Daily Bible Reading

March 15, 2024

Esther 9:1–19(GNT)

God’s Guiding Word: Prayer


Esther 9:1–19: In today’s reading, the Jews destroy their enemies, along with Haman’s ten sons, in the capital city, Susa, and throughout all the provinces.

Today’s Key Verse: Esther 9:16a

The Jews in the provinces also organized and defended themselves.


The thirteenth day of Adar came, the day on which the royal proclamation was to take effect, the day when the enemies of the Jews were hoping to get them in their power. But instead, the Jews triumphed over them. In the Jewish quarter of every city in the empire the Jews organized to attack anyone who tried to harm them. People everywhere were afraid of them, and no one could stand against them. In fact, all the provincial officials—governors, administrators, and royal representatives—helped the Jews because they were all afraid of Mordecai. It was well-known throughout the empire that Mordecai was now a powerful man in the palace and was growing more powerful. So the Jews could do what they wanted with their enemies. They attacked them with swords and slaughtered them.

In Susa, the capital city itself, the Jews killed five hundred people. 7-10 Among them were the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. However, there was no looting.

11 That same day the number of people killed in Susa was reported to the king. 12 He then said to Queen Esther, “In Susa alone the Jews have killed five hundred people, including Haman’s ten sons. What must they have done out in the provinces! What do you want now? You shall have it. Tell me what else you want, and you shall have it.”

13 Esther answered, “If it please Your Majesty, let the Jews in Susa do again tomorrow what they were allowed to do today. And have the bodies of Haman’s ten sons hung from the gallows.” 14 The king ordered this to be done, and the proclamation was issued in Susa. The bodies of Haman’s ten sons were publicly displayed. 15 On the fourteenth day of Adar the Jews of Susa got together again and killed three hundred more people in the city. But again, they did no looting.

16 The Jews in the provinces also organized and defended themselves. They rid themselves of their enemies by killing seventy-five thousand people who hated them. But they did no looting. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of Adar. On the next day, the fourteenth, there was no more killing, and they made it a joyful day of feasting. 18 The Jews of Susa, however, made the fifteenth a holiday, since they had slaughtered their enemies on the thirteenth and fourteenth and then stopped on the fifteenth. 19 This is why Jews who live in small towns observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a joyous holiday, a time for feasting and giving gifts of food to one another.


What did Esther ask the king to do with the bodies of Haman’s sons? What message would such a public display have conveyed? Verse 15 records that the Jews killed their enemies but “did no looting,” an indication that they were fighting for survival and not for material gain. What instances can you identify of people today who are struggling to survive?


God of grace and mercy, you alone are God and worthy of praise. You are indeed mighty, and I am in awe of your wondrous deeds. Thank you, Lord God, for your saving love. Amen.

Tomorrow’s Reading

Esther 9:20–32: The festival of Purim is celebrated.

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