The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday August 20, 2020 (NIV)

Esther 8-10

The King Helps the Jews

That same day King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] gave Queen Esther ·everything belonging to [the estate of; L the house of] Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came in to see the king, because Esther had ·told [disclosed/revealed to] the king how he was related to her. Then the king took off his signet ring that he had taken back from Haman, and he gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai ·in charge of everything belonging to [L over the house of] Haman.

Once again Esther spoke to the king. She fell at the king’s feet and ·cried [wept] and ·begged [implored] him to stop the evil ·plan [plot] that Haman the Agagite had ·planned [devised] against the Jews [C Esther wisely did not implicate the king in the plan]. The king ·held out [extended] the gold scepter to Esther. So Esther got up and stood in front of him.

She said, “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 to do this, if you think it is the right thing to do, and if ·you are happy with me [I am pleasing/attractive to you], let an ·order [edict; decree] be written to ·cancel [revoke; rescind] the ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite ·wrote [devised] to destroy the Jews in all of your ·kingdom [L provinces]. ·I could not stand [L How could I endure…?] to see that ·terrible thing [calamity; disaster] ·happen to [L fall on] my people. ·I could not stand [L How could I endure…?] to see my ·family [relatives; L kindred] ·killed [destroyed].”

King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] answered Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman was against the Jews, I have given his ·things [estate; property] to Esther, and my soldiers have ·hanged [impaled] him on the ·platform [gallows; pole]. Now, in the king’s name, write another ·order [edict; decree] ·to [concerning] the Jews as seems ·best [appropriate] to you. Then seal the ·order [edict; decree] with the king’s signet ring, because no ·letter [dispatch] written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can be ·canceled [revoked; rescinded].”

At that time the king’s ·secretaries [scribes] were called. This was the twenty-third day of the third month [C June 25], which is Sivan. The secretaries wrote out all of Mordecai’s ·orders [commands] ·to [concerning] the Jews, to the governors, to the ·captains of the soldiers [high officials] in each ·state [province], and to the ·important men [nobles] of the one hundred twenty-seven ·states [provinces] that reached from India to Cush [1:1]. They wrote in the ·writing [script] of each ·state [province] and in the language of each people. They also wrote to the Jews in their own ·writing [script] and language. 10 Mordecai wrote ·orders [edicts; decrees] in the name of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] and sealed the ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the king’s ·orders [edicts; decrees] by ·messengers [couriers] on fast horses, horses that were ·raised [bred] ·just [especially] for the king.

11 These were the king’s ·orders [edicts; decrees]: The Jews in every city have the right to ·gather together [assemble] to ·protect themselves [defend their lives]. They may destroy, kill, and ·completely wipe out [annihilate] the army of any ·state [province] or ·people [nation] who attack them [C the king could not cancel his previous unalterable decree, but he could allow the Jews to defend themselves and attack], including their women and children. They may also ·take by force [plunder; confiscate] the property of their enemies. 12 The one day set for the Jews to do this in all the ·empire [provinces] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month [C March 7, about twelve months after Haman devised his plot], the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the king’s ·order [edict; decree] was to be ·sent out [issued; presented] as a law in every ·state [province]. It was to be made known to ·the people of every nation living in the kingdom [L all the peoples] so the Jews would be ready on that set day to ·strike back at [avenge themselves on] their enemies.

14 The ·messengers [couriers] hurried out, riding on the royal horses, urged on by the king’s command. And the ·order [edict; decree] was also given in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa.

15 Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal ·clothes [garments] of blue and white and a large gold crown. He also had a purple ·robe [mantle] made of the best linen. And the people of Susa shouted for joy. 16 It was a time of ·happiness [L light], joy, gladness, and honor for the Jews. 17 As the king’s ·order [edict; decree] went to every ·state [province] and city, there was joy and gladness among the Jews. In every ·state [province] and city to which the king’s ·order [edict; decree] went, they were having ·feasts [banquets] and ·celebrating [holidays]. And many ·people through all the empire [L peoples of the land] ·became [professed/pretended to be] Jews, because ·they were afraid of the Jews [L dread of the Jews had fallen on them].

