Esther 9

Victories of the Jews

1The king’s command and law a went into effect on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, b the month Adar.
= February-March
On the day when the Jews’ enemies d had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them. e
2In each of King Ahasuerus’s provinces f the Jews assembled in their cities to attack those who intended to harm them.
Lit cities to send out a hand against the seekers of their evil
Not a single person could withstand them; terror of them h fell on every nationality. i

3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the royal civil administrators
Lit and those who do the king’s work; Est 3:9
k aided the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai. l
4 For Mordecai exercised great power in the palace, m and his fame spread throughout the provinces as he became more and more powerful. n

5The Jews put all their enemies to the sword, killing and destroying them. o They did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6In the fortress of Susa p the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10They killed these 10 sons q of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. r However, they did not seize
Lit not put their hands on
any plunder. t

11On that day the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa was reported to the king. 12The king said to Queen Esther, “In the fortress of Susa the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men, including Haman’s 10 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.” u

13 Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, may the Jews who are in Susa also have tomorrow v to carry out today’s law, w and may the bodies of Haman’s 10 sons x be hung on the gallows.” y 14The king gave the orders for this to be done, so a law was announced in Susa, and they hung the bodies of Haman’s 10 sons. 15The Jews in Susa assembled again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar z and killed 300 men in Susa, but they did not seize
Lit not put their hands on
any plunder. ab

16The rest of the Jews in the royal provinces assembled, defended themselves, and got rid of
Lit and gained relief from
their enemies. They killed 75,000
Some LXX mss read 10,107; other LXX mss read 15,000
of those who hated them, ae but they did not seize
Lit not put their hands on
any plunder.
17They fought on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar and rested on the fourteenth, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.

18But 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. ag 19This 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. ah

20 Mordecai ai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Ahasuerus’s provinces, both near and far. 21He ordered aj them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar every year 22because during those days the Jews got rid of
Lit Jews gained relief from
al their enemies. That was the month when their sorrow was turned into rejoicing and their mourning into a holiday. am They were to be days of feasting, an rejoicing, and of sending gifts to one another and the poor.

23So 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, ao had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. He cast the Pur (that is, the lot) to crush and destroy them. ap 25But when the matter was brought before the king, aq he commanded by letter that the evil plan Haman had devised against the Jews return on his own head ar and that he should be hanged with his sons on the gallows. as 26For this reason these days are called Purim, from the word Pur. atBecause of all the instructions in this letter as well as what they had witnessed and what had happened to them, 27the Jews bound themselves, their descendants, and all who joined au 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 life
LXX reads will be celebrated into all times
and their memory will not fade from their descendants. aw

29 Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, ax along with Mordecai the Jew, ay wrote this second letter with full authority az to confirm the letter about Purim. 30He sent letters with messages of peace and faithfulness to all the Jews who were in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, 31in order to confirm these days of Purim at their proper time just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established them and just as they had committed themselves and their descendants to the practices of fasting ba and lamentation. bb 32So Esther’s command confirmed these customs of Purim, which were then written into the record.
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