ESTER.


[Ahashuerosh royall feast.]





Introductory matter



THE ARGVMENT.

Because of the diuersitie of names, whereby they vsed to name their Kings, & the supputation of yeres wherein the Ebrewes, and the Grecians doe vary, diuers autors write diuersly as touching this Ahashuerosh, but it seemeth Daniel 6. 1. & 9. 1. that he was Darius King of the Medes, and sonne of Astyages, called also Ahashuerosh, which was a name of honour, and signified great and chiefe, as chiefe head. Herein is declared the great mercies of God toward his Church: who neuer faileth them in their greatest dangers, but when all hope of worldly helpe faileth, he euer stirreth vp some, by whom he sendeth comfort, and deliuerance. Herein also is described the ambition, pride and crueltie of the wicked, when they come to honour, and their sudden fall when they are at highest: and howe God preserueth, and preferreth them which are zealous of his glory, and haue a care and loue toward their brethren.




CHAP. I.


3 King Ahashuerosh maketh a royall feast, 12 whereunto the Queene Vashti wil not come, 19 for which cause she is diuorced. 20 The Kings decree touching the preeminence of man.

1 In the dayes of [Note: [a] Called also Darius, who was now the soueraigne Monarch, and had the gouernment of the Medes, Persians & Chaldeans. some thinke he was Darius Hystaspis sonne, called also Artaxerxes. ] Ahashuerosh (this is Ahashuerosh that reigned, from India euen vnto Ethiopia, ouer an [Note: [b] Daniel chap.6.1. maketh mention but of sixe score, leauing out the nomber that is vnperfite, as ye Scripture in diuers places vseth. ] hundreth, and seuen and twentie prouinces)

2 In those dayes when the King Ahashuerosh [Note: [c] That is, had rest, and quietnes. ] sate on his throne, which was in the palace of [Note: Nehem.1.1. ] Shushan,

3 In the third yeere of his reigne, he made a feast vnto all his princes and his seruants, euen the power of Persia and Media, and to the captaines and gouernours of the prouinces which were before him,

4 That he might shewe the riches & glorie of his kingdome, and the honour of his great maiestie many dayes, euen an hundreth and foure score dayes.

5 And when these dayes were expired, the King made a feast to all the people that were founde in the palace of Shushan, both vnto great and small, seuen dayes, in the court of the garden of the Kings palace,

6 Vnder an hanging of white, greene, & blue clothes, fastened with cordes of fine linen & purple, in siluer rings, & pillars of marble: the [Note: [d] Which they vsed in those countries in steade of tables. ] beds were of golde, and of siluer vpon a pauement of porphyre, & marble & alabaster, & blue colour.

7 And they gaue them drinke in vessels of golde, and changed vessel after vessel, and royall wine in abundance according to the [Note: [e] As was beseeming for so magnificall a King. ] power of the King.

8 And the drinking was by an order, none might [Note: [f] None might be copelled to drinke more then it pleased him. ] compel: for so the King had appoynted vnto all the officers of his house, that they should do according to euery mans pleasure.

9 The Queene Vashti made a feast also for the women in the royall house of King Ahashuerosh.

10 Vpon the [Note: [g] Which was the last day of the feast that the King made for the people, as verse 5. ] seuenth daye when the King was merie with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, & Carcas, the seuen eunuches, (that serued in the presence of King Ahashuerosh)

11 To bring Queene Vashti before the King with the crowne royall, that he might shewe the

[Queene Vashties disobedience.]



people and the princes her beautie: for shee was fayre to looke vpon.

12 But the Queene Vashti refused to come at the Kings worde, [Note: Ebr. which was in the hand of the eunuches. ] which he had giuen in charge to the eunuches: therefore the King was very angry, and his wrath kindled in him.

13 Then the King said to the wise men, [Note: [h] That had experience of things as they had learned by diligent marking in continuace of time. ] that knew the times (for so was the Kings maner towards all that knew the law and the iudgement:

14 And the next vnto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan the seuen princes of Persia and Media, which sawe the [Note: [i] Which were his chiefe counselers, that might haue alwayes accesse to him. ] Kings face, and sate the first in the kingdome)

15 What shal we do vnto the Queene Vashti according to the law, because she did not according to the worde of the King Ahashuerosh by the commission of the eunuches?

16 Then Memucan answered before the King & the Princes, The Queene Vashti hath not only done [Note: [k] By her disobedience she hath giuen an example to all women to do the like to their husbands. ] euill against the King, but against all the princes, and against all the people that are in all the prouinces of King Ahashuerosh.

17 For the [Note: [l] That is, her disobedience. ] acte of the Queene shall come abroade vnto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their owne eyes, & shal say, The King Ahashuerosh comanded Vashti the Queene to be brought in before him, but she came not.

