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Exodus 38:22‭-‬23 NIV

Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, made everything the Lord commanded Moses; with him was Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan—an engraver and designer, and an embroiderer in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.

Think about God’s call on your life. Use the unique resources and opportunities he has given you. Don’t give up until you’ve finished the race and completed what God has called you to do. Be a faithful servant.

​Psalm 31:14 NIV

I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.”

The Lord may ask you to give up something important. Do not fear, but trust him and let it go. Anything you hold too tightly you will lose, but what you entrust to him will surely return a hundredfold. Do as he says and allow him to prove that he truly is your great and faithful provider.

Numbers 14:24 NIV

Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.

Think about your attitude toward the things you face in life.

Are you allowing the world around you to guide your opinions?
Or are you willing to stand on God’s Word?

God’s blessings and rewards are given to people like Caleb, those who have “a different spirit” and are willing to leave all to follow Jesus. Victory will come to those who surrender to God’s spirit, who trust him and are faithful stewards, and who seek first his kingdom.

Proverbs 27:1 NIV

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

We’re not promised tomorrow, so why waste a single moment living life defeated and depressed? Our attitude should not be, “I have to take care of the kids,” or “I have to mow the lawn today.” It should be, “I get to take care of the kids God has blessed me with,” or “I get to go out and mow the lawn today. That’s part of the house that God has provided.” See every opportunity as a gift. Count your blessings and watch him multiply them exceedingly all the days of your life.

Mark 2:22 NIV

No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.

This is a new season. What’s happened in the past is over and done. You may have been through some disappointments, you may have tried and failed, or things didn’t work out. That’s okay. God is still in control. It’s time to get a new vision for your life. It’s time to open yourself to a new way of thinking so that you can receive all the blessings God has in store for you.

Kids Bible Study 11-29-2012

Nehemiah Rebuilds the Walls of Jerusalem – Neh. 2:19 to 13:31; Malachi 1-4

Nehemiah supervises the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

NEWS OF NEHEMIAH’S talk with the rulers and the priests spread rapidly among the Jews living in Jerusalem. And they rejoiced because God had sent this nobleman from the palace in Shushan to help them rebuild their city.

The great work began at once, and nearly everybody seemed interested. Of course there were some who stood back to find fault; but they could not crush the zeal of the busy workers. Even the women wished to help in the building, and some of the rich women hired workers to build a part of the wall.

The high priest said he would rebuild the Sheep Gate. There were several other gates to rebuild, and soon there were several other persons promising to rebuild them.

So the Sheep Gate, and the Horse Gate, and the Fish Gate, and the Valley Gate, and the Water Gate, and every other gate of the broken-down wall was soon rising up in the same place where Nebuchadnezzar had burned the former gates many years before.

And some promised to repair the wall in front of their homes, while others promised to repair longer stretches. But before this work could be done, the people set to work clearing away the rubbish and gathering out the great stones. What a busy crowd of workers they were! Nehemiah rode around the walls on his horse and directed in the building.

When Sanballat and Tobiah, two enemies who lived near Jerusalem, heard that was taking place, they were very angry. They did not wish to see this great city rebuilt, for they feared that the Jews would no longer allow them to come into Jerusalem and oppress the people who lived there.

So they planned many ways to hinder the building of the wall. First they made fun of the Jews, and pretended that the wall was not strong enough to offer protection in times of danger.

They said, “If a fox should try to walk on the wall it would tumble down in ruins again.”

But Nehemiah and his workers paid no attention to the jokes and jeers of their enemies. They kept right on with their great work, and would not stop to answer back.

Finally Sanballat and Tobiah saw they must do something else to hinder the work, so they wrote letters to Nehemiah, saying, “You have come to rebuild Jerusalem and set yourself up as a king over the city. Then you plan to rebel against the king of Persia.”

But Nehemiah answered, “I have not come for such a purpose,” and he kept on with the building.

Now the enemies were angry, and they planned to come and fight against the men of Jerusalem, and kill them. But Nehemiah heard about their plan, and he armed the men with swords and spears on every part of the wall. Some worked with one hand while they held a spear in the other hand. And all the while, both day and night, guards stood about to watch for the approach of the enemy.

