Esther Saves the Jews

On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the (A)enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had told (B)how he was related to her. So the king took off (C)his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai; and Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Now Esther spoke again to the king, fell down at his feet, and implored him with tears to counteract the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme which he had devised against the Jews. And (D)the king held out the golden scepter toward Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king, and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight and the thing seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to revoke the (E)letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to annihilate the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. For how can I endure to see (F)the evil that will come to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my countrymen?”

Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Indeed, (G)I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he tried to lay his hand on the Jews. You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, [a]as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring (H)no one can revoke.”

(I)So the king’s scribes were called at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and it was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces (J)from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, to every province (K)in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 (L)And he wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding on royal horses [b]bred from swift steeds.

11 By these letters the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to (M)gather together and protect their lives—to (N)destroy, kill, and annihilate all the forces of any people or province that would assault them, both little children and women, and to plunder their possessions, 12 (O)on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of [c]Adar. 13 (P)A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province and published for all people, so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 The couriers who rode on royal horses went out, hastened and pressed on by the king’s command. And the decree was issued in [d]Shushan the [e]citadel.

15 So Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of [f]blue and white, with a great crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and (Q)the city of [g]Shushan rejoiced and was glad. 16 The Jews had (R)light and gladness, joy and honor. 17 And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast (S)and a holiday. Then many of the people of the land (T)became Jews, because (U)fear of the Jews fell upon them.

The Jews Destroy Their Tormentors

Now (V)in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day, (W)the time came for the king’s command and his decree to be executed. On the day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, the opposite occurred, in that the Jews themselves (X)overpowered those who hated them. The Jews (Y)gathered together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who (Z)sought their harm. And no one could withstand them, (AA)because fear of them fell upon all people. And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and all those doing the king’s work, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for this man Mordecai (AB)became increasingly prominent. Thus the Jews defeated all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, with slaughter and destruction, and did what they pleased with those who hated them.

And in (AC)Shushan[h] the [i]citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men. Also Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha— 10 (AD)the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews—they killed; (AE)but they did not lay a hand on the [j]plunder.

11 On that day the number of those who were killed in [k]Shushan the [l]citadel [m]was brought to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the citadel, and the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? Now (AF)what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. Or what is your further request? It shall be done.”

13 Then Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do again tomorrow (AG)according to today’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons (AH)be hanged on the gallows.”

14 So the king commanded this to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hanged Haman’s ten sons.

15 And the Jews who were in [n]Shushan (AI)gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men at Shushan; (AJ)but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

16 The remainder of the Jews in the king’s provinces (AK)gathered together and protected their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of their enemies; (AL)but they did not lay a hand on the plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth of [o]the month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

The Feast of Purim

18 But the Jews who were at [p]Shushan assembled together (AM)on the thirteenth day, as well as on the fourteenth; and on the fifteenth of [q]the month they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages who dwelt in the unwalled towns celebrated the fourteenth day of the month of Adar (AN)with gladness and feasting, (AO)as a holiday, and for (AP)sending presents to one another.

20 And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews, near and far, who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, 21 to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, of (AQ)sending presents to one another and gifts to the (AR)poor. 23 So the Jews accepted the custom which they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, (AS)had plotted against the Jews to annihilate them, and had cast Pur (that is, the lot), to consume them and destroy them; 25 but (AT)when [r]Esther came before the king, he commanded by letter that [s]this wicked plot which Haman had devised against the Jews should (AU)return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26 So they called these days Purim, after the name [t]Pur. Therefore, because of all the words of (AV)this letter, what they had seen concerning this matter, and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established and imposed it upon themselves and their descendants and all who would (AW)join them, that without fail they should celebrate these two days every year, according to the written instructions and according to the prescribed time, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city, that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews, and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, (AX)the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this (AY)second letter about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews, to (AZ)the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim at their appointed time, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had prescribed for them, and as they had decreed for themselves and their descendants concerning matters of their (BA)fasting and lamenting. 32 So the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.

Mordecai’s Advancement

10 And King Ahasuerus imposed tribute on the land and on (BB)the islands of the sea. Now all the acts of his power and his might, and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, (BC)to which the king [u]advanced him, are they not written in the book of the (BD)chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was (BE)second to King Ahasuerus, and was great among the Jews and well received by the multitude of his brethren, (BF)seeking the good of his people and speaking peace to all his [v]countrymen.


  1. Esther 8:8 Lit. as is good in your eyes
  2. Esther 8:10 Lit. sons of the swift horses
  3. Esther 8:12 LXX adds the text of the letter here
  4. Esther 8:14 Or Susa
  5. Esther 8:14 palace
  6. Esther 8:15 violet
  7. Esther 8:15 Or Susa
  8. Esther 9:6 Or Susa
  9. Esther 9:6 palace
  10. Esther 9:10 spoil
  11. Esther 9:11 Or Susa
  12. Esther 9:11 palace
  13. Esther 9:11 Lit. came
  14. Esther 9:15 Or Susa
  15. Esther 9:17 Lit. it
  16. Esther 9:18 Or Susa
  17. Esther 9:18 Lit. it
  18. Esther 9:25 Lit. she or it
  19. Esther 9:25 Lit. his
  20. Esther 9:26 Lit. Lot
  21. Esther 10:2 Lit. made him great
  22. Esther 10:3 Lit. seed. LXX, Vg. add a dream of Mordecai here; Vg. adds six more chapters

27 Now (A)you are the body of Christ, and (B)members individually. 28 And (C)God has appointed these in the church: first (D)apostles, second (E)prophets, third teachers, after that (F)miracles, then (G)gifts of healings, (H)helps, (I)administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But (J)earnestly desire the [a]best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

The Greatest Gift

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of (K)prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, (L)so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And (M)though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body [b]to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

(N)Love suffers long and is (O)kind; love (P)does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not [c]puffed up; does not behave rudely, (Q)does not seek its own, is not provoked, [d]thinks no evil; (R)does not rejoice in iniquity, but (S)rejoices in the truth; (T)bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (U)For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is [e]perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For (V)now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then (W)face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


  1. 1 Corinthians 12:31 NU greater
  2. 1 Corinthians 13:3 NU so I may boast
  3. 1 Corinthians 13:4 arrogant
  4. 1 Corinthians 13:5 keeps no accounts of evil
  5. 1 Corinthians 13:10 complete

The Heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked

A Psalm of David.

37 Do(A) not fret because of evildoers,
Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity.
For they shall soon be cut down (B)like the grass,
And wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
(C)Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your (D)heart.

(E)Commit[a] your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
(F)He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, (G)and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who (H)prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
(I)Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
(J)Do not fret—it only causes harm.

For evildoers shall be [b]cut off;
But those who wait on the Lord,
They shall (K)inherit the earth.
10 For (L)yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more;
Indeed, (M)you will look carefully for his place,
But it shall be no more.
11 (N)But the meek shall inherit the earth,
And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

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  1. Psalm 37:5 Lit. Roll off onto
  2. Psalm 37:9 destroyed

23 (A)Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.

24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.

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