Esther 1; Esther 2; Acts 5:1-21

1 In the days of Assuerus, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty seven provinces: 2 When he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city Susan was the capital of his kingdom. 3 Now in the third year of his reign he made a great feast for all the princes, and for his servants, for the most mighty of the Persians, and the nobles of the Medes, and the governors of the provinces in his sight, 4 That he might shew the riches of the glory of his kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for a long time, to wit, for a hundred and fourscore days. 5 And when the days of the feast were expired, he invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the greatest to the least: and commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand of the king. 6 And there were hung up on every side sky coloured, and green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk, and of purple, which were put into rings of ivory, and were held up with marble pillars. The beds also were of gold and silver, placed in order upon a floor paved with porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting of wonderful variety. 7 And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, as was worthy of a king’s magnificence. 8 Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that were not willing, but as the king had appointed, who set over every table one of his nobles, that every man might take what he would. 9 Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the women in the palace, where king Assuerus was used to dwell. 10 Now on the seventh day, when the king was merry, and after very much drinking was well warmed with wine, he commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Harbona, and Bagatha, and Abgatha, and Zethar, and Charcas, the seven eunuchs that served in his presence, 11 To bring in queen Vasthi before the king, with the crown set upon her head, to shew her beauty to all the people and the princes: for she was exceeding beautiful. 12 But she refused, and would not come at the king’s commandment, which he had signified to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry, and inflamed with a very great fury, 13 Asked the wise men, who according to the custom of the kings, were always near his person, and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws, and judgments of their forefathers: 14 (Now the chief and nearest him were, Charsena, and Sethar, and Admatha, and Tharsis, and Mares, and Marsana, and Mamuchan, seven princes of the Persians and of the Medes, who saw the face of the king, and were used to sit first after him:) 15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the queen, who had refused to obey the commandment of king Assuerus, which he had sent to her by the eunuchs? 16 And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of the king and the princes: Queen Vasthi hath not only injured the king, but also all the people and princes that are in all the provinces of king Assuerus. 17 For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come in to him, and she would not. 18 And by this example all the wives of the princes of the Persians and the Medes will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore the king’s indignation is just. 19 If it please thee, let an edict go out from thy presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians and of the Medes, which must not be altered, that Vasthi come in no more to the king, but another, that is better than her, be made queen in her place. 20 And let this be published through all the provinces of thy empire, (which is very wide,) and let all wives, as well of the greater as of the lesser, give honour to their husbands. 21 His counsel pleased the king, and the princes: and the king did according to the counsel of Mamuchan. 22 And he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, as every nation could hear and read, in divers languages and characters, that the husbands should be rulers and masters in their houses: and that this should be published to every people.
1 After this, when the wrath of king Assuerus was appeased, he remembered Vasthi, and what she had done and what she had suffered: 2 And the king’s servants and his officers said: Let young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful, 3 And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the house of the women under the hand of Egeus the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king’s women: and let them receive women’s ornaments, and other things necessary for their use. 4 And whosoever among them all shall please the king’s eyes, let her be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased the king: and he commanded it should be done as they had suggested. 5 There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, named Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini, 6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away Jechonias king of Juda, 7 And he had brought up his brother’s daughter Edissa, who by another name was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was exceeding fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for his daughter. 8 And when the king’s ordinance was noised abroad, and according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, and were delivered to Egeus the eunuch: Esther also among the rest of the maidens was delivered to him to be kept in the number of the women. 9 And she pleased him, and found favour in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women’s ornaments, and to deliver to her her part, and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king’s house, and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting maids. 10 And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that: 11 And he walked every day before the court of the house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther’s welfare, and desiring to know what would befall her. 12 Now when every virgin’s turn came to go in to the king, after all had been done for setting them off to advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices. 13 And when they were going in to the king, whatsoever they asked to adorn themselves they received: and being decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from the chamber of the women to the king’s chamber. 14 And she that went in at evening, came out in the morning, and from thence she was conducted to the second house, that was under the hand of Susagaz the eunuch, who had the charge over the king’s concubines: neither could she return any more to the king, unless the king desired it, and had ordered her by name to come. 15 And as the time came orderly about, the day was at hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go in to the king. But she sought not women’s ornaments, but whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the virgins had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in the eyes of all. 16 So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favour and kindness before him above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi. 18 And he commanded a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the princes, and for his servants, for the marriage and wedding of Esther, And he gave rest to all the provinces, and bestowed gifts according to princely magnificence. 19 And when the virgins were sought the second time, and gathered together, Mardochai stayed at the king’s gate, 20 Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought her up a little one. 21 At that time, therefore, when Mardochai abode at the king’s gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the king’s eunuchs, who were porters, and presided in the first entry of the palace, were angry: and they designed to rise up against the king, and to kill him. 22 And Mardochai had notice of it, and immediately he told it to queen Esther: and she to the king in Mardochai’s name, who had reported the thing unto her. 23 It was inquired into, and found out: and they were both hanged on a gibbet. And it was put in the histories, and recorded in the chronicles before the king.
1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Saphira his wife, sold a piece of land, 2 And by fraud kept back part of the price of the land, his wife being privy thereunto: and bringing a certain part of it, laid it at the feet of the apostles. 3 But Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan tempted thy heart, that thou shouldst lie to the Holy Ghost and by fraud keep part of the price of the land? 4 Whilst it remained, did it not remain to thee? And after it was sold, was it not in thy power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thy heart? Thou hast not lied to men, but to God. 5 And Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and gave up the ghost. And there came great fear upon all that heard it. 6 And the young men rising up, removed him, and carrying him out, buried him. 7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. 8 And Peter said to her: Tell me, woman, whether you sold the land for so much? And she said: Yea, for so much. 9 And Peter said unto her: Why have you agreed together to tempt the spirit of the Lord? Behold the feet of them who have buried thy husband are at the door: and they shall carry thee out, 10 Immediately, she fell down before his feet and gave up the ghost. And the young men coming in found her dead: and carried her out and buried her by her husband. 11 And there came great fear upon the whole church and upon all that heard these things. 12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13 But of the rest no man durst join himself unto them: but the people magnified them. 14 And the multitude of men and women who believed in the Lord was more increased: 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that, when Peter came, his shadow at the least might overshadow any of them and they might be delivered from their infirmities. 16 And there came also together to Jerusalem a multitude out of the neighbouring cities, bringing sick persons and such as were troubled with unclean spirits: who were all healed. 17 Then the high priest rising up, and all they that were with him (which is the heresy of the Sadducees) were filled with envy. 18 And they laid hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But an angel of the Lord by night, opening the doors of the prison and leading them out, said: 20 Go, and standing speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. 21 Who having heard this, early in the morning, entered into the temple and taught. And the high priest coming, and they that were with him, called together the council and all the ancients of the children of Israel: and they sent to the prison to have them brought.
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