The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Wednesday August 19, 2020 (NIV)

Esther 4-7

Mordecai Asks Esther to Help

When Mordecai ·heard [learned] about all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on ·rough cloth [burlap; sackcloth] and ashes [C signs of grief or repentance], and went out into the city ·crying [wailing] loudly and ·painfully [bitterly]. But Mordecai went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one was allowed to enter that gate dressed in ·rough cloth [burlap; sackcloth]. As the king’s ·order [edict; decree] reached every area, there was great ·sadness and loud crying [mourning] among the Jews. They fasted and ·cried out loud [wept and wailed], and many of them lay down on ·rough cloth [burlap; sackcloth] and ashes [C signs of grief or repentance].

When Esther’s ·servant girls [maids; attendants] and eunuchs came to her and told her about Mordecai, she was ·very upset and afraid [deeply distressed; overcome with anguish]. She sent clothes for Mordecai to put on instead of the ·rough cloth [burlap; sackcloth], but he would not ·wear [accept] them. Then Esther called for Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs chosen by the king to serve her. Esther ordered him to find out what was bothering Mordecai and why.

So Hathach went to Mordecai, who was in the city square in front of the king’s gate. Mordecai told Hathach everything that had happened to him, and he told Hathach about the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasury for the ·killing [destruction] of the Jews. Mordecai also gave him a copy of the ·order [edict; decree] to ·kill [destroy] the Jews, which had been ·given [issued] in Susa. He wanted Hathach to show it to Esther and to ·tell her about [explain] it. And Mordecai told him to ·order [direct; instruct] Esther to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and to ·plead with [petition] him for her people.

Hathach went back and reported to Esther everything Mordecai had ·said [instructed]. 10 Then Esther told Hathach to tell Mordecai, 11 “All the ·royal officers [ministers; officials] and people of the ·royal [king’s] ·states [provinces] know that no man or woman may ·go [come] to the king in the inner courtyard ·without being called [uninvited]. ·There is [He has] only one law about this: Anyone who enters must be put to death unless the king holds out his gold scepter. Then that person may live. And I have not been ·called [summoned; invited] to go to the king for thirty days.”

12 Esther’s ·message [L words] was given to Mordecai. 13 Then Mordecai sent back ·word [this answer/reply] to Esther: “Just because you ·live in [are part of] the king’s ·palace [L house], don’t ·think [imagine] that out of all the Jews you alone will escape. 14 If you keep ·quiet [silent] at this time, ·someone else will help and save the Jews [liberation/relief and protection/deliverance for the Jews will arise/appear from another place], but you and your ·father’s family [relatives] will all die. And who knows, you may have ·been chosen queen [come to your royal position; L come to the kingdom] for just such a time as this.”

15 Then Esther sent this answer to Mordecai: 16 “Go and ·get [assemble] all the Jews in Susa together. ·For my sake [On my behalf], fast; do not eat or drink for three days, night ·and [or] day. I and my ·servant girls [maids; attendants] will also fast. Then I will go to the king, even though it is against the law, and if I die, I die.”

17 So Mordecai went away and did everything Esther had ·told [commanded; instructed] him to do.

Esther Speaks to the King

On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner courtyard of the king’s ·palace [L house], ·facing [in front of; across from] the king’s ·hall [quarters; L house]. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, ·facing the doorway [across from the entrance]. When the king saw Queen Esther standing in the courtyard, ·he was pleased [L she obtained grace in his eyes]. He ·held out [extended] to her the gold scepter that was in his hand, so Esther ·went forward [approached; came near] and touched the ·end [tip] of it.

The king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What ·do you want to ask me [is your request]? I will give you as much as half of my kingdom.”

Esther answered, “My king, if it pleases ·you [L the king], come today with Haman to a banquet that I have prepared for ·you [L him].”

Then the king said, “·Bring [Find] Haman quickly so we may do what Esther ·asks [desires].”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared. As they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “Now, what ·are you asking for [is your petition]? I will ·give it to you [grant it]. What is ·it you want [your request]? ·I will give you [Ask for] as much as half of my kingdom and it shall be done.”

