The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Tuesday August 18, 2020 (NIV)

Esther 1-3

Queen Vashti Disobeys the King

This is what happened during the ·time [days] of ·King Xerxes [L Ahasuerus; C the Persian king who reigned about 486–465 bc], the ·king [L Ahasuerus] who ruled the one hundred twenty-seven ·states [provinces] from India to Cush [C in present-day Sudan and Ethiopia]. In those days King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·ruled from his [L sat on his royal throne in the] ·capital city [or fortress; citadel; C the winter residence of Persian kings, separate from the city] of Susa. In the third year of his ·rule [reign; C about 483 bc], he gave a banquet for all his ·important men [nobles] and ·royal officers [ministers; officials]. The ·army [military] leaders from Persia and Media and the ·important men [nobles] from all ·Xerxes’ empire [L his provinces] were there.

The ·banquet [celebration] lasted one hundred eighty days. All during that time King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·was showing off [displayed] the ·great wealth of his kingdom [riches of his royal glory] and ·his own great riches and glory [splendor of his great majesty]. When the one hundred eighty days were ·over [completed], the king gave another banquet [C these celebrations may have been in preparation for the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 bc]. It was held in the courtyard of the palace garden for seven days, and it was for everybody in the ·palace [citadel; fortress] at Susa, from the greatest to the least. The courtyard had fine white ·curtains [linen hangings] and ·purple [blue; violet] drapes that were tied to silver rings on marble pillars by white and purple cords. And there were gold and silver couches on a floor set with ·tiles [mosaics] of ·white [porphyry] ·marble [alabaster], ·shells [mother-of-pearl], and ·gems [precious stones]. ·Wine [Drinks] was served in gold ·cups [goblets] of various kinds. And there was ·plenty [an abundance] of the king’s wine, ·because he was very generous [in keeping with his generosity/liberality]. ·The king commanded that the guests be permitted to drink as much as they wished [L The drinking was according to law/edict without compulsion]. He told the ·wine servers [staff] to serve each man what he wanted.

Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the royal ·palace [L house] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus].

10 On the seventh day of the banquet, King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was ·very happy [in high spirits], because of the wine. He gave a command to the seven eunuchs who served him—Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas. 11 He commanded them to bring him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown. She was to come to ·show [display] her beauty to the people and ·important men [nobles] because she was very beautiful. 12 The eunuchs told Queen Vashti about the king’s ·command [L word], but she refused to come [C possibly because she felt it would be humiliating; a dangerous decision]. Then the king became very angry; his anger ·was like a burning fire [L burned in him; C because it undermined his authority].

13 It was customary for the king to ·ask advice from [confer with] ·experts [wise men] about law and ·order [justice; custom; L judgment]. So King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] spoke with ·the wise men who would know the right thing to do [L those who understood the times]. 14 The wise men ·the king usually talked to [closest to the king] were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, seven of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media. These seven had ·special privileges to see [access to] the king and had the highest ·rank [offices] in the kingdom. 15 The king asked them, “What does the law say must be done to Queen Vashti? She has not obeyed the command of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], which the eunuchs took to her.”

16 Then Memucan said to the king and the other ·important men [nobles], “Queen Vashti has not done wrong to the king alone. She has also done wrong to all the ·important men [nobles] and all the people in all the ·empire [L provinces] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. 17 All the wives of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media will hear about the queen’s ·actions [conduct]. Then they will ·no longer honor [be contemptuous of; despise] their husbands. They will say, ‘King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] commanded Queen Vashti to be brought to him, but she refused to come.’ 18 Today the ·wives [noble ladies] of the ·important men [nobles] of Persia and Media have heard about the queen’s actions. So they will speak in the same way to ·their husbands [the king’s nobles], and there will be no end to ·disrespect [contempt] and anger.

19 “So, our king, if it pleases you, give a royal ·order [edict; decree], and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be ·changed [repealed; revoked; 8:8; Dan. 6:8, 12, 15]. The law should say Vashti [C at this point, the title “queen” is symbolically dropped from before her name] is never again to enter the presence of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. Also let the king give her place as queen to someone who is ·better [more worthy/deserving] than she is. 20 And let the king’s ·order [edict; decree] be ·announced [spread] everywhere in his ·enormous [great] kingdom. Then all the women will ·respect [honor] their husbands, from the greatest to the least.”

21 The king and his ·important men [nobles] were ·happy [pleased] with this advice, so King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] did as Memucan ·suggested [advised; proposed]. 22 He sent ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] to all the ·states [provinces] of the kingdom in the ·writing [script] of each ·state [province] and in the language of each group of people. These ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] announced that each man was to be the ·ruler [master] ·of [over] his own family.

