Esther*

1 Now it came about in the days of* A·has·u·eʹrus,*+ that is, the A·has·u·eʹrus who was ruling as king from Inʹdi·a* to E·thi·oʹpi·a,* [over] a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,*+ [that] in those days as King A·has·u·eʹrus was sitting upon his royal throne,+ which was in Shuʹshan+ the castle,*+ in the third year of his reigning he held a banquet+ for all his princes and his servants, the military force of Persia+ and Meʹdi·a,+ the nobles+ and the princes of the jurisdictional districts before himself,+ when he showed the riches+ of his glorious kingdom and the honor+ [and] the beauty of his greatness for many days, a hundred and eighty days. And when these days had come to the full, the king held a banquet for seven days for all the people that were found in Shuʹshan the castle, for the great as well as the small, in the courtyard of the garden of the king’s palace. There were linen, fine cotton and blue+ held fast in ropes of fine fabric, and wool dyed reddish purple+ in silver rings and pillars of marble, couches+ of gold and silver upon a pavement of porphyry* and marble and pearl and black marble.

And there was a passing of wine to drink* in gold vessels;+ and the vessels were different from one another, and the royal wine+ was in great quantity, according to the means of the king. As regards the time of drinking according to the law, there was no one compelling, for that was the way the king had arranged for every great man of his household, to do according to the liking of each and every one.

Also, Vashʹti+ the queen herself held a banquet for the women at the royal house that belonged to King A·has·u·eʹrus.*

10 On the seventh day, when the king’s heart was in a merry mood with wine,+ he said to Me·huʹman, Bizʹtha, Har·boʹna,+ Bigʹtha and A·bagʹtha, Zeʹthar and Carʹkas, the seven court officials that were ministering*+ to the person of King A·has·u·eʹrus, 11 to bring Vashʹti the queen in the royal headdress before the king, to show the peoples and the princes her loveliness; for she was beautiful in appearance.+ 12 But Queen Vashʹti kept refusing+ to come at the king’s word that was [conveyed] by means of the court officials. At this the king grew highly indignant and his very rage flared up within him.+

13 And the king proceeded to say to the wise+ men having knowledge of the times+ (for in this way the king’s matter [came] before all those versed in law and legal cases, 14 and those closest to him were Car·sheʹna, Sheʹthar, Ad·maʹtha, Tarʹshish, Meʹres, Mar·seʹna, [and] Me·muʹcan, seven+ princes of Persia and Meʹdi·a, having access to the king,*+ [and] who were sitting first in the kingdom): 15 “According to law what is to be done with Queen Vashʹti because she has not performed the saying of King A·has·u·eʹrus by means of the court officials?”

16 To this Me·muʹcan+ said before the king and the princes: “It is not against the king alone that Vashʹti the queen has done wrong,+ but against all the princes and against all the peoples that are in all the jurisdictional districts of King A·has·u·eʹrus. 17 For the affair of the queen will go out to all the wives so that they will despise+ their owners*+ in their own eyes, when they say, ‘King A·has·u·eʹrus himself said to bring in Vashʹti the queen before him, and she did not come in.’ 18 And this day the princesses of Persia and Meʹdi·a, who have heard the affair of the queen, will talk to all the princes of the king, and there will be plenty of contempt and indignation.+ 19 If to the king it does seem good,+ let a royal word go out from his person, and let it be written among the laws+ of Persia and Meʹdi·a, that it may not pass away,+ that Vashʹti may not come in before King A·has·u·eʹrus; and her royal dignity let the king give to a companion of hers, a woman better than she is. 20 And the decree of the king that he will make must be heard in all his realm (for it is vast), and all the wives themselves will give* honor+ to their owners,+ the great as well as the small.”

21 And the thing was pleasing in the eyes of the king+ and the princes, and the king proceeded to do according to the word of Me·muʹcan. 22 So he sent written documents+ to all the king’s jurisdictional districts, to each jurisdictional district+ in its own style of writing and to each people in its own tongue, for every husband to be continually acting as prince in his own house+ and speaking in the tongue of his own people.

2 After these things, when the rage of King A·has·u·eʹrus+ had subsided, he remembered Vashʹti+ and what she had done+ and what had been decided against her.+ Then the king’s attendants, his ministers,+ said: “Let them seek+ young women, virgins,+ beautiful in appearance, for the king, and let the king appoint commissioners in all the jurisdictional districts+ of his realm, and let them collect together all the young women, virgins, beautiful in appearance, at Shuʹshan the castle,+ at the house of the women in charge of Hegʹa·i+ the king’s eunuch,+ the guardian of the women; and let there be a giving* of their massages. And that young woman who seems pleasing in the king’s eyes will be queen instead of Vashʹti.”+ And the thing was pleasing in the king’s eyes, and he proceeded to do that way.

