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Greek Esther 4:17
So Mordecai left and did exactly what Esther had ordered him. Then, calling to mind all the works of the Lord, Mordecai pleaded with the Lord, saying, “Lord, Lord, you are the king who rules over all things. The universe is in your power, and there is no one to stop you when you have resolved to save Israel. You made the heavens and the earth, and everything that is wonderful under heaven. You are Lord of all, and there is no one who will oppose you, Lord. “You know all things. You know, Lord, that it wasn’t out of disrespect, pride, or self-importance that I didn’t bow down before proud Haman. To save Israel, I would have been glad to kiss the soles of his feet. Rather, I did this to avoid setting the honor of any human being above God’s honor. I won’t bow down before anyone except you, my Lord. Nor will I do these things out of pride. “Now, Lord God, King, God of Abraham, spare your people, because the enemy seeks our ruin. They desire to destroy what has been your possession from the beginning. Don’t neglect your people, whom you delivered out of Egypt. Listen to my appeal, and have mercy on the people who are your lot. Turn our mourning into feasting, that we might live and sing praises to your name, Lord. Don’t silence the voice of those who praise you.” And all Israel cried out with all their might, for death was staring right at them. Queen Esther, overcome by this contest with death, turned to the Lord for protection. She took off her royal garments and put on mourning clothes. Instead of the finest spices, she smeared her head and body with ashes and dung, and humbled herself. Each place she had once joyfully beautified, she now covered with her tangled hair. Then she begged the Lord God of Israel: “My Lord, you alone are our king. Help me! I have no one to help me but you, and I am in great danger now. From my birth, Lord, I have heard how you chose Israel from among the rest of the nations, and our fathers from their ancestors, to be an everlasting inheritance. I have heard how you did for them all that you had promised. But now we have sinned before you, and you have delivered us into the power of our enemies because we worshipped their gods. You are just, Lord. Yet the enemies weren’t satisfied with our bitter slavery, so they shook hands with their idols in partnership. They plan to set aside the promises you made, to rob you of your inheritance, to silence those who praise you, and to stamp out the honor of your temple and your altar. They want to open the mouths of the nations to praise the wonderful deeds of useless idols so that a human king might be honored forever. “Don’t surrender your scepter, Lord, to things that don’t exist. Don’t let them mock our downfall. Instead, turn their scheme against them and make an example of the one who started this against us. Remember us, Lord, and reveal yourself in the time of our distress. Give me courage, king of the gods and ruler of every authority. When I speak, let my words be persuasive before the lion, and turn the king’s heart to hatred toward the one who is fighting against us, to bring his life to an end along with those who agree with him. Deliver us by your actions, and help me, I who am alone and have no one except you, Lord. “You know all things. You know that I hate the honor of those who don’t follow your Law. I detest sharing the bed of this uncircumcised king or indeed of any foreigner. You know my trouble: I hate the crown that is on my head when I appear in public. I despise it as I would a menstrual rag, and I don’t wear it when I am in private. I, your servant, didn’t dine at Haman’s table. Nor did I honor the king’s banquet or drink wine that had been offered to the gods. From the day of my crowning until now, your servant hasn’t had any joy except in you, Lord, God of Abraham. All-powerful God, listen to the voice of those who despair, and deliver us from the hands of those who do wrong, and deliver me from my fear!” On the third day, when she had finished praying, she removed her mourning clothes and put on her royal robes. Calling on the all-seeing God and savior, she appeared in full view of the court. She took along with her two female servants, delicately leaning on the one, while the other followed behind, carrying her train. She was blushing in the full bloom of her beauty, and her face was delightfully cheerful, but her heart was tense with fear. When she had passed through all the doors, she stood in the presence of the king. He was seated on his royal throne, clothed in all his majesty—all in gold and precious stones—and was terrifying. He lifted his face, which blazed gloriously, about to explode in anger, and looked at her. The queen collapsed. Her color turned pale, and she fell face forward onto the female servant who was walking ahead of her. Then God changed the king’s spirit to tenderness. He leaped anxiously from his throne, and took her up in his arms until she was calm. He tried to comfort her with reassuring words, saying to her: “What is it, Esther? I’m your brother. Take heart! You won’t die, for the order only holds for ordinary people. Come with me!” He then lifted his gold scepter and placed it on her neck. He embraced her and said: “Speak to me.” She said to him, “I saw you, Master, as if you were one of God’s angels, and my heart was struck with terror at the sight of your glory. You inspire awe, Master, and your face is full of divine grace.” But while she was speaking, she collapsed again. The king was distressed, and all his servants tried to comfort her.
