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21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be Holiness unto the Lord of hosts : and all they that sacrifice, shall come and take of them and seethe therein : and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.

B. C. 460.

ESTHER, I. Ahasuerus maketh royal feasts, Vashti sent for, refuseth to come.

1 Now it * came to pass, in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces)

2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,

3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes, and his servants ; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, being before hirn;

4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom, and the honor of his excellent majesty, many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace,

6 Where were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings, and pillars of marble : the beds were of gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black marble.

7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.

8 And the drinking was according to the law ; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man's pleasure.

9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.

10 1 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king, with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty : for she was fair to look on.

12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his chamberlains : therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.

13 | Then the king said to the wise men which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment;

14 And the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia

* Ahasuerus supposed to be one of the names of Artaxerxes, Longimanus, and is so callod by Josephus and by the Septuagint.

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and Media, which saw the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom,)

15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains ?

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.

17 For this deed of the queen shall come abroail unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.

18 Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and wrath.

19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she..

20 And when the king's decree, which he shall make, shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honor, both to great and small. .

21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:

22 For he sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house ; and that it should be published according to the language of every people. ESTHER, II.

B. C. 459. Out of the choice of virgins a queen to be chosen. 1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeas. ed, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.

2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought 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 Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody 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 so.

5 Now, in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjainite,

6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem, with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

ng And he brought up Hadassah (that is Esther) his uncle's daughter; for she had neither father por mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful: whom Mordecai (when her father and mother were dead) took for his own daughter.

8 [ So it came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him ; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house : and he preferred her and her inaids unto the best place of the house of the women.

10 Esther had not shewed 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 women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.

12 | Now when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odors, and with other things for the purifying of the women ;)

13 Then thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.

14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines : she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.

B. C. 458.

EZRA, VII.
I Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia,
Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah,

2 The son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Abitub,
3 The son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth,
4 The son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki,

5 The son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest:

6 This Ezra went up fron Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given : and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.

7 And ihere went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, unto Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the

king.

8 And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month which was in the seventh year of the king.

9 For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him.

10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

11 | Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave unto Ezra the priest, the scribe, even a scribe of the words of the commandments of the LORD, and of his statutes to Israel.

12 * Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra the priest, a scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace, and at such a tiine.

13 I make a decree, that all they of the people of Israel, and of his priests and Levites, in iny realm, which are minded of their own free will to go up to Jerusalem, go with thee.

14 Forasmuch as thou art sent of the king, and of his seven counsellors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of thy God which is in thine hand;

15 And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,

16 And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill-offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem :

17 That thou mayest buy speedily with this money, bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat-offerings, and their drink-offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.

18 And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

19 The vessels also that are given thee for the service of the house of thy God, those deliver thou before the God of Jerusalem.

20 And whatsoever more shall be needful for the house of thy God, which thou shalt have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king's treasure-house.

21 And I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers which are beyond the river, that whatsoever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done speedily.

22 Unto an hundred talents of silver, and to an hundred measures of wheat, and to an hundred baths of wine, and to an hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much.

23 Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be dili. gently done for the house of the God of heaven : for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons ?

24 Also we certify you, that touehing any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinims, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.

25 And thou Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people that are beyond the river, ali such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not.

26 And whosoever will not do the law of thy God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.

* This seems to be the decree to which the prophet Daniel was cited. Daniel, ix. 24 and 25. And calculating from this date, B. C. 458, gives us, reckoning a week seven years, which is doubtless the true reckoning, 65 weeks and three days to the coming of Christ, to which add 33 years, the term of Christ's life, and we have 70 weeks and one day.

27 | Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem;

28 And hath extended mercy unto me before the king and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes ; and I was strengthened as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

EZRA, VIII. 1 These are now the chief of their fathers, and this is the genealogy of them that went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king.

2 Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom ; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel ; of the sons of David, Hattush ;

3 Of the sons of Shechaniah, of the sons of Pharosh, Zechariah ; and with him were reckoned by genealogy of the males an hundred and fifty.

4 Of the sons of Pahath-moab, Elihoenai the son of Zerahiah, and with him two hundred males.

5 Of the sons of Shechaniah ; the son of Jahaziel, and with him three hundred males.

6.Of the sons also of Adin; Ebed the son of Jonathan, and with him fifty males.

7 And of the sons of Elam ; Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah, and with him seventy males.

8 And of the sons of Shephatiah ; Zebadiah the son of Michael, and with him fourscore males.

9 of the sons of Joab ; Obadiah the son of Jehiel, and with him two hundred and eighteen males.

10 And of the sons of Shelomith; the son of Josiphiah, and with him an hundred and threescore males.

11 And of the sons of Bebai ; Zechariah the son of Bebai, and with him twenty and eight males.

12 And of the sons of Azgad; Johanan the son of Hakkatan, and with him an hundred and ten males.

13 And of the last sons of Adonikam, whose names are these, Eliphelet, Jeiel, and Shemaiah, and with them threescore males.

14 Of the sons also of Bigvai; Uthai, and Zabbud, and with them seventy males.

15 1 And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there abode we in tents three days : and I viewed the people and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.

16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elna. than, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, men of understanding.

17 And I sent them with commandment unto Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia, and I told them what they should say unto Iddo, and to his brethren the Nethinims, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring unto us ministers for the house of our God.

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