Esther 4-6 Darby’s Translation

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Esther Promises to Intercede for Her People

4 1  And when Mordecai knew all that was done, Mordecai rent his garments, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and 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, wherever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing: many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4  And Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told [it] her; and the queen was exceedingly grieved: and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackcloth from him; but he received [it] not.

5  Then Esther called for Hatach, [one] of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to wait upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to know what it was, and why it was. 6  And Hatach went forth to Mordecai, unto the public place of the city which was before the king's gate. 7  And Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and of the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8  And he gave him a copy of the writing of the decree that had been given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew [it] to Esther, and to declare [it] to her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him, for her people. 9  And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10  And Esther spoke to Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai: 11  All the king's servants and the people of the king's provinces do know that whoever, whether man or woman, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law, to put [him] to death, except [such] to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live; and I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. 12  And they told Mordecai Esther's words. 13  And Mordecai bade to answer Esther: Imagine not in thy heart that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. 14  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there arise relief and deliverance to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall perish. And who knows whether thou art [not] come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15  And Esther bade to answer Mordecai: 16  Go, gather together all the Jews that are found in Shushan, and fast for me, 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  And Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther Invites the King and Haman to a Banquet

5 1  And it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on royal apparel, 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 entrance to the house. 2  And it was so, when the king saw the queen Esther standing in the court, that she obtained grace in his sight; and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand; and Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre. 3  And the king said to her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? it shall be given thee even to the half of the kingdom. 4  And Esther said, If it seem good to the king, let the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him. 5  And the king said, Hasten Haman, that it may be done as Esther has said. And the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6  And the king said to Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee; and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be done. 7  And Esther answered and said, My petition and my request is, 8  If I have found grace 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 according to the king's word.

9  And Haman went forth that day joyful and glad of heart; but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up nor moved for him, he was full of fury against Mordecai. 10  But Haman controlled himself, and came home; and he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife. 11  And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. 12  And Haman said, Yea, Esther the queen let no man come in with the king to the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to-morrow also I am invited to her with the king. 13  Yet all this is of no avail to me so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate. 14  Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends to him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king that Mordecai may be hanged on it: then go in merrily with the king to the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

Haman Forced to Honor Mordecai

6 1  On that night sleep fled from the king. And he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. 2  And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, keepers of the threshold, who had sought to lay hand on king Ahasuerus. 3  And the king said, What honour and dignity has been done to Mordecai for this? And the king's servants that attended upon him said, Nothing has been done for him.

4  And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman had come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak to the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5  And the king's servants said to him, Behold, Haman is standing in the court. And the king said, Let him come in. 6  So Haman came in. And the king said to him, What is to be done with the man whom the king delights to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to me? 7  And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delights to honour, 8  let the royal apparel be brought with which the king arrays himself, and the horse that the king rides upon, and on the head of which the royal crown is set; 9  and let the apparel and horse be delivered into the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, and let them array the man whom the king delights to honour, and cause him to ride on the horse through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honour! 10  And the king said to Haman, Make haste, take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do so to Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast said. 11  And Haman took the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and caused him to ride through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delights to honour!

12  And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house, mourning and having his head covered. 13  And Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and to all his friends all that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife to him, If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but wilt certainly fall before him. 14  While they were yet talking with him, the king's chamberlains came, and hasted to bring Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

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