A certain man, a Jew, happened to be in Shuʹshan+ the castle, and his name was Morʹde·cai+ the son of Jaʹir the son of Shimʹe·i the son of Kish a Benʹja·min·ite,+ who had been taken into exile+ from Jerusalem with the deported people* who were taken into exile with Jec·o·niʹah*+ the king of Judah whom Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar+ the king of Babylon* took into exile. And he came to be the caretaker+ of Ha·dasʹsah,* that is, Esther, the daughter of his father’s brother,+ for she had neither father nor mother; and the young woman was pretty in form and beautiful in appearance,+ and at the death of her father and her mother Morʹde·cai took her as his daughter. And it came about that, when the king’s word and his law were heard, and when many young women were collected together at Shuʹshan+ the castle in charge of Hegʹa·i,+ then Esther was taken to the king’s house in charge of Hegʹa·i the guardian of the women.

Now the young woman was pleasing in his eyes, so that she gained loving-kindness*+ before him and he made haste to give her her massages+ and her appropriate food, and to give her seven selected young women from the king’s house, and he proceeded to transfer her and her young women to the best place of the house of the women. 10 Esther had not told about her people+ or about her relatives, for Morʹde·cai himself had laid the command upon her that she should not tell.+ 11 And day after day Morʹde·cai was walking before the courtyard of the house of the women to know of Esther’s welfare and what was being done with her.

12 And when the turn of each young woman arrived to go in to King A·has·u·eʹrus after it had happened to her according to the women’s regulation for twelve months, for that was the way the days of their massage procedure were gradually fulfilled, six months with oil of myrrh+ and six months with balsam oil+ and with the massages of the women; 13 then on these conditions the young woman herself came in to the king. Everything that she would mention would be given her, to come with her from the house of the women to the king’s house.+ 14 In the evening she herself came in, and in the morning she herself returned to the second house of the women in charge of Sha·ashʹgaz the king’s eunuch,+ the guardian of the concubines. She would not come in anymore to the king unless the king had taken delight in her and she had been called by name.+

15 And when the turn of Esther the daughter of Abʹi·ha·il the uncle of Morʹde·cai, whom he had taken as his daughter,+ arrived to come in to the king, she did not request anything+ except what Hegʹa·i+ the king’s eunuch, the guardian of the women, proceeded to mention (all the while Esther was continually gaining favor in the eyes of everyone seeing her).+ 16 Then Esther was taken to King A·has·u·eʹrus at his royal house in the tenth month, that is, the month Teʹbeth,* in the seventh year+ of his reign. 17 And the king came to love Esther more than all the other women, so that she gained more favor and loving-kindness before him than all the other virgins.+ And he proceeded to put the royal headdress upon her head and make her queen+ instead of Vashʹti. 18 And the king went on to hold a great banquet for all his princes and his servants, the banquet of Esther; and an amnesty+ for the jurisdictional districts he granted, and he kept giving presents according to the means of the king.

19 Now when virgins+ were collected together a second time, Morʹde·cai was sitting in the king’s gate.+ 20 Esther was not telling about her relatives and her people,+ just as Morʹde·cai+ had laid the command upon her;+ and the saying of Morʹde·cai Esther was performing, just as when she happened to be under care by him.+

21 In those days while Morʹde·cai was sitting in the king’s gate, Bigʹthan and Teʹresh, two court officials of the king, doorkeepers, became indignant and kept seeking to lay hand+ on King A·has·u·eʹrus. 22 And the thing came to be known to Morʹde·cai, and he immediately told+ Esther the queen. In turn Esther talked to the king in Morʹde·cai’s name.+ 23 So the matter was sought out and eventually found out, and both of them got to be hanged+ on a stake;*+ after which it was written in the book of the affairs+ of the days before the king.

3 After these things King A·has·u·eʹrus magnified Haʹman+ the son of Ham·me·daʹtha the Agʹag·ite+ and proceeded to exalt him+ and to put his throne above all the other princes that were with him.+ And all the king’s servants that were in the king’s gate+ were bowing low and prostrating themselves to Haʹman, for so the king had commanded respecting him. But as for Morʹde·cai, he would neither bow low nor prostrate himself.+ And the king’s servants who were in the king’s gate began to say to Morʹde·cai: “Why are you sidestepping the king’s commandment?”+ And it came about that, as they talked to him day by day, and he did not listen to them, then they told Haʹman to see whether Morʹde·cai’s affairs would stand;+ for he had told them that he was a Jew.+