Victory for the Jews

The ·order [edict; decree] the king had commanded was to be ·done [executed; carried out] on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month [C March 7], the month of Adar. That was the day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to ·defeat [overpower] them, but ·that was changed [the opposite happened]. So the Jews themselves ·defeated [overpowered] ·those who hated them [their enemies]. The Jews ·met [assembled] in their cities in all the ·empire [L provinces] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] in order to ·attack [strike; L lay hands on] those who wanted to ·harm [destroy] them. No one ·was strong enough to fight [L could stand] against them, because ·all the other people living in the empire were afraid of them [L dread of them fell on all the peoples]. All the ·important men [nobles] of the ·states [provinces], the governors, ·captains of the soldiers [high officials], and the king’s officers helped the Jews, because they were afraid of Mordecai. Mordecai was ·very important [L great] in the king’s ·palace [L house]. He was famous in all the ·empire [L provinces], because he was becoming ·a leader of more and more people [more and more powerful/influential].

And, with their swords, the Jews ·defeated [L struck] all their enemies, ·killing [slaughtering] and destroying them. And they did ·what they wanted [as they pleased] with those people who hated them. In the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa, they ·killed [slaughtered] and destroyed five hundred men. They also killed: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman, son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But the Jews did not ·take [plunder; confiscate] their ·belongings [property; C this shows they attacked out of self-defense, not for material gain; 8:11; Gen. 14:23].

11 On that day the number killed in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have ·killed [slaughtered] and destroyed five hundred people in the ·palace [citadel; fortress; 1:2] at Susa, as well as Haman’s ten sons. What then have they done in the rest of the king’s ·empire [provinces]! Now what ·else are you asking [L is your petition]? I will do it! What ·else [more] do you want? It will be ·done [granted]!”

13 Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, give the Jews who are in Susa permission to do again tomorrow what the king ·ordered [decreed] for today. And let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be ·hanged [impaled] on the ·platform [gallows; pole].”

14 So the king ·ordered [decreed] that it be done. A ·law [edict; decree] was given in Susa, and the bodies of the ten sons of Haman were ·hanged [impaled]. 15 The Jews in Susa ·came together [assembled] on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar [C March 8]. They ·killed [slaughtered] three hundred people in Susa, but they did not ·take [plunder; confiscate] their ·belongings [property; 9:10].

16 At that same time, all the Jews in the king’s ·empire [L provinces] also ·met [assembled] to ·protect themselves [defend their lives] and get rid of their enemies. They ·killed [slaughtered] seventy-five thousand of those who hated them, but they did not ·take [plunder; confiscate] their ·belongings [property; 9:10]. 17 This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar [C March 7]. On the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of joyful ·feasting [banqueting].

The Feast of Purim

18 But the Jews in Susa ·met [assembled] on the thirteenth and fourteenth days of the month of Adar [C and killed their enemies]. Then they rested on the fifteenth day and made it a day of joyful feasting [banqueting].

19 This is why the Jews who live in the country and small villages celebrate on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar [C March 8]. It is a ·day [holiday] of joyful ·feasting [banqueting] and a day for exchanging ·gifts [gifts of food].

20 Mordecai ·wrote down [recorded] everything that had happened. Then he sent ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] to all the Jews in all the ·empire [provinces] of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], far and near. 21 He ·told [called on] them to celebrate every year on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 because that was when the Jews got rid of their enemies [C a descendant of Saul (2:5–6) had overcome an Amalekite and descendant of King Agag (3:1), thus completing God’s mandate (Deut. 23:3–6) that Saul failed to accomplish (1 Sam. 15)]. They were also to celebrate it as the month their ·sadness [sorrow] was turned to ·joy [gladness] and their ·crying for the dead [mourning] was turned into ·celebration [a holiday]. He told them to celebrate those days as days of joyful ·feasting [banqueting] and as a time for giving [presents of] food to each other and ·presents [gifts] to the poor [C Purim thus became an annual festival still celebrated by the Jewish people today].

