Bible Reading Plan for August 20

Aug 20 2017

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Esther 8:1-10:3

Mordecai Promoted

1On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her.2The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.

3Then Esther spoke again to the king, fell at his feet, wept and implored him to avert the evil scheme of Haman the Agagite and his plot which he had devised against the Jews.4The king extended the golden scepter to Esther. So Esther arose and stood before the king.5Then she said, “If it pleases the king and if I have found favor before him and the matter seems proper to the king and I am pleasing in his sight, let it be written to revoke the letters devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.6“For how can I endure to see the calamity which will befall my people, and how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?”7So King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Behold, I have given the house of Haman to Esther, and him they have hanged on the gallows because he had stretched out his hands against the Jews.

The King’s Decree Avenges the Jews

8“Now you write to the Jews as you see fit, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for a decree which is written in the name of the king and sealed with the king’s signet ring may not be revoked.”

9So the king’s scribes were called at that time in the third month (that is, the month Sivan), on the twenty-third day; and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews, the satraps, the governors and the princes of the provinces which extended from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to every province according to its script, and to every people according to their language as well as to the Jews according to their script and their language.10He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king’s signet ring, and sent letters by couriers on horses, riding on steeds sired by the royal stud.11In them the king granted the Jews who were in each and every city the right to assemble and to defend their lives, to destroy, to kill and to annihilate the entire army of any people or province which might attack them, including children and women, and to plunder their spoil,12on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar).13A copy of the edict to be issued as law in each and every province was published to all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies.14The couriers, hastened and impelled by the king’s command, went out, riding on the royal steeds; and the decree was given out at the citadel in Susa.

15Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a large crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced.16For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.17In each and every province and in each and every city, wherever the king’s commandment and his decree arrived, there was gladness and joy for the Jews, a feast and a holiday. And many among the peoples of the land became Jews, for the dread of the Jews had fallen on them.

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

1Now in the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar), on the thirteenth day when the king’s command and edict were about to be executed, on the day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews themselves gained the mastery over those who hated them.2The Jews assembled in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm; and no one could stand before them, for the dread of them had fallen on all the peoples.3Even all the princes of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and those who were doing the king’s business assisted the Jews, because the dread of Mordecai had fallen on them.4Indeed, Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man Mordecai became greater and greater.5Thus the Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying; and they did what they pleased to those who hated them.6At the citadel in Susa the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men,7and Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha,10the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jews’ enemy; but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.

11On that day the number of those who were killed at the citadel in Susa was reported to the king.12The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman at the citadel in Susa. What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces! Now what is your petition? It shall even be granted you. And what is your further request? It shall also be done.”13Then said Esther, “If it pleases the king, let tomorrow also be granted to the Jews who are in Susa to do according to the edict of today; and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.”14So the king commanded that it should be done so; and an edict was issued in Susa, and Haman’s ten sons were hanged.15The Jews who were in Susa assembled also on the fourteenth day of the month Adar and killed three hundred men in Susa, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.

16Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces assembled, to defend their lives and rid themselves of their enemies, and kill 75,000 of those who hated them; but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.17This was done on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing.

18But the Jews who were in Susa assembled on the thirteenth and the fourteenth of the same month, and they rested on the fifteenth day and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing.19Therefore the Jews of the rural areas, who live in the rural towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a holiday for rejoicing and feasting and sending portions of food to one another.

The Feast of Purim Instituted

20Then Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,21obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same month, annually,22because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

23Thus the Jews undertook what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them.24For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the adversary of all the Jews, had schemed against the Jews to destroy them and had cast Pur, that is the lot, to disturb them and destroy them.25But when it came to the king’s attention, he commanded by letter that his wicked scheme which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.26Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them,27the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.28So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to fail from among the Jews, or their memory fade from their descendants.

29Then Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.30He sent letters to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, namely, words of peace and truth,31to establish these days of Purim at their appointed times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established for them, and just as they had established for themselves and for their descendants with instructions for their times of fasting and their lamentations.32The command of Esther established these customs for Purim, and it was written in the book.

Mordecai’s Greatness

1Now King Ahasuerus laid a tribute on the land and on the coastlands of the sea.2And all the accomplishments of his authority and strength, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?3For Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews and in favor with his many kinsmen, one who sought the good of his people and one who spoke for the welfare of his whole nation.

1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13

27Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.28And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?31But earnestly desire the greater gifts.

And I show you a still more excellent way.

The Excellence of Love

1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away.9For we know in part and we prophesy in part;10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Proverbs 21:23-24

23He who guards his mouth and his tongue,

Guards his soul from troubles.

24“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,

Who acts with insolent pride.