Now Haʹman kept seeing that Morʹde·cai was not bowing low and prostrating himself to him,+ and Haʹman became filled with rage.+ But it was despicable in his eyes to lay hand upon Morʹde·cai alone, for they had told him about Morʹde·cai’s people; and Haʹman began seeking to annihilate+ all the Jews who were in all the realm of A·has·u·eʹrus, Morʹde·cai’s people.+

In the first month,+ that is, the month Niʹsan,* in the twelfth year+ of King A·has·u·eʹrus, someone cast Pur,*+ that is, the Lot,+ before Haʹman from day to day and from month to month, [to] the twelfth, that is, the month Aʹdar.*+ And Haʹman proceeded to say to King A·has·u·eʹrus: “There is one certain people scattered+ and separated among the peoples in all the jurisdictional districts of your realm;+ and their laws are different from all other people’s, and the king’s own laws they are not performing,+ and for the king it is not appropriate to let them alone. If to the king it does seem good, let there be a writing that they be destroyed; and ten thousand+ silver talents* I shall pay into the hands of those doing the work+ by bringing [it] into the king’s treasury.”

10 At that the king removed his signet ring+ from his own hand and gave it to Haʹman+ the son of Ham·me·daʹtha the Agʹag·ite,+ the one showing hostility to the Jews.+ 11 And the king went on to say to Haʹman: “The silver+ is given to you, also the people, to do with them according to what is good in your own eyes.”+ 12 The king’s secretaries+ were then called in the first month on the thirteenth day of it, and writing+ went on according to all that Haʹman commanded the king’s satraps and the governors who were over the different jurisdictional districts,+ and the princes of the different peoples, of each jurisdictional district, in its own style of writing,+ and each people in its own tongue; in the name+ of King A·has·u·eʹrus it was written and it was sealed with the king’s signet ring.+

13 And there was a sending* of the letters by means of couriers+ to all the king’s jurisdictional districts, to annihilate, to kill and to destroy all the Jews, young man as well as old man, little ones and women, on one day,+ on the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth month, that is, the month Aʹdar,+ and to plunder the spoil of them.+ 14 A copy of the writing to be given as law+ in all the different jurisdictional districts+ was being published to all the peoples, [for them] to become ready for this day. 15 The couriers themselves went out, being moved to speed+ because of the king’s word, and the law itself was given in Shuʹshan+ the castle. As for the king and Haʹman, they sat down to drink;+ but as for the city of Shuʹshan,+ it was in confusion.+

4 And Morʹde·cai+ himself got knowledge of everything that had been done;+ and Morʹde·cai proceeded to rip his garments apart and put on sackcloth+ and ashes+ and go out into the middle of the city and cry out with a loud and bitter outcry.+ Finally he came as far as in front of the king’s gate,+ for no one was to come into the king’s gate in clothing of sackcloth. And in all the different jurisdictional districts,+ wherever the king’s word and his law were reaching, there was great mourning+ among the Jews, and fasting+ and weeping and wailing. Sackcloth+ and ashes+ themselves came to be spread out as a couch for many. And Esther’s young women and her eunuchs+ began to come in and tell her. And the queen was very much pained. Then she sent garments to clothe Morʹde·cai and to remove his sackcloth off him. And he did not accept [them].+ At this Esther called Haʹthach,+ one of the king’s eunuchs, whom he had made to attend upon her, and she proceeded to give him a command concerning Morʹde·cai, to know what this meant and what this was all about.

So Haʹthach went out to Morʹde·cai into the public square of the city that was before the king’s gate. Then Morʹde·cai told him about all the things that had befallen him+ and the exact statement of the money that Haʹman had said to pay to the king’s treasury+ against the Jews, to destroy them.+ And a copy+ of the writing of the law that had been given in Shuʹshan+ to have them annihilated he gave him to show Esther and to tell her and to lay the command upon her+ to come in to the king and implore favor of him+ and make request directly before him for her own people.+

Haʹthach+ now came in and told Esther Morʹde·cai’s words. 10 Then Esther said to Haʹthach and commanded him concerning Morʹde·cai:+ 11 “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s jurisdictional districts are aware that, as regards any man or woman that comes in to the king at the inner courtyard+ who is not called, his one law+ is to have [him] put to death; only in case the king holds out to him the golden scepter, he will also certainly stay alive.+ As for me, I have not been called to come in to the king now for thirty days.”

12 And they proceeded to tell Morʹde·cai the words of Esther. 13 Then Morʹde·cai said to reply to Esther: “Do not imagine within your own soul that the king’s household will escape any more than all the other Jews.+ 14 For if you are altogether silent at this time, relief and deliverance themselves will stand up for the Jews from another place;+ but as for you and your father’s house, YOU people will perish. And who is there knowing whether it is for a time like this that you have attained to royal dignity?”+

15 Accordingly Esther said to reply to Morʹde·cai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews that are to be found in Shuʹshan+ and fast+ in my behalf and neither eat nor drink for three days,+ night and day. I too with my young women,+ I shall fast likewise, and upon that I shall come in to the king, which is not according to the law; and in case I must perish,+ I must perish.” 17 At this Morʹde·cai passed along and proceeded to do according to all that Esther had laid in command upon him.

