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And the children of the singers were assembled, both from the plain of Jordan round about Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites,

Following them were Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah,

Some of the priests' sons were trumpeters, including Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph,

And the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Michaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, were with trumpets,

And on that day they made great offerings and were glad; for God had made them glad with great joy; and the women and the children were glad with them: so that the joy of Jerusalem came to the ears of those who were far off.

And at that time were some appointed over the chambers for the treasures, for the offerings, for the firstfruits, and for the tithes, to gather into them out of the fields of the cities the portions of the law for the priests and Levites: for Judah rejoiced for the priests and for the Levites that waited.

And they kept the watch of their God, and were responsible for making things clean, and so did the music-makers and the door-keepers, as it was ordered by David and Solomon his son.

For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.

In the time of Zerubbabel, and Nehemiah, did all Israel give portions unto the singers and porters, every day his portion, and they gave things hallowed unto the Levites, and the Levites gave things that were sanctified, unto the children of Aaron.

When [the Jews] heard the law, they separated from Israel all who were of foreign descent.

had prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they laid the meal-offerings, the frankincense, and the vessels, and the tithes of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, and the singers, and the porters; and the heave-offerings for the priests.

And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field.

And I made treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah: and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful, and their office was to distribute unto their brethren.

At that time I saw people in Judah treading wine presses on the Sabbath. They were also bringing in stores of grain and loading [them] on donkeys, along with wine, grapes, and figs. All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned [them] against selling food on that day.

The Tyrians living there were importing fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerusalem.

And so, when the streets of Jerusalem were getting dark before the Sabbath, I gave orders for the doors to be shut and not to be open again till after the Sabbath: and I put some of my servants by the door so that nothing might be taken in on the Sabbath day.

And I said unto the Levites which were clean, that they should come and keep the gates, to hallow the Sabbath day. Think upon me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to thy great mercy!

And in those days I saw the Jews who were married to women of Ashdod and Ammon and Moab:

And their children were talking half in the language of Ashdod; they had no knowledge of the Jews' language, but made use of the language of the two peoples.

Thus cleansed I them from all such as were outlandish, and appointed the courses of the priests and Levites, every one to his office,

In the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his princes and his courtiers. The chief officers of the Persian and Median army and the nobles and governors of the provinces were there before him

And for a long time, even a hundred and eighty days, he let them see all the wealth and the glory of his kingdom and the great power and honour which were his.

And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;

Where were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

Drinks were served in different kinds of golden goblets, and there was royal wine in abundance, according to the liberality of the king.

There were no restrictions on the drinking, for the king had instructed every official of his palace to do as each one pleased.

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was glad with wine, he gave orders to Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven unsexed servants who were waiting before Ahasuerus the king,

Then the king spoke to the wise men who knew the times -- "for this was the king's procedure toward all who were familiar with law and judgment -- "

and the next unto him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom),

Then were there letters sent forth into all the king's lands, into every land according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should be lord in his own house. And this caused he to be spoken after the language of his people.

After these things, when the king's feelings were calmer, the thought of Vashti and what she had done and the order he had made against her, came back to his mind.

Then the servants who were waiting on the king said to him, Let search be made for some fair young virgins for the king:

who was deported from Jerusalem with the exiles who were deported with Jeconiah the king of Judah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had deported.

And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.

So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of the house of the women.

Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)

In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

When it became the turn of Esther daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai (who had raised her as if she were his own daughter) to go to the king, she did not request anything except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who was overseer of the women, had recommended. Yet Esther met with the approval of all who saw her.

And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.

In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.

And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

In every province [each] place where the king's edict and his law came, there [was] great mourning for the Jews with fasting, crying, wailing, [and] sackcloth; and ashes were spread out as a bed for them.

Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king's chamberlains which stood before her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, that he might know what it were, and wherefore he did so.

Indeed, if you are silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. Who knows but that you were brought to the kingdom for a time like this?"

And the king said to Esther {while they were drinking wine}, "What [is] your petition? It will be given to you. What [is] your request? Even half the kingdom, it will done.

On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.

It was found written that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who were doorkeepers, who had tried to lay hands on the King Ahasuerus.

And the king said, What honour and reward have been given to Mordecai for this? Then the servants who were waiting on the king said, Nothing has been done for him.