18 So shall the [Note: [m] Meaning, that they would take first occasion hereof to do the like, & that the rest of women would by continuance do the same. ] princesses of Persia and Media this day say vnto all the Kings Princes, when they heare of the acte of the Queene: thus shall there be much despitefulnesse and wrath.

19 If it please the King, let a royal decree proceede from him, and let it be written among the statutes of Persia, & Media, (& let it not be transgressed) that Vashti come [Note: [n] Let her be diuorced & another made Queene. ] no more before King Ahashuerosh: & let the King giue her royal estate vnto her companion that is better then she.

20 And when the decree of the King which shalbe made, shalbe published throughout all his kingdome (though it be [Note: [o] For he had vnder him an hundreth twentie and seuen countries. ] great) all the women shall giue their husbands honour, both great and small.

21 And this saying pleased the King and the princes, and the King did according to the worde of Memucan.

22 For he sent letters into all the prouinces of the King, into euery prouince according to the writing thereof, and to euery people after their [Page]

[The Kings commission.]



language, that euery man should [Note: [p] That is, that the wife should be subiect to the husband, and at his commandement. ] beare rule in his owne house, and that he should publish it in the language of that same people.


CHAP. II.


2 After the Queene is put away, certaine yong maydes are brought to the King. 17 Ester pleaseth the King, and is made Queene. 22 Mordecai discloseth vnto the King those that would betray him.

1 After these things, when the wrath of King Ahashuerosh was appeased, he [Note: [a] That is, he called the matter againe into communication. ] remembred Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed [Note: [b] By the seuen wise men of his counsell. ] against her.

2 And the Kings seruants that ministred vnto him, sayd, Let them seeke for the King beautifull yong virgins,

3 And let the King appoynt officers through all the prouinces of his kingdome, and let them gather all the beautiful yong virgins vnto the palace of Shushan, into the house of the women, vnder the hand of Hege the Kings eunuche, [Note: [c] The abuse of these countries was so great, that they inuented many meanes to serue the lustes of princes, & therefore, as they ordeined wicked lawes that the King might haue whose daughters he would, so they had diuers houses appoynted, as one for them, whiles they were virgins, another when they were concubines, & for the Queenes another. ] keeper of the women, to giue them their things [Note: [d] Reade what this purification was, verse 12. ] for purification.

4 And the mayde that shall please the King, let her reigne in the steade of Vashti. And this pleased the King, and he did so.

5 In the citie of Shushan, there was a certaine Iewe, whose name was Mordecai the sonne of Iair, the sonne of Shimei, the sonne of Kish a man of Iemini,

6 Which had bene caryed away from Ierusalem [Note: 2.King.24.15. ] with the captiuitie that was caryed away with Ieconiah King of Iudah (whom Nebuchad-nezzar King of Babel had caryed away)

7 And he nourished Hadassah, that is Ester, his vncles daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, & the mayde was fayre, and beautifull to looke on: & after the death of her father, and her mother, Mordecai tooke her for his own daughter

8 And when the Kings commandement, and his decree was published, and many maydes were brought together to the palace of Shushan, vnder the hand of Hege, Ester was brought also vnto the Kings house vnder the hande of Hege the keeper of the women.

9 And the mayde pleased him, & she founde fauour in his sight: therefore he caused her things for purification to be giuen her speedily, and her [Note: Ebr. portions. ] state, and seuen comely maides to be giuer her out of the Kings house, and he gaue change to her and to her maydes of the best in the house of the women.

10 But Ester shewed not her people and her kinred: for Mordecai had charged her, that shee should not tell it.

11 Aud Mordecai walked [Note: [e] For though she was taken away by a cruell law, yet he ceased not to haue a fatherly care ouer her, & therefore did resort oft times to heare of her. ] euery day before the court of the womens house, to knowe if Ester did well, and what should be done with her.

12 And when the course of euery mayd came, to go in to King Ahashuerosh, after that she had bene twelue moneths according to the maner of the women (for so were the dayes of their purifications accomplished, sixe moneths with oyle of myrrhe, and sixe moneths with sweete odours and in the purifying of the women:

13 And thus went the maides vnto the King) whatsoeuer she required, was [Note: [f] What apparell shee asked of the eunuch, that was he bound to giue her. ] giuen her, to go wt her out of the womens house vnto ye kings house.

14 In the euening she went, & on the morow she returned into the second house of the women vnder the hand of Shaashgaz the Kings eunuche,

[Ester Queene. Haman exalted.]



which kept the concubines: shee came in to the King no more, except shee pleased the King, and that she were called by name.

15 Now when the course of Ester the daughter of Abihail the vncle of Mordecai (which had taken her as his owne daughter) came, that shee should go in to the King, she desired nothing, but what [Note: Or, Hegai. ] Hege the Kings eunuche the keeper of the women [Note: [g] Wherein her modestie appeaed because she sought not apparell to commend her beautie, but stoode to the Eunuches appoyntment. ] sayde: and Ester founde fauour in the sight of all them that looked vpon her.

