Deliverance of the Jews
At that time King Ahasuerus gave the property of Haman the Jews” enemy to Queen Esther. Mordecai was made one of the king”s personal advisers, for Esther had disclosed his relationship to her. The king also drew off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman. He gave it to Mordecai, and Esther placed Mordecai in charge of Haman”s property.
Then Esther sought another audience with the king and fell at his feet and with tears begged him to avert the evil planned by Haman the Agagite and to frustrate his designs against the Jews. The king held out to her the golden sceptre, and she arose and stood before him. And she said, ‘If it seems best to the king, and if I have won his favour and he thinks it right, and if I please him, let written orders be given to revoke the dispatches devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote ordering the destruction of the Jews who are in all the king”s provinces. For how can I bear to look upon the evil that will come to my people? How can I bear to see their destruction?’ Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, ‘See, I have given Esther the property of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he laid hands upon the Jews. Now you write on behalf of the Jews, as seems best to you, in the king”s name and seal it with the king”s signet ring. For a document that is written in the king”s name and sealed with the king”s signet ring cannot be revoked.’
On the twenty-third day of the third month (that is the month of Sivan), the king”s secretaries were summoned and as Modecai instructed an edict was issued to the Jews, to the satraps and provincial governors and the rulers of each of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia in their own script and their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.
10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus. He sealed it with the king”s signet ring. Dispatches were sent by mounted couriers who rode the swift, noble steeds, bred of the royal studs. 11 In this way the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and make a stand for their life, to destroy, to kill, and annihilate all the armed forces of any people or province that might be hostile to them, including their children and women, and to take their goods as plunder 12 throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus on that thirteenth day of the twelfth month (which is called Adar). 13 A copy of the edict was to be published as a decree in every province --- publically displayed so that the Jews might be ready for that day and avenge themselves. 14 So the couriers who rode the swift, noble steeds went out, hastened and impelled by the king”s commands!
Meantime the decree had been given out in the royal palace at Susa; 15 and Mordecai had gone out from the presence of the king in royal garments of violet and white and with a great crown of gold and with a robe of fine linen and purple. The people of Susa shouted and were glad. 16 To the Jews there came light and gladness and joy and honour. 17 And in every province and city, wherever the king”s command and decree came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews and a holiday. Many of the peoples of the earth professed to be Jews, for fear of the Jews took possession of them.
\c 9 Now in the twelfth month (that is the month of Adar), on the thirteenth day, when the king”s command and his decree was about to put into execution, on the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, then the tables were turned so that the Jews had the mastery over those who hated them. The Jews gathered together in the cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to attack anyone who tried to harm them. No one could withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen on all the peoples. All the princes of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and they who attended to the king”s business, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. For Mordecai was great in the king”s palace, and as his power increased his fame spread throughout all the provinces. The Jews put all their enemies to the sword and, with slaughter and destruction, they did what they wanted to those who hated them. In Susa the captial the Jews killed five hundred people. They killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisia, Aridai, and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jews' enemy; but they did not take any plunder.
11 On that day the number of those who were slain in Susa was brought before the king, 12 and the king said to Queen Esther, ‘The Jews have slain five hundred people in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king”s provinces! Now what is your petition? It will be granted to you. What is your request? It will be done.’
13 Then Esther said, ‘If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Susa to do tomorrow also according to this day”s decree. Let the bodies of Haman”s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.’ 14 And the king commanded it to be done. A decree was given out in Susa and they hung the bodies of Haman”s ten sons on the gallows. 15 The Jews who were in Susa gathered themselves together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. They killed three hundred people in Susa. But they did not take any plunder. 16 And the other Jews who were in the king”s provinces gathered themselves together and fought for their lives and overcame their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand who hated them. But they did not take any plunder. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of Adar.
On the fourteenth day of the month Adar the Jews rested and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing. 18 (But the Jews in Susa gatherered on both the thirteeth and fourteenth day --- and rested on the fifteenth day of the same month and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing.)
19 This is why the Jews who live in the country villages keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day of rejoicing and feasting and a holiday, and a day in which they send gifts of food to each other.
The Establishment of Purim
20 Mordecai had these things recorded. He sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, both near and far. 21 He told them to keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and also the fifteenth day every year, 22 as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned from sorrow to gladness and from mourning into a feast day. They should make them days of feasting and gladness and of sending gifts of food to each other and of gifts to the poor.
23 So what the Jews had begun to do they adopted as a custom, just as Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy them. He had cast “Pur”, that is the lot, intending to consume them and to destroy them. 25 But when the matter came before the king, he gave written orders that his wicked plot, which he had planned against the Jews, should come upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26 This is why these days are called Purim, after the word Pur. Therefore because of all the words of this letter, as well as all they had seen, and all they had experienced, 27 the Jews established and made it a custom for them, for their descendants, and for all who should join them, so that it might not be repealed, that they should continue to observe these two days as feasts each year, 28 and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim should not pass away from among the Jews nor the remembrance of them disappear among their descendants.
29 Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, gave Mordecai the Jew all authority in writing to confirm this second letter of Purim. 30 He sent letters to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, wishing them peace and security, 31 to confirm these days of Purim in their proper times, to be observed as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had directed and as the Jews had proscribed for themselves and their descendants, in the matter of the fastings and their cry of lamentation. 32 And the commands of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the records.
\c 10 King Ahasuerus imposed a tribute on the land and the coasts. All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king advanced him, are they not recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and loved by them all. He sought the good of his people and promoted the welfare of their descendents.