5 And it came about on the third day+ that Esther went dressing up royally,+ after which she took her stand in the inner courtyard+ of the king’s house opposite the king’s house, while the king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal house opposite the entrance of the house. And it came about that, as soon as the king saw Esther the queen standing in the courtyard, she gained favor+ in his eyes, so that the king held out to Esther the golden scepter+ that was in his hand. Esther now came near and touched the top of the scepter.

Then the king said to her: “What do you have, O Esther the queen, and what is your request?+ To the half of the kingship+—let it even be given to you!” In turn Esther said: “If to the king it does seem good, let the king with Haʹman+ come today* to the banquet+ that I have made for him.” Accordingly the king said: “YOU men, have Haʹman act quickly+ on the word of Esther.” Later the king and Haʹman came to the banquet that Esther had made.

In time the king said to Esther during the banquet of wine: “What is your petition?+ Let it even be granted you! And what is your request? To the half of the kingship—let it even be done!” To this Esther answered and said: “My petition and my request is, If I have found favor in the king’s eyes+ and if to the king it does seem good to grant my petition and to act on my request, let the king and Haʹman come to the banquet that I shall hold for them [tomorrow],* and tomorrow I shall do according to the king’s word.”+

Consequently Haʹman went out on that day joyful+ and merry of heart; but as soon as Haʹman saw Morʹde·cai in the king’s gate+ and that he did not rise+ and did not quake on account of him,+ Haʹman was immediately filled with rage+ against Morʹde·cai. 10 However, Haʹman kept control of himself and came into his house. Then he sent and had his friends* and Zeʹresh+ his wife brought in; 11 and Haʹman proceeded to declare to them the glory of his riches+ and the large number of his sons+ and everything with which the king had magnified him and how he had exalted him over the princes and the servants of the king.+

12 And Haʹman went on to say: “What is more, Esther the queen brought in with the king to the banquet that she had made no one but me,+ and tomorrow+ also I am invited to her with the king. 13 But all this—none of it suits me* as long as I am seeing Morʹde·cai the Jew sitting in the king’s gate.” 14 At that Zeʹresh his wife and all his friends said to him: “Let them make a stake*+ fifty cubits* high. Then in the morning+ say to the king that they should hang Morʹde·cai on it.+ Then go in with the king to the banquet joyful.” So the thing seemed good+ before Haʹman, and he proceeded to have the stake made.+

6 During that night the king’s sleep fled.+ Therefore he said to bring the book of the records+ of the affairs of the times. Thus there came to be a reading of them before the king. At length there was found written what Morʹde·cai had reported+ concerning Big·thaʹna and Teʹresh, two court officials+ of the king, doorkeepers, who had sought to lay hand on King A·has·u·eʹrus.* Then the king said: “What honor and great thing has been done to Morʹde·cai for this?” To this the king’s attendants, his ministers,* said: “Nothing has been done with him.”+

Later the king said: “Who is in the courtyard?” Now Haʹman himself had come into the outer courtyard+ of the king’s house to say to the king to hang Morʹde·cai on the stake+ that he had prepared for him. Accordingly the king’s attendants said to him: “Here is Haʹman+ standing in the courtyard.” So the king said: “Let him come in.”

When Haʹman came in, the king proceeded to say to him: “What is to be done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight?”+ At this Haʹman said in his heart: “To whom would the king take delight in rendering an honor more than me?”+ So Haʹman said to the king: “As for the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight, let them bring royal apparel+ with which the king does clothe himself and a horse upon which the king does ride+ and on the head of which the royal headdress has been put. And let there be a putting* of the apparel and the horse into the charge of one of the king’s noble princes;+ and they must clothe the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight, and they must make him ride on the horse in the public square+ of the city,+ and they must call out before him, ‘This is how it is done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight.’”+ 10 At once the king said to Haʹman: “Quickly, take the apparel and the horse, just as you have said, and do that way to Morʹde·cai the Jew who is sitting in the king’s gate. Do not let anything go unfulfilled* of all that you have spoken.”+

11 And Haʹman proceeded to take the apparel+ and the horse and clothe Morʹde·cai+ and make him ride in the public square+ of the city and call out before him:+ “This is how it is done to the man in whose honor the king himself has taken a delight.”+ 12 Afterward Morʹde·cai returned to the king’s gate.+ As for Haʹman, he hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.+ 13 And Haʹman went on to relate to Zeʹresh+ his wife and to all his friends* everything that had befallen him. At that his wise men+ and Zeʹresh his wife said to him: “If it is from the seed of the Jews that Morʹde·cai is before whom you have started to fall, you will not prevail against him, but you will without fail fall before him.”+

14 While they were yet speaking with him the king’s court officials themselves arrived and proceeded hastily+ to bring Haʹman to the banquet+ that Esther had made.

