Esther - Page 8

Esther 4:4
there was great mourning among the ­Jews. They fasted, wept, and
wailed, and many people lay in burlap and ashes.
4 When Queen Esther’s maids and e
­ u­nuchs came and told her about
Mor­de­cai, she was deeply distressed. She sent clothing to him to replace
the burlap, but he refused it. 5 Then Esther sent for Ha­thach, one of the
king’s e­ u­nuchs who had been appointed as her attendant. She ordered
him to go to Mor­de­cai and find out what was troubling him and why
he was in mourning. 6 So Ha­thach went out to Mor­de­cai in the square
in front of the palace gate.
7 ­Mor­de­cai told him the whole story, including the exact amount
of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the
destruction of the ­Jews. 8 ­Mor­de­cai gave Ha­thach a copy of the decree
issued in Susa that called for the death of all ­Jews. He asked Ha­thach to
show it to Esther and explain the situation to her. He also asked Ha­thach
to direct her to go to the king to beg for mercy and plead for her people.
9 So Ha­thach returned to Esther with Mor­de­cai’s message.
10 Then Esther told Ha­thach to go back and relay this message to Mor­
de­cai: 11 “All the king’s officials and even the people in the provinces
know that anyone who appears before the king in his inner court with­
out being invited is doomed to die unless the king holds out his gold
scepter. And the king has not called for me to come to him for thirty
days.” 12 So Ha­thach* gave Esther’s message to Mor­de­cai.
13 ­Mor­de­cai sent this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that
because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other J­ ews are
killed. 14 If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the
­Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die.
Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?”
15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mor­de­cai: 16 “Go and gather together
all the ­Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days,
night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is
against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” 17 So
Mor­de­cai went away and did every­thing as Esther had ordered him.
Mordecai’s Prayer
Mordecai thought about all that the Lord had done, and then he
began to pray.* 2 He said:
“O Lord, Lord, almighty King, you rule over all things, and no one
can resist your will if you decide to save Israel. 3 You made heaven
and earth and all the wonders under heaven. 4 You are Lord of
all, and there is none who can resist you, Lord. 5 You know all
things, and you know that it was not out of pride or contempt or
desire for glory that I refused to bow down to proud Haman. 6 For
I would willingly have kissed his feet to save Israel. 7 But I did this so
I would not place human glory before the glory of God. And I will
not bow down to anyone except you, my Lord. 8 And now, O Lord
God and King, God of Abraham, spare your people, because our
enemies are determined to destroy us and to wipe out the people
who have been your possession from the beginning. 9 Do not
neglect us, your own people, whom you redeemed for yourself out
of Egypt. 10 Hear my prayer, and be merciful to us—your possession.
Turn our mourning into joyful feasting so that we may live and
praise your name. O Lord, do not destroy those who sing to you.”
11 And all Israel cried out in prayer to the Lord, for death was staring
them in the face.
4:12 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads they. 
C:1 See note at A:1a. 
17B-ESTH_Inspire_Catholic_NLT.indd 604
5/2/2018 9:06:10 AM

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