Revelation 16; Esther 9; Esther 10; Psalms 107:23-43

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Revelation 16

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the sanctuary saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."
2 The first went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and severely painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
3 The second poured out his bowl into the sea. It turned to blood like a dead man's, and all life in the sea died.
4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.
5 I heard the angel of the waters say: You are righteous, who is and who was, the Holy One, for You have decided these things.
6 Because they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, You also gave them blood to drink; they deserve it!
7 Then I heard someone from the altar say: Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.
8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun. He was given the power to burn people with fire,
9 and people were burned by the intense heat. So they blasphemed the name of God who had the power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory.
10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues from pain
11 and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.
12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.
13 Then I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [coming] from the dragon's mouth, from the beast's mouth, and from the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are spirits of demons performing signs, who travel to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle of the great day of God, the Almighty.
15 "Look, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go naked, and they see his shame."
16 So they assembled them at the place called in Hebrew Armagedon.
17 Then the seventh poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the sanctuary, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
18 There were lightnings, rumblings, and thunders. And a severe earthquake occurred like no other since man has been on the earth-so great was the quake.
19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the Great was remembered in God's presence; He gave her the cup filled with the wine of His fierce anger.
20 Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared.
21 Enormous hailstones, each weighing about 100 pounds, fell from heaven on the people, and they blasphemed God for the plague of hail because that plague was extremely severe.

Esther 9

1 The king's command and law went into effect on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar. On the day when the Jews' enemies had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them.
2 In each of King Ahasuerus' provinces the Jews assembled in their cities to attack those who intended to harm them. Not a single person could withstand them; terror of them fell on every nationality.
3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the royal civil administrators aided the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai.
4 For Mordecai [exercised] great power in the palace, and his fame spread throughout the provinces as he became more and more powerful.
5 The Jews put all their enemies to the sword, killing and destroying them. They did what they pleased to those who hated them.
6 In the fortress of Susa the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men,
7 including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha.
10 They killed these 10 sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. However, they did not seize any plunder.
11 On that day the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa was reported to the king.
12 The king said to Queen Esther, "In the fortress of Susa the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men, including Haman's 10 sons. What have they done in the rest of the royal provinces? Whatever you ask will be given to you. Whatever you seek will also be done."
13 Esther answered, "If it pleases the king, may the Jews who are in Susa also have tomorrow to carry out today's law, and may [the bodies of] Haman's 10 sons be hung on the gallows."
14 The king gave the orders for this to be done, so a law was announced in Susa, and they hung [the bodies of] Haman's 10 sons.
15 The Jews in Susa assembled again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed 300 men in Susa, but they did not seize any plunder.
16 The rest of the Jews in the royal provinces assembled, defended themselves, and got rid of their enemies. They killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they did not seize any plunder.
17 [They fought] on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar and rested on the fourteenth, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
18 But the Jews in Susa had assembled on the thirteenth and the fourteenth days of the month. They rested on the fifteenth day of the month, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
19 This explains why the rural Jews who live in villages observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as [a time of] rejoicing and feasting. It is a holiday when they send gifts to one another.
20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Ahasuerus' provinces, both near and far.
21 [He ordered] them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar every year
22 because during those days the Jews got rid of their enemies. That was the month when their sorrow was turned into rejoicing and their mourning into a holiday. They were to be days of feasting, rejoicing, and of sending gifts to one another and the poor.
23 So the Jews agreed to continue the practice they had begun, as Mordecai had written them to do.
24 For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. He cast the Pur (that is, the lot) to crush and destroy them.
25 But when the matter was brought before the king, he commanded by letter that the evil plan Haman had devised against the Jews return on his own head and that he should be hanged with his sons on the gallows.
26 For this reason these days are called Purim, from the word Pur. Because of all the instructions in this letter as well as what they had witnessed and what had happened to them,
27 the Jews bound themselves, their descendants, and all who joined with them [to a commitment] that they would not fail to celebrate these two days each and every year according to the written instructions and according to the time appointed.
28 These days are remembered and celebrated by every generation, family, province, and city, so that these days of Purim will not lose their significance in Jewish life and their memory will not fade from their descendants.
29 Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote this second letter with full authority to confirm the letter about Purim.
30 He sent letters with messages of peace and faithfulness to all the Jews who were in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus,
31 in order to confirm these days of Purim at their proper time just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established them and just as they had committed themselves and their descendants to the practices of fasting and lamentation.
32 So Esther's command confirmed these customs of Purim, which were then written into the record.

Esther 10

1 King Ahasuerus imposed a tax throughout the land even to the farthest shores.
2 All of his powerful and magnificent accomplishments and the detailed account of Mordecai's great rank to which the king had promoted him, have they not been written in the court record of daily events of the kings of Media and Persia?
3 Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, famous among the Jews, and highly popular with many of his relatives. He continued to seek good for his people and to speak for the welfare of all his kindred.

Psalms 107:23-43

23 Others went to sea in ships, conducting trade on the vast waters.
24 They saw the Lord's works, His wonderful works in the deep.
25 He spoke and raised a tempest that stirred up the waves of the sea.
26 Rising up to the sky, sinking down to the depths, their courage melting away in anguish,
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men, and all their skill was useless.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet. Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love and His wonderful works for the human race.
32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.
33 He turns rivers into desert, springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into salty wasteland, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into a pool of water, dry land into springs of water.
36 He causes the hungry to settle there, and they establish a city where they can live.
37 They sow fields and plant vineyards that yield a fruitful harvest.
38 He blesses them, and they multiply greatly; He does not let their livestock decrease.
39 When they are diminished and are humbled by cruel oppression and sorrow,
40 He pours contempt on nobles and makes them wander in trackless wastelands.
41 But He lifts the needy out of their suffering and makes their families [multiply] like flocks.
42 The upright see it and rejoice, and all injustice shuts its mouth.
43 Let whoever is wise pay attention to these things and consider the Lord's acts of faithful love.