16 So Ester was taken vnto King Ahashuerosh into his house royall in the tenth moneth, which is the [Note: [h] Which conteined part of December and part of Ianuarie. ] moneth Tebeth, in the seuenth yeere of his reigne.

17 And the King loued Ester aboue all the women, and shee founde grace and fauour in his sight more then all the virgins: so that he set the crowne of the kingdome vpon her head, & made her Queene instead of Vashti.

18 Then the King made a great feast vnto all his princes, & his seruants, which was [Note: [i] That is, made for her sake. ] the feast of Ester, & gaue rest [Note: [k] He released their tribute. ] vnto the prouinces, and gaue gifts, according to [Note: [l] That is, great & magnificall. ] the power of a King.

19 And whe the virgins were gathered ye [Note: [m] That is, at the mariage of Ester, which was the second mariage of the King. ] second time, then Mordecai sate in the Kings gate.

20 Ester had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people, as Mordecai had charged her: for Ester did after the worde of Mordecai, as when she was nourished with him.

21 In those dayes whe Mordecai sate in the Kings gate, two of the Kings eunuches, Bigthan and Teresh, which kept the doore, were wroth, & sought to lay [Note: [n] Meaning, to kill him. ] hand on the King Ahashuerosh.

22 And the thing was knowen to Mordecai, and he tolde it vnto Queene Ester, and Ester certified the King thereof in Mordecais name: and when inquisition was made, it was found so: therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the booke of the [Note: [o] In the Chronicles of the Medes and Persians, as Chap.10.2. ] Chronicles before the King.


CHAP. III.


1 Haman, after he was exalted, obtained of the King, that all the Iewes shoulde be put to death, because Mordecai had not done him worship as other had.

1 After these things did King Ahashuerosh promote Haman the sonne of Hammedatha the Agagite, and exalted him, and set his seate aboue all the princes that were with him.

2 And all the Kings seruants that were at the Kings gate, bowed their knees, & reuerenced Haman: for the King had so commaunded concerning him: but Mordecai [Note: [a] The Persians maner was to kneele downe and reuerence their kings, & such as he appointed in chief autoritie, which Mordecai would not do to this ambitious & proude man. ] bowed not the knee, neither did reuerence.

3 Then the Kings seruants which were at the Kings gate, said vnto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the Kings commandement?

4 And albeit they spake dayly vnto him, yet he would not heare them: therefore they [Note: [b] Thus we see that there is none so wicked, but they haue their flatterers to accuse the godly. ] tolde Haman, that they might see how Mordecais matters would stande: for he had tolde them, that he was a Iewe.

5 And when Haman sawe that Mordecai bowed not the knee vnto him, nor did reuerence vnto him, then Haman was full of wrath.

6 Now he [Note: Ebr. despised in his eyes. ] thought it too litle to lay hands onely on Mordecai: & because they had shewed him the people of Mordecai, Haman sought to destroy all the Iewes, that were throughout the whole kingdome of Ahashuerosh, euen the people of Mordecai.


[Page 178]

[The Kings cruel decree.]




7 In the first moneth (that is the moneth [Note: [c] Which answereth to part of March and part of April. ] Nisan) in the twelft yere of King Ahashuerosh, they cast Pur (that is a lot) [Note: [d] To know what moneth and day should be good to enterprise this thing, yt it might haue good successe: but God disappointed their lots and expectation. ] before Haman, from day to day, & from moneth to moneth, vnto the twelft moneth, that is the moneth [Note: [e] Conteining part of Februarie, and part of March, ] Adar.

8 Then Haman said vnto King Ahashuerosh, There is a people scattered, and dispersed among the people in all the prouinces of thy kingdome, and their lawes are diuers from all people, and they doe not obserue the [Note: [f] These be the two arguments which commonly the worldlings & the wicked vse toward princes against the godly, that is, the contempt of their lawes, and diminishing of their profite: without respect how God is eyther pleased or displeased. ] Kings lawes: therefore it is not the Kings profite to suffer them.

9 If it please the King, let it be written that they may he destroyed, and I will [Note: Ebr. weigh. ] pay ten thousand talents of siluer by the handes of them that haue the charge of this businesse to bring it into the Kings treasurie.

10 Then the King tooke his ring from his hand & gaue it vnto Haman the sonne of Hammedatha the Agagite the Iewes aduersarie.

11 And the King sayde vnto Haman, Let the siluer be thine, and the people to doe with them as it pleaseth thee.

12 Then were the Kings [Note: Or, secretaries. ] scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first moneth, and there was written (according to all that Haman commaunded) vnto the Kings officers, and to the captaines that were ouer euery prouince, and to the rulers of euery people, and to euery prouince, according to the writing thereof, and to euery people according to their language: in the name of King Ahashuerosh was it written, and sealed with the Kings ring.

