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One might think a woman is right to refuse a drunken request from her husband to show her off to his pals at a wild party. Josephus' omission of this fact about the king raises the moral tone of his version which parallels his attributing Asti's refusal to her morality. Is Josephus, who was living in the Roman imperial court at the time of this translation, cautious not to say ill things about emperors and their wives? Megillah the Rabbis provide several speculations as to the refusal, none of them having any sort of moral basis as Josephus suggests, but instead propose that Vashti Asti was going to present herself naked to the guests, in order to prove her natural beauty without adornment, yet could not do so through the intervention of heaven, which took one of two forms: one tradition has it that she broke out in leprosy, the other that the Angel Gabriel came and caused her to grow an appendage.

Megillah 12b. Many other Jews in Josephus' history have two names, a Hebrew one and a second that is more familiar to the prevailing Gentile culture. The Talmud states that Hadassah used her Persian name Esther to conceal her Jewish identity, with a pun on the Hebrew word hesther , which means "concealment" T. Megillah 13a. The Bible states that Mordecai was her cousin, not her uncle as Josephus and later tradition have it. Josephus and the Talmud also agree in interpreting Mordecai as being of a royal family, a descendant of Kish who was the father of King Saul.

Walter Benjamin: The Refugee and Migrant

The name Mordecai Marduka appears in Babylonian Persian records; in particular, about the time of Xerxes' ascension to the throne, there is a record of a royal accountant in Susa named Mordecai Moore, Intro. Josephus adds the psychological reasoning behind the king's search, i. This problem was debated in the Talmud and by later Rabbis, with the suggestion that she kept these secretly, and asked for special food so as not to alter her beauty.

The detail of concubines is not from the Bible; however, Josephus' contemporary Plutarch wrote that Artaxerxes II had "three hundred and sixty concubines, all women of the highest beauty" Moore, p. Note that Queen Aste was punished for not coming when the king called; now we are told there is also a punishment for the opposite offense, coming when not called. Communicating with Mordecai is a slow process that can be done only through the eunuchs. There have now been five exchanges of information: the report of Mordecai's appearance; Esther's request for him to change; his refusal; her asking why; his revelation of the decree.

This only begins the conversation. An addition by Josephus is Mordechai's concern that Esther wear humble clothes when she makes her plea to the king. As we will see, Esther does not fully heed this request: she wears humble clothes while praying, but then changes into her best to go to the king.

Leading Your Child to Christ - Focus on the Family

Esther now repeats what Josephus said previously about the danger in approaching the king. Mordecai's response does not give Esther much room to be heroic; then again, he is frightened and by no means certain they can survive without Esther's help, so feels the need to bluff her into action. Heavenly intervention is implied but not stated explicitly in the Hebrew version; Josephus again is using the more religious Greek translation.

Was she indeed bluffed by Mordecai, or did she decide it was best herself? Let tears stream down like a torrent day and night! Give yourself no rest, your eyes no respite! Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches! Pour out your heart like water before the presence of the Lord!

Lift your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint for hunger at the head of every street. To whom have you done this?

Should women eat their offspring, the children they have borne? Should priest and prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord? The young and the old are lying on the ground in the streets; my young women and my young men have fallen by the sword; in the day of your anger you have killed them, slaughtering without mercy. You invited my enemies from all around as if for a day of festival; and on the day of the anger of the LORD no one escaped or survived; those whom I bore and reared my enemy has destroyed.

Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night, and Daniel blessed the God of heaven. He changes times and seasons, deposes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with him. To you, O God of my ancestors, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and power, and have now revealed to me what we asked of you, for you have revealed to us what the king ordered.

And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD. On that day I will answer, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth; and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel; and I will sow him for myself in the land.

In response to his people the LORD said: I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a mockery among the nations. I will remove the northern army far from you, and drive it into a parched and desolate land, its front into the eastern sea, and its rear into the western sea; its stench and foul smell will rise up. Surely he has done great things!

Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield.

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O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. What use is an idol once its maker has shaped it-- a cast image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in what has been made, though the product is only an idol that cannot speak!

See, it is gold and silver plated, and there is no breath in it at all. But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!


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Consider from this day on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing? From this day on I will bless you.

1. Esther 1,2: The background

The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month: Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders; and the horses and their riders shall fall, every one by the sword of a comrade. But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And after being warned in a dream, he went away to the district of Galilee.

As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. When he was in Jerusalem during the Passover festival, many believed in his name because they saw the signs that he was doing.

Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. While you preach against stealing, do you steal?

You that forbid adultery, do you commit adultery? You that abhor idols, do you rob temples? You that boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.

In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings.

These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence. For we wanted to come to you-- certainly I, Paul, wanted to again and again-- but Satan blocked our way. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

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Yes, you are our glory and joy! They are upsetting the faith of some.