THE BIBLE - DOUAY-RHEIMS - BOOK 19
THE BIBLE - DOUAY-RHEIMS - BOOK 19
THE HOLY BIBLE
Translated from the Latin Vulgate
Diligently Compared with the Hebrew Greek
and Other Editions in Divers Languages
THE OLD TESTAMENT
First Published by the English College at Douay
A.D. 1609 & 1610
THE NEW TESTAMENT
First Published by the English College at Rheims
The Whole Revised and Diligently Compared with
the Latin Vulgate by Bishop Richard Challoner
THE BOOK OF ESTHER
This Book takes its name from queen Esther whose history is here
recorded. The general opinion of almost all commentators on the Holy
Scriptures makes Mardochai the writer of it: which also may be collected
below from chap. 9 ver. 20.
Esther Chapter 1
King Assuerus maketh a great feast. Queen Vasthi being sent for refuseth
to come: for which disobedience she is deposed.
1:1. In the days of Assuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over a
hundred and twenty seven provinces:
1:2. When he sat on the throne of his kingdom the city Susan was the
capital of his kingdom.
1:3. Now in the third year of his reign he made a great feast for all
the princes and for his servants for the most mighty of the Persians
and the nobles of the Medes and the governors of the provinces in his
1:4. That he might shew the riches of the glory of his kingdom and the
greatness and boasting of his power for a long time to wit for a
hundred and fourscore days.
1:5. And when the days of the feast were expired he invited all the
people that were found in Susan from the greatest to the least: and
commanded a feast to be made seven days in the court of the garden and
of the wood which was planted by the care and the hand of the king.
1:6. And there were hung up on every side sky coloured and green and
violet hangings fastened with cords of silk and of purple which were
put into rings of ivory and were held up with marble pillars. The beds
also were of gold and silver placed in order upon a floor paved with
porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting of
1:7. And they that were invited drank in golden cups and the meats
were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance
and of the best was presented as was worthy of a king's magnificence.
1:8. Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that were not
willing but as the king had appointed who set over every table one of
his nobles that every man might take what he would.
1:9. Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the women in the palace
where king Assuerus was used to dwell.
1:10. Now on the seventh day when the king was merry and after very
much drinking was well warmed with wine he commanded Mauman and
Bazatha and Harbona and Bagatha and Abgatha and Zethar and Charcas
the seven eunuchs that served in his presence
1:11. To bring in queen Vasthi before the king with the crown set upon
her head to shew her beauty to all the people and the princes: for she
was exceeding beautiful.
1:12. But she refused and would not come at the king's commandment
which he had signified to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king being
angry and inflamed with a very great fury
1:13. Asked the wise men who according to the custom of the kings were
always near his person and all he did was by their counsel who knew
the laws and judgments of their forefathers:
1:14. (Now the chief and nearest him were Charsena and Sethar and
Admatha and Tharsis and Mares and Marsana and Mamuchan seven
princes of the Persians and of the Medes who saw the face of the king
and were used to sit first after him:)
1:15. What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the queen who had refused
to obey the commandment of king Assuerus which he had sent to her by
1:16. And Mamuchan answered in the hearing of the king and the princes:
Queen Vasthi hath not only injured the king but also all the people and
princes that are in all the provinces of king Assuerus.
1:17. For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all women so that
they will despise their husbands and will say: King Assuerus commanded
that queen Vasthi should come in to him and she would not.
1:18. And by this example all the wives of the princes of the Persians
and the Medes will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore
the king's indignation is just.
1:19. If it please thee let an edict go out from thy presence and let
it be written according to the law of the Persians and of the Medes
which must not be altered that Vasthi come in no more to the king but
another that is better than her be made queen in her place.
1:20. And let this be published through all the provinces of thy empire
(which is very wide) and let all wives as well of the greater as of
the lesser give honour to their husbands.
1:21. His counsel pleased the king and the princes: and the king did
according to the counsel of Mamuchan.
1:22. And he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom as every
nation could hear and read in divers languages and characters that the
husbands should be rulers and masters in their houses: and that this
should be published to every people.
Esther Chapter 2
Esther is advanced to be queen. Mardochai detecteth a plot against the
2:1. After this when the wrath of king Assuerus was appeased he
remembered Vasthi and what she had done and what she had suffered:
2:2. And the king's servants and his officers said: Let young women be
sought for the king virgins and beautiful
2:3. And let some persons be sent through all the provinces to look for
beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of
Susan and put them into the house of the women under the hand of Egeus
the eunuch who is the overseer and keeper of the king's women: and let
them receive women's ornaments and other things necessary for their
2:4. And whosoever among them all shall please the king's eyes let her
be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased the king: and he commanded
it should be done as they had suggested.
