Est 131 “Artaxerxes, the great king from India all the way to Ethiopia, to the generals and leaders of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces that obey our command: greetings, he says. 2 In arrogance, many have abused the goodness of leaders and the honor that has been bestowed on them, 3 and they strive, not only to oppress the king’s subjects, but, not acting according to the glory given to them, set in motion a plan to ambush those very ones who gave it. 4 Neither are they content to withhold thanks for benefits and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they also think they are able to escape from every sentence of the sifting judgment of God. 5 And they rush forth in such insanity that they attempt to subvert by filthy lies those who carefully fulfill the offices delegated to them and so perform everything that is deserving of the praise of all. 6 Meanwhile, they craftily deceive by fraud the ears of single-minded leaders, and they judge others according to their own nature. 7 These things are proven both from the ancient histories and from those things which happen daily: how the zeal of kings can be corrupted by the evil suggestions of such persons. 8 Therefore, we will make provision for the peace of all the provinces. 9 Neither should you think, if we change our orders, that they come from a fickle mind, but that we draw conclusions from the quality and necessity of the times, just as the expediency of the public good demands. 10 And, so that you may more clearly understand what we are saying: Haman the son of Hammedatha, a Macedonian both in mind and ancestry, and foreign to Persian blood, and with his cruelty contaminating our piety, was accepted by us as a sojourner. 11 And our humanity proved to be so great towards him that he was called our father and was adored by all as second only to the king. 12 But he was so filled with arrogance as to strive to deprive us of our kingdom and our life. 13 For example, with certain strange and unheard of machinations, he sought the death of Mordecai, whose faith and kindness kept us alive, and Esther, the partner of our kingdom, and all their people. 14 This he planned so that, after they were executed, he might work treason against us in our solitude and transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians. 15 But we, having been resolved to ruin in death the mortal Jews, discovered no fault within them, but on the contrary, they use just laws 16 and are sons of the highest and greatest and ever-living God, by whose kindness the kingdom was handed down both to our fathers and to us, and is cared for even unto this day. 17 Therefore, you should understand to be null and void those letters that he administered under our name. 18 With all the peoples, cities, and provinces, wherever the king’s orders arrived, there was wonderful rejoicing, banquets and feasts, and a solemn holy day, so much so that many of the other nations joined themselves to their religious practices and ceremonies. For a great fear of the name of the Jews had overcome them all.
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