At last the walls were built, but the doors of the gates were not yet set up. The enemies had been afraid to come and fight, for they had heard that Nehemiah and his workers were armed with swords and spears, so they planned to act friendly and call Nehemiah away from Jerusalem, on a business trip, to one of their cities.

Then perhaps they intended to kill him there. But Nehemiah would not go, for he said, “I am doing a great work, and I can not leave it to come down to your city.”

After fifty-two days, or nearly two months, the entire wall was finished. And the people of Jerusalem were very thankful that Nehemiah had come to encourage them and to build up the broken wall of their ruined city. They saw he was interested in them, and soon they came to tell him about other things that troubled them. They explained why they were so poor and so discouraged.

Nehemiah listened to their words, and then he called the rulers and told them what the poor people had said. The rulers were ashamed because they had never tried to help these people. Now they promised Nehemiah that they would do better.

For twelve years Nehemiah stayed in Jerusalem and acted as governor of the city. Then he knew that Artaxerxes, the King, would be expecting him back in Shushan; for he had promised to return at that time.

So he appointed his brother Hanani and another man to rule the city while he should be absent, and then he hurried back to see the King. Artaxerxes permitted him to return the second time to Jerusalem, and Nehemiah’s work on this second visit was more the work of restoring the customs that God had commanded by Moses for the people to obey.

Because of the faithful efforts of men like Nehemiah and Ezra, the priest, the Jews began to pay more heed to the teachings of God’s law. They began to act more like a separate people, uninfluenced by their heathen neighbors, and they refused to worship idols any longer.

By and by other teachers rose among them, and these teachers wrote law-books, which they called “traditions.” These teaching were very strict; but God was not pleased with them, for he had not commanded that they should be written and obeyed.

Malachi, the last of the prophets, came to speak God’s words to the people while Nehemiah yet lived. This faithful prophet told the Jews about the coming of Jesus, the Savior, into the world, and he wrote his words in a book.

The Jews kept his book with the other books that Ezra, the priest, had given to them. And Malachi’s writings are the last words we find in the Old testament.

Kids Bible Study 11-28-2012

Nehemiah-The King’s Cupbearer – Nehemiah 1:1 to 2:18

Nehemiah rises up quietly during the night and takes a few soldiers with him to see the condition of the wall of Jerusalem.

IN THE PALACE of King Artaxerxes was a noble young man who daily waited on the great ruler. This young man’s name was Nehemiah, and he was a Jew. Although he was very rich, and favored more than any of the King’s servants, yet Nehemiah was a humble-minded young man. And this is a story that tells us about a part of his eventful life:

“In the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign I was in the palace of Shushan as cupbearer of the King when my brother Hanani and certain other men came from the land of Judah. I was eager to see them and to hear news from the land of my fathers, so when my duties were done I asked them about Jerusalem and about those Jews who had gone back to rebuild the temple of the Lord.

“My brother and his companions shook their heads sorrowfully, and replied that things were not going well in the city where David once ruled so gloriously as king of God’s people.

They told me that the wall which Nebuchadnezzar and his soldiers had torn down and burned many years ago had never been repaired, and that the place looked very desolate, and unworthy of the great name that once had made it a glory in the earth. They also told me that the Jews who had returned were now poor and greatly oppressed by their enemies round about.

“When I heard these words I sat down and wept, for my heart was grieved, and I longed to see the prosperity of my people. Then there stirred within me a desire to help them, so I fasted and prayed earnestly to the God of heaven, and besought him to grant me the favor of the King. For I knew I could do nothing to help my people except the King should give his consent.

“One day while I stood by the King’s table pouring wine into his goblet, I could not keep my thoughts on my work. And I could not speak so cheerfully as was my usual manner, for my heart was saddened by the great needs of my people.

The King noticed my sad countenance, and he asked what had caused my sorrow of heart; for he knew I was not sick. Then I was afraid, for I thought surely he was displeased with me. But I told him that I had heard sad news from my people in Judah, and I told him about the broken walls of Jerusalem and the oppressed condition of the Jews.

“The King listened patiently, then asked what I desired of him. Before answering, I breathed a prayer to the God of heaven, and then I said, ‘If it please the King, and if I have found favor in your eyes, I ask that you send me to Jerusalem to rebuild the city of my fathers.’ The Queen also was sitting by, listening, and the King asked how long I should be absent from his palace.