13 And the letters were sent [Note: Ebr. the hands of postes. ] by postes into all the Kings prouinces, to roote out, to kill and to destroy all the Iewes, both yong & olde, children and women, in one day vpon the thirteenth day of the twelft moneth, (which is the moneth Adar) and to spoyle them as a pray.

14 The contents of the writing was, that there shoulde be giuen a commandement in all prouinces, and published vnto all people, that they should be ready against the same day.

15 And the postes compelled by the Kings commaundement went forth, and the commandement was giuen in the palace at Shushan: and the King & Haman sate drinking, but the [Note: [g] To wit, the Iewes, that were in Shushan. ] citie of Shushan was in perplexitie.


CHAP. IIII.


5 Mordecai giueth the Queene knowledge of the cruell decree of the King against the Iewes. 16 Shee willeth that they pray for her.

1 Now when Mordecai perceiued all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackecloth and ashes, and went out into the middes of the citie, and cryed with a great crye, and a bitter.

2 And he came euen before the Kings [Note: [a] Because hee would aduertise Ester of this cruel proclamation. ] gate, but he might not enter within the Kings gate, being clothed with sackecloth.

3 And in euery prouince, and place, whither the Kings charge and his commission came, there was great sorowe among the Iewes, and fasting, and weeping and mourning, and [Note: Ebr. sackcloth, and ashes were spread for many. ] many laye in sackecloth and in ashes.

4 Then Esters maydes and her eunuches came and tolde it her: therefore the Queene was very heauie, and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take away his sackecloth from him, but he receiued it not.

5 Then called Ester Hatach one of the Kings

[Gods prouidence.]



eunuches, whom he [Note: Ebr. had caused to stand before her. ] had appointed to serue her, and gaue him a commandement vnto Mordecai, to knowe what it was, and why it was.

6 So Hatach went foorth to Mordecai vnto the streete of the citie, which was before the Kings gate.

7 And Mordecai tolde him of all that which had come vnto him, and of the [Note: Ebr. declaration. ] summe of the siluer that Haman had promised to pay vnto the Kings treasures, because of the Iewes, for to destroy them.

8 Also he gaue him the [Note: Or, contents. ] copy of the writing and commission that was giuen at Shushan, to destroy them, that he might shewe it vnto Ester and declare it vnto her, and to charge her that she should goe in to the King, and make petition and supplication before him for her people.

9 So when Hatach came, he told Ester the wordes of Mordecai.

10 Then Ester sayde vnto Hatach, and commaunded him to say vnto Mordecai,

11 All the Kings seruants and the people of the Kings prouinces doe knowe, that whosoeuer, man or woman, that commeth to the King into the inner court, which is not called, there is a law of his, that he shall dye, except him to whom the King holdeth out the golden rodde, that he may liue. Now I haue not bene called to come vnto the King these thirtie dayes.

12 And they certified Mordecai of Esters wordes.

13 And Mordecai saide, that they should answere Ester thus, Thinke not with thy selfe that thou shalt escape in the Kings house, more then all the Iewes.

14 For if thou holdest thy peace at this time, [Note: Ebr. breathing. ] comfort and deliuerance [Note: [b] Thus Mordecai spake in ye confidence of yt faith, which all Gods children ought to haue: which is, that God will deliuer them, though al worldly meanes fayle. ] shall appeare to the Iewes out of another place, but thou and thy fathers house shall perish: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdome for [Note: [c] For to deliuer Gods Church out of these present dangers. ] such a time?

15 Then Ester commanded to answere Mordecai,

16 Goe, and assemble all the Iewes that are found in Shushan, & fast ye for me, and eate not, nor drinke in three dayes, day nor night. I also and my maydes will fast likewise, and so will I go in to the King, which is not according to the lawe: and if I perish, [Note: [d] I will put my life in danger and referre the successe to God, seeing it is for his glory and the deliuerance of his Church. ] I perish.

17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Ester had commaunded him.


CHAP. V.


1 Ester entreth in to the King, and biddeth him and Haman to a feast. 14 Haman prepareth a galous for Mordecai.

1 And on the third [Note: [a] To wit, after that the Iewes had begun to fast. ] day Ester put on her royal apparel, and stood in the court of the Kings palace within, ouer against the Kings house: and the King sate vpon his royal throne in the Kings palace ouer against the gate of the house.

2 And when the King saw Ester the Queene standing in the court, shee founde fauour in his sight: and the King [Note: [b] Which was a signe that her comming was agreeable vnto him, as Chap. 4.11. ] held out the golden scepter that was in his hand: so Ester drewe nere, and touched the toppe of the scepter.

3 Then saide the King vnto her, What wilt thou, Queene Ester? & what is thy request? it shal be euen giuen [Note: [c] Meaning hereby, that whatsoeuer shee asked, should be graunted, as Mar.6.23. ] thee to the halfe of ye kingdome.

