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Malchijah, and Elam, and Ezgr. And the singers sang loud, with their OverSect". . - 43 Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced : for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was so cwen afar off. 44 || And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the first-fruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levitcs: for | Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited. 45 And both the singers and the porters kept the ward of their God, and the ward of the purification, according to the commandment of David, and of Solomon his son. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there overe chief of the singeis, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto G - . : 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion ; and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levitcs sanctified them unto the children of Aaron. CHAP. XIII. 1 Softaration made from the mired milltitude. 4.V. hemiah's return, and regtilations. N that day they read in the book cf Moses in the audience of the pecple; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; 2 Because they met not the children of Israel with ãoi and, with water, but hired Balaam against them, that he should curse them : howbeit, our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from israel all the mixed multitude. 4 *, And before this, Flashib the priest, having the oversight of the chamter of the house of our God, was allied unto Tobiah: 5 And he had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they id the meat-offerings, the frankincense,

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and the vessels, and the tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, which was

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commanded to be given to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the offerings of the pricsts. 6 But in all this time was not I at Je. rusalem : for in the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon came I unto the king, and aster certain days obtained I leave of the king: 7 And I came to Jerusalem, and understood of the cvil that loliashib did for Tobiah, in proparing him a chamber in the courts of the housc of God. 8 And it gricved me sore: therefore I cast forth all the household stuff of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I commanded, and they cleansed the chambers: and thither brought I again the vessels of the house of God, with the meat-offering and the frankincense. 10 " And I perceived that the porticns of the Levites had not been given them : for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. 11 Then contended I with the rulers, and said, Why is the house of God forsaken 2 and I gathercol them together, and set them in their place. 12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries. 13 And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelcimiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, l’edaiah : and next to them rugs Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah : for they were counted faithful ; and their office *::as to distribute unto their brethren. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and wipe not out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God, and for the offices thereof. 15 In those days saw I in Judah somr treading wine presses on the sabbath, . and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses: as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against theon in the day wherein they sold victuals. 16 There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. 17. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day 2 18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabboth. 19 And it came to pass, that, when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the ates should be shut, and charged that #. should not be opened till after the


... dom, which was in Shushan the palace,

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3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his firinces and his servants; the power of Persia and Mcdia, the nobles ...} princes of the provinces, U, ing before him : 4 VVích he showed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellcnt majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days. 3 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the jalace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace; 6 Johere were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linch and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds overe of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and White, and black marble. 7 And they gave them drink in vessels of

another,) and royal wine in abundance, | according to the state ci the king. 8 And the drinking was according to the law; mone did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers di his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure. 9 Asoo Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which &clonged to king Ahasuerus. 105 ()n the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he comimanded Mchuman, Riztha, Harboua, Bigtha, and Abagha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king, 11 To bring. Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the lo. and the princes her beauty : for she was fair to look on. 12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him. . 13 * Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so stus the king's manner toward all that kne" law and judgment: 14 And the next unto him stas Cao shena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the

gold, (the vessels being diverse one from

first in the kingdom ;)


...A guren to be chosen. 15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains 2 16 And Memucan answered before the § and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the peole that are in all the provinces of the sing Ahasuerus. 17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be o The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought, in before him, but she came not. - . 18. Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much gontempt and wrath. 19. If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Washti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is Detter than she. 20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to gleat and small,

21 And the saying pleased the king

and the princes; and the king did accordling to the word of Memucan: 32 For he sent letters into all the king's vinces, into every province accordto the writing thereof, and to every people after, their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it should be published according to the language of every peo

ple. CHAP. II. 1 Out of the choice of virgins, a queen is to be chosen. 15 Esther is elected.

FTER these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done. and what was decreed against her.

2 Then said the king's servants that:

ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king; 3 And set the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Sioushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the c. 1stody of Hege the king's chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given them : 4 And lot the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Yosi - , 5.

Chap. 11. Mordecai and Esther's affinity. 425,

And the thing pleased the king; and he did so. 5 T. Vow in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite; 6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away. 7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Fsther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. 8 || So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gatherest together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he specidily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he pre| ferred her and her maids unto the best filace of the house of the women. 10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charg— ed her that she should'not shew it. 11 And Mordecai walked every day | before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her. 12 + Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the wonjen, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with. oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the pulifying of the women;) 15 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house. 14. In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: slic came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name. , 15 + Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she roquired nothing but what Hegai the king's Chamberlain, the keeper of the women, 426 Esther chosen queen,

appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her. 16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Washti. 18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Fsther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the kin 19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate. 20 Esther had not yet shewed her kindred, nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him. 21 || In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, BigthanandTeresh,of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasulerus. 22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen ; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name. 23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles

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Haman advanced by the king, and desfised by Mordecai, seeketh revenge whom all the Jews. AF." these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 2 And all the king's servants that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman; for the king had so commandcd concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. 3. Then the king's servants which overe in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why togresses: thou the king's commandment : 4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would i. id: for he had told them that he was a JCW.

5 And when Haman saw that Morde

ESTHER. Haman's rage against the Jews.

cai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. 6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman s t to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai. 7 || In the first month, (that is, the month Nisan,) in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the kot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar. 8 || And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain it. SCattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither o they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer them. 9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will É. ten thousand talents of silver to the ands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasulleS. 10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews enemy. 11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. 12 Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors. that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province, according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring. 13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children aud women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey. 14. The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province Was o: unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. 15. The posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Slushan the palace. And the king and Hannan sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed,

Mordecai and the Jews mourn. Ch AP.

CHAP. IV. 1 Mordecai and the Jews mourn. 15 Esther affiointeth a fast. HEN Mördecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went cut into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth. 3 And in every province whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and . and weeping, and wailing ; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4 |So Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the queen exceedingly grieved ; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not. 5 Then called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai, unto the street of the city, which was be

fore the king's . 7 And o: ecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8. Also, he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her le. 9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 || Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Moral 3 11 All the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live : but fo not . called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12 And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 Then Mordecal commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if thou altogether holdest thy

Iv. v. Esther's banquet. 427

peace at this time, thenshall thereenlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another Fo ; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth, whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15 [ Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fastye for me, i and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law ; and if I perish, I perish. 17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him. CHAP. V. Esther, obtaining the king's favour, inviteth the king and Hamanto a banquet. No. it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal aftflarel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. 2 And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that rvas in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. 3 Then said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request ? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom. 4 And Esther answered. If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman' come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him. 5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had M. 6 || And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, hat is thy petition ? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request ? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. 7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is : 8 If I have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to-morrow as the king hath said. 9 * Then went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart : but when H. saw Mordecai in the *... ate, that he stood not up, nor moved for him, he was full of indignation against More

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