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The King’s Banquets 1:1 Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,
2 in those days when King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa, the citadel,
3 in the third year of his reign he gave a feast for all his officials and servants. The army of Persia and Media and the nobles and governors of the provinces were before him,
4 while he showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his greatness for many days, 180 days.
5 And when these days were completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the citadel, both great and small, a feast lasting for seven days in the court of the garden of the king’s palace.
6 There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones.
7 Drinks were served in golden vessels, vessels of different kinds, and the royal wine was lavished according to the bounty of the king.
8 And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired.
9 Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the palace that belonged to King Ahasuerus.
Queen Vashti’s Refusal10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus,
11 to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty, for she was lovely to look at.
12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. At this the king became enraged, and his anger burned within him.
13 Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times (for this was the king’s procedure toward all who were versed in law and judgment,
14 the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face, and sat first in the kingdom):
15 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?”
16 Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.
17 For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’
18 This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.
19 If it please the king, let a royal order go out from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be repealed, that Vashti is never again to come before King Ahasuerus. And let the king give her royal position to another who is better than she.
20 So when the decree made by the king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, for it is vast, all women will give honor to their husbands, high and low alike.”
21 This advice pleased the king and the princes, and the king did as Memucan proposed.
22 He sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, that every man be master in his own household and speak according to the language of his people.
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Esther Chosen Queen 2:1 After these things, when the anger of King Ahasuerus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had been decreed against her.
2 Then the king’s young men who attended him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king.
3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the citadel, under custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who is in charge of the women. Let their cosmetics be given them.
4 And let the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” This pleased the king, and he did so.
5 Now there was a Jew in Susa the citadel whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjaminite,
6 who had been carried away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away.
7 He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.
8 So when the king’s order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king’s palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.
9 And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king’s palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem.
10 Esther had not made known her people or kindred, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known.
11 And every day Mordecai walked in front of the court of the harem to learn how Esther was and what was happening to her.
12 Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women—
13 when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace.
14 In the evening she would go in, and in the morning she would return to the second harem in custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch, who was in charge of the concubines. She would not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
15 When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king’s eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.
16 And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign,
17 the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18 Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther’s feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.
Mordecai Discovers a Plot19 Now when the virgins were gathered together the second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate.
20 Esther had not made known her kindred or her people, as Mordecai had commanded her, for Esther obeyed Mordecai just as when she was brought up by him.
21 In those days, as Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus.
22 And this came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai.
23 When the affair was investigated and found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in the book of the chronicles in the presence of the king.
« Proverbs 30 | Proverbs 31 | Ecclesiastes 1 »
The Words of King Lemuel 31:1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?What are you doing, son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women,your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel,it is not for kings to drink wine,or for rulers to take strong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreedand pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their povertyand remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute,for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,defend the rights of the poor and needy.
The Woman Who Fears the Lord10 An excellent wife who can find?She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet nightand provides food for her householdand portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strengthand makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poorand reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gateswhen he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her householdand does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates.
« Luke 7 | Luke 8 | Luke 9 »
Women Accompanying Jesus 8:1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him,
2 and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out,
3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.
The Parable of the Sower4 And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable,
5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it.
6 And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it.
8 And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables9 And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant,
10 he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.
A Lamp Under a Jar16 “No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
17 For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
18 Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers19 Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd.
20 And he was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you.”
21 But he answered them, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
Jesus Calms a Storm22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” So they set out,
23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.
24 And they went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.
25 He said to them, “Where is your faith?” And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, “Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?”
Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee.
27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.
28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”
29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)
30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him.
31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.
32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission.
33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.
35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.
36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed.
37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.
Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.
41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house,
42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
As Jesus went, the people pressed around him.
43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone.
44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased.
45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.
48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.”
50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.”
51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child.
52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.”
53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.”
55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat.
56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
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