the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? 1 No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” 2
David said to God, “Was I not the one who decided to number the army? I am the one who sinned and committed this awful deed! 1 As for these sheep – what have they done? O Lord my God, attack me and my family, 2 but remove the plague from your people!” 3
King David said to the entire assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is just an inexperienced young man, 1 and the task is great, for this palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.
However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, 1 “Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do, 2 and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do. 3 A man must be executed only for his own sin.” 4
They confronted 1 King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have disobeyed 2 and the Lord God will not honor you!”
He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus whom he thought had defeated him. 1 He reasoned, 2 “Since the gods of the kings of Damascus helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” But they caused him and all Israel to stumble.
In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his ancestor 1 David. In his twelfth year he began ridding 2 Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, Asherah poles, idols, and images.
He has also conferred his favor on me before the king, his advisers, and all the influential leaders of the king. I gained strength as the hand of the Lord my God was on me, and I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.
I said to them, “To the extent possible we have bought back our fellow Jews 1 who had been sold to the Gentiles. But now you yourselves want to sell your own countrymen, 2 so that we can then buy them back!” They were utterly silent, and could find nothing to say.
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, 1 along with all their multitude of stars, 2 the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You impart life to them all, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.
And you solemnly admonished them in order to return them to your law, but they behaved presumptuously and did not obey your commandments. They sinned against your ordinances – those by which an individual, if he obeys them, 1 will live. They boldly turned from you; 2 they rebelled 3 and did not obey.
In the evening she went, and in the morning she returned to a separate part 1 of the harem, to the authority of Shaashgaz the king’s eunuch who was overseeing the concubines. She would not go back to the king unless the king was pleased with her 2 and she was requested by name.
Haman then related to his wife Zeresh and to all his friends everything that had happened to him. These wise men, 1 along with his wife Zeresh, said to him, “If indeed this Mordecai before whom you have begun to fall is Jewish, 2 you will not prevail against him. No, you will surely fall before him!”
Throughout every province and throughout every city where the king’s edict and his law arrived, the Jews experienced happiness and joy, banquets and holidays. Many of the resident peoples 1 pretended 2 to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had overcome them. 3
Lord, use your power to deliver me from these murderers, 1 from the murderers of this world! 2 They enjoy prosperity; 3 you overwhelm them with the riches they desire. 4 They have many children, and leave their wealth to their offspring. 5
I thought deeply 1 about the effects of 2 indulging 3 myself 4 with wine (all the while 5 my mind was guiding me 6 with wisdom) 7 and the effects of 8 behaving foolishly, 9 so that
I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people: 1 to eat and drink, 2 and find enjoyment in all their 3 hard work 4 on earth 5 during the few days of their life which God has given them, for this is their reward. 6
So I recommend the enjoyment of life, 1 for there is nothing better on earth 2 for a person to do 3 except 4 to eat, drink, and enjoy 5 life. 6 So 7 joy 8 will accompany him in his toil during the days of his life which God gives him on earth. 9