2:5. There was a man in the city of Susan a Jew named Mardochai the
son of Jair the son of Semei the son of Cis of the race of Jemini
2:6. Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that
Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away Jechonias king of Juda
2:7. And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa who by another
name was called Esther: now she had lost both her parents: and was
exceeding fair and beautiful. And her father and mother being dead
Mardochai adopted her for his daughter.
2:8. And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad and according to
his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan and were
delivered to Egeus the eunuch: Esther also among the rest of the maidens
was delivered to him to be kept in the number of the women.
2:9. And she pleased him and found favour in his sight. And he
commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments and to deliver to
her her part and seven of the most beautiful maidens of the king's
house and to adorn and deck out both her and her waiting maids.
2:10. And she would not tell him her people nor her country. For
Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at all of that:
2:11. And he walked every day before the court of the house in which
the chosen virgins were kept having a care for Esther's welfare and
desiring to know what would befall her.
2:12. Now when every virgin's turn came to go in to the king after all
had been done for setting them off to advantage it was the twelfth
month: so that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh and
for other six months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices.
2:13. And when they were going in to the king whatsoever they asked to
adorn themselves they received: and being decked out as it pleased
them they passed from the chamber of the women to the king's chamber.
2:14. And she that went in at evening came out in the morning and from
thence she was conducted to the second house that was under the hand of
Susagaz the eunuch who had the charge over the king's concubines:
neither could she return any more to the king unless the king desired
it and had ordered her by name to come.
2:15. And as the time came orderly about the day was at hand when
Esther the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mardochai whom he had
adopted for his daughter was to go in to the king. But she sought not
women's ornaments but whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the
virgins had a mind he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding
fair and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable in
the eyes of all.
2:16. So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus the tenth
month which is called Tebeth in the seventh year of his reign.
2:17. And the king loved her more than all the women and she had favour
and kindness before him above all the women and he set the royal crown
on her head and made her queen instead of Vasthi.
2:18. And he commanded a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the
princes and for his servants for the marriage and wedding of Esther
And he gave rest to all the provinces and bestowed gifts according to
2:19. And when the virgins were sought the second time and gathered
together Mardochai stayed at the king's gate
2:20. Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and people
according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded Esther
observed: and she did all things in the same manner as she was wont at
that time when he brought her up a little one.
2:21. At that time therefore when Mardochai abode at the king's gate
Bagathan and Thares two of the king's eunuchs who were porters and
presided in the first entry of the palace were angry: and they designed
to rise up against the king and to kill him.
2:22. And Mardochai had notice of it and immediately he told it to
queen Esther: and she to the king in Mardochai's name who had reported
the thing unto her.
2:23. It was inquired into and found out: and they were both hanged on
a gibbet. And it was put in the histories and recorded in the
chronicles before the king.
Esther Chapter 3
Aman advanced by the king is offended at Mardochai and therefore
procureth the king's decree to destroy the whole nation of the Jews.
3:1. After these things king Assuerus advanced Aman the son of
Amadathi who was of the race of Agag: and he set his throne above all
the princes that were with him.
3:2. And all the king's servants that were at the doors of the palace
bent their knees and worshipped Aman: for so the emperor had commanded
them only Mardochai did not bend his knee nor worship him.
3:3. And the king's servants that were chief at the doors of the palace
said to him: Why dost thou alone not observe the king's commandment?
3:4. And when they were saying this often and he would not hearken to
them they told Aman desirous to know whether he would continue in his
resolution: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
3:5. Now when Aman had heard this and had proved by experience that
Mardochai did not bend his knee to him nor worship him he was
3:6. And he counted it nothing to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone:
for he had heard that he was of the nation of the Jews and he chose
rather to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in the kingdom of
3:7. In the first month (which is called Nisan) in the twelfth year of
the reign of Assuerus the lot was cast into an urn which in Hebrew is
called Phur before Aman on what day and what month the nation of the
Jews should be destroyed: and there came out the twelfth month which is
3:8. And Aman said to king Assuerus: There is a people scattered through
all the provinces of thy kingdom and separated one from another that
use new laws and ceremonies and moreover despise the king's ordinances:
and thou knowest very well that it is not expedient for thy kingdom that
they should grow insolent by impunity.
3:9. If it please thee decree that they may be destroyed and I will
pay ten thousand talents to thy treasurers.
3:10. And the king took the ring that he used from his own hand and
gave it to Aman the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag the enemy of
3:11. And he said to him: As to the money which thou promisest keep it
for thyself: and as to the people do with them as seemeth good to thee.
3:12. And the king's scribes were called in the first month Nisan on
the thirteenth day of the same mouth: and they wrote as Aman had
commanded to all the king's lieutenants and to the judges of the
provinces and of divers nations as every nation could read and hear
according to their different languages in the name of king Assuerus:
and the letters sealed with his ring
3:13. Were sent by the king's messengers to all provinces to kill and
destroy all the Jews both young and old little children and women in
one day that is on the thirteenth of the twelfth month which is
called Adar and to make a spoil of their goods.