I told him how long my journey would be, and that I might not return for many days. But it pleased him to send me, and to give me letters to the rulers near Judah, telling them to help me on the way. He also gave me a letter to the man who was the keeper of his forest, telling him to permit me to get trees from the forest with which to rebuild the gates of the city walls.

“I did not start out on this long, dangerous journey alone, for the King sent captains and soldiers of his army with me, and we rode on horses, which he provided.

After many days we came to the rulers of the countries near Judah, and I showed to them the letters that King Artaxerxes had written. These rulers were not friendly with the poor Jews at Jerusalem, and they were sorry because I had come to strengthen the city. But they dared not hinder me, so I passed on and soon came to Judah.

“For three days I rested, then I rose up quietly during the night and took a few of my soldiers with me to discover the true condition of the city wall. We passed out through the entrance by the valley gate and I rode around the city.

No one except my companions knew what I was doing, and none of the people of Jerusalem knew why I had come to visit them. But after my ride that night I felt prepared to talk to them about the task that I had come to accomplish. For I found the broken walls lying in heaps of ruins, and in some places my horse could not find a path.

“Then I talked to the rulers and to the priests and told them why I had come. I told them that Jerusalem was a reproach among all nations, and that God was not pleased to have his people let it remain in this broken-down condition. I told them how God had answered my prayer causing the king to allow me to come; and when the rulers and the priests heard my words, they said, ‘Let us arise and build the wall.'”

Kids Bible Study 11-27-2012

Ezra, the Good Man Who Taught God’s Law – Ezra 7:10; Nehemiah 8

King Artaxerxes gives the Jews their liberty.

YEARS PASSED BY, and another change came in the Persian rule. A new king, name Artaxerxes, sat on the throne in Shushan and governed the people in many lands. His kingdom included the land of Judah, where Zerubbabel had gone long before with a company of Jews to rebuild the temple of the Lord.

Now Artaxerxes, wished to know how things were going in Judah, and he planned to send a messenger to Jerusalem to learn about the people and their needs. The messenger whom he chose to send was Ezra, the priest.

Ezra was an earnest-hearted Jew, as Daniel had been. He was also called a scribe, because he wrote the words of God in books. And he longed to teach the Jews everywhere about the law of God, which had been given by Moses to the Israelites.

At the King’s command he assembled other Jews from Babylon and from the country places and cities near by who wished to go to Judah and help strengthen the courage of the poor Jews who lived there.

Ezra had talked much to the King about the true God, and about his great power and his willingness to care for those who love and serve him. And the King was interested.

He believed that the God of the Jews must be a very powerful God indeed. He feared to displease such a great God, so he commanded that much gold and silver be given to Ezra and his companions to carry back to Jerusalem and use in the temple of the Lord.

When Ezra and his companions were ready to start on their long journey, they first spent some time fasting and praying God to bless them and protect them from the many dangers along their way.

For the road over which they must travel led through dangerous places and wild people of the desert often stopped travelers and robbed them of their possessions.

Ezra knew this, and he had no soldiers of the king to go with him and protect him and his companions from the attack of robber bands. He was ashamed to ask the King for soldiers because he had told the King that God would care for those who served him.

So he and his companions prayed earnestly that God would bring them through the dangers without letting any harm befall them. Then they started down the long, long road.

After about four months of travel, this company of Jews reached Judah in safety. They had lost nothing by the way, for God had heard their prayers and had cared for them. And they came with joy to the city where the temple of the Lord stood, just as Zerubbabel had built it.

After resting for three days they brought their gifts of silver and gold, which the King had sent, and gave them to the priests who had charge of the temple.

Ezra soon found out that things had not been going well in Judah. The poor Jews had become much discouraged, and some of them had made friends with their heathen neighbors.

They had even allowed their sons and their daughters to marry heathen people, and they were not teaching their children to keep the law as God gave it to Moses. They had never rebuilt the city of Jerusalem, and the walls lay in ruins just as Nebuchadnezzar and his army had left them long years before.

When Ezra learned about the condition of the poor Jews, he was deeply troubled. He knew they had sinned again by marrying heathen women, and he saw that God could never bless them while they were not obeying his law. So he prayed earnestly that God would forgive their sins, and he called them to Jerusalem to warn them about the wrong that they had done.

