Esther 6; Esther 7; Esther 8; Acts 6

1 That night the king passed without sleep, and he commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought him. And when they were reading them before him, 2 They came to that place where it was written, how Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus. 3 And when the king heard this, he said: What honour and reward hath Mardochai received for this fidelity? His servants and ministers said to him: He hath received no reward at all. 4 And the king said immediately: Who is in the court? for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king’s house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet, which was prepared for him. 5 The servants answered: Aman standeth in the court, and the king said: Let him come in. 6 And when he was come in, he said to him: What ought to be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour? But Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king would honour no other but himself, 7 Answered: The man whom the king desireth to honour, 8 Ought to be clothed with the king’s apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head, 9 And let the first of the king’s princes and nobles hold his horse, and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: Thus shall he be honoured, whom the king hath a mind to honour. 10 And the king said to him: Make haste and take the robe and the horse, and do as thou hast spoken to Mardochai the Jew, who sitteth before the gates of the palace. Beware thou pass over any of those things which thou hast spoken. 11 So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, whom the king hath a mind to honour. 12 But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourning and having his head covered: 13 And he told Zares his wife, and his friends, all that had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel, and his wife answered him: If Mardochai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou canst not resist him, but thou shalt fall in his sight. 14 As they were yet speaking, the king’s eunuchs came, and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the queen had prepared.
1 So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen. 2 And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: What is thy petition, Esther, that it may be granted thee? and what wilt thou have done: although thou ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it. 3 Then she answered: If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please thee, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request. 4 For we are given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bondmen and bondwomen: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redoundeth upon the king. 5 And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things? 6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing this was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of the king and of the queen. 7 But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up to entreat Esther the queen for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king. 8 And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: He will force the queen also in my presence, in my own house. The word was not yet gone out of the king’s mouth, and immediately they covered his face. 9 And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: Behold the gibbet which he hath prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, standeth in Aman’s house, being fifty cubits high. And the king said to him: Hang him upon it. 10 So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king’s wrath ceased.
1 On that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews’ enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her uncle. 2 And the king took the ring which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardochai over her house. 3 And not content with these things, she fell down at the king’s feet and wept, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that the malice of Aman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect. 4 But he, as the manner was, held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him, 5 And said: If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech thee, that the former letters of Aman the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king’s provinces, may be reversed by new letters. 6 For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people? 7 And king Assuerus answered Esther the queen, and Mardochai the Jew: I have given Aman’s house to Esther, and I have commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet, because he durst lay hands on the Jews. 8 Write ye therefore to the Jews, as it pleaseth you in the king’s name, and seal the letters with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay the letters which were sent in the king’s name, and were sealed with his ring. 9 Then the king’s scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the time of the third month which is called Siban) the three and twentieth day of the month, and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, to the Jews, and to the governors, and to the deputies, and to the judges, who were rulers over the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to province and province, to people and people, according to their languages and characters, and to the Jews, according as they could read and hear. 10 And these letters which were sent in the king’s name, were sealed with his ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages. 11 And the king gave orders to them, to speak to the Jews in every city, and to command them to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and to kill and destroy all their enemies with their wives and children and all their houses, and to take their spoil. 12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar. 13 And this was the content of the letter, that it should be notified in all lands and peoples that were subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were ready to be revenged of their enemies. 14 So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king’s edict was hung up in Susan. 15 And Mardochai going forth out of the palace, and from the king’s presence, shone in royal apparel, to wit, of violet and sky colour, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced, and was glad. 16 But to the Jews, a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing. 17 And in all peoples, cities, and provinces, whithersoever the king’s commandments came, there was wonderful rejoicing, feasts and banquets, and keeping holy day: Insomuch that many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread of the name of the Jews had fallen upon all.
1 And in those days, the number of the disciples increasing, there arose a murmuring of the Greeks against the Hebrews, for that their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 Then the twelve, calling together the multitude of the disciples, said: It is not reason that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying was liked by all the multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor, and Timon and Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles: and they praying, imposed hands upon them. 7 And the word of the Lord increased: and the number of the disciples was multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly. A great multitude also of the priests obeyed the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Now there arose some, of that which is called the synagogue of the Libertines and of the Cyrenians and of the Alexandrians and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit that spoke. 11 Then they suborned men to say they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God. 12 And they stirred up the people and the ancients and the scribes. And running together, they took him and brought him to the council. 13 And they set up false witnesses, who said: This man ceaseth not to speak words against the holy place and the law. 14 For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us. 15 And all that sat in the council, looking on him, saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel.
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