Esther Is Made Queen

Later, when King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was not so angry, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and his ·order [decree; edict] about her. Then the king’s personal ·servants [attendants] suggested, “Let a search be made for ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] for the king. Let the king choose ·supervisors [commissioners] in every ·state [province] of his kingdom to bring ·beautiful young girls [L young women, virgins, good of form] to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa. They should be taken to the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·women [harem]. And let ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] be given to them. Then let the ·girl [young woman] who ·most pleases [L is good in the eyes of] the king become queen in place of Vashti.” The king ·liked [was pleased/delighted by] this idea, so he did as they said.

Now there was a Jew in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] of Susa whose name was Mordecai son of Jair. Jair was the son of Shimei, the son of Kish [C these are relatives of Saul, showing that Mordecai was his descendant; 1 Sam. 9:1–3; 2 Sam. 16:5]. Mordecai was from the tribe of Benjamin, which had been taken ·captive [into exile] from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. They were part of the group taken into ·captivity [exile] with Jehoiachin king of Judah [C 597 bc; 2 Kin. 24:8–17]. Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, who had no father or mother, so Mordecai ·took care of her [was her guardian; brought her up]. Hadassah was also called Esther, and she ·had a very pretty figure and face [L was beautiful of form]. Mordecai had ·adopted [raised; taken] her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.

When the king’s command and ·order [decree; edict] had been ·heard [proclaimed], many ·girls [young women] had been brought to the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] in Susa and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai. Esther was also taken to the king’s ·palace [L house] and put under the ·care [custody; authority] of Hegai, who was in charge of the women. Esther ·pleased [impressed; L was good in his eyes] Hegai, and ·he liked her [L found favor with him]. So Hegai quickly began giving Esther her ·beauty treatments [cosmetics; L ointments] and special food. He gave her seven ·servant girls [maids; attendants] chosen from the king’s ·palace [L house]. Then he ·moved [transferred] her and her ·seven servant girls [maids; attendants] to the best part of the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women].

10 Esther did not tell anyone about her ·family [people; nationality] or ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage], because Mordecai had ·told [instructed] her not to. 11 Every day Mordecai walked back and forth ·near [in front of] the courtyard ·where the king’s women lived [of the harem] to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.

12 Before a girl could take her turn ·with [to go to] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments ·that were ordered [prescribed; required] for the women. For six months she was treated with oil ·and [or of] myrrh and for six months with ·perfumes [spices] and ·cosmetics [ointments]. 13 Then she ·was ready to go [would go in this way] to the king. Anything she ·asked for [desired] was given to her to take with her from the ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women] to the king’s ·palace [L house]. 14 In the evening she would go to the king’s ·palace [L house], and in the morning she would return ·to another part of the [or to a second; or again to the] ·women’s quarters [harem; L house of the women]. There she would be placed under the ·care [custody; authority] of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the ·slave women [concubines; C secondary wives]. The girl would not go back to the king again unless he was pleased with her and ·asked for [summoned; requested] her by name.

15 The ·time [L turn] came for Esther daughter of Abihail, Mordecai’s uncle [C Esther was Mordecai’s younger cousin, v. 7], who had been raised [taken] by Mordecai as his own daughter, to go to the king. She asked for only what Hegai ·suggested [advised; recommended] she should take. (Hegai was the king’s eunuch who ·was in charge of [supervised] the women.) Everyone who saw Esther ·liked [favored] her. 16 So Esther was taken to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] in the royal ·palace [L house] in the tenth month [C early winter], the month of Tebeth, during ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] seventh year ·as king [of his reign].

17 And the king ·was pleased with [loved] Esther more than with any of the other ·virgins [young women]. He liked her more than any of the ·others [other virgins], so he put a royal crown on her head and ·made [proclaimed; declared] her queen in place of Vashti. 18 Then the king gave a great banquet for Esther and invited all his ·important men [nobles; officials] and ·royal officers [ministers; servants]. He announced a holiday for all the ·empire [L provinces] and ·had the government give away gifts [gave gifts with royal liberality/generosity].

Mordecai Discovers an Evil Plan

19 Now Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate [C an indication he was likely a government official] when the girls were ·gathered the second time [or transferred to the second harem; or gathered again]. 20 Esther still had not told anyone about ·who her people were [her kindred/lineage] or her ·family [people; nationality], just as Mordecai had ·commanded [instructed] her. She ·obeyed Mordecai [followed Mordecai’s instructions] just as she had done when ·she was under his care [he was raising her].