So Mordecai went away and did what Esther had told him to do.
So Mordecai went away and did what Esther had told him to do. Then Mordecai prayed to the Lord, calling to remembrance all the works of the Lord. He said, ‘O Lord, Lord, you rule as King over all things, for the universe is in your power and there is no one who can oppose you when it is your will to save Israel, for you have made heaven and earth and every wonderful thing under heaven. You are Lord of all, and there is no one who can resist you, the Lord. You know all things; you know, O Lord, that it was not in insolence or pride or for any love of glory that I did this, and refused to bow down to this proud Haman; for I would have been willing to kiss the soles of his feet to save Israel! But I did this so that I might not set human glory above the glory of God, and I will not bow down to anyone but you, who are my Lord; and I will not do these things in pride. And now, O Lord God and King, God of Abraham, spare your people; for the eyes of our foes are upon us to annihilate us, and they desire to destroy the inheritance that has been yours from the beginning. Do not neglect your portion, which you redeemed for yourself out of the land of Egypt. Hear my prayer, and have mercy upon your inheritance; turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live and sing praise to your name, O Lord; do not destroy the lips of those who praise you.’ And all Israel cried out mightily, for their death was before their eyes. Then Queen Esther, seized with deadly anxiety, fled to the Lord. She took off her splendid apparel and put on the garments of distress and mourning, and instead of costly perfumes she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she utterly humbled her body; every part that she loved to adorn she covered with her tangled hair. She prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said: ‘O my Lord, you only are our king; help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, for my danger is in my hand. Ever since I was born I have heard in the tribe of my family that you, O Lord, took Israel out of all the nations, and our ancestors from among all their forebears, for an everlasting inheritance, and that you did for them all that you promised. And now we have sinned before you, and you have handed us over to our enemies because we glorified their gods. You are righteous, O Lord! And now they are not satisfied that we are in bitter slavery, but they have covenanted with their idols to abolish what your mouth has ordained, and to destroy your inheritance, to stop the mouths of those who praise you and to quench your altar and the glory of your house, to open the mouths of the nations for the praise of vain idols, and to magnify for ever a mortal king. ‘O Lord, do not surrender your sceptre to what has no being; and do not let them laugh at our downfall; but turn their plan against them, and make an example of him who began this against us. Remember, O Lord; make yourself known in this time of our affliction, and give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of him and those who agree with him. But save us by your hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but you, O Lord. You have knowledge of all things, and you know that I hate the splendour of the wicked and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised and of any alien. You know my necessity—that I abhor the sign of my proud position, which is upon my head on days when I appear in public. I abhor it like a filthy rag, and I do not wear it on the days when I am at leisure. And your servant has not eaten at Haman’s table, and I have not honoured the king’s feast or drunk the wine of libations. Your servant has had no joy since the day that I was brought here until now, except in you, O Lord God of Abraham. O God, whose might is over all, hear the voice of the despairing, and save us from the hands of evildoers. And save me from my fear!’ On the third day, when she ended her prayer, she took off the garments in which she had worshipped, and arrayed herself in splendid attire. Then, majestically adorned, after invoking the aid of the all-seeing God and Saviour, she took two maids with her; on one she leaned gently for support, while the other followed, carrying her train. She was radiant with perfect beauty, and she looked happy, as if beloved, but her heart was frozen with fear. When she had gone through all the doors, she stood before the king. He was seated on his royal throne, clothed in the full array of his majesty, all covered with gold and precious stones. He was most terrifying. Lifting his face, flushed with splendour, he looked at her in fierce anger. The queen faltered, and turned pale and faint, and collapsed on the head of the maid who went in front of her. Then God changed the spirit of the king to gentleness, and in alarm he sprang from his throne and took her in his arms until she came to herself. He comforted her with soothing words, and said to her, ‘What is it, Esther? I am your husband. Take courage; You shall not die, for our law applies only to our subjects. Come near.’ Then he raised the golden sceptre and touched her neck with it; he embraced her, and said, ‘Speak to me.’ She said to him, ‘I saw you, my lord, like an angel of God, and my heart was shaken with fear at your glory. For you are wonderful, my lord, and your countenance is full of grace.’ And while she was speaking, she fainted and fell. Then the king was agitated, and all his servants tried to comfort her.
