Esther 4-6 Bible in Basic English

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Esther Promises to Intercede for Her People

4 1  Now when Mordecai saw what was done, pulling off his robe, he put on haircloth, with dust on his head, and went out into the middle of the town, crying out with a loud and bitter cry. 2  And he came even before the king's doorway; for no one might come inside the king's door clothed in haircloth. 3  And in every part of the kingdom, wherever the king's word and his order came, there was great sorrow among the Jews, and weeping and crying and going without food; and numbers of them were stretched on the earth covered with dust and haircloth. 4  And Esther's women and her servants came and gave her word of it. Then great was the grief of the queen: and she sent robes for Mordecai, so that his clothing of haircloth might be taken off; but he would not have them.

5  Then Esther sent for Hathach, one of the king's unsexed servants whom he had given her for waiting on her, and she gave him orders to go to Mordecai and see what this was and why it was. 6  So Hathach went out and saw Mordecai in the open square of the town before the king's doorway. 7  And Mordecai gave him an account of what had taken place, and of the amount of money which Haman had said he would put into the king's store for the destruction of the Jews. 8  And he gave him the copy of the order which had been given out in Shushan for their destruction, ordering him to let Esther see it, and to make it clear to her; and to say to her that she was to go in to the king, requesting his mercy, and making prayer for her people. 9  And Hathach came back and gave Esther an account of what Mordecai had said. 10  Then Esther sent Hathach to say to Mordecai: 11  It is common knowledge among all the king's servants and the people of every part of the kingdom, that if anyone, man or woman, comes to the king in his inner room without being sent for, there is only one law for him, that he is to be put to death; only those to whom the king's rod of gold is stretched out may keep their lives: but I have not been sent for to come before the king these thirty days. 12  And they said these words to Mordecai. 13  Then Mordecai sent this answer back to Esther: Do not have the idea that you in the king's house will be safe from the fate of all the Jews. 14  If at this time you say nothing, then help and salvation will come to the Jews from some other place, but you and your father's family will come to destruction: and who is to say that you have not come to the kingdom even for such a time as this? 15  Then Esther sent them back to Mordecai with this answer: 16  Go, get together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and go without food for me, taking no food or drink night or day for three days: and I and my women will do the same; and so I will go in to the king, which is against the law: and if death is to be my fate, then let it come. 17  So Mordecai went away and did everything as Esther had said.

Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Banquet

5 1  Now on the third day, Esther put on her queen's robes, and took her place in the inner room of the king's house, facing the king's house: and the king was seated on his high seat in the king's house, facing the doorway of the house. 2  And when the king saw Esther the queen waiting in the inner room, looking kindly on her he put out the rod of gold in his hand to her. So Esther came near and put her fingers on the top of the rod. 3  Then the king said, What is your desire, Queen Esther, and what is your request? I will give it to you, even to the half of my kingdom. 4  And Esther in answer said, If it seems good to the king, let the king and Haman come today to the feast which I have made ready for him. 5  Then the king said, Let Haman come quickly, so that what Esther has said may be done. So the king and Haman came to the feast which Esther had made ready. 6  And while they were drinking wine the king said to Esther, What is your prayer? for it will be given to you and what is your request? for it will be done, even to the half of my kingdom. 7  Then Esther said in answer, My prayer and my request is this: 8  If I have the king's approval, and if it is the king's pleasure to give me my prayer and do my request, let the king and Haman come to the feast which I will make ready for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said.

9  Then on that day Haman went out full of joy and glad in heart; but when he saw Mordecai in the king's doorway, and he did not get to his feet or give any sign of fear before him, Haman was full of wrath against Mordecai. 10  But controlling himself, he went to his house; and he sent for his friends and Zeresh, his wife. 11  And he gave them an account of the glories of his wealth, and the number of children he had, and the ways in which he had been honoured by the king, and how he had put him over the captains and servants of the king. 12  And Haman said further, Truly, Esther the queen let no man but myself come in to the feast which she had made ready for the king; and tomorrow again I am to be her guest with the king. 13  But all this is nothing to me while I see Mordecai the Jew seated by the king's doorway. 14  Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, Let a pillar, fifty cubits high, be made ready for hanging him, and in the morning get the king to give orders for the hanging of Mordecai: then you will be able to go to the feast with the king with a glad heart. And Haman was pleased with the suggestion, and he had the pillar made.

Haman Forced to Honor Mordecai

6 1  That night the king was unable to get any sleep; and he sent for the books of the records; and while some one was reading them to the king, 2  It came out that it was recorded in the book how Mordecai had given word of the designs of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's servants, keepers of the door, by whom an attack on the king had been designed. 3  And the king said, What honour and reward have been given to Mordecai for this? Then the servants who were waiting on the king said, Nothing has been done for him.

4  Then the king said, Who is in the outer room? Now Haman had come into the outer room to get the king's authority for the hanging of Mordecai on the pillar which he had made ready for him. 5  And the king's servants said to him, See, Haman is waiting in the outer room. And the king said, Let him come in. 6  So Haman came in. And the king said to him, What is to be done to the man whom the king has delight in honouring? Then the thought came into Haman's mind, Whom, more than myself, would the king have pleasure in honouring? 7  And Haman, answering the king, said, For the man whom the king has delight in honouring, 8  Let them take the robes which the king generally puts on, and the horse on which the king goes, and the crown which is on his head: 9  And let the robes and the horse be given to one of the king's most noble captains, so that they may put them on the man whom the king has delight in honouring, and let him go on horseback through the streets of the town, with men crying out before him, So let it be done to the man whom the king has delight in honouring. 10  Then the king said to Haman, Go quickly, and take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, who is seated at the king's doorway: see that you do everything as you have said. 11  Then Haman took the robes and the horse, and dressing Mordecai in the robes, he made him go on horseback through the streets of the town, crying out before him, So let it be done to the man whom the king has delight in honouring.

12  And Mordecai came back to the king's doorway. But Haman went quickly back to his house, sad and with his head covered. 13  And Haman gave his wife Zeresh and all his friends an account of what had taken place. Then his wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, If Mordecai, who is starting to get the better of you, is of the seed of the Jews, you will not be able to do anything against him, but you will certainly go down before him. 14  While they were still talking, the king's servants came to take Haman to the feast which Esther had made ready.

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