4 Then saide Ester, If it please the King, let the King & Haman come this day vnto the banket, that I haue prepared for him.
[Page]

[Hamans gallowes.]




5 And the King sayd, Cause Haman to make haste that he may doe as Ester hath sayde. So the King and Haman came to the banket that Ester had prepared.

6 And the King sayd vnto Ester at the banket of [Note: [d] Because they vsed to drinke excesiuely in their bankets, they called the banket by the name of that, which was most in vse or esteemed. ] wine, What is thy petition, that it may be giuen thee? and what is thy request? it shall euen be performed vnto the halfe of the kingdome.

7 Then answered Ester, and sayd, My petition and my request is,

8 If I haue found fauour in the sight of the King, and if it please the King to giue me my petition, and to perfourme my request, let the King and Haman come to the banket that I shall prepare for them, and I will doe to morowe according to the Kings [Note: [e] I will declare what thing I demaund. ] saying.

9 Then went Haman forth the same day ioyfull and with a glad heart. But when Haman sawe Mordecai in the Kings gate, that he stoode not vp, nor moued for him, then was Haman full of indignation at Mordecai.

10 Neuerthelesse Haman refrayned himselfe: and when he came home, he sent, and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.

11 And Haman tolde them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the King had [Note: [f] Thus the wicked when they are promoted, in stead of acknowledging their charge and humbling themselues, waxe ambitious, disdainefull, and cruell. ] promoted him, & how that he had set him aboue the princes and seruants of the King.

12 Haman sayde moreouer, Yea, Ester the Queene did let no man come in with the King to the banket that she had prepared, saue me: and to morowe am I bidden vnto her also with the King.

13 But al this doth nothing auaile me, as long as I see Mordecai ye Iewe sitting at ye Kings gate.

14 Then sayde Zeresh his wife and all his friends vnto him, Let them make a tree of fiftie [Note: [g] Meaning, the highest that could be found. ] cubites hie, and to morowe speake thou vnto the King, that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then shalt thou goe ioyfully with the King vnto the banket. And the thing pleased Haman, and he caused to make the tree.


CHAP. VI.


1 The King turneth ouer the Chronicles, and findeth the fidelitie of Mordecai, 10 and commaundeth Haman to cause Mordecai to be had in honour.

1 The same night [Note: Ebr. the kings sleepe departed. ] the King slept not, & he comanded to bring ye booke of the records, and the chronicles: & they were read before ye King.

2 Then it was found written that Mordecai [Note: Chap.2.22. ] had tolde of Bigtana, and Teresh two of the Kings eunuches, keepers of the dore, who sought to lay hands on the King Ahashuerosh.

3 Then the King sayde, What honour and dignitie hath bene giuen to Mordecai [Note: [a] For he thought vnworthie his state to receiue a benefite, and not rewarde it. ] for this? And the Kings seruants that ministred vnto him, sayd, There is nothing done for him.

4 And the King sayde, Who is in the court? (Now Haman was come into the inner court of the Kings house, that he might speake vnto the King to [Note: [b] Thus while the wicked imagine the destruction of others, they themselues fall into the same pit. ] hang Mordecai on the tree that he had prepared for him.)

5 And the Kings seruants said vnto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the King sayd, Let him come in.

6 And when Haman came in, the King saide vnto him, What shalbe done vnto ye man, whom the King will honour? Then Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the King do honour

[Mordecai promoted.]



more then to me?

7 And Haman answered the King, The man whome the King would honour,

8 Let them bring for him royall apparell, which the King vseth to weare, and the [Note: [c] Meaning hereby that the King should make him next vnto himself, as Ioseph hereby was knowen to be next to Pharaoh, Gen 41.42. ] horse that the King rideth vpon, and that the crowne royall may be set vpon his head.

9 And let the raiment and the horse be deliuered by the hand of one of the Kings most noble princes, & let them apparel the man (whome the King will honour) and cause him to ride vpon the horse thorow the streete of the citie, and proclayme before him, Thus shall it be done vnto the man, whome the King will honour.

10 Then the King said to Haman, Make haste, take the rayment and the horse as thou hast said, and doe so vnto Mordecai the Iewe, that sitteth at the Kings gate: let nothing fayle of all that thou hast spoken.

11 So Haman tooke the rayment and the horse, and arayed Mordecai, and brought him on horse backe thorowe the streete of the citie, and proclaymed before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom the King will honour.

12 And Mordecai came againe to the Kings gate, but Haman hasted home mourning and his head couered.

13 And Haman tolde Zeresh his wife, and all his friends all that had befallen him. Then sayd his wise men, & Zeresh his wife vnto him, If Mordecai be of the seede of the Iewes, before whom thou hast begunne to fall; thou shalt not preuaile against him, [Note: [d] Thus God sometime putteth in the mouth of the very wicked, to speake that thing, which he hath decreed shall come to passe. ] but shalt surely fall before him.

