As much as 1 she exalted herself and lived in sensual luxury, 2 to this extent give her torment and grief because she said to herself, 3 ‘I rule as queen and am no widow; I will never experience grief!’
Jehu encountered 1 the relatives 2 of King Ahaziah of Judah. He asked, “Who are you?” They replied, “We are Ahaziah’s relatives. We have come down to see how 3 the king’s sons and the queen mother’s sons are doing.”
When Esther’s female attendants and her eunuchs came and informed her about Mordecai’s behavior, 1 the queen was overcome with anguish. Although she sent garments for Mordecai to put on so that he could remove his sackcloth, he would not accept them.
to establish these days of Purim in their proper times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established, and just as they had established both for themselves and their descendants, matters pertaining to fasting and lamentation.
The queen of the South 1 will rise up at the judgment 2 with the people 3 of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, 4 something greater 5 than Solomon is here!
When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet of wine, Haman was throwing himself down 1 on the couch where Esther was lying. 2 The king exclaimed, “Will he also attempt to rape the queen while I am still in the building!” As these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, 1 she came to challenge 2 him 3 with difficult questions. 4 She arrived in Jerusalem 5 with a great display of pomp, 6 bringing with her camels carrying spices, 7 a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind.
King Asa also removed Maacah his grandmother 1 from her position as queen mother 2 because she had made a loathsome Asherah pole. Asa cut down her Asherah pole and crushed and burned it in the Kidron Valley.
And the king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she met with his loving approval 1 more than all the other young women. 2 So he placed the royal high turban on her head and appointed her queen 3 in place of Vashti.
Then the king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman! What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? What is your request? It shall be given to you. What other petition do you have? It shall be done.”
The women added, 1 “We did indeed sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven. But it was with the full knowledge and approval of our husbands that we made cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her.” 2
But she is unique! 1 My dove, my perfect one! She is the special daughter 2 of her mother, she is the favorite 3 of the one who bore her. The maidens 4 saw her and complimented her; 5 the queens and concubines praised her:
Kings will be your children’s 1 guardians; their princesses will nurse your children. 2 With their faces to the ground they will bow down to you and they will lick the dirt on 3 your feet. Then you will recognize that I am the Lord; those who wait patiently for me are not put to shame.
Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 1 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 2 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 3
Esther’s command established these matters of Purim, and the matter was officially recorded. 1
The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 1 have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 2
You were adorned with gold and silver, while your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery. You ate the finest flour, honey, and olive oil. You became extremely beautiful and attained the position of royalty.