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Esther 4:1-17; 5:1-14 – Esther Risks Her Life (Background Scriptures)

Key Scripture

Go, gather together all the Jews who are  present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days,  night or day: I also and my maidens will fast in like manner; and so will I go  in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.  — Esther 4:16

Background Scriptures


Esther 4

1 Now when Mordecai knew all that was done, Mordecai tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry; 2 and he came even before the king’s gate: for none might enter within the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. 3 In every province, wherever the king’s commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4 Esther’s maidens and her chamberlains came and told it her; and the queen was exceedingly grieved: and she sent clothing to clothe Mordecai, and to take his sackcloth from off him; but he didn’t receive it.

5 Then called Esther for Hathach, one of the king’s chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend on her, and charged him to go to Mordecai, to know what this was, and why it was. 6 So Hathach went forth to Mordecai to the broad place of the city, which was before the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him of all that had happened to him, and the exact sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king’s treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them. 8 Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given out in Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther, and to declare it to her, and to charge her that she should go in to the king, to make supplication to him, and to make request before him, for her people. 9 Hathach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai. 10 Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a message to Mordecai [saying]: 11 All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whoever, whether man or woman, shall come to the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law for him, that he be put to death, except those to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days. 12 They told to Mordecai Esther’s words. 13 Then Mordecai bade them return answer to Esther, Don’t think to yourself that you shall escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. 14 For if you altogether hold your peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish: and who knows whether you haven’t come to the kingdom for such a time as this? 15 Then Esther bade them return answer to Mordecai, 16 Go, gather together all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast you for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast in like manner; and so will I go in to the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish. 17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Esther 5

1 Now it happened on the third day, that Esther put on her royal clothing, and stood in the inner court of the king’s house, over against the king’s house: and the king sat on his royal throne in the royal house, over against the entrance of the house. 2 It was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight; and the king held out to Esther the golden scepter that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the scepter. 3 Then said the king to her, What will you, queen Esther? and what is your request? it shall be given you even to the half of the kingdom. 4 Esther said, If it seem good to the king, let the king and Haman come this day to the banquet that I have prepared for him. 5 Then the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that it may be done as Esther has said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared. 6 The king said to Esther at the banquet of wine, What is your petition? and it shall be granted you: and what is your request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed. 7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is: 8 if I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do tomorrow as the king has said.

9 Then went Haman forth that day joyful and glad of heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king’s gate, that he didn’t stand up nor move for him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself, and went home; and he sent and fetched his friends and Zeresh his wife. 11 Haman recounted to them the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things in which the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. 12 Haman said moreover, Yes, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king to the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and tomorrow also am I invited by her together with the king. 13 Yet all this avails me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. 14 Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends to him, Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak you to the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go you in merrily with the king to the banquet. The thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

Devotional Reading:

Philippians 1:20-30:

20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will in no way be put to shame, but with all boldness, as always, now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life, or by death.

21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if to live in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; then I don’t make known what I will choose. 23 But I am in a dilemma between the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Yet, to remain in the flesh is more needful for your sake. 25 Having this confidence, I know that I will remain, yes, and remain with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 that your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me through my presence with you again.

27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel; 28 and in nothing frightened by the adversaries, which is for them a proof of destruction, but to you of salvation, and that from God. 29 Because it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer on his behalf, 30 having the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear is in me.

Scriptures are from the World English Bible translation.

Dawn Lesson

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