Bible: Esther 3:7-4:3
3:7 In the first month (that is, the month of Nisan), in the twelfth year 1 of King Ahasuerus’ reign, pur 2 (that is, the lot) was cast before Haman in order to determine a day and a month. 3 It turned out to be the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar). 4
3:8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a particular people 5 that is dispersed and spread among the inhabitants 6 throughout all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of all other peoples. Furthermore, they do not observe the king’s laws. It is not appropriate for the king to provide a haven for them. 7 3:9 If the king is so inclined, 8 let an edict be issued 9 to destroy them. I will pay ten thousand talents of silver 10 to be conveyed to the king’s treasuries for the officials who carry out this business.”
3:10 So the king removed his signet ring 11 from his hand and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, who was hostile toward the Jews. 3:11 The king replied to Haman, “Keep your money, 12 and do with those people whatever you wish.” 13
3:12 So the royal scribes 14 were summoned in the first month, on the thirteenth day of the month. Everything Haman commanded was written to the king’s satraps 15 and governors who were in every province and to the officials of every people, province by province according to its script and people by people according to its language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written and sealed with the king’s signet ring. 3:13 Letters were sent by the runners to all the king’s provinces stating that 16 they should destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, from youth to elderly, both women and children, 17 on a particular day, namely the thirteenth day 18 of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), and to loot and plunder their possessions. 3:14 A copy of this edict was to be presented as law throughout every province; it was to be made known to all the inhabitants, 19 so that they would be prepared for this day. 3:15 The messengers 20 scurried forth 21 with the king’s order. 22 The edict was issued in Susa the citadel. While the king and Haman sat down to drink, the city of Susa was in an uproar! 23
Esther Decides to Risk Everything in order to Help Her People
4:1 Now when Mordecai became aware of all that had been done, he 24 tore his garments and put on sackcloth and ashes. He went out into the city, crying out in a loud 25 and bitter voice. 4:2 But he went no further than the king’s gate, for no one was permitted to enter the king’s gate clothed in sackcloth. 4:3 Throughout each and every province where the king’s edict and law were announced 26 there was considerable 27 mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. 28 Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic 29 of many.