Esther answered, “This is ·what I want [my request] and ·what I ask for [my petition]. My king, if ·you are pleased with me [L I have found favor in the king’s sight] and if it ·pleases [seems good to] you, ·give me what I ask for [grant my petition] and do what I ·want [request]. Come with Haman tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for you. Then I will ·answer your question about what I want [do as the king says/wishes].”

Haman’s Plans Against Mordecai

Haman left the king’s ·palace [L house] that day happy and ·content [L good of heart]. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and saw that Mordecai did not ·stand up [rise] or tremble ·with fear before him [in his presence], Haman ·became very angry with [was filled with rage against] Mordecai. 10 But he ·controlled his anger [restrained himself] and went home.

Then Haman called together his friends and his wife, Zeresh. 11 He ·told [boasted/recounted to] them ·how wealthy he was [L of the glory of his riches] and how many sons he had [C ten; 9:10]. He also told them all the ways the king had ·honored [L magnified] him and how the king had ·placed him higher than [exalted him over] his ·important men [nobles] and his ·royal officers [ministers; officials]. 12 He also said, “I’m the only person Queen Esther ·invited [L caused] to come with the king to the banquet she gave. And tomorrow also the queen has asked me to be her guest with the king. 13 But all this does not ·really make me happy [satisfy me] ·when [as long as] I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

14 Then Haman’s wife, Zeresh, and all his friends said, “Have a ·seventy-five-foot [L fifty cubits] ·platform [gallows; pole] built, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordecai ·hanged [impaled] on it. Then go to the banquet with the king and be ·happy [content; joyful].” Haman ·liked [was pleased/delighted by] this suggestion, so he ordered the ·platform [gallows; pole] to be built.

Mordecai Is Honored

That same night the ·king could not sleep [L king’s sleep fled]. So he gave an order for the ·daily court record [book of history/remembrances, the annals/chronicles] to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded that Mordecai had warned the king about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s ·officers [eunuchs] who guarded the doorway and who had ·planned [plotted] to ·kill [assassinate] the king.

The king asked, “What honor and ·reward [recognition; distinction; L greatness] have been given to Mordecai for this?”

The king’s ·personal servants [attendants] answered, “Nothing has been done for Mordecai.”

The king said, “Who is in the courtyard?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s ·palace [L house]. He had come to ask the king about ·hanging [impaling] Mordecai on the ·platform [pole] he had prepared.

The king’s ·personal servants [attendants] said, “Haman is standing in the courtyard.”

The king said, “Bring him in.”

So Haman came in. And the king asked him, “What should be done for a man whom the king ·wants very much [delights] to honor?”

And Haman thought to himself, “Whom would the king want to honor more than me?” So he answered the king, “Do this for the man you ·want very much [delight] to honor. Have them bring a royal robe that the king himself has worn. And also bring a horse with a royal ·crown [crest; emblem; insignia] on its head, a horse that the king himself has ridden. Let the robe and the horse be given to one of the king’s most ·important [noble] ·men [officials]. Let ·them [or him] ·put the robe on [clothe; array; robe] the man the king ·wants [delights] to honor, and let ·them [or him] lead him on the horse through the city ·streets [square]. Let ·them [or him] announce: ‘This is what is done for the man whom the king ·wants [delights] to honor!’”

10 The king commanded Haman, “Go quickly. Take the robe and the horse just as you have said, and do all this for Mordecai the Jew who sits at the king’s gate. Do not ·leave out [neglect; L let fall] anything you have ·suggested [recommended].”

11 So Haman took the robe and the horse, and he ·put the robe on [clothed; arrayed; robed] Mordecai. Then he led him on horseback through the city ·streets [square], announcing before Mordecai: “This is what is done for the man whom the king ·wants [delights] to honor!”

12 Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate, but Haman hurried home with his head covered in ·mourning [humiliation]. 13 He told his wife, Zeresh, and all his friends everything that had happened to him.