Mor′decai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him. Then Mor′decai prayed to the Lord, calling to remembrance all the works of the Lord. He said: “O Lord, Lord, King who rulest over all things, for the universe is in thy power and there is no one who can oppose thee if it is thy will to save Israel. For thou hast made heaven and earth and every wonderful thing under heaven, and thou art Lord of all, and there is no one who can resist thee, who art the Lord. Thou knowest all things; thou knowest, O Lord, that it was not in insolence or pride or for any love of glory that I did this, and refused to bow down to this proud Haman. For I would have been willing to kiss the soles of his feet, to save Israel! But I did this, that I might not set the glory of man above the glory of God, and I will not bow down to any one but to thee, who art my Lord; and I will not do these things in pride. And now, O Lord God and King, God of Abraham, spare thy people; for the eyes of our foes are upon us to annihilate us, and they desire to destroy the inheritance that has been thine from the beginning. Do not neglect thy portion, which thou didst redeem for thyself out of the land of Egypt. Hear my prayer, and have mercy upon thy inheritance turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; do not destroy the mouth of those who praise thee.” And all Israel cried out mightily, for their death was before their eyes. And Esther the queen, seized with deathly anxiety, fled to the Lord; she took off her splendid apparel and put on the garments of distress and mourning, and instead of costly perfumes she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she utterly humbled her body, and every part that she loved to adorn she covered with her tangled hair. And she prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said: “O my Lord, thou only art our King; help me, who am alone and have no helper but thee, for my danger is in my hand. Ever since I was born I have heard in the tribe of my family that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers from among all their ancestors, for an everlasting inheritance, and that thou didst do for them all that thou didst promise. And now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast given us into the hands of our enemies, because we glorified their gods. Thou art righteous, O Lord! And now they are not satisfied that we are in bitter slavery, but they have covenanted with their idols to abolish what thy mouth has ordained and to destroy thy inheritance, to stop the mouths of those who praise thee and to quench thy altar and the glory of thy house, to open the mouths of the nations for the praise of vain idols, and to magnify for ever a mortal king. O Lord, do not surrender thy scepter to what has no being; and do not let them mock at our downfall; but turn their plan against themselves, and make an example of the man who began this against us. Remember, O Lord; make thyself known in this time of our affliction, and give me courage, O King of the gods and Master of all dominion! Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate the man who is fighting against us, so that there may be an end of him and those who agree with him. But save us by thy hand, and help me, who am alone and have no helper but thee, O Lord. Thou hast knowledge of all things; and thou knowest that I hate the splendor of the wicked and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised and of any alien. Thou knowest my necessity—that I abhor the sign of my proud position, which is upon my head on the days when I appear in public. I abhor it like a menstruous rag, and I do not wear it on the days when I am at leisure. And thy servant has not eaten at Haman’s table, and I have not honored the king’s feast or drunk the wine of the libations. Thy servant has had no joy since the day that I was brought here until now, except in thee, O Lord God of Abraham. O God, whose might is over all, hear the voice of the despairing, and save us from the hands of evildoers. And save me from my fear!”
Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible; 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.; New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 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.; Revised Standard Version (RSV) Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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.