And while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.

And the king again said to Esther, on the second day {while they were drinking}, "What [is] your petition, Queen Esther? It will be given to you. What [is] your request? It will be given [to you]--even half the kingdom."

for we are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold to be bondmen and bondwomen, then would I hold my tongue; although the enemy could not recompense the king's loss.

Angered by this, the king arose from where they were drinking wine and [went to] the palace garden. Haman remained to beg Queen Esther for his life because he realized the king was planning something terrible for him.

Then the king came back from the garden into the room where they had been drinking; and Haman was stretched out on the seat where Esther was. Then the king said, Is he taking the queen by force before my eyes in my house? And while the words were on the king's lips, they put a cloth over Haman's face.

Then said Harbonah, one of the chamberlains that were before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman hath made for Mordecai, who spake good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. And the king said, Hang him thereon.

And she will say, If good to the king, and if I found favor before him, and the word be right before the king, and I good in his eyes, it shall be written to turn back the writings, the purposes of Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, that he wrote to destroy the Jews that were in all the king's provinces:

Write ye now therefore for the Jews, as it liketh you in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring." For the writings that were written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, durst no man disannul.

Then were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is, the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and according to their language.

And he wrote the name of king Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by post on horseback, riding on swift steeds that were used in the king's service, bred of the stud:

Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,

A copy of the document was to be issued as law in each and every province and published for all people, indicating that the Jewish people were to be ready to take vengeance on their enemies on that day.

So the posts that rode upon swift steeds that were used in the king's service went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment; and the decree was given out in Shushan the palace.

In every province and city, wherever the king's edict and his law came, there was gladness and joy for the Jews, a banquet and a {holiday}, and many of the people from the country [were] posing as Jews because the fear of the Jews had fallen on them.

Now in the twelfth month, the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of Adar when the king's command and his edict were about to be executed, on the [very] day that the enemies of the Jews had planned for a massacre of them, it was turned to the contrary and the Jews had rule over those who hated them.

On that day, the Jews came together in their towns through all the divisions of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, for the purpose of attacking all those who were attempting evil against them: and everyone had to give way before them, for the fear of them had come on all the peoples.

All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, governors, and {those who did the work of the king} [were] supporting the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.

Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with a sore slaughter, and slew and destroyed, and did after their will unto such as were their adversaries.

On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.

And the king said to do so. And a decree was issued in Susa and Haman's ten sons were hanged.

For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.

But the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies, and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not their hands on the prey,

But the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

For this cause, the country Jews, who dwelt in the country towns, were making the fourteenth day of the month Adar one of rejoicing and banqueting, and a day of happiness, - and of sending portions every one to his neighbour.

And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,

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.

But when the business was put before the king, he gave orders by letters that the evil design which he had made against the Jews was to be turned against himself; and that he and his sons were to be put to death by hanging.

So these days were named Purim, after the name of Pur. And so, because of the words of this letter, and of what they had seen in connection with this business, and what had come to them,

The Jews made a rule and gave an undertaking, causing their seed and all those who were joined to them to do the same, so that it might be in force for ever, that they would keep those two days, as ordered in the letter, at the fixed time every year;

And that those days were to be kept in memory through every generation and every family, in every division of the kingdom and every town, that there might never be a time when these days of Purim would not be kept among the Jews, or when the memory of them would go from the minds of their seed.

And letters were sent to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth,

So Esther's command confirmed these customs of Purim, which were then written into the record.

His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east.

Now his sons were wont to go, and make a banquet, at the house of each one upon his day, - and to send and call their three sisters, to eat and to drink with them.

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

While this messenger was still speaking, another came and announced, "A lightning storm struck and incinerated the flock and the servants while they were eating. I alone escaped to tell you!"

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:

Now when Job's friends heard of all the trouble that happened to him, there came three of them, every one from his own place: namely, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they were agreed together to come, to shew their compassion on him, and to comfort him.

And lifting up their eyes when they were still far off, it did not seem that the man they saw was Job because of the change in him. And they gave way to bitter weeping, with signs of grief, and put dust on their heads.

So they sat down with [Job] on the ground for seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief and pain were very great.

Why did the knees receive me, and why were there breasts for me to nurse?

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