead now and write whatever you decide on behalf of the Jews; then seal it with the signet ring.” (An order written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring is irrevocable.)

So the king’s secretaries were brought in on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan, and the order regarding the Jews was written word for word as Mordecai dictated and was addressed to the satraps, governors, and officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces in all, to each province in its own script and each people in their own language, including the Jews in their script and language.

10 He wrote under the name of King Xerxes and sealed the order with the royal signet ring; he sent out the bulletins by couriers on horseback, riding the fastest royal steeds bred from the royal stud.

11-13 The king’s order authorized the Jews in every city to arm and defend themselves to the death, killing anyone who threatened them or their women and children, and confiscating for themselves anything owned by their enemies. The day set for this in all King Xerxes’ provinces was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. The order was posted in public places in each province so everyone could read it, authorizing the Jews to be prepared on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14 The couriers, fired up by the king’s order, raced off on their royal horses. At the same time, the order was posted in the palace complex of Susa.

15-17 Mordecai walked out of the king’s presence wearing a royal robe of violet and white, a huge gold crown, and a purple cape of fine linen. The city of Susa exploded with joy. For Jews it was all sunshine and laughter: they celebrated, they were honored. It was that way all over the country, in every province, every city when the king’s bulletin was posted: the Jews took to the streets in celebration, cheering, and feasting. Not only that, but many non-Jews became Jews—now it was dangerous not to be a Jew!

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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