Harmony Baptist Church

Daily Bible Reading


Read Tomorrow

Morning Bible Reading - Esther 1

  1 Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this [is] Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, [over] an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)  2 [That] in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which [was] in Shushan the palace,  3 In the third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces, [being] before him:  4 When he shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his excellent majesty many days, [even] an hundred and fourscore days.  5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king’s palace;  6 [Where were] white, green, and blue, [hangings], fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds [were of] gold and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.  7 And they gave [them] drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.  8 And the drinking [was] according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according to every man’s pleasure.  9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women [in] the royal house which [belonged] to king Ahasuerus.  10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,  11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she [was] fair to look on.  12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s commandment by [his] chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.  13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so [was] the king’s manner toward all that knew law and judgment:  14 And the next unto him [was] Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, [and] Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw the king’s face, [and] which sat the first in the kingdom;)  15 What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?  16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the people that [are] in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.  17 For [this] deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.  18 [Likewise] shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king’s princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus [shall there arise] too much contempt and wrath.  19 If it please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.  20 And when the king’s decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.  21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:  22 For he sent letters into all the king’s provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that [it] should be published according to the language of every people.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline The royal feast of Ahasuerus. (1-9) Vashti|s refusal to appear, The king|s decree. (10-22)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-9 The pride of Ahasuerus|s heart rising with the grandeur of his kingdom, he made an extravagant feast. This was vain glory. Better is a dinner of herbs with quietness, than this banquet of wine, with all the noise and tumult that must have attended it. But except grace prevails in the heart, self-exaltation and self-indulgence, in one form or another, will be the ruling principle. Yet none did compel; so that if any drank to excess, it was their own fault. This caution of a heathen prince, even when he would show his generosity, may shame many called Christians, who, under pretence of sending the health round, send sin round, and death with it. There is a woe to them that do so; let them read it, and tremble, Hab 2:15, 16.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   10-22 Ahasuerus|s feast ended in heaviness, by his own folly. Seasons of peculiar festivity often end in vexation. Superiors should be careful not to command what may reasonably be disobeyed. But when wine is in, men|s reason departs from them. He that had rule over 127 provinces, had no rule over his own spirit. But whether the passion or the policy of the king was served by this decree, God|s providence made way for Esther to the crown, and defeated Haman|s wicked project, even before it had entered into his heart, and he arrived at his power. Let us rejoice that the Lord reigns, and will overrule the madness or folly of mankind to promote his own glory, and the safety and happiness of his people.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 1:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 1:4-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 1:7-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 1:12-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 1:17-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Esther 2

  1 After these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against her.  2 Then said the king’s servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:  3 And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king’s chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification be given [them]:  4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.  5 [Now] in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name [was] Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;  6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.  7 And he brought up Hadassah, that [is], Esther, his uncle’s daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maid [was] fair and beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter.  8 So it came to pass, when the king’s commandment and his decree was heard, and when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king’s house, to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.  9 And the maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven maidens, [which were] meet to be given her, out of the king’s house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best [place] of the house of the women.  10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew [it].  11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women’s house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.  12 Now when every maid’s turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for so were the days of their purifications accomplished, [to wit], six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with [other] things for the purifying of the women;)  13 Then thus came [every] maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king’s house.  14 In the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king’s chamberlain, which kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king delighted in her, and that she were called by name.  15 Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all them that looked upon her.  16 So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which [is] the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.  17 And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.  18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, [even] Esther’s feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.  19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king’s gate.  20 Esther had not [yet] shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.  21 In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king’s gate, two of the king’s chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.  22 And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told [it] unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king [thereof] in Mordecai’s name.  23 And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline Esther chosen queen. (1-20) Mordecai discovers a plot against the king. (21-23)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-20 We see to what absurd practices those came, who were destitute of Divine revelation, and what need there was of the gospel of Christ, to purify men from the lusts of the flesh, and to bring them back to the original institution of marriage. Esther was preferred as queen. Those who suggest that Esther committed sin to come at this dignity, do not consider the custom of those times and countries. Every one that the king took was married to him, and was his wife, though of a lower rank. But how low is human nature sunk, when such as these are the leading pursuits and highest worldly happiness of men! Disappointment and vexation must follow; and he most wisely consults his enjoyment, even in this present life, who most exactly obeys the precepts of the Divine law. But let us turn to consider the wise and merciful providence of God, carrying on his deep but holy designs in the midst of all this. And let no change in our condition be a pretext for forgetting our duties to parents, or the friends who have stood in their place.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   21-23 Good subjects must not conceal any bad design they know of against the prince, or the public peace. Mordecai was not rewarded at the time, but a remembrance was written. Thus, with respect to those who serve Christ, though their recompence is not till the resurrection of the just, yet an account is kept of their work of faith and labour of love, which God is not unrighteous to forget. The servant of God must be faithful to every trust, and watchful for those who employ him. If he appear to be neglected now, he will be remembered hereafter. None of our actions can be forgotten; even our most secret thoughts are written in lasting registers, Re 20:12.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:4-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:7-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:9-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:12-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:16-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 2:21-999 