14 And while they were yet talking wt him, came the Kings eunuches & hasted to bring Haman vnto the banket that Ester had prepared.


CHAP. VII.


3 The Queene biddeth the King and Haman againe & prayeth for her selfe and her people. 6 She accuseth Haman, and he is hanged on the galous, which he had prepared for Mordecai.

1 So the King and Haman came to banket with the Queene Ester.

2 And the King said againe vnto Ester on the second day at the banket of [Note: [a] Reade Chap. 5.6. ] wine, What is thy petition, Queene Ester, that it may be giue thee? and what is thy request? It shalbe euen perfourmed vnto the halfe of the kingdome.

3 And Ester the Queene answered, and said, If I haue found fauour in thy sight, O King, and if it please the King, let my life be giuen me at my petition, and my people at my request.

4 For we are solde, I, & my people, to be destroyed, to be slayne and to perish: but if we were solde for seruants, and for handmaides, I woulde haue helde my tongue: although the aduersarie could not [Note: [b] Haman could not so much profit the King by this his malice, as he should hinder him by the losse of the Iewes, and the tribute which he hath of them. ] recompense the Kings losse.

5 Then King Ahashuerosh answered, and said vnto the Queene Ester, Who is he? and where is he that [Note: Ebr. filleth his heart. ] presumeth to doe thus?

6 And Ester said, The aduersarie and enemie is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afrayde before the King and the Queene.

7 And the King arose from ye banket of wine in his wrath, and went into the palace garden: but Haman stood vp, to make request for his life to the Queene Ester: for he sawe that there was a [Note: [c] His conscience did accuse him that as he had conspired the death of innocents, so the vengeance of God might fall vpon him for ye same. ] mischiefe prepared for him of the King.

8 And when the King came againe out of the palace garden, into the house where they dranke wine, Haman was [Note: [d] He fell downe at the beds feete or couche, whereupon she sate, and made request for his life. ] fallen vpon the bed

[Page 179]

[Haman hanged. Mordecai exalted.]



whereon Ester sate! therefore the King sayd, Will he force the Queene also before me in the house? As the worde went out of the Kings mouth, they [Note: [e] This was the maner of the Persians, when one was out of the Kings fauour. ] couered Hamans face.
9 And Harbonah one of the eunuches, sayde in the presence of the King, Beholde, there standeth yet the tree in Hamans house fiftie cubites hie, which Haman had prepared for Mordecai, that spake [Note: [f] Which discouered the conspiracie against the King, Chap.2.21,22. ] good for the King. Then the King sayd, Hang him thereon.

10 So they hanged Haman on the tree, that he had prepared for Mordecai: then was the Kings wrath pacified.



CHAP. VIII.


1 After the death of Haman was Mordecai exalted. 14 Comfortable letters are sent vnto the Iewes.

1 The same day did King Ahashuerosh giue the house of Haman the aduersarie of the Iewes vnto the Queene Ester. and Mordecai [Note: [a] That is, was receiued into the Kings fauour and presence. ] came before the King: for Ester tolde what hee was [Note: [b] That he was her vncle, and had brought her vp. ] vnto her.

2 And the King tooke off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gaue it vnto Mordecai: and Ester set Mordecai ouer the house of Haman.

3 And Ester spake yet more before the King, and fell downe at his feete weeping, & besought him that he would put away the [Note: [c] Meaning, that he should abolish the wicked decrees, which he had made for the destruction of the Iewes. ] wickednes of Haman the Agagite, and his deuice that he had imagined against the Iewes.

4 And the King held out the golden [Note: [d] Reade Chap.5,2. ] scepter toward Ester. Then arose Ester, and stood before the King,

5 And sayd, If it please the King, & if I haue found fauour in his sight, and the thing be acceptable before the King, and I please him, let it be written, that the letters of the deuice of Haman the sonne of Ammedatha the Agagite may be called againe, which he wrote to destroy the Iewes, that are in all the Kings prouinces.

6 For how can I suffer and see the euil, that shall come vnto my people? Or howe can I suffer and see the destruction of my kinred?

7 And the King Ahashuerosh sayde vnto the Queene Ester, & to Mordecai the Iewe, Behold, I haue giuen Ester the house of Haman, whome they haue hanged vpon the tree, because he [Note: Or, went about to slay the Iewes. ] layd hand vpon the Iewes.

8 Write yee also for the Iewes, as it liketh you in the Kinges name, and seale it with the Kings ring (for the writings written in the Kings name, and sealed with the Kings ring, may no [Note: [e] This was the law of the Medes and Persians, as Dan.6.15: notwithstanding the King reuoked the former decree graunted to Haman, for Esters sake. ] man reuoke)

9 Then were the Kings Scribes called at the same time, euen in the thirde moneth, that is the moneth [Note: [f] Which conteineth part of May and part of Iune. ] Siuan, on the three and twentieth day thereof: and it was written, according to all as Mordecai commanded, vnto the Iewes and to the princes, and captaines, and rulers of the prouinces, which were from India euen vnto Ethiopia, an hundreth and seuen and twentie prouinces, vnto euery prouince, according to the [Note: [g] That is, in such letters and language, as was vsual in euery prouince. ] writing thereof, and to euery people after their speache, and to the Iewes, according to their writing, and according to their language.

