|New American Bible|
2002 11 11
IntraText - Text
On the third day, putting an end to her prayers, she took off her penitential garments and arrayed herself in her royal attire.
In making her state appearance, after invoking the all-seeing God and savior, she took with her two maids;
on the one she leaned gently for support,
while the other followed her, bearing her train.
She glowed with the perfection of her beauty and her countenance was as joyous as it was lovely, though her heart was shrunk with fear.
She passed through all the portals till she stood face to face with the king, who was seated on his royal throne, clothed in full robes of state, and covered with gold and precious stones, so that he inspired great awe.
As he looked up, his features ablaze with the height of majestic anger, the queen staggered, changed color, and leaned weakly against the head of the maid in front of her.
But God changed the king's anger to gentleness. In great anxiety he sprang from his throne, held her in his arms until she recovered, and comforted her with reassuring words.
"What is it, Esther?" he said to her. "I am your brother. Take courage!
You shall not die because of this general decree of ours.
Raising the golden scepter, he touched her neck with it, embraced her, and said, "Speak to me."
She replied: "I saw you, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled with fear of your majesty.
For you are awesome, my lord, though your glance is full of kindness."
As she said this, she fainted.
The king became troubled and all his attendants tried to revive her.