1 Queen Esther also, being seized as it were with the agony of death, resorted unto the Lord: 2 and laid away her glorious apparel, and put on the garments of anguish and mourning: and instead of the most excellent ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body greatly, and all the places of the ornaments of her joy she covered with her tangled hair. 3 And she prayed unto the Lord, the God of Israel, saying, O my Lord, thou only art our King: help me that am desolate and have no other helper but thee: 4 for my danger is in mine hand. 5 From my youth up I have heard in the tribe of my family, that thou, O Lord, tookest Israel from among all the nations, and our fathers from all their progenitors, for a perpetual inheritance, and didst perform for them whatsoever thou didst promise. 6 And now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast given us into the hands of our enemies, 7 because we glorified their gods: O Lord, thou art righteous. 8 Nevertheless it satisfieth them not, that we are in bitter captivity: but they have stricken hands with their idols, 9 that they will abolish the thing that thou with thy mouth hast ordained, and destroy thine inheritance, and stop the mouth of them that praise thee, and quench the glory of thy house, and thine altar, 10 and open the mouths of the heathen to set forth the virtues of * Gr. vain things. idols, and that a fleshly king shall be magnified for ever. 11 O Lord, give not thy sceptre unto them that be nothing, and let them not laugh at our fall; but turn their device upon themselves, and make him an example, that hath begun this against us. 12 Remember, O Lord, make thyself known in the time of our affliction, and give me boldness, O King of the gods, and holder of all dominion. 13 Give me eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion: and turn his heart to hate him that fighteth against us, that there may be an end of him, and of them that are likeminded with him: 14 but deliver us with thine hand, and help me that am desolate and have no other helper but thee, O Lord. 15 Thou hast knowledge of all things; and thou knowest that I hate the glory of the wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of every alien. 16 Thou knowest my necessity: that I abhor the sign of my high estate, which is upon mine head in the days wherein I shew myself. I abhor it as a menstruous rag, and I wear it not when I am private by myself. 17 And thine handmaid hath not eaten at Aman’s table, neither have I honoured the king’s feast, nor drunk the wine of the drink offerings. 18 Neither had thine handmaid any joy since the day that I was brought hither to this present, but in thee, O Lord, thou God of Abraham. 19 O God, that art mighty above all, hear the voice of the forlorn, and deliver us out of the hands of the mischievous, and deliver me out of my fear.
*14:10 Gr. vain things.
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