3 Then Esther addressed the king again.aj She fell at his feet, wept, and beggedak him to revoke the evil of Haman the Agagiteal and his plot he had devised against the Jews.am 4 The king extended the gold scepteran toward Esther, so she got up and stood before the king.
5 She said, “If it pleases the king and I have found favor with him, if the matter seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his eyes,ao let a royal edict be written. Let it revoke the documents the scheming Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces.ap 6 For how could I bear to see the disaster that would come on my people?aq How could I bear to see the destruction of my relatives?”ar
7 King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I have given Haman’s estate to Esther,as and he was hanged on the gallows because he attackedG the Jews.at 8 Write in the king’s name whatever pleases youa concerning the Jews, and seal it with the royal signet ring.b A document written in the king’s name and sealed with the royal signet ring cannot be revoked.”c
9 On the twenty-third day of the third monthd—that is, the month Sivan—the royal scribes were summoned. Everything was written exactly as Mordecaie commanded for the Jews, to the satraps,f the governors, and the officials of the 127 provinces from India to Cush.g The edict was written for each province in its own script, for each ethnic group in its own language,h and to the Jews in their own script and language.
11 The king’s edict gave the Jews in each and every city the right to assemble and defend themselves, to destroy, kill, and annihilate every ethnic and provincial army hostile to them, including women and children, and to take their possessions as spoils of war.k 12 This would take place on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar.l
13 A copy of the text, issued as law throughout every province, was distributed to all the peoplesm so the Jews could be ready to avenge themselves against their enemies on that day. 14 The couriers rode out in haste on their royal horses at the king’s urgent command. The law was also issued in the fortress of Susa.n
15 Mordecai went from the king’s presence clothed in royal blue and white, with a great gold crown and a purple robe of fine linen.o The city of Susa shouted and rejoiced,p 16 and the Jews celebratedA with gladness, joy, and honor.q 17 In every province and every city where the king’s command and edict reached, gladness and joy took place among the Jews. There was a celebration and a holiday.B,r And many of the ethnic groups of the land professed themselves to be Jews because fear of the Jewss had overcome them.
9 The king’s command and lawt went into effect on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month,u the month Adar. On the day when the Jews’ enemiesv had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them.w 2 In each of King Ahasuerus’s provincesx the Jews assembled in their cities to attack those who intended to harm them.C Not a single person could withstand them; fear of themy fell on every nationality.z
3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the royal civil administrators* aa aided the Jews because they feared Mordecai.ab 4 For Mordecai exercised great power in the palace,ac and his fame spread throughout the provinces as he became more and more powerful.ad
5 The Jews put all their enemies to the sword, killing and destroying them.ae They did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In the fortress of Susaaf the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, 7 including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10 They killed these ten sonsag of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews.ah However, they did not seize* any plunder.ai
11 On that day the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “In the fortress of Susa the Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men, including Haman’s ten sons. What have they done in the rest of the royal provinces? Whatever you ask will be given to you. Whatever you seek will also be done.”aj
13 Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, may the Jews who are in Susa also have tomorrowak to carry out today’s law,al and may the bodies of Haman’s ten sonsam be hung on the gallows.”an 14 The king gave the orders for this to be done, so a law was announced in Susa, and they hung the bodies of Haman’s ten sons. 15 The Jews in Susa assembled again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adarao and killed three hundred men in Susa, but they did not seize any plunder.ap
16 The rest of the Jews in the royal provinces assembled, defended themselves, and gained relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousandF of those who hated them,aq but they did not seize any plunder. 17 They fought on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar and rested on the fourteenth, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
18 But the Jews in Susa had assembled on the thirteenth and the fourteenth days of the month. They rested on the fifteenth day of the month, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.a 19 This explains why the rural Jews who live in villages observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a time of rejoicing and feasting. It is a holiday when they send gifts to one another.b
20 Mordecaic recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Ahasuerus’s provinces, both near and far. 21 He orderedd them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar every year 22 because during those days the Jews gained relief frome their enemies. That was the month when their sorrow was turned into rejoicing and their mourning into a holiday.f They were to be days of feasting,g rejoicing, and of sending gifts to one another and to the poor.
Lit stretched out his hand against
Lit had light
Lit good day
Lit cities to send out a hand against the seekers of their evil
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