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fet I at the Gates, that there fhould no Burthen be brought in on the Sabbath Day.
20 So the Merchants and Sellers of all kinds of Ware, lodged without Jerufalem once or twice.
21 Then I teftified against them, and faid unto them, Why lodge ye about the Wall? if ye do so again, I will by Hands on you; from that Time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.
22 And I commanded the Levites, that they should cleanfe themselves, and that they should come and keep the Gates, to fanctify the Sabbath-day. Remember me, O my GoD, concerning this alfo, and fpare me according to the Greatnefs of thy Mercy.
23 And in thofe Days alfo faw I Jews that had married Wives of Afhdod, of Ammon, and of Moab :
24 And their Children fpake half in the Speech of Afhdod, and could not fpeak in the Jews Language, but according to the Language of each People.
25 And I contended with them, and curfed them, and fmote certain of them, and pluckt off their Hair, and made them fwear by GOD, faying, Ye shall not give your Daughters unto their Sons, nor take their Daughters unto your Sons, or for your felves.
26 Did not Solomon King of Ifrael fin by these Things? yet among many Nations was there no King like him, who was beloved of his GOD, and God made him King over all Ifrael, nevertheless even him did outlandish Women cause to fin.
27 Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great Evil to tranfgrefs against our GOD, in marrying ftrange Wives?
28 And one of the Sons of Joiada, the Son of Eliafhib the High Prieft, was Son in Law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chafed him from me.
29 Remember them, O my GOD, because they have defiled the Priesthood, and the Covenant of the Priesthood, and of the Levites.
Thus cleanfed I them from all Strangers, and appointed the Wards of the Priests and the Levites, every one in his Bufinefs.
31 And for the Wood-offering, at Times appointed, and for the first Fruits. Remember me, O my GoD, for Good.
Book of ESTHER.
HE following Story may be ftyl'd a facred Drama: The Actors are five Perfons of very different Qualities, and acting very different Parts.
In the Story of Vashti is feen the Folly of an imperious Woman facrificing her Royal Dignity
to her Pride and Infolence.
In Queen Efther is feen the Picture of a most beautiful Woman, endued with the greatest Piety and Wisdom, which the expreffed in preferving her People from utter Destrution; and this fhe refolutely attempted, even at the Hazard of her own Life, faying, If I PERISH, I PERISH.
In the Story of Mordecai, is found the Character of a moft steady and refolved Virtue, expofing himself to the utmoft Danger, rather than violate the Law of his GOD.
In the History of Haman is found the Character of a
moft infolent and rapacious Minister of State, juftly punished for his Pride and Cruelty.
In the Part acted by Ahafuerus is clearly feen the fovereign Dominion of the Almighty, controuling the Counfels of Princes; for the very Night before the cruel Purpose of Haman against Mordecai was to be executed, the King became restlefs; his Sleep flying from him (to relieve himself) he calls for the Annals of his Reign, and there finds the great and unrewarded Services of Mordecai; whereupon he orders the greatest Honours to be done to him, and this to be performed by Haman his Favourite.
CHA P. I.
1 Abafuerus, called alfo Artaxerxes, maketh a Royal Feaft. 10 Vahti the Queen fent for by the King refuseth to come, for which he is depofed. 13 Decree is made that all Wives fhould honour and obey their Husbands.
CHA P. II.
Out of the Choice of Virgins a Queen is to be chofen. 8 Ejther a Jewess is preferred before the reft. 12 The manner of Purification and going in to the King. 15 Efther best pleafing the King is made Queen. 21 Mordecai, the Uncle of Efiber, difcovering the Treafon of two of the King's Chamberlains is recorded in the Chronicles.
Ver. 17HEN the Wrath of King Ahafuerus was appeafed, he remembred Vafhti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.
2 Then faid the King's Servants unto him, Let there be fair young Virgins fought for the King.
3 And let the King appoint Officers in all the Provinces of his Kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young Virgins unto Shufhan, the Palace to the House of the Women, unto the Cuftody of Hege the King's Chamberlain Keeper of the Women, and let their Things for Purification be given them.