The people were glad to have Ezra teach them what to do. They needed a teacher from God, like this good man, and they listened to his words. For a long time they had been without God’s law, and now, when they heard his words, they quit their wrong-doing.

Ezra stayed with the people for some time and taught them the words of God. He read to them from the great rolls that he had written, and they never grew tired of listening.

They had no copies of God’s law in their homes, for books were very few in those days and only rich people could afford them. Ezra had collected the books that Moses and Samuel and David had written, and the books of the prophets. These were the books from which he read to the Jews.

Kids Bible Study 11-26-2012

How Queen Esther Save the Lives of Her People – Esther 4:4 to Esther 10:3

Esther tells the king of the wicked Haman’s plot to kill the Jews.

ESTHER WAS HAPPY in her beautiful palace-home. She was kind to her servants, and they liked to obey her. But she did not forget how Mordecai had taken her into his own home when she was a poor little orphan.

And every day she watched from her window to see him pass by, and always she was eager to receive the messages that he sent. She still obeyed him just as cheerfully as when she had been a little girl in his own humble home.

But one day Mordecai did not pass by as usual. And Esther missed him. Perhaps she thought he might be sick. But soon her servants came to tell her that he was walking through the streets of the city, dressed in sackcloth and crying with a loud and bitter cry.

“What has happened?” wondered the Queen, as she hurriedly gathered some new clothes to sent to him. How she longed to run out to comfort him, herself! But now she was the queen, and now she could not go about in the streets. Perhaps she wished that she were not the queen, after all.

As she sat watching anxiously from her window, soon she saw the servant returning with the clothes she had sent. Mordecai would not take them, and Esther knew that some terrible sorrow had come into his life. So she quickly called another servant, one of the King’s servants who sometimes waited on her, and told him to learn from Mordecai the cause of his intense grief.

Mordecai told this servant about all that had happened to him, how Haman had planned to kill all the Jews and had even promised to give money to the King for this cruel purpose.

He gave the servant a copy of the letter that Haman had written, and the servant brought the letter to Esther. He told Esther, too, that Mordecai had commanded her to speak to the King and tell him that she was a Jew, and that Haman had planned to kill her and all her people.

At first Esther was afraid to go to the King. She knew the law of the palace: that any one, either a man or a woman, who should approach the throne without being called by the king would be put to death unless the king should hold out to that person the golden scepter.

And she feared to take such a risk; for the King had not called for her in many days, and she supposed he was attending to important matters and did not wish to be disturbed. She sent her servant back to Mordecai to tell him that she dared not go into the presence of the King without being called by him.

Mordecai believed that God had permitted Esther to become queen on purpose, so that she might at this time save the lives of her people. So he sent word again, telling Esther that she must go, for if she refused she would be sparing her life at that time only to lose it later, when all the Jews in Shushan should be destroyed.

Esther still was fearful to obey the wishes of Mordecai; but she longed to help her people, and she promised to try. She commanded Mordecai to gather all the Jews in Shushan into one place, and there to fast and pray for three days that God would give her favor in the eyes of the King.

She and her servants would also fast during that time, and then if Ahasuerus had not yet called for her she would go to him, contrary to the law of the palace, and plead for her life and for the lives of her people.

Mordecai hastily called all the Jews in Shushan and told them of Esther’s words. And they fasted and prayed as she had commanded. Then, on the third day she dressed in her most beautiful garments and went in to speak to the King.

Ahasuerus was surprised to see the Queen standing timidly in the court before his throne. He knew some urgent matter had brought her there, and because he loved her he held out to her the golden scepter, which was in his hand.

Then she came near to his throne and touched the scepter, and he asked, “What is your request, Queen Esther? It shall be given to you though it should be the half of my kingdom.”

Esther did not tell him at once about the great sorrow that clouded her life, but she requested him and his friend Haman to dine with her that day. And the King promised to come. Then she went away, and Ahasuerus sent word to Haman, telling him of the Queen’s invitation to dinner.

Haman felt highly honored because he was the only guest invited to eat with the King and the Queen. But Ahasuerus guessed that Esther had some great request to make of him, so again he asked, “What is your wish, my queen?”

And again Esther answered simply, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, my request is that you and Haman shall return tomorrow and dine with me as you have done today. Then I shall tell you what is my greatest wish.”

And the King promised that they would come.