21 Now Bigthana and Teresh were two of the king’s eunuchs who guarded the ·doorway [entrance; L threshold]. While Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, they became angry and ·began to make plans [plotted; conspired] to ·kill [assassinate; L send a hand against] King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus]. 22 But Mordecai found out about their ·plans [plot] and told Queen Esther. Then Esther told the king ·how Mordecai had discovered the evil plan [L in Mordecai’s name]. 23 When the report was investigated, it was found to be ·true [so], and ·the two officers who had planned to kill the king [L they both] were ·hanged [impaled; C on a stake or sharpened pole, a common form of execution]. All this was written down in the ·daily court record [book of the annals/chronicles] in the king’s presence.

Haman Plans to Destroy the Jews

After these ·things happened [events], King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·honored [promoted; L made great] Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite [C a descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites, the hated enemies of Israel (which Saul failed to eradicate; 1 Sam. 15); Ex. 17:8–15; Deut. 23:3–6]. He ·gave him a new rank that was [exalted/elevated him] ·higher than [above] all the ·important men [nobles; officials]. All the ·royal officers [king’s ministers; officials] at the king’s gate would bow down and ·kneel before [pay homage to] Haman, as the king had ·ordered [commanded]. But Mordecai would not bow down or ·show him honor [pay him homage; C because he was a hated Amalekite].

Then the ·royal officers [ministers; officials] at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why don’t you obey the king’s command?” And they said this to him every day. When he did not listen to them, they told Haman. They wanted to see if Haman would ·accept [tolerate; L let stand] Mordecai’s behavior because Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down to him or ·honor [pay homage to] him, he became ·very angry [enraged]. He ·thought of himself as too important [disdained; thought it beneath him] to ·try to kill [lay hands on] only Mordecai. He had been told who the people of Mordecai were, so he looked for a way to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, in all of ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] ·kingdom [empire].

It was in the first month [C April] of the twelfth year [C about 474 bc; approximately a year later] of King ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] ·rule [reign]—the month of Nisan. Pur (that is, the lot [C dice-like objects]) was thrown before Haman to choose a day and a month. ·So […and; …until] the twelfth month, the month of Adar, was chosen.

Then Haman said to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], “There is ·a certain group of [L one] people ·scattered [dispersed and spread] among the ·other people [nations; L peoples] in all the ·states [provinces] of your ·kingdom [empire]. Their ·customs [laws] are different from those of all the other ·people [nations; L peoples], and they do not ·obey [observe; keep] the king’s laws. It is not ·right for you [in the king’s interest] to allow them to ·continue living in your kingdom [remain; L cause them to rest]. If it ·pleases [L is good to] the king, let ·an order be given [it be decreed] to destroy those people. Then I will pay ·seven hundred fifty thousand pounds [L ten thousand talents] of silver to ·those who do the king’s [the officials who carry out this] business, and they will put it into the royal treasury.”

10 So the king took his signet ring off his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the ·enemy [persecutor; oppressor] of the Jews. 11 Then the king said to Haman, “The ·money [L silver] and the people are yours [C perhaps telling Haman to keep his money, or that he could have the Jews’ money, or that he could spend his money this way if he wished; see 4:7]. Do with them as ·you please [L is good in your eyes].”

12 On the thirteenth day of the first month [C April 17], the royal ·secretaries [scribes] were called, and they wrote out all of Haman’s ·orders [commands]. They wrote to the king’s governors and to the ·captains of the soldiers [high officials] in each ·state [province] and to the ·important men [nobles] of each ·group of people [nation]. The ·orders [edicts; decrees] were written in the ·writing [script] of each ·state [province] and in the language of each people. They were written in the name of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] and sealed with his signet ring. 13 ·Letters [Dispatches; Scrolls] were sent by ·messengers [couriers] to all the king’s ·empire [L provinces] ordering them to destroy, kill, and ·completely wipe out [annihilate] all the Jews, young and old, including women and little children. It was to happen on a single day—the thirteenth day of the twelfth month [C March 7, about twelve months later], which was Adar. And they could ·take [plunder; confiscate] ·everything the Jewish people owned [L their possessions]. 14 A copy of the ·order [edict; decree] was given out as a law in every ·state [province] so all the ·people [nations; L peoples] would be ready for that day.

15 The ·messengers [couriers] set out, ·hurried [spurred on; impelled] by the king’s command, as soon as the ·order [edict; decree] was given in the ·palace [citadel; fortress] at Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was ·in confusion [bewildered; in an uproar].