23 So the Jews agreed to do what Mordecai had written to them, and ·they agreed to hold the celebration every year [L to continue what they had begun]. 24 Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, was the enemy of all the Jews. He had ·made [devised] an evil ·plan [plot] against the Jews to destroy them, and he had thrown the Pur (that is, the lot [C dice-like objects]) to choose a day to ·ruin [crush; afflict] and destroy them. 25 But when the king learned of the evil ·plan [plot], he sent out written ·orders [edicts; decrees] that the evil ·plans [plot] Haman had made against the Jews would ·be used against him [L fall/return on his own head]. And those ·orders [edicts; decrees] said that Haman and his sons should be ·hanged [impaled] on the ·platform [gallows; pole]. 26 So these days were called Purim, which comes from the word “Pur” (the lot [C dice-like objects]). Because of everything written in this ·letter [dispatch] and what they had seen and what happened to them, 27 the Jews set up this ·custom [tradition]. They and their descendants and all those who join them are ·always [L without fail] to ·celebrate [observe; keep] these two days every year. They should do it ·in the right way [L as it is written] and at the time Mordecai had ·ordered [decreed]. 28 These two days should be remembered and ·celebrated [observed; kept] ·from now on [L through every generation] in every family, in every ·state [province], and in every city. These days of Purim should ·always [L not fail to] be ·celebrated [observed; kept] ·by [among] the Jews, and their memory never fade among their descendants.

29 So Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second ·letter [dispatch] about Purim. 30 And Mordecai sent ·letters [dispatches; scrolls] to all the Jews in the one hundred twenty-seven ·states [provinces] of the kingdom of ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], writing them ·a message [L words] of peace and ·truth [or security; assurance]. 31 He wrote to ·set up [establish] these days of Purim at the ·chosen [proper; appointed] times. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had sent out the ·order [edict; decree] for the Jews, just as they had ·set up [established] for themselves and their descendants instruction concerning fasting and ·loud weeping [lamentations]. 32 Esther’s ·letter [command] ·set up [established] the rules for Purim, and they were written down in the records.

The Greatness of Mordecai

10 King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] demanded ·taxes everywhere, even from the cities [tribute on the land and] on the seacoast. And all the great ·things [achievements] ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] did by his ·power [authority] and strength ·are [L are they not…?] written in the ·record books [chronicles; annals] of the kings of Media and Persia. Also written in those record books are all the things done by Mordecai, whom the king made great. Mordecai the Jew was second in importance to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], and he was ·the most important man [great; powerful; preeminent] among the Jews. His fellow Jews ·respected [admired; esteemed] him very much, because he ·worked for [L sought] the good of his people and ·spoke up [interceded; advocated] for the ·safety [welfare; L peace] of all the Jews.

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1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

27 ·Together you [L You; C the Greek is plural] are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of that body. 28 In the church God has ·given a place first to [appointed/placed first] apostles, second to prophets, and third to teachers, then those who do ·miracles [acts of powers], those who have gifts of healing, those who can help others, those who are able to ·govern [lead], and those who can speak ·in different languages [or with ecstatic utterance; L different kinds of tongues; v. 10]. 29 ·Not all are apostles [L Not all are apostles, are they? C vv. 29–30 are all rhetorical questions assuming a negative answer]. Not all are prophets. Not all are teachers. Not all do miracles. 30 Not all have gifts of healing. Not all speak ·in different languages [or with ecstatic utterance; L in tongues]. Not all interpret those ·languages [L tongues]. 31 But ·you should truly want to have [eagerly desire; be zealous for] the greater gifts.