4 And let the Maiden which pleaseth the King, be Queen
instead of Vashti. And the Thing pleased the King, and he did fo.
5 Now in Shufhan, the Palace, there was a certain Jew whofe Name was Mordecai, a Benjamite.
6 Who had been carried away in the Captivity of Jeconiah King of Judah.
7 And he brought up Haddafha (that is Efther) his Uncle's Daughter, and the Maiden was fair and beautiful, whom Mordecai, when her Father and Mother were dead, took for his Daughter.
8 So it came to pass when the King's Commandment was heard, and when many Maidens were gathered together unto Shufhan the Palace, that Efther was brought alfo to the King's House to the Cuftody of Hegai, Keeper of the Women.
9 And the Maiden pleafed him, and the obtained Kindness of him, and he speedily gave her Things for Purification, and seven Maidens which were meet to be given her, and he first preferred her and her Maids to the best Place of the House of the Women.
10 Efther had not fhewed her People, nor her Kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
11 And Mordecai walked every Day before the Court of the Womens Houfe, to know how Efther did, and what fhould become of her.
15 Now when the Turn of Efther was come to go in unto the King, fhe required nothing, but what Hegai the King's Chamberlain, the Keeper of the Women, appointed: and Efther obtained Favour in the Sight of all them that looked upon her.
16 So Esther was taken unto King Ahafuerus into his House Royal, in the tenth Month, in the feventh Year of his Reign.
17 And the King loved Efther above all the Women, and fhe obtained Grace and Favour in his Sight, more than all the Virgins; fo that he fet the Royal Crown upon her Head, and made her Queen inftead of Vafhti.
18 Then the King made a great Feaft unto all his Princes and his Servants.
20 Efther had not yet fhewed her Kindred, nor her Pecple; as Mordecai had charged her: for Efther did the Commandment of Mordecai, like as when he was brought up with him.
21 In thofe Days (while Mordecai fat in the King's ррррг
Gate) two of the King's Chamberlains, Bigthem and Teresh, of those which kept the Door, were wroth, and fought to lay Hand on the King Ahasuerus.
22 And the Thing was known of Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the Queen, and Efther certified the King thereof, in Mordecai's Name.
23 And when Inquifition was made of the Matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a Tree: and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles before the King.
CHA P. III.
i Haman advanced by the King and defpifed by Mordecai, feeketh Revenge upon all the Jews. 7 He cafteth Lots. 8 He obtaineth a Decree to put the Jews to Death.
FTER thefe Things did Ahafuerus promote Haman the Hagagite, and fet his Seat above all the Princes that were with him.
2 And all the King's Servants bowed and reverenced Haman; for the King had fo commanded: but Mordecai bowed not, nor did him Reverence.
3 Then the King's Servants faid unto Mordecai, Why tranfgreffeft thou the King's Commandment?
5 And when Haman faw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him Reverence, then was Haman full of Wrath.
6 And he thought Scorn to lay Hands on Mordecai alone; for they had fhewed him the People of Mordecai: wherefore Haman fought to deftroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole Kingdom of Ahafuerus.
7 In the first Month (that is the Month Nifan) in the twelfth Year of King Ahafuerus, they caft Pur, that is the Lot, before Haman from Day to Day, to the twelfth Month that is the Month Adar.
8 And Haman faid unto the King, There is a certain People scattered abroad, and difperfed among the People, in all the Provinces of thy
1 Prov. xvi. 33 The Lot is caften into the Lap: but the whole difpoing thereof is of the LORD.
Prov. xxi. 31 There is no Wisdom, nor Understanding, nor Counfel sgainst the LORD.
Job v. 12 He disappointeth the Devices of the Crafty, fo that their Hand cannot perform their Enterprize.
13 He taketh the Wife in their own Craftiness, and the Counsel of the froward is carried headlong
Numb. xxiii. 23 Surely there is no Enchantment againft Jacob, neither is there any Divination againft IFKingdom