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burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.

16 There dwelt men of Tyre ala therein, which brought fish, and so manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children ot Joca and in Jerusalem.

17 Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said 2030 them, What evil thing is this the ye do, and profane the sabbath dat:

18 Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this eri upon us, and upon this city yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the sabbath.

19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I com manded that the gates shoud be shut, and charged that they shout not be opened till after the sabbatt: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should do burden be brought in on the sabbath dar.

20 So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged withou Jerusalem once or twice.

21 Then I testified against them and said unto them, Why lodge se about the wall? if ye do so again. I will lay hands on you. From the time forth came they no more on je sabbath.

22 And I commanded the Lernes that they should cleanse themsetes. and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the sabbana day. Rememb

0 மர வே concerning thi according to Dess or mercy

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THE BOOK OF ESTHER.

CHAP. I.

should do according to every man's pleasure.

9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Aha

suerus.

10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he cominanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

li To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty : for she was fair to look

on.

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces :)

2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat ou the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, : 3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before him :

4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

5 And when these days were expired, the king inade a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

6 Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were 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 gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

8 And the drinking was according to the law; none did compel : for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they

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 was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment :

14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Adinatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom ;)

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandinent of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains ?

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vash, ti the queen

not done the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that

hath

wrong to

are in all the provinces of the king peased, he remembered Vashti, and Ahasuerus.

what she had done, and what was 17 For this deed of the queen decreed against her. shall come abroad unto all women, 2 Then said the king's servants so that they shall despise their bus- that ministered unto him, Let there bands in their eyes, when it shall be be fair young virgins sought for the reported, The king Ahasuerus com- king: manded Vashti the queen to be 3 And let the king appoint offibrought in before him, but she cers in all the provinces of his kingcame not.

dom, that they may gather together 18 Likewise shall the ladies of all the fair young virgins unto ShuPersia and Media say this day unto shan the palace, to the house of the all the king's princes, which have women, unto the custody of Hege heard of the deed of the queen. the king's chamberlain, keeper of Thus shall there arise too much con- the women; and let their things for tempt and wrath.

purification be given them: 19 If it please the king, let there 4 And let the maiden which go a royal cominandment from him, pleaseth the king be queen instead and let it be written among the laws of Vashti. And the thing pleased of the Persians and the Medes, that the king; and he did so. it be not altered, That Vashti come 5 Now in Shushan the palace there no more before king Ahasuerus; and was a certain Jew, whose name was let the king give her royal estate Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of unto another that is better than she. Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benja20 And when the king's decree

mite; which he shall make shall be pub

6 Who had been carried away lished throughout all his empire, (for from Jerusalem with the captivity it is great,) all the wives shall give to which had been carried away with their

husbands honour, both to great Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Neand small.

buchadnezzar the king of Babylon 21 And the saying pleased the

had carried away. king and the princes; and the king 7 And he brought up Hadassah, did according to the word of Me- that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: mucan:

for she had neither father nor mo22 For he sent letters into all the ther, and the maid was fair and king's provinces, into every province beautiful; whom Mordecai, when according to the writing thereof, and her father and mother were dead, to every people after their language,

took for his own daughter. that every man should bear rule in

8 So it came to pass, when the his own house, and that it should be king's commandment and his decree published according to the language was heard, and when many maidens of every people.

were gathered together unto Shu

shan the palace, to the custody of CHAP. II.

Hegai, that Esther was brought also

unto the king's house, to the cusAFTER these things, when the tody of Hegai, keeper of the woWrath of king Ahasuerus was ap

men.

9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily 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 preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.

10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged 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 women, (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 purifying of the women;)

13 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: she 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 Abibail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but

what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, 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 Vashti.

18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.

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, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

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 before the king.

CHAP. III.

AFTER 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 commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest 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 stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai 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 sought 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 lot, 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 A

hasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep 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 pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.

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 lieute, nants, 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 and 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 published unto all

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