1 Part Now this is the copy of the letter: The great king Artaxerxes writes these things to the princes of a hundred and seven and twenty provinces from India to Ethiopia, and to the governors that are set under them.
2 After that I became lord over many nations, and had dominion over the whole world, not lifted up with presumption of my authority, but carrying myself always with equity and mildness, I purposed to settle my subjects continually in a quiet life, and making my kingdom peaceful, and open for passage to the utmost coasts, to renew peace, which is desired of all men.
3 Now when I asked my counselors how this might be brought to pass, Aman, that excelled in wisdom among us, and was approved for his constant good will and stedfast fidelity, and had the honor of the second place in the kingdom,
4 declared to us, that in all nations throughout the world there was scattered a certain malignant people, that had laws contrary to all nations, and continually set aside the commandments of kings, so as the uniting of our kingdoms, honorably intended by us, can’t go forward.
5 Seeing then we understand that this nation is alone continually in opposition to all men, following perversely a life which is strange to our laws, and evil affected to our state, working all the mischief they can, that our kingdom may not be firmly established:
6 therefore have we commanded, that they that are signified in writing to you by Aman, who is ordained over the affairs, and is a second father to us, shall all, with their wives and children, be utterly destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without all mercy and pity, the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year:
7 that they, who of old and now also are malicious, may in one day with violence go down to the grave, and so ever hereafter cause our affairs to be well settled, and without trouble.
8 Part Then Mardocheus made his prayer to the Lord, calling to remembrance all the works of the Lord,
9 and said, O Lord, Lord, you King Almighty: for the whole world is in your power, and if it be your will to save Israel, there is no man that can gainsay you:
10 for you have made heaven and earth, and all the wondrous things that are beneath the heaven;
11 and you are Lord of all, and there is no man that can resist you, which are the Lord.
12 You know all things, and you know, Lord, that it was neither in contempt nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow down to proud Aman.
13 For I could have been content with good will for the salvation of Israel to kiss the soles of his feet.
14 But I did this, that I might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of God: neither will I bow down to any but to you, which are my Lord, neither will I do it in pride.
15 And now, O Lord, you God and King, the God of Abraham, spare your people: for their eyes are upon us to bring us to nothing, and they desire to destroy the heritage, that has been your from the beginning.
16 Despise not your portion, which you did redeem out of the land of Egypt for your own self.
17 Hear my prayer, and be merciful to your inheritance: and turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live, O Lord, and sing praises to your name: and destroy not the mouth of them that praise you, O Lord.
18 And all Israel cried out mightily, because their death was before their eyes.