7 Then the king and Haʹman+ came in to banquet with Esther the queen. The king now said to Esther also on the second day during the banquet of wine:+ “What is your petition,+ O Esther the queen? Let it even be given to you.+ And what is your request? To the half of the kingship+—let it even be done!” At this Esther the queen answered and said: “If I have found favor in your eyes, O king, and if to the king it does seem good, let there be given me my own soul*+ at my petition and my people+ at my request. For we have been sold,+ I and my people, to be annihilated, killed and destroyed.+ Now if we had been sold for mere men slaves+ and for mere maidservants, I should have kept silent. But the distress is not appropriate when with damage to the king.”*

King A·has·u·eʹrus now said, yes, he went on to say to Esther the queen: “Who is this,+ and just where is the one* who has emboldened+ himself* to do that way?” Then Esther said: “The man, the adversary+ and enemy,+ is this bad Haʹman.”

As for Haʹman, he became terrified+ because of the king and the queen. As for the king, he rose up in his rage+ from the banquet of wine [to go] to the garden of the palace; and Haʹman himself stood up to make request for his soul* from Esther the queen,+ for he saw that bad had been determined+ against him* by the king.+ And the king himself returned from the garden of the palace to the house of the wine banquet;+ and Haʹman was fallen upon the couch+ on which Esther was. Consequently the king said: “Is there also to be a raping of the queen, with me in the house?” The word itself went out of the king’s mouth,+ and Haʹman’s face they covered. Har·boʹna,+ one of the court officials+ before the king, now said: “Also, there is the stake+ that Haʹman made for Morʹde·cai, who had spoken good concerning the king,+ standing in Haʹman’s house—fifty cubits* high.” At that the king said: “YOU men, hang him on it.”+ 10 And they proceeded to hang Haʹman on the stake+ that he had prepared for Morʹde·cai;+ and the king’s rage itself subsided.

8 On that day King A·has·u·eʹrus* gave to Esther the queen the house of Haʹman,+ the one showing hostility to the Jews;+ and Morʹde·cai himself came in before the king, because Esther had told what he was to her.+ Then the king removed his signet ring+ that he had taken away from Haʹman and gave it to Morʹde·cai; and Esther went on to place Morʹde·cai over the house of Haʹman.+

Moreover, Esther spoke again before the king and fell down before his feet and wept and implored+ favor of him to turn away the badness+ of Haʹman the Agʹag·ite and his scheme+ that he had schemed against the Jews.+ Then the king held the golden scepter+ out to Esther, at which Esther rose and stood before the king. She now said: “If to the king it does seem good, and if I have found favor+ before him and the thing is proper before the king and I am good in his eyes, let it be written to undo the written documents,+ the scheme of Haʹman the son of Ham·me·daʹtha the Agʹag·ite,+ which he wrote to destroy the Jews+ that are in all the king’s jurisdictional districts.+ For how can I [bear it] when I must look upon the calamity that will find my people, and how can I [bear it] when I must look upon the destruction of my relatives?”

So King A·has·u·eʹrus said to Esther the queen and to Morʹde·cai the Jew: “Look! The house of Haʹman I have given to Esther,+ and him they have hanged on the stake,+ for the reason that he thrust out his hand against the Jews. And YOU yourselves write in behalf of the Jews according to what is good in YOUR own eyes in the king’s name+ and seal [it] with the king’s signet ring; for a writing that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring it is not possible to undo.”+

Accordingly the secretaries+ of the king were called at that time in the third month, that is, the month of Siʹvan,* on the twenty-third [day] of it; and writing went on according to all that Morʹde·cai commanded to the Jews and to the satraps+ and the governors and the princes of the jurisdictional districts that were from Inʹdi·a* to E·thi·oʹpi·a,* a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,+ [to] each jurisdictional district in its own style of writing+ and [to] each people in its own tongue,+ and to the Jews in their own style of writing and in their own tongue.+

10 And he proceeded to write in the name of King+ A·has·u·eʹrus and do the sealing+ with the king’s signet ring+ and send written documents by the hand of the couriers on horses,+ riding post horses used in the royal service, sons of speedy mares, 11 that the king granted to the Jews that were in all the different cities to congregate themselves+ and stand for their souls,* to annihilate and kill and destroy all the force of the people+ and jurisdictional district that were showing hostility to them, little ones and women, and to plunder their spoil,+ 12 on the one day+ in all the jurisdictional districts of King A·has·u·eʹrus, on the thirteenth [day]+ of the twelfth month, that is, the month of Aʹdar.*+ 13 A copy+ of the writing was to be given as law throughout all the different jurisdictional districts, published to all the peoples, that the Jews should become ready for this day to avenge+ themselves upon their enemies. 14 The couriers+ themselves, riding post horses used in the royal service, went forth, being urged forward and being moved with speed+ by the king’s word; and the law itself was given out in Shuʹshan+ the castle.