Haman’s wife and ·advisers [wise friends] said, “You are ·starting to lose power to [L beginning to fall before] Mordecai. ·Since [or If] he is ·a Jew [L from the seed of the Jews], you cannot ·win [prevail; stand] against him. You will surely ·be ruined [fall before him].” 14 While they were still talking, the king’s eunuchs came to Haman’s house and hurried him to the banquet Esther had prepared.

Haman Is Hanged

So the king and Haman went in to ·eat [L drink; C a reference to elaborate feasting] with Queen Esther. As they were drinking wine on ·the second day [or this second occasion; 5:4–6], the king asked Esther again, “What ·are you asking for [is your petition]? I will ·give it to you [grant it]. What is ·it you want [your request]? ·I will give you [Ask for] as much as half of my kingdom and it shall be done.”

Then Queen Esther answered, “My king, if ·you are pleased with me [L I have found favor in the king’s sight] and if it ·pleases [seems good to] you, let me live. This is ·what I ask [my petition]. And let my people live, too. This is ·what I want [my request]. My people and I have been sold to be destroyed, ·killed [slaughtered] and ·completely wiped out [annihilated]. If we had ·merely [only; simply] been sold as male and female slaves, I would have ·kept quiet [remained silent], because that would not ·be enough of a problem to bother [have justified/been sufficent for troubling] the king.”

Then King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] asked Queen Esther, “Who is he, and where is he? Who has ·done [dared; presumed to do] such a thing?”

Esther said, “Our ·enemy [oppressor; adversary] and foe is this ·wicked [evil] Haman!”

Then Haman was filled with terror before the king and queen. The king was ·very angry [filled with rage], got up, left his wine, and went out into the ·palace [L house] garden. But Haman stayed inside to beg Queen Esther ·to save [for] his life. He could see that the king had already decided ·to kill [L on calamity/disaster for] him.

When the king returned from the ·palace [L house] garden to the banquet hall, he saw Haman falling on the couch where Esther was ·lying [reclining]. The king said, “Will he even ·attack [assault; molest] the queen while I am in the house?”

As soon as the king said that, servants came in and covered Haman’s face [C signaling his doom]. Harbona, one of the eunuchs there serving the king, said, “Look, a ·seventy-five-foot [L fifty cubits high] ·platform [gallows; pole] stands near Haman’s house. This is the one Haman had prepared for Mordecai, who ·gave the warning that saved [spoke out on behalf of] the king.”

The king said, “·Hang [Impale] Haman on it!” 10 So they ·hanged [impaled] Haman on the ·platform [gallows; pole] he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the king’s anger subsided.

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1 Corinthians 12:1-26

Gifts from the Holy Spirit

12 Now, brothers and sisters, I don’t want you to ·misunderstand [be uninformed] ·about [concerning; or in regard to your question about; see 7:1; 8:1; 16:1] spiritual gifts. You know the way you lived ·before you were believers [L when you were pagans/Gentiles]. You let yourselves be influenced and led away to worship idols—things that could not speak. So I want you to understand that no one who is speaking ·with the help of [by means of; in the power of] God’s Spirit says, “Jesus be cursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” ·without the help of [L except by means of/in the power of] the Holy Spirit.

There are different kinds of gifts, but they are all from the same Spirit. There are different ·ways to serve [ministries] but the same Lord to serve. And there are different ·ways that God works through people [kinds of action; activities] but the same God works ·in all of us in everything we do [L all things in all people]. ·Something from the Spirit can be seen in [L The manifestation/disclosure of the Spirit is given to] each person, for the common good. The Spirit gives one person the ·ability to speak with wisdom [message/word of wisdom], and the same Spirit gives another the ·ability to speak with knowledge [message/word of knowledge]. The same Spirit gives faith to one person. And, to another, that one Spirit gives gifts of healing. 10 The Spirit gives to another person ·the power to do miracles [works of power], to another ·the ability to prophesy [L prophecy]. And he gives to another the ·ability to know the difference between good and evil [L discernment/distinguishing of] spirits. The Spirit gives one person the ability to speak in different kinds of ·languages [or ecstatic utterance; L tongues] and to another the ·ability to interpret those languages [L interpretation of tongues]. 11 One Spirit, the same Spirit, does all these things, and the Spirit ·decides what to give [L distributes just as he wishes to] each person.