3:14. And the contents of the letters were to this effect that all
provinces might know and be ready against that day.
3:15. The couriers that were sent made haste to fulfil the king's
commandment. And immediately the edict was hung up in Susan the king
and Aman feasting together and all the Jews that were in the city
Esther Chapter 4
Mardochai desireth Esther to petition the king for the Jews. They join
in fasting and prayer.
4:1. Now when Mardochai had heard these things he rent his garments
and put on sackcloth strewing ashes on his head and he cried with a
loud voice in the street in the midst of the city shewing the anguish
of his mind.
4:2. And he came lamenting in this manner even to the gate of the
palace: for no one clothed with sackcloth might enter the king's court.
4:3. And in all provinces towns and places to which the king's cruel
edict was come there was great mourning among the Jews with fasting
wailing and weeping many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.
4:4. Then Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in and told her. And when
she heard it she was in a consternation and she sent a garment to
clothe him and to take away the sackcloth: but he would not receive it.
4:5. And she called for Athach the eunuch whom the king had appointed
to attend upon her and she commanded him to go to Mardochai and learn
of him why he did this.
4:6. And Athach going out went to Mardochai who was standing in the
street of the city before the palace gate:
4:7. And Mardochai told him all that had happened how Aman had promised
to pay money into the king's treasures to have the Jews destroyed.
4:8. He gave him also a copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan
that he should shew it to the queen and admonish her to go in to the
king and to entreat him for her people.
4:9. And Athach went back and told Esther all that Mardochai had said.
4:10. She answered him and bade him say to Mardochai:
4:11. All the king's servants and all the provinces that are under his
dominion know that whosoever whether man or woman cometh into the
king's inner court who is not called for is immediately to be put to
death without any delay: except the king shall hold out the golden
sceptre to him in token of clemency that so he may live. How then can
I go in to the king who for these thirty days now have not been called
4:12. And when Mardochai had heard this
4:13. He sent word to Esther again saying: Think not that thou mayst
save thy life only because thou art in the king's house more than all
4:14. For if thou wilt now hold thy peace the Jews shall be delivered
by some other occasion: and thou and thy father's house shall perish.
And who knoweth whether thou art not therefore come to the kingdom that
thou mightest be ready in such a time as this?
4:15. And again Esther sent to Mardochai in these words:
4:16. Go and gather together all the Jews whom thou shalt find in
Susan and pray ye for me. Neither eat nor drink for three days and
three nights: and I with my handmaids will fast in like manner and then
I will go in to the king against the law not being called and expose
myself to death and to danger.
4:17. So Mardochai went and did all that Esther had commanded him.
Esther Chapter 5
Esther is graciously received: she inviteth the king and Aman to dinner
Aman prepareth a gibbet for Mardochai.
5:1. And on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel and stood in
the inner court of the king's house over against the king's hall: now
he sat upon his throne in the hall of the palace over against the door
of the house.
5:2. And when he saw Esther the queen standing she pleased his eyes
and he held out toward her the golden sceptre which he held in his hand
and she drew near and kissed the top of his sceptre.
5:3. And the king said to her: What wilt thou queen Esther? what is
thy request? if thou shouldst even ask one half of the kingdom it shall
be given to thee.
5:4. But she answered: If it please the king I beseech thee to come to
me this day and Aman with thee to the banquet which I have prepared.
5:5. And the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly that he may obey
Esther's will. So the king and Aman came to the banquet which the queen
had prepared for them.
5:6. And the king said to her after he had drunk wine plentifully: What
dost thou desire should be given thee? and for what thing askest thou?
although thou shouldst ask the half of my kingdom thou shalt have it.
5:7. And Esther answered: My petition and request is this:
5:8. If I have found favour in the king's sight and if it please the
king to give me what I ask and to fulfil my petition: let the king and
Aman come to the banquet which I have prepared them and to morrow I
will open my mind to the king.
5:9. So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when he saw
Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace and that he not only
did not rise up to honour him but did not so much as move from the
place where he sat he was exceedingly angry:
5:10. But dissembling his anger and returning into his house he called
together to him his friends and Zares his wife:
5:11. And he declared to them the greatness of his riches and the
multitude of his children and with how great glory the king had
advanced him above all his princes and servants.
5:12. And after this he said: Queen Esther also hath invited no other to
the banquet with the king but me: and with her I am also to dine to
morrow with the king:
5:13. And whereas I have all these things I think I have nothing so
long as I see Mardochai the Jew sitting before the king's gate.
5:14. Then Zares his wife and the rest of his friends answered him:
Order a great beam to be prepared fifty cubits high and in the morning
speak to the king that Mardochai may be hanged upon it and so thou
shalt go full of joy with the king to the banquet. The counsel pleased