After the banquet Haman hurried home to tell his wife and his friends about the great honor that Queen Esther had shown to him. But as he passed through the king’s gate he saw Mordecai sitting there and refusing to bow before him as the other servants were bowing.

This spoiled all of Haman’s gladness of heart. How he despised that Jew! He longed to be rid of Mordecai’s presence in the king’s gate, and he told his wife and his friends how greatly Mordecai’s presence annoyed him. He boasted loudly to them of the honors both the King and the Queen were bestowing upon him, but he complained about the contempt this humble Jew, Mordecai, had shown.

Haman’s wife and his friends urged him to prepare a high gallows and ask permission of the king to hand Mordecai. Then he might enjoy fully the honors that were being shown by every one else except by this much-despised Jew. Haman thought their advice sounded good, and he set to work at once to have a gallows built.

That night Ahasuerus, the King, could not sleep. As he tossed restlessly about on his soft pillows he commanded his servants to bring the book of records and read to him about the things that had happened since he had been the rule of Persia.

And among the other things he heard them read from the book was Mordecai’s report of the evil plans of two servants who intended to kill the King. “Has any honor been shown to Mordecai for that kindness done to me?

And the servants answered, “Nothing has been done for him,”

Haman rose early the next morning and went to the palace, intending to ask the King’s permission to hang Mordecai on the gallows he had made. But just as he entered the court of the palace, Ahasuerus sent for him.

And he came in proudly, wondering what service he could perform to please his ruler. “What shall be done to the man whom the King delights to honor?” asked Ahasuerus of Haman.

And Haman thought quickly, “Whom would the King delight to honor more than me?” so, believing that the honor would be shown to him, he answered, “Let the man whom the King delights to honor be dressed in the King’s royal garments, and let him ride upon the King’s horse, with the King’s crown upon his head. Let one of the most noble princes place the royal garment upon this man, and the crown upon his head, and let the prince bring him on horseback through the streets of the city and cry out before him that all may hear, ‘This is done to the man whom the King delights to honor.'”

The King was pleased with Haman’s answer, and he said, “You are my noble prince, so I command you to take my royal garment and my crown, and hasten to dress Mordecai in them. Then put him on my horse and lead him through the city, proclaiming before him the words that you have spoken. See that you do everything as you have advised should be done to the man whom I delight to honor.”

Now Haman was frightened, but he dared not disobey the King’s command. He took the garments, dressed Mordecai, the Jew, in them, and led him on horseback through the city streets, crying out, “This is done to the man whom the King delights to honor!”

Then he returned with Mordecai to the palace, and brought back the royal garments to the King. Afterwards he ran home, covering his head in shame and sorrow, for he dared not speak to the King about the matter that had brought him to the palace at the early morning hour. And his wife and friends heard this story, and feared that greater troubles might soon befall him if the King was showing favor to the despised Jew.

Haman had forgotten about his invitation to dine again with the King and Queen. So the King sent a messenger to bring him to the palace. And then, as they sat about the table the King asked Esther the third time what her wish was, that she desired of him. And the third time he promised to grant that wish even though it should be the half of his kingdom.

Now Esther was ready to tell her story. She may have heard that very morning how highly the King honored Mordecai; for she spoke with courage and said, “If I have found favor in your sight, O King, and if it please you, I ask that my life and the lives of my people may be spared, for we have been sold–not to become slaves, but to be killed.”

Ahasuerus was surprised to hear these words. He asked, “Who is he, and where is he, who would dare to do such a thing?” and Esther answered, “That enemy is this wicked Haman.”

Now Haman was frightened, and he did not know what to do. He had never guessed that the beautiful Queen was a Jewess. He did not know, even yet, that she had been brought up by Mordecai, the man whom he so much despised. Speechless he sat before them, and when he saw the King rise up in anger and leave the room, he sprang from his seat and feel before Esther, begging for mercy from her.

The King walked about in the garden, wondering what he should do to punish Haman. Then he returned and found Haman pleading for his life. But his pleading could not profit him nothing, for the King’s servants came in and covered his face, ready for death.

Then they led him out, and one of the servants showed the King the high gallows that Haman had prepared to hang Mordecai.

“Hang Haman on the gallows!” commanded the King, and Haman was hung on the gallows he had commanded others to build for an innocent man.