15 As for Morʹde·cai, he went forth from before the king in royal apparel+ of blue and linen, with a great crown of gold, and a fine-fabric cloak,+ even of wool dyed reddish purple.+ And the city of Shuʹshan itself cried out shrilly and was joyful.+ 16 For the Jews there occurred light and rejoicing+ and exultation and honor. 17 And in all the different jurisdictional districts and in all the different cities wherever the word of the king and his law were reaching there were rejoicing and exultation for the Jews, a banquet+ and a good day; and many of the peoples+ of the land were declaring themselves Jews,*+ for the dread+ of the Jews had fallen upon them.

9 And in the twelfth month, that is, the month of Aʹdar,+ on the thirteenth day of it, when the king’s word and his law came due to be performed,+ on the day for which the enemies of the Jews had waited to domineer over them, there was even a turning to the contrary,* in that the Jews themselves domineered over those hating them.+ The Jews congregated themselves+ in their cities in all the jurisdictional districts of King A·has·u·eʹrus+ to lay hand on those seeking their injury,+ and not a man stood his ground before them, for the dread+ of them had fallen upon all the peoples. And all the princes+ of the jurisdictional districts and the satraps+ and the governors and the doers of the business+ that belonged to the king were assisting the Jews, for the dread+ of Morʹde·cai had fallen upon them. For Morʹde·cai was great+ in the king’s house and his fame+ was traveling throughout all the jurisdictional districts, because the man Morʹde·cai was steadily growing greater.+

And the Jews went striking down all their enemies with a slaughter by the sword+ and with a killing and destruction, and they went doing to those hating them according to their liking.+ And in Shuʹshan+ the castle the Jews killed and there was a destroying of five hundred men. Also, Par·shan·daʹtha and Dalʹphon and As·paʹtha and Po·raʹtha and A·daʹli·a and A·ri·daʹtha and Par·mashʹta and Arʹi·sai and Arʹi·dai and Vai·zaʹtha, 10 the ten sons+ of Haʹman+ the son of Ham·me·daʹtha, the one showing hostility to the Jews,+ they killed; but on the plunder+ they did not lay their hand.

11 On that day the number of those killed in Shuʹshan the castle came before the king.

12 And the king proceeded to say to Esther the queen:+ “In Shuʹshan the castle+ the Jews have killed, and there has been a destroying* of five hundred men and the ten sons of Haʹman. In the rest of the jurisdictional districts+ of the king what have they done?+ And what is your petition? Let it even be given to you.+ And what is your further request?+ Let it even be done.” 13 Accordingly Esther said: “If to the king it does seem good,+ let it be granted tomorrow also to the Jews that are in Shuʹshan to do according to the law of today;+ and let the ten sons of Haʹman be hanged upon the stake.”+ 14 So the king said for it to be done that way.+ Then a law was given out in Shuʹshan, and the ten sons of Haʹman were hanged.

15 And the Jews that were in Shuʹshan proceeded to congregate themselves also on the fourteenth+ day of the month Aʹdar, and they got to kill in Shuʹshan three hundred men; but on the plunder they did not lay their hand.+

16 As for the rest of the Jews that were in the jurisdictional districts+ of the king, they congregated themselves, and there was a stand* for their souls,*+ and there was an avenging+ of themselves upon* their enemies and a killing* among those hating them of seventy-five thousand; but on the plunder they did not lay their hand, 17 on the thirteenth day of the month Aʹdar; and there was a rest on the fourteenth [day] of it, and there was a making* of it a day of banqueting+ and of rejoicing.+

18 As for the Jews that were in Shuʹshan, they congregated themselves on the thirteenth+ [day] of it and on the fourteenth [day] of it, and there was a rest on the fifteenth [day] of it, and there was a making of it a day of banqueting and of rejoicing.+ 19 That is why the country Jews, inhabiting the cities of the outlying districts, were making the fourteenth day of the month Aʹdar+ a rejoicing+ and a banqueting and a good day+ and a sending of portions+ to one another.