10 And hee wrote in the King Ahashuerosh name, and sealed it with the Kings ring: and he sent letters by postes on horsebacke and that rode on beastes of price, as dromedaries and [Note: Or, mules. ] coltes of mares.

[The Iewes deliuered.]




11 Wherein the King graunted the Iewes (in what cities so euer they were) to gather theselues together, and to stand for [Note: [h] That is, to defend themselues against all that would assaile the. ] their life, & to roote out, to slay & to destroy al the power of the people & of the prouince that vexed them, both children and women, and to spoyle their goods:

12 Vpon one day in all the prouinces of King Ahashuerosh, euen in the thirteenth day of the twelft moneth, which is the moneth [Note: [i] Which hath part of February and part of March. ] Adar.

13 The copie of the writing was, howe there should be a commandement giuen in all & euery prouince, published among all the people, & that the Iewes should be ready against that day to [Note: [k] The King gaue them libertie to kill all that did oppresse them. ] auenge themselues on their enemies.

14 So the postes rode vpon beasts of price, and dromedaries, & went forth with speede, to execute the Kings commaundement, and the decree was giuen at Shushan the palace.

15 And Mordecai went out from the King in royall apparell of blewe, and white, and with a great crowne of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple, and the citie of Shushan reioyced and was glad.

16 And vnto the Iewes was come light and [Note: [l] He sheweth by these wordes that follow, what this light was. ] ioy and gladnes, and honour.

17 Also in all and euery prouince, and in al & euery citie & place, where the Kings commandement and his decree came, there was ioy and gladnes to the Iewes, a feast and good day, and many of the people of the land [Note: [m] Conformed themselues to the Iewes religion. ] became Iewes: for the feare of the Iewes fell vpon them.


CHAP. IX.


1 At the commandement of the King the Iewes put their aduersaries to death. 14 The ten sonnes of Haman are hanged. 17 The Iewes keepe a feast in remembrance of their deliuerance.

1 So in the twelft moneth, which is the moneth Adar, vpon the thirteenth daye of the same, when the Kings commandement and his decree drew neere to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Iewes hoped to haue power ouer them (but it [Note: [a] This was by Gods great prouidece, who turneth the ioy of the wicked into sorowe, & the teares of the godly into gladnes. ] turned contrary: for the Iewes had rule ouer them that hated them)

2 The Iewes gathered themselues together into their cities throughout all the prouinces of the King Ahashuerosh, to lay hande on such as sought their hurt, and no man coulde withstande them: for the feare of them fel vpon al people.

3 And all the rulers of the prouinces, and the princes and the captaines, and the officers of the King [Note: [b] Did them honour, and shewed them friendship. ] exalted the Iewes: for the feare of Mordecai fell vpon them.

4 For Mordecai was great in the kings house, and the report of him went through all the prouinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.

5 Thus the Iewes smote all their [Note: [c] Which had cospired their death by the permission of the wicked Haman. ] enemies with strokes of the sworde and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they woulde vnto those that hated them.

6 And at Shushan the palace slewe the Iewes and destroyed [Note: [d] Besides those three hundreth, that they slew the second day, as verse 15. ] fiue hundreth men,

7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,

8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

9 And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vaiezatha,

10 The ten sonnes of Haman, ye sonne of Ammedatha, the aduersarie of the Iewes slewe they: but they layd not their hands [Note: [e] Whereby they declared, that this was Gods iust iudgement vpon the enemies of his Church, forasmuch as they sought not their owne gaine, but to execute his vengeance. ] on the spoyle.

11 On the same day came ye nomber of those [Page]

[Hamans sonnes hanged.]



that were slayne, vnto the palace of Shushan before the King.

12 And the King sayd vnto the Queene Ester, The Iewes haue slayne in Shushan the palace and destroyed fiue hundreth men, & the ten sonnes of Haman: what haue they done in the rest of the Kings prouinces? and what is thy petition, that it may be giuen thee? or what is thy request moreouer, that it may be performed?

13 Then sayd Ester, If it please the King, let it be granted also to morow to the Iewes that are in Shushan, to do according [Note: [f] This she requireth, not for desire of vengeance, but with zeale to see Gods iudgements executed against his enemies. ] vnto this daies decree, yt they may hang vpon ye tree Hamans ten sonnes.

14 And the King charged to doe so, and the decree was giuen at Shushan, and they hanged Hamans ten sonnes.

15 So the Iewes that were in Shushan, assembled themselues vpon the fourteenth day of the moneth Adar, & slew three hundreth men in Shushan, but on the spoyle they layd not their hand.