And now I will show you ·the best way of all [a better/superior way].

Love Is the Greatest Gift

13 I may speak in ·different languages [L tongues; 12:10, 29, 30] of people or even angels. But if I do not have love, I am only a ·noisy [resounding] ·bell [gong] or a ·crashing [clanging] cymbal. I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all ·the secret things of God [L mysteries] and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body ·as an offering to be burned [L to be burned].[a] But I gain nothing if I do not have love.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not ·jealous [envious], it does not brag, and it is not ·proud [arrogant; conceited; puffed up]. Love is not ·rude [disrespectful], is not ·selfish [self-serving], and ·does not get upset with others [is not easily provoked/angered]. Love does not ·count up [keep a record of] wrongs that have been done. Love ·takes no pleasure [does not rejoice] in ·evil [wrongdoing; injustice] but rejoices over the truth. Love ·patiently accepts all things [T bears all things; or always protects], ·always trusts [T believes all things], ·always hopes [T hopes all things], and ·always endures [T endures all things].

Love never ·ends [fails; falls short]. There are gifts of prophecy, but they will ·be ended [cease; pass away]. There are gifts of ·speaking in different languages [or ecstatic utterance; L tongues], but those gifts will ·stop [cease; fall silent]. There is the gift of knowledge, but it will ·come to an end [pass away; be set aside]. ·The reason is that [For] ·our knowledge and our ability to prophesy are not perfect [L we know in part/imperfectly and we prophesy in part/incompletely]. 10 But when ·perfection [the perfect; completeness; wholeness] comes, the ·things that are not perfect [partial] will ·end [pass away; be set aside]. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I ·stopped [set aside] those childish ways. 12 ·It is the same with us [L For…]. Now we see ·a dim reflection [obscurely; or indirectly], ·as if we were looking into a mirror [T through a glass darkly], but then we shall see ·clearly [L face to face]. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as ·God has known me [L I am fully known]. 13 So these three things ·continue forever [endure; remain]: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.


  1. 1 Corinthians 13:3 give… burned Other Greek copies read “hand over my body in order that I may brag.”
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Psalm 37:1-11

God Will Reward Fairly

Of David.

37 Don’t be ·upset [worried; angry] because of evil people.
Don’t be jealous of those who do wrong [Prov. 24:1, 19],
because like the grass, they will ·soon [quickly] ·dry up [wither].
Like green plants, they will soon ·die [fade] away.

·Trust [L Have confidence in] the Lord [Prov. 3:5] and do good.
·Live [Reside; Settle] in the land and ·feed on truth [or find reliable pastureland].
Enjoy serving the Lord,
and he will give you ·what you want [L the requests of your heart].
·Depend on [L Commit your way to] the Lord;
·trust [have confidence in] him, and he will take care of you [Prov. 16:3; 1 Pet. 5:7].
Then your ·goodness [righteousness] will shine like the ·sun [L light],
and your ·fairness [justice] like the noonday sun.

·Wait [L Be quiet before] and ·trust [L wait for] the Lord.
Don’t be ·upset [worried; angry] ·when others get rich [L with the prosperity/success of their way]
or when ·someone else’s plans succeed [or they do evil deeds].
·Don’t get angry [L Hold back from anger; Abandon wrath].
Don’t be ·upset [worried; angry]; it only leads to ·trouble [or evil].
Evil people will be ·sent away [L cut off],
but those who ·trust [wait/pin their hope on] the Lord will inherit the land.
10 In a little while the wicked will be no more.
You may look for them, but they will be ·gone [or no more].
11 ·People who are not proud [L The humble/meek] will inherit the land [Matt. 5:5]
and will enjoy ·complete peace [or much prosperity].

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Proverbs 21:23-24

23 Those who ·are careful about what they say [L guard their mouth and tongue]
·keep themselves out of [guard themselves from] trouble.

24 People who act with stubborn pride
are called “proud,” “bragger,” and “mocker.”

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