With antiphonal response they sang, 1 praising and glorifying the Lord: “For he is good; his loyal love toward Israel is forever.” All the people gave a loud 2 shout as they praised the Lord when the temple of the Lord was established.
so that he may initiate a search of the records 1 of his predecessors 2 and discover in those records 3 that this city is rebellious 4 and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 5 from long ago. 6 It is for this very reason that this city was destroyed.
In the first year of his reign, 1 King Cyrus gave orders concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: 2 ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are offered. Let its foundations be set in place. 3 Its height is to be ninety feet and its width ninety 4 feet, 5
The exiles who were returning from the captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel – twelve bulls for all Israel, ninety-six rams, seventy-seven male lambs, along with twelve male goats as a sin offering. All this was a burnt offering to the Lord.
“But now briefly 1 we have received mercy from the Lord our God, in that he has left us a remnant and has given us a secure position 2 in his holy place. Thus our God has enlightened our eyes 3 and has given us a little relief in our time of servitude.
The Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah – said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God!” “May you be blessed, O LORD our God, from age to age. 1 May your glorious name 2 be blessed; may it be lifted up above all blessing and praise.
They captured fortified cities and fertile land. They took possession of houses full of all sorts of good things – wells previously dug, vineyards, olive trees, and fruit trees in abundance. They ate until they were full 1 and grew fat. They enjoyed to the full your great goodness.
He sent letters throughout all the royal provinces, to each province according to its own script and to each people according to its own language, 1 that every man should be ruling his family 2 and should be speaking the language of his own people. 3
This young woman pleased him, 1 and she found favor with him. He quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her rations; he also provided her with the seven specially chosen 2 young women who were from the palace. He then transferred her and her young women to the best quarters in the harem. 3
At the end of the twelve months that were required for the women, 1 when the turn of each young woman arrived to go to King Ahasuerus – for in this way they had to fulfill their time of cosmetic treatment: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfume and various ointments used by women –
But the thought of striking out against 1 Mordecai alone was repugnant to him, for he had been informed 2 of the identity of Mordecai’s people. 3 So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews (that is, the people of Mordecai) 4 who were in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
Letters were sent by the runners to all the king’s provinces stating that 1 they should destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, from youth to elderly, both women and children, 2 on a particular day, namely the thirteenth day 3 of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), and to loot and plunder their possessions.
“Don’t imagine that because you are part of the king’s household you will be the one Jew 1 who will escape. If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear 2 from another source, 3 while you and your father’s household perish. It may very well be 4 that you have achieved royal status 5 for such a time as this!”
Then let this clothing and this horse be given to one of the king’s noble officials. Let him 1 then clothe the man whom the king wishes to honor, and let him lead him about through the plaza of the city on the horse, calling 2 before him, ‘So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!’”
For we have been sold 1 – both I and my people – to destruction and to slaughter and to annihilation! If we had simply been sold as male and female slaves, I would have remained silent, for such distress would not have been sufficient for troubling the king.”
Harbona, 1 one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out in the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s home and is seventy-five feet 2 high.” The king said, “Hang him on it!”
The king thereby allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and to stand up for themselves – to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any army of whatever people or province that should become their adversaries, including their women and children, 1 and to confiscate their property.
For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 2 a prayer 3 of David, written when he fled from Saul into the cave. 4 Have mercy on me, O God! Have mercy on me! For in you I have taken shelter. 5 In the shadow of your wings 6 I take shelter until trouble passes.
For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; 2 a prayer 3 of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him. 4 Deliver me from my enemies, my God! Protect me 5 from those who attack me! 6
Who has ascended into heaven, and then descended? 1 Who has gathered up the winds in his fists? 2 Who has bound up the waters in his cloak? 3 Who has established all the ends of the earth? 4 What is his name, and what is his son’s name? 5 – if you know!