20 And Morʹde·cai+ proceeded to write these things and send written documents to all the Jews that were in all the jurisdictional districts+ of King A·has·u·eʹrus,* the nearby and the distant ones, 21 to impose upon them the obligation+ to be regularly holding the fourteenth day of the month Aʹdar and the fifteenth day of it in each and every year, 22 according to the days on which the Jews had rested from their enemies+ and the month that was changed for them from grief to rejoicing and from mourning+ to a good day, to hold them as days of banqueting and rejoicing and sending of portions to one another+ and of gifts to the poor people.+

23 And the Jews accepted what they had started to do and what Morʹde·cai had written to them. 24 For Haʹman+ the son of Ham·me·daʹtha,+ the Agʹag·ite,+ the one showing hostility+ to all the Jews, had himself schemed against the Jews to destroy them,+ and he had had Pur,+ that is, the Lot,+ cast, to disquiet them and destroy them. 25 But when Esther* came in before the king he said with the written document:+ “Let his bad scheme+ that he has schemed against the Jews come back upon his own head”;+ and they hanged him and his sons upon the stake.+ 26 That is why they called these days Puʹrim, by the name of the Pur.+ That is why, according to all the words of this letter+ and what they had seen as to this and what had come upon them, 27 the Jews imposed and accepted upon themselves and upon their offspring* and upon all those joining themselves to them,+ that it should not pass away, the obligation to be regularly holding these two days according to what was written concerning them and according to their appointed time in each and every year. 28 And these days were to be remembered and held in each and every generation, each family, each jurisdictional district and each city, and these days of Puʹrim themselves should not pass away from the midst of the Jews and the commemoration+ itself of them not come to an end among their offspring.

29 And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abʹi·ha·il,+ and Morʹde·cai the Jew proceeded to write with all forcefulness to confirm this second letter concerning Puʹrim. 30 Then he* sent written documents to all the Jews in the one hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,+ the realm of A·has·u·eʹrus,+ [in] words of peace and truth,+ 31 to confirm these days of Puʹrim at their appointed times, just as Morʹde·cai the Jew and Esther the queen had imposed upon them,+ and just as they had imposed upon their own soul* and upon their offspring,+ the matters of the fasts+ and their cry for aid.+ 32 And the very saying of Esther confirmed these matters of Puʹrim,+ and it was written down in a book.

10 And King A·has·u·eʹrus proceeded to lay forced labor+ upon the land and the isles+ of the sea.

As for all his energetic work and his mightiness and the exact statement of Morʹde·cai’s+ greatness with which the king magnified+ him, are they not written in the Book of the affairs+ of the times of the kings of Meʹdi·a and Persia?+ For Morʹde·cai the Jew was second+ to King A·has·u·eʹrus* and was great among the Jews and approved by the multitude of his brothers, working for the good of his people and speaking peace+ to all their offspring.

[Footnotes]

“Esther.” Heb., ʼEs·terʹ; Gr., Hes·therʹ; Lat., Hesʹter. This book is named after Queen Esther.

See Ge 14:1 ftn, “Days of.”

“Artaxerxes,” LXX. Understood to be Xerxes I, son of Darius the Great (Darius Hystaspis).

“From India.” Heb., me·Hodʹdu; Gr., In·di·kesʹ,Indian [country]”; Syr., Hudh; Lat., Inʹdi·a.

“Ethiopia,” Vg; MSy, “Cush.”

“Provinces,” Lat., pro·vinʹci·as.

Or, “fortress.”

A very hard rock often having a dark purplish-red groundmass and containing feldspar crystals.

“There was a passing of wine to drink.” In Heb. this is taken to be a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“Artaxerxes,” LXX.

Lit., “the ones ministering.” Heb., ham·sha·rethimʹ; Gr., tois di·a·koʹnois; Lat., mi·ni·straʹbant, “they were ministering.”

Lit., “seeing the face of the king.”

“Their owners.” Heb., baʽ·leh·henʹ.

“It . . . and all the wives themselves will give.” H Wekhol-Han·na·shimʹ Yit·tenuʹ (Heb.) appears to be a reverse acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, יהוה (YHWH). Three ancient Heb. mss are known that give the letters of the divine name here in acrostic in majuscule letters, as follows: היא וכל־הנשים יתנו. This is the first of four such acrostics of the name “Jehovah,” and the Masorah in a rubric, or in red letters, calls attention to this.

“Let there be a giving.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

Or, “the exiled people.” Heb., hag·go·lahʹ.

“Jehoiachin” in 2Ki 24:8; in Jer 22:24, “Coniah.”

“Babylon,” LXXVg; MSy, “Babel.”

Meaning “Myrtle; Joy.” Heb., Hadhas·sahʹ.

Or, “loyal love.”

The postexilic name of the tenth month of the sacred calendar. See App 8B.