After Haman’s death, the King raised Mordecai to a place of great honor in the kingdom, and he sent letters to every part of the land where Haman’s letters had gone, telling the Jews to fight for their own lives on that day appointed when Haman had wished to put them to death.

Because their enemies feared them, they did not try to kill the Jews on that day, for even the rulers of those lands helped the Jews. And the Jews celebrated the day of their great victory with a great feast, called the Feast of Purim.

Even today the Jews keep this feast, and they always tell the story of Esther, the beautiful queen, who saved the lives of her people.

Kids Bible Study 11-25-2012

Haman’s Plans to Destroy All the Jews – Esther 3:1 to 4:3

Mordecai refuses to bow before the king.

AMONG THE PRINCES at the royal palace in Shushan was a proud man named Haman. He was very rich, and clever, and he knew how to behave in the most pleasing manner whenever he appeared before the King. So the King honored Haman above all the princes, and commanded all his servants to pay respect to this proud man.

Among the King’s servants who sat in the gate of the palace was Mordecai, the Jew. And whenever Haman passed through the gate the King’s servants were supposed to bow down before him, with their faces in the dust. And they all did so except Mordecai. He would not bow down before any man to give him the honor that belonged to God only.

The King’s servants were not pleased when they saw that Mordecai refused to bow down before the honored prince. They asked him why he dared to disobey the command of the King. And Mordecai told them that he was a Jew; and doubtless he told them that the Jews worshiped God only and would not reverence a man as if he were a god. Then the servants hurried to tell Haman of Mordecai’s unwillingness to bow before him.

Haman’s pride was deeply wounded when he heard Mordecai, the Jew, refused to give him honor. He became very angry, and determined to punish Mordecai. But he thought that because he was such a great man it would look petty to punish only one Jew; he must resort to some great form of punishment. So he planned to kill all the Jews. He did not know that Esther, the beautiful queen whom the King loved, was a Jewess.

Now Haman helped to rule in the great kingdom of Persia, and he often came before the King. He thought it would be an easy matter to get the King’s consent to have the Jews killed. And he planned carefully, that Ahasuerus might not know he was angry with the Jews because Mordecai would not bow before him.

Then he came to the King and said, “O King, there is a certain people scattered throughout your counties whose laws are contrary to your laws and they refuse to obey you. They are different from other people and they are unprofitable to our kingdom, therefore if it please you, let a law be mad that those people be destroyed. And I myself will pay the money to hire soldiers to kill them.”

Ahasuerus did not know much about the Jews nor their strange religion. He did not know that his beautiful queen was a Jewess. And he supposed that Haman, his great prince, knew all about the people who were so unprofitable to his kingdom, so he told Haman to write letters to the rulers in every part of the kingdom, telling them that on a certain day they should destroy all the Jews in their part of the country, every man, woman, and child.

After the letters were written, Haman gave them to postmen, who carried them to every part of the kingdom. Then he believed he had done a great deed that would bring him much honor, and he went to the palace to dine with the King. He felt that no one in all the realm of Persia was quite so important as himself, for even the King allowed him to do just as he pleased.

Soon the news of this letter reached the ears of the Jews in every part of the land. And they wondered why Ahasuerus had suddenly become so displeased with them. They had always lived peacefully among his people, and had never given him any trouble.

They had worked at honest toil and many of them had become very rich. Now they were to be destroyed and their riches were to be seized by wicked men. They could not understand why this cruel law had been passed against them. And everywhere they wept with loud cries, tearing their clothes and dressing themselves in sackcloth. Many of them sat in ashes, and mourned and fasted and prayed.

Mordecai was among the first of the Jews to hear about the cruel law; for he lived in the city of Shushan. And he knew at once that Haman had made the law. He knew that even Esther would have to suffer death if the law were obeyed, for every Jew was to be destroyed. And his grief was very great.

Tearing his garments, he wrapped himself in sackcloth and threw ashes upon his body. Then he went out into the streets and cried with a loud and bitter cry. But he did not dare to pass through the king’s gate, for no one was allowed to enter the gate when dressed in sackcloth. And he could not come near the palace to send a message to the Queen.

He hoped that Esther might hear about him, and send a messenger to learn why he was so deeply troubled. Then he would tell her all about the cruel law, and then perhaps she could think of some way to help them and save their lives.

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