16 And the rest of the Iewes that were in the Kings prouinces assembled themselues, and stood for [Note: [g] Reade Chap. 8.11. ] their liues, and had rest from their enemies, and slewe of them that hated them, [Note: [h] Meaning, that they layd hands on none, that were not the enemies of God. ] seuentie and fiue thousand: but they layd not their hand on the spoyle.

17 This they did on the [Note: [i] Meaning, in all places sauing in Shushan. ] thirteenth day of the moneth Adar, & rested the fourteenth day thereof, and kept it a day of feasting and ioy.

18 But the Iewes that were in Shushan assembled themselues on the thirteenth day, & on the fourteenth therof, & they rested on the fifteenth of the same, and kept it a day of feasting & ioy.

19 Therefore the Iewes of the villages that dwelt in the vnwalled townes, [Note: [k] As the Iewes do euen to this day, calling it in the Persians language Purim, that is, the day of lots. ] kept the foureteenth day of the moneth Adar with ioy and feasting, euen a ioyfull day, and euery one sent presents vnto his neighbour.

20 And Mordecai wrote [Note: [l] The Iewes gather hereof that Mordecai wrote this storie, but it seemeth that he wrote but onely these letters, & decrees that followe. ] these words, and sent letters vnto all the Iewes that were through all the prouinces of the King Ahashuerosh, both neere and farre,

21 Inioyning them that they shoulde keepe the fourteenth day of the moneth Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, euery yeere.

22 According to the dayes wherein the Iewes rested from their enemies, and the moneth which was turned vnto them from sorowe to ioy, and from mourning into a ioyfull day, to keepe them the dayes of feasting, and ioy, and [Note: [m] He setteth before our eyes the vse of this feast, which was for the remembrance of Gods deliuerance, the maintenance of mutuall friendship, and reliefe of the poore. ] to sende presents euery man to his neyghbour, and giftes to the poore.

23 And the Iewes promised to do as they had

[A newe feast.]



begun, & as Mordecai had written vnto them,

24 Because Haman the sonne of Hammedatha the Agagite al the Iewes aduersarie, had imagined against the Iewes, to destroy them, and had [Note: [n] Reade Chap. 3.7. ] cast Pur (that is a lot) to consume and destroy them.

25 And when [Note: [o] That is, Ester. ] she came before the King, he commanded by letters, Let this wicked [Note: [p] These are the words of the kings commandement to disanul Hamans wicked enterprise. ] deuise (which he imagined against the Iewes) turne vpon his owne head, and let them hang him and his sonnes on the tree.

26 Therfore they called these dayes Purim, by the name of Pur, & because of all the wordes of this letter, & of that which they had seene besides this, and of that which had come vnto them.

27 The Iewes also ordeined, and promised for them and for their seede, and for all that ioyned vnto them, that they would not [Note: Or, transgresse. ] faile to obserue those [Note: [q] Meaning, the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the moneth Adar. ] two dayes euery yeere, according to their writing, and according to their season,

28 And that these dayes shoulde be remembred, and kept throughout euery generation and euery familie, and euery prouince, and euery citie: euen these daies of Purim should not faile among the Iewes, and the memoriall of them should not perish from their seede.

29 And the Queene Ester ye daughter of Abihail & Mordecai the Iew wrote with al [Note: Or, strength, or efficacie. ] authoritie (to cofirme this letter of Purim ye second time)

30 And he sent letters vnto al the Iewes to the hundreth and seuen and twentie prouinces of the kingdome of Ahashuerosh, with [Note: [r] Which were letters declaring vnto them quietnes, & assurance, & putting them out of doubt & feare. ] words of peace and trueth,

31 To confirme these dayes of Purim, according to their seasons, as Mordecai the Iewe and Ester the Queene had appointed them, & as they had promised for them [Note: Ebr. soules. ] selues and for their seede with [Note: [s] That they would obserue this feast with fasting, and earnest prayer, which in Ebrew is signified by this word (their cry.) ] fasting and prayer.

32 And the decree of Ester confirmed these words of Purim, and was written in the booke.


CHAP. X.


The estimation and authoritie of Mordecai.

1 And the King Ahashuerosh layd a tribute vpon the land, and vpon the yles of the sea.

2 And all the actes of his power, and of his might, & the declaration of the dignitie of Mordecai, wherwith the King magnified him, are they not written in the booke of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?

3 For Mordecai the Iewe was the second vnto King Ahashuerosh, & great among the Iewes, and [Note: [a] These three poyntes are here set forth as commendable, & necessary for him, that is in authoritie: to haue the fauour of the people, to procure their wealth, & to be getle, & louing toward them. ] accepted among the multitude of his brethren, who procured the wealth of his people, and spake peaceably to all his seede.