8 That day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Mordecai came and appeared before the king, because Esther had told him what Mordecai’s relationship to her was.
2 The king took off his signet ring that he had taken from Haman and gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of the house of Haman.
3 In addition, Esther spoke to the king. She fell at his feet, wept, and requested that he put an end to the evil plan that Haman the Agagite had devised against the Jews.
4 The king held out the golden scepter to Esther. Esther rose and stood in the presence of the king.
5 She said, “If it is acceptable to the king, if I have found favor before him, if this idea seems right to the king, and if I am acceptable to him, a decree should be written to nullify the letters for the plot of Haman, son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews in all of the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I watch the disaster that is about to come on my people! How can I watch the destruction of my relatives!”
7 King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look. I have given Haman’s house to Esther. They have hanged him on the gallows because he raised his hand against the Jews. 8 You can write concerning the Jews whatever seems good to you and seal it with the king’s signet ring, because a document written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be changed.”
9 The king’s scribes were summoned at once, on the twenty-third day of Sivan, the third month. Whatever Mordecai commanded concerning the Jews was written to the satraps, governors, and the officials of the provinces from India to Cush, one hundred twenty-seven provinces in all. They wrote to each province in its own writing system and to each people in its own language (including to the Jews in their writing system and in their language). 10 He wrote in the name of King Xerxes and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. He sent letters by messengers mounted on the king’s fastest thoroughbreds.[a]
The Content and Effect of the Letters
11 The king gave the Jews in every city the right to gather together to defend their own lives and to destroy, kill, and annihilate any military force of any people or province that might attack them, along with their children and their wives, and to plunder their goods.
12 In all the provinces of King Xerxes, 13 a copy of the writing, which was issued as a law for every province, proclaimed to all the peoples that on one day (the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar), the Jews would be ready to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 The couriers riding their swift horses went out quickly, spurred on by the word of the king. The decree originated in Susa, the citadel.
15 Mordecai went out from the king’s presence, dressed in blue and white royal clothing, with a large gold crown and a purple linen cape. The city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. 16 It was a time of light, gladness, joy, and honor for the Jews.
17 In every province and in every city which the message of the king reached, his edict brought gladness and joy to the Jews. There was a feast and a holiday. Many of the peoples of the land declared themselves Jews because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.
9 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (Adar), the day which the king’s proclamation had specified for his decree to be carried out, the day on which the enemies of the Jews hoped to obtain power over them, the situation was reversed so that the Jews would gain power over those who hated them.
2 The Jews gathered in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes, to strike against those seeking to hurt them. No one opposed them because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon all the people. 3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the people who did the work of the king were helping the Jews because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them, 4 because he was important in the king’s house. His reputation was spreading in all the provinces because this man Mordecai was becoming more and more influential.
5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, slaughtering and destroying them. They did whatever they pleased against their enemies.
6 In Susa, the citadel, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, 7 including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10 They killed the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, who had been persecuting the Jews, but they did not seize any plunder.
11 On that day the number of those killed in Susa, the citadel, was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa, the citadel, the Jews have killed five hundred men, including the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the provinces of the king? What is your request? It will be granted. What you are still seeking will be done.”
13 Esther said, “If it seems good to the king, let permission be given to the Jews who are in Susa to carry out today’s order also tomorrow and that the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.”
14 The king said that this would be done. The command was given in Susa. The ten sons of Haman were hanged.
15 The Jews in Susa gathered again on the fourteenth day of Adar. In Susa they killed three hundred men, but they did not seize any plunder.
16 The rest of the Jews who were in the provinces of the king also gathered and defended themselves, getting relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of those who hated them, but they did not seize any plunder. 17 This happened on the thirteenth day of Adar. They rested on the fourteenth and had a day of feasting[b] and joyful celebration.
18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth. They rested on the fifteenth and made it a day of feasting and joyful celebration. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the unwalled towns of the open countryside, have their day of joyful celebration and feasting on the fourteenth of Adar. It is a holiday, and they send portions of food to their neighbors.
20 Mordecai wrote these things down. Then he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Xerxes, both near and far, 21 to call upon them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar every year, 22 because those were the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies. This was the month which was changed from sorrow to gladness for them and from a day of mourning to a holiday. They were to make those days into days of feasting and joyful celebration, sending portions of food to their neighbors and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews completed what they had begun to do and what Mordecai had written to them, 24 because Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the one opposed to all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast pur (that is, they had cast lots) to crush them and to destroy them.
25 However, because Esther came into the presence of the king, he said in writing that Haman’s wicked plot, which he had devised against the Jews, was to return on his own head, and they should hang him and his sons on the gallows.
26 That is why they called these days Purim (lots) because of the word pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, because of what they had observed, and because of what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established this festival and made a commitment that they, their descendants, and all those associated with them would never fail to observe these two days according to these directions and at their proper time every year.
28 These days are to be remembered and preserved in every generation, in every family, province, and city. The Jews should never stop celebrating the days of Purim. Their commemoration should never be set aside by their descendants.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew used their authority to publish this second communication about Purim. 30 He sent letters to all the Jews in one hundred twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Xerxes containing words of true peace, 31 telling them to observe the days of Purim at their appointed times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had given them the responsibility to do, and telling them to carry out the directions about their fasts and their lamentation just as they and their descendants had agreed to do.
32 The command of Esther established the directions about Purim, and they were written in a book.
10 King Xerxes imposed taxes on the land and on the islands and coasts of the sea. 2 All his powerful and mighty acts and the account of the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king promoted, are they not written in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
3 This was written there because Mordecai the Jew, second in command to King Xerxes, was important for the Jews and popular with large numbers of his brother Israelites, because he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all their descendants.
1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13
27 You are the body of Christ, and individually you are members of it. 28 And God appointed in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers; then miracles, healing gifts, helpful acts, leadership abilities, kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all miracle workers? 30 Do all have healing gifts? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly seek the greater gifts. And now, I am going to show you a more excellent way.
Love Matters More Than the Other Gifts
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men and of angels but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and know all the mysteries and have all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away everything I own, and if I give up my body that I may be burned[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not envy. It does not brag. It is not arrogant. 5 It does not behave indecently. It is not selfish. It is not irritable. It does not keep a record of wrongs. 6 It does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth. 7 It bears[c] all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.[d]
8 Love never comes to an end. But if there are prophetic gifts, they will be done away with; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part, 10 but when that which is complete has come, that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see indirectly using a mirror, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I was fully known.
13 So now these three remain: faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
Do Not Fret Because of Evildoers
Do Not Be Frustrated by the Wicked
1 Do not fret because of evildoers.
Do not be envious of those who do wrong,
2 for like grass they will wither quickly.
Like green plants they will wilt.
Trust in God’s Goodness
3 Trust in the Lord, and do good.
Dwell in the land and feed on faithfulness.[a]
4 Take pleasure in the Lord,
and he will grant your heart’s desires.
5 Commit your way to the Lord.
Trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your righteousness shine like light,
your justice like noon.
7 Be silent before the Lord. Wait patiently for him.
Do not fret when an evil man succeeds in his ways,
when he carries out his wicked schemes.
Consider the Final Destiny of the Wicked
8 Let go of anger and abandon rage.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For evildoers will be cut off,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the earth.
10 After a little while the wicked will be no more.
When you search for them at their place, they are not there.
11 But the meek[b] will inherit the earth.
They will enjoy plenty of peace.
23 The person who guards his mouth and his tongue
guards himself from troubles.
24 The contemptuous, insolent person—“Scoffer” is his name—
behaves with overflowing arrogance.