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1 Corinthians 11:17-34

The Lord’s Supper

17 In the ·things [instructions; commands] I tell you now I do not praise you, because ·when you come together you [your meetings as a congregation] do more harm than good. 18 First, I hear that when you meet together as a church ·you are divided [there are divisions among you], and I believe some of this. 19 (It is necessary to have ·differences [factions] among you so that it may be clear which of you really have God’s approval [C controversy is necesssary because error must be opposed].) 20 When you ·come together [meet as a congregation], you are not really eating the Lord’s Supper [C the worship meal Jesus told his followers to celebrate to remember his death; Luke 22:14–20]. 21 This is because when you eat, each person eats without waiting for the others [C the wealthy church members were arriving early to avoid sharing with the poorer members; such social distinctions were common throughout the Greco-Roman world]. Some people do not get enough to eat, while others ·have too much to drink [get drunk]. 22 Don’t you have homes in which to eat and drink? Or do you ·despise [have contempt for; have no regard for] God’s church and so ·embarrass [humiliate] those who ·are poor [have nothing]? What should I tell you? Should I praise you? I will not praise you for doing this [C the Corinthians were turning a time meant for unity into one of discrimination].

23 [L For] The teaching I ·gave [passed on to] you is the same teaching I received from the Lord: On the night when the Lord Jesus was ·handed over to be killed [betrayed], he took bread 24 and gave thanks for it. Then he broke the bread and said, “This is my body; it is[a] for you. Do this to remember me.” 25 In the same way, after ·they ate [the meal; supper], Jesus took the cup. He said, “This cup is the new ·agreement [covenant; Ex. 24:8; Jer. 31:31–34] ·that is sealed with the blood of my death [L in my blood]. When you drink this, do it to remember me [Matt. 26:26–28; Mark 14:22–24; Luke 22:19, 20].” 26 [L For] Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you ·are telling others about [proclaim; announce] the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So a person who eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in ·a way that is not worthy of it [or an inappropriate manner] will be ·guilty of sinning against [or held responsible for; liable for; L guilty of] the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 ·Look into your own hearts [L Let a person examine himself] before you eat the bread and drink the cup, 29 because all who eat the bread and drink the cup without ·recognizing [discerning; careful regard for] the body eat and drink judgment against themselves. 30 That is why many in your group are sick and weak, and ·some [a number] of you have ·died [L fallen asleep; C a euphemism for death]. 31 But if we ·judged ourselves in the right way [evaluated/examined ourselves], ·God would not judge us [L we would not be judged/punished]. 32 But when the Lord judges us, he disciplines us so that we will not be ·destroyed [condemned] along with the world.

33 So my brothers and sisters, when you ·come together [gather as a congregation] to eat, wait for each other. 34 Anyone who is too hungry should eat at home so that in meeting together you will not bring God’s judgment on yourselves. I will tell you what to do about ·the other things [additional matters] when I come.


  1. 1 Corinthians 11:24 it is Some Greek copies read “it is broken.”
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Psalm 35:17-28

17 Lord, how long will you watch this happen?
Save my life from their attacks;
·save me from these people who are like [L my life from the] lions.
18 I will ·praise [thank] you in the great ·meeting [assembly].
I will praise you among ·crowds of people [the mighty crowd/throng].
19 Do not let my enemies ·laugh at [rejoice over] me;
they hate me for no reason.
Do not let them ·make fun of me [L wink their eye at me; C a reference to secretive plans or magic; Prov. 6:12–13];
they have no cause to hate me.
20 Their words are not ·friendly [peaceful]
but are lies ·about [or against] ·peace-loving people [L the quiet in the land].
21 They ·speak against me [L open their mouths]
and say, “Aha! ·We saw what you did [Our eyes have seen it]!”

22 Lord, you have been watching. Do not keep quiet.
Lord, do not ·leave me alone [L be far from me].
23 Wake up! ·Come [Arouse yourself] and ·defend [vindicate; show justice to] me!
My God and Lord, ·fight [contend] for me!
24 Lord my God, ·defend [vindicate] me with your justice.
Don’t let them ·laugh at [rejoice over] me.
25 Don’t let them ·think [L say in their hearts], “Aha! We got what we wanted!”
Don’t let them say, “We ·destroyed [L swallowed] him.”
26 Let them be ashamed and ·embarrassed [humiliated],
because they ·were happy [rejoiced] when I hurt.
·Cover [L Clothe] them with shame and disgrace,
because they thought they were better than I was.
27 May ·my friends [L those who want my vindication] sing and shout for joy.
May they always say, “Praise the greatness of the Lord,
who ·loves [delights; takes pleasure] to see ·his servants do well [L the peace/prosperity of his servant].”
28 ·I [L My tongue] will tell of your goodness
and will praise you every day.

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Proverbs 21:19-20

19 It is better to live ·alone in the desert [in a desolate land]
than with a ·quarreling [contentious] and ·complaining [angry] wife.

20 Wise people’s houses are full of ·the best foods [or precious treasure] and olive oil,
but fools ·waste [consume; L swallow] everything they have.

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