Morning Bible Reading - Esther 3

  1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that [were] with him.  2 And all the king’s servants, that [were] in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did [him] reverence.  3 Then the king’s servants, which [were] in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?  4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he [was] a Jew.  5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.  6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, [even] the people of Mordecai.  7 In the first month, that [is], the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that [is], the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, [to] the twelfth [month], that [is], the month Adar.  8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws [are] diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it [is] not for the king’s profit to suffer them.  9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring [it] into the king’s treasuries.  10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.  11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver [is] given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.  12 Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that [were] over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and [to] every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.  13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, [even] upon the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, which [is] the month Adar, and [to take] the spoil of them for a prey.  14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.  15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   0-999 Chapter Outline Haman seeks to destroy the Jews. (1-6) He obtains a decree against the Jews. (7-15)

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-6 Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman. By nature all are idolaters; self is our favourite idol, we are pleased to be treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion by no means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, yet by a citizen of Zion, not only in his heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was, is contemned, Ps 15:4. The true believer cannot obey edicts, or conform to fashions, which break the law of God. He must obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman was full of wrath. His device was inspired by that wicked spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose enmity to Christ and his church, governs all his children.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   7-15 Without some acquaintance with the human heart, and the history of mankind, we should not think that any prince could consent to a dreadful proposal, so hurtful to himself. Let us be thankful for mild and just government. Haman inquires, according to his own superstitions, how to find a lucky day for the designed massacre! God|s wisdom serves its own purposes by men|s folly. Haman has appealed to the lot, and the lot, by delaying the execution, gives judgment against him. The event explains the doctrine of a particular providence over all the affairs of men, and the care of God over his church. Haman was afraid lest the king|s conscience should smite him for what he had done; to prevent which, he kept him drinking. This cursed method many often take to drown convictions, and to harden their own hearts, and the hearts of others, in sin. All appeared in a favourable train to accomplish the project. But though sinners are permitted to proceed to the point they aim at, an unseen but almighty Power turns them back. How vain and contemptible are the strongest assaults against Jehovah! Had Haman obtained his wish, and the Jewish nation perished, what must have become of all the promises? How could the prophecies concerning the great Redeemer of the world have been fulfilled? Thus the everlasting covenant itself must have failed, before this diabolical project could take place.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:1-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:2-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:5-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:11-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:14-999 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Esther 3:17-999 


Evening Bible Reading - Acts 5

  1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,  2 And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet.  3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land?  4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.  5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.  6 And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried [him] out, and buried [him].  7 And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.  8 And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.  9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out.  10 Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying [her] forth, buried [her] by her husband.  11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.  12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)  15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid [them] on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  16 There came also a multitude [out] of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   1-11 The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent disciples, when they were not true disciples. Hypocrites may deny themselves, may forego their worldly advantage in one instance, with a prospect of finding their account in something else. They were covetous of the wealth of the world, and distrustful of God and his providence. They thought they might serve both God and mammon. They thought to deceive the apostles. The Spirit of God in Peter discerned the principle of unbelief reigning in the heart of Ananias. But whatever Satan might suggest, he could not have filled the heart of Ananias with this wickedness had he not been consenting. The falsehood was an attempt to deceive the Spirit of truth, who so manifestly spoke and acted by the apostles. The crime of Ananias was not his retaining part of the price of the land; he might have kept it all, had he pleased; but his endeavouring to impose upon the apostles with an awful lie, from a desire to make a vain show, joined with covetousness. But if we think to put a cheat upon God, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls. How sad to see those relations who should quicken one another to that which is good, hardening one another in that which is evil! And this punishment was in reality mercy to vast numbers. It would cause strict self-examination, prayer, and dread of hypocrisy, covetousness, and vain-glory, and it should still do so. It would prevent the increase of false professors. Let us learn hence how hateful falsehood is to the God of truth, and not only shun a direct lie, but all advantages from the use of doubtful expressions, and double meaning in our speech.

Matthew Henry Commentary:   12-16 The separation of hypocrites by distinguishing judgments, should make the sincere cleave closer to each other and to the gospel ministry. Whatever tends to the purity and reputation of the church, promotes its enlargement; but that power alone which wrought such miracles by the apostles, can rescue sinners from the power of sin and Satan, and add believers to His worshippers. Christ will work by all his faithful servants; and every one who applies to him shall be healed.

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Acts 5:1-16 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Acts 5:5-16 

A Commentary By J Vernon MCgee For Acts 5:12-16