Esther 4-6Amplified Bible (AMP)
Esther Learns of Haman’s Plot
4 Now when Mordecai learned of everything that had been done, he tore his clothes [in mourning], and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the center of the city and cried out loudly and bitterly. 2 He went [only] as far as the king’s gate, because no one was to enter the king’s gate dressed in sackcloth. 3 In each and every province that the decree and law of the king reached, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing; and many lay on sackcloth and ashes.
4 When Esther’s maids and her eunuchs came and told her [what had happened], the queen was seized by great fear. She sent garments to clothe Mordecai so that he would remove his sackcloth, but he did not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs, whom the king had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to find out what this issue was and why it had come about. 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the [open] square of the city, which was in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, and the exact [a]amount of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the destruction of the Jews. 8 Mordecai also gave him a copy of the text of the decree which had been issued in Susa for the Jews destruction, so that he might show Esther and explain it to her, and order her to go in to the king to seek his favor and plead with him for [the lives of] her people.
9 Hathach came back and told Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai, saying: 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court without being summoned, he has but one law, that he is to be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And as for me, I have not been summoned to come to the king for these [last] thirty days.” 12 So they told Mordecai what Esther had said.
13 Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not imagine that you in the king’s palace can escape any more than all the Jews. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, liberation and rescue will arise for the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish [since you did not help when you had the chance]. And who knows whether you have attained royalty for such a time as this [and for this very purpose]?”
Esther Plans to Intercede
15 Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, 16 “Go, gather all the Jews that are present in Susa, and observe a fast for me; do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids also will fast in the same way. Then I will go in to [see] the king [without being summoned], which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” 17 So Mordecai went away and did exactly as Esther had commanded him.
Esther Plans a Banquet
5 On the third day [of the fast] Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the king’s palace opposite his [throne] room. The king was sitting on his royal throne, facing the [main] entrance of the palace. 2 When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she found favor in his sight; and the king extended to her the golden scepter which was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter. 3 Then the king said to her, “What is troubling you, Queen Esther? What is your request? It shall be given to you, [b]up to half of the kingdom.” 4 Esther said, “If it pleases the king, may the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him.”
5 Then the king said, “Bring Haman quickly so that we may do as Esther says.” So the king and Haman came to the banquet which Esther had prepared. 6 As they drank their wine at the banquet, the king said to Esther, “What is your [c]petition? It shall be granted to you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done.” 7 Then Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8 if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and to do as I request, may the king and Haman come to the banquet that I will prepare for them; and tomorrow I will do as the king says [and express my request].”
9 Haman went away that day joyful and in good spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate refusing to stand up or show fear before him, he was filled with rage toward Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman controlled himself and went home. There he sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh. 11 Then Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, the large number of his sons, and every instance in which the king had magnified him and how he had promoted him over the officials and servants of the king. 12 Haman also said, “Even Queen Esther let no one but me come with the king to the banquet she had prepared; and tomorrow also I am invited by her [together] with the king. 13 Yet all of this does not satisfy me as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.” 14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows [d]fifty cubits high made, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai hanged on it; then go joyfully to the banquet with the king.” And the advice pleased Haman, so he had the gallows made.
The King Plans to Honor Mordecai
6 On that night [e]the king could not sleep; so he ordered that the book of records and memorable deeds, the chronicles, be brought, and they were read before the king. 2 It was found written there how Mordecai had reported that Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs who were doorkeepers, had planned to [f]attack King Ahasuerus (Xerxes). 3 The king said, “What honor or distinction has been given Mordecai for this?” Then the king’s servants who attended him said, “Nothing has been done for him.” 4 So the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s palace to ask the king about [g]hanging Mordecai on the gallows which he had prepared for him. 5 The king’s servants said to him, “Look, Haman is standing in the court.” And the king said, “Let him come in.” 6 So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” Now Haman thought [h]to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?” 7 So Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor, 8 let a royal robe be brought which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; 9 and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble officials. Let him dress the man whom the king delights to honor [in the royal robe] and lead him on horseback through the open square of the city, and proclaim before him, ‘This is what shall be done for the man whom the king desires to honor.’”
Haman Must Honor Mordecai
10 Then the king said to Haman, “Quickly take the royal robe and the horse, as you have said, and do this for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king’s gate. Leave out nothing of all that you have said.” 11 So Haman took the royal robe and the horse and dressed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the open square of the city, proclaiming before him, “This is what shall be done for the man whom the king desires to honor.”
12 Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried to his [own] house, mourning and with his head covered [in sorrow]. 13 Then Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise counselors and his wife Zeresh said to him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall in status, is of Jewish heritage, you will not overcome him, but will certainly fall before him.”
14 While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs (attendants) arrived and hurriedly brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
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