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Esther 9:16–10:3

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.

23 So the Jews agreed to continue the practice they had begun, as Mordecai had written them to do. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews,h had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. He cast the pur—that is, the lot—to crush and destroy them.i 25 But when the matter was brought before the king,j he commanded by letter that the evil plan Haman had devised against the Jews return on his own headk and that he should be hanged with his sons on the gallows.l 26 For this reason these days are called Purim, from the word pur.m Because of all the instructions in this letter as well as what they had witnessed and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews bound themselves, their descendants, and all who joinedn with them to a commitment that they would not fail to celebrate these two days each and every year according to the written instructions and according to the time appointed. 28 These days are remembered and celebrated by every generation, family, province, and city, so that these days of Purim will not lose their significance in Jewish lifeA and their memory will not fade from their descendants.o

29 Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail,p along with Mordecai the Jew,q wrote this second letter with full authorityr to confirm the letter about Purim. 30 He sent letters with assurances of peace and securityB to all the Jews who were in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, 31 in order to confirm these days of Purim at their proper time just as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had established them and just as they had committed themselves and their descendants to the practices of fastings and lamentation.t 32 So Esther’s command confirmed these customs of Purim, which were then written into the record.

MORDECAI’S FAME

10 King Ahasuerus imposed a tax throughout the landu even to the farthest shores.C,v All of his powerful and magnificent accomplishmentsw and the detailed account of Mordecai’s great rank with which the king had honored him,x have they not been written in the Book of the Historical Events of the Kings of Media and Persia?y Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus.z He was famous among the Jews and highly esteemed by many of his relatives.aa He continued to pursue prosperity for his people and to speak for the well-being of all his descendants.ab

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