Or, “timber.” Lit., “tree (wood),” M; Lat., pa·tiʹbu·lo.

See Ne 2:1 ftn.

“Pur,” meaning “Lot.” “Purim,” pl., came to designate the Jewish festival celebrated in the 12th month of the sacred calendar. See App 8B.

“Adar.” Heb., ʼAdharʹ. This name of the 12th month of the Jewish sacred calendar occurs only in Ezr 6:15 and eight times in Esther. Adar falls within February and March. See App 8B.

About $77,070,000 with silver valued at $7 (U.S.) per oz t.

“There was a sending.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“Let the king with Haman come today.” This appears to be the second acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, in Esther. Ya·vohʼʹ Ham·meʹlekh Weha·manʹ Hai·yohmʹ, in Heb. Three ancient Heb. mss are known that give the Heb. letters of the divine name, יהוה (YHWH), in acrostic in majuscule letters, as follows: יבוא המלך והמן היום. The Masorah in a rubric, or in red letters, calls attention to this. See 1:20 ftn.

“Tomorrow,” LXX; MVg omit.

Or, “lovers.”

“But all this—none of it suits me.” Heb., wekhol-ze ʼeh·nenʹnU sho·we lI. Here U corresponds to W and I corresponds to Y. This appears to be the third acrostic of the Tetragrammaton, יהוה (YHWH), in Esther. Three ancient Heb. mss are known that give the Heb. letters of the divine name, יהוה, here spelled backward, in acrostic in majuscule letters, as follows: וכל־זה איננו שוה לי. The Masorah in a rubric, or in red letters, calls attention to this. See vs 4 and 1:20 ftns.

Lit., “tree (wood).” Heb., ʽets; Gr., xyʹlon; Lat., traʹbem. Compare Ge 40:19 ftn.

About 22.3 m (73 ft).

“Artaxerxes,” LXX.

“His ministers.” Heb., mesha·rethavʹ; Gr., di·aʹko·noi; Lat., mi·niʹstri.

“Let there be a putting.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

Lit., “anything fall.”

Or, “lovers.”

“My own soul (life).” Heb. and Syr., naph·shiʹ; Lat., aʹni·mam meʹam.

Or, “But the distress is not to be compared with the damage to the king.” Vg, “But now our enemy is one whose cruelty redounds against the king.”

“This, and just where is the one?” This appears to be an acrostic of the divine pronouncement “I shall prove to be.” The acrostic is formed by the final letters אהיה (EHYH), and some Heb. mss point this out by using majuscule letters, as follows: הוא זה ואי־זה. See Ex 3:14 ftn.

Lit., “who has filled him as to his heart.” Compare Ac 5:3 ftn.

“His soul (life).” Heb., naph·shohʹ; Lat., aʹni·ma suʹa.

“That bad had been determined against him.” In this acrostic kI-khol·tha ʼe·la ha·ra·ʽa (Heb.), the I corresponds to Y and the V corresponds to W. This appears to be the fourth acrostic of the divine name, יהוה (YHWH), in Esther. It is formed by the final letters of the four words, read from right to left in Heb., as follows: כי־כלתה אליו הרעה.

See 5:14 ftn, “Cubits.”

“Artaxerxes,” LXX.

“Sivan.” The only occurrence in the Bible of this name, which is of Akkadian origin. This third month of the sacred calendar corresponds to the latter half of May and the first half of June. See App 8B.

“From India.” Heb., me·Hodʹdu; Gr., In·di·kesʹ,Indian [country]”; Syr., Hudh; Lat., Inʹdi·a.

“Ethiopia,” LXXVg; MSy, “Cush.”

“For their souls (lives).” Heb., ʽal-naph·shamʹ; Syr., lenaph·shehun; Lat., a·ni·maʹbus.

See 3:7 ftn, “Adar.”

Or, “were Judaizing.” Heb., mith·Ya·hadhimʹ; LXX, “were getting circumcised and Judaizing”; Vgc, “joined themselves to the sect of their religion [Lat., re·li·gi·oʹni] and ceremonies [Lat., cae·re·moʹni·is].”

“There was even a turning to the contrary.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“There has been (was) a destroying.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“There was a stand.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

Or, “lives.”

“An avenging of themselves upon,” by a correction; M, “a rest from.”

“There was an avenging of themselves . . . and a killing.” In Heb. these are verbs in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“There was a making.” In Heb. this is a verb in the infinitive absolute, indefinite as to time and impersonal.

“Artaxerxes,” LXX.

“Esther,” SyVg; M, “she.”

Or, “seed.”

“He,” M; SyVg, “they.”

Or, “selves.”

“Artaxerxes,” LXX. See 1:1 ftn, “Ahasuerus.”