The Body of Christ Works Together

12 A person’s body is ·one thing [a unity; L one], but it has many parts. Though there are many parts to a body, all those parts make only one body. Christ is like that also. 13 Some of us are Jews, and some are Greeks. Some of us are slaves, and some are free. But we were all baptized into one body ·through [by; in] one Spirit. And we were all made to ·share in [L drink of] the one Spirit.

14 [L For] The ·human body [L body] is not made up of one part, but of many. 15 The foot might say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not part of the body.” But saying this would not stop the foot from being a part of the body. 16 The ear might say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not part of the body.” But saying this would not stop the ear from being a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, ·it would not be able to [L how would it…?] hear. If the whole body were an ear, ·it would not be able to [L how would it…?] smell. If each part of the body were the same part, ·there would be no body [L where would the body be?]. But truly God put all the parts, each one of them, in the body as he wanted them. 20 So then there are many parts, but only one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the foot, “I don’t need you!” 22 ·No! [L On the contrary,] Those parts of the body that seem to be the weaker are ·really necessary [essential; indispensable]. 23 And the parts of the body we think are less ·deserving [honorable] are the parts to which we give ·the most [special; greater] honor. We ·give special respect to [or treat with special modesty] the parts ·we want to hide [that are shameful/unpresentable]. 24 The more ·respectable [presentable] parts of our body need no special care. But God put the body together and gave ·more [special] honor to the parts that need it 25 so ·our body would not be divided [or there would be no division in the body]. God wanted the different parts to care the same for each other. 26 If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is ·honored [glorified], all the other parts ·share its honor [L rejoice with it].

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Psalm 36

Wicked People and a Good God

For the director of music. Of David, the servant of the Lord.

36 ·Sin speaks to the wicked in their hearts [L Oracle/Decree of transgression to the wicked in the midst of their heart].
They have no ·fear [terror] of God [Prov. 1:7; Rom. 3:18].
They ·think too much of themselves [L flatter themselves in their own eyes]
so they don’t ·see [discover; find] their sin and ·hate [or change] it.
·Their words [L The words of their mouth] are ·wicked lies [mischief and deceit];
they ·are no longer wise or good [L have stopped being wise/insightful in order to do good].
·At night [L In their bed] they make evil plans;
·what they do leads to nothing [L they are set on a way that does no] good.
They don’t ·refuse [reject] things that are evil.

Lord, your ·love [loyalty; covenant love] ·reaches [extends] to the heavens,
your ·loyalty [faithfulness] to the skies.
Your ·goodness [righteousness] is like the mighty mountains [C majestic].
Your ·justice [judgment] is like the great ocean [C deep].
Lord, you ·protect [save] both people and animals.
God, ·your love is so precious [L how precious is your loyalty/covenant love?]!
You ·protect [provide refuge for] people in the shadow of your wings.
They ·eat [feast on; are filled with] ·the rich food [L from the fat/abundance] in your house,
and you let them drink from your river of ·pleasure [delights].
You are the ·giver [L fountain] of life.
·Your light lets us enjoy life [L In your light we see light].

10 Continue to ·love [show loyalty/covenant love to] those who know you
and ·to do good [L your good/righteousness] to those who are ·good [upright/virtuous in heart].
11 Don’t let ·proud people attack me [L the foot of the arrogant come near me]
·and the wicked [L or the hand of the wicked] ·force [drive] me away.
12 Those who do evil ·have been defeated [L fall there].
They are overwhelmed;
they cannot ·do evil any longer [L arise again].

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The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 21:21-22

21 Whoever ·tries to live right and be loyal [L pursues righteousness and loyalty]
finds life, ·success [righteousness], and honor.

22 A wise person ·can defeat [L went up against] a city full of warriors
and tear down the defenses they trust in [Eccl. 9:13–16].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.