The Bible In A Year

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Esther 9 - 10

Chapter 9

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

1 Now in the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the month, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, on the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to conquer them, (but it was turned out the opposite happened, that the Jews conquered those who hated them),
2 the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, to lay hands on those who wanted to harm them. No one could withstand them, because the fear of them had fallen on all the people.
3 All the princes of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and those who did the king's business helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.
4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout all the provinces; for the man Mordecai grew greater and greater.
5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they wanted to those who hated them.
6 In the citadel of Susa, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
7 They killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,
8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,
9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha,
10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jew's enemy, but they didn't lay their hand on the plunder.
11 On that day, the number of those who were slain in the citadel of Susa was brought before the king.
12 The king said to Esther the queen, "The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in the citadel of Susa, including the ten sons of Haman; what then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your petition? It shall be granted you. What is your further request? It shall be done."
13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow also according to this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged on the gallows."
14 The king commanded this to be done. A decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
15 The Jews who were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and killed three hundred men in Shushan; but they didn't lay their hand on the spoil.
16 The other Jews who were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, defended their lives, had rest from their enemies, and killed seventy-five thousand of those who hated them; but they didn't lay their hand on the plunder.
17 This was done on the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of that month they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews who were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth days of the month; and on the fifteenth day of that month, they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, a good day, and a day of sending presents of food to one another.

The Feast of Purim

20 Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both near and far,
21 to enjoin them that they should keep the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar yearly,
22 as the days in which the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned to them from sorrow to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending presents of food to one another, and gifts to the needy.
23 The Jews accepted the custom that they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them;
24 because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast "Pur," that is the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
25 but when this became known to the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26 Therefore they called these days "Purim," from the word "Pur." Therefore because of all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and that which had come to them,
27 the Jews established, and imposed on themselves, and on their descendants, and on all those who joined themselves to them, so that it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to what was written, and according to its appointed time, every year;
28 and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memory of them perish from their seed.
29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30 He sent letters to all the Jews, to the hundred twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
31 to confirm these days of Purim in their appointed times, as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had decreed, and as they had imposed upon themselves and their descendants, in the matter of the fastings and their cry.
32 The commandment of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

Chapter 10

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

1 King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land, and on the islands of the sea.
2 All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
3 For Mordecai the Jew was next to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted by the multitude of his brothers, seeking the good of his people, and speaking peace to all his descendants.

Acts 7

Stephen's Defense

1 The high priest said, "Are these things so?"
2 He said, "Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
3 and said to him, 'Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.'
4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living.
5 He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child.
6 God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.
7 'I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,' said God, 'and after that will they come out, and serve me in this place.'
8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
9 "The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him,
10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
11 Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food.
12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time.
13 On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph's race was revealed to Pharaoh.
14 Joseph sent, and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls.
15 Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, himself and our fathers,
16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.
17 "But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
18 until there arose a different king, who didn't know Joseph.
19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn't stay alive.
20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father's house.
21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son.
22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works.
23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.
24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian.
25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn't understand.
26 "The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, 'Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?'
27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?
28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
30 "When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him,
32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Moses trembled, and dared not look.
33 The Lord said to him, 'Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.'
35 "This Moses, whom they refused, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'--God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, 'The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.'
38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us,
39 to whom our fathers wouldn't be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,
40 saying to Aaron, 'Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him.'
41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.
42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
43 You took up the tent of Moloch, the star of your god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.'
44 "Our fathers had the tent of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen;
45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,
46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
47 But Solomon built him a house.
48 However, the Most High doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,
49 'heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?' says the Lord; 'or what is the place of my rest?
50 Didn't my hand make all these things?'
51 "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
52 Which of the prophets didn't your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn't keep it!"

Stephen's Martyrdom

54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 and said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord.
58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
60 He kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them!" When he had said this, he fell asleep.