Esther*

1 Now it came about in the days of* A·has·u·e′rus,*+ that is, the A·has·u·e′rus who was ruling as king from In′di·a* to E·thi·o′pi·a,* [over] a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,*+ [that] in those days as King A·has·u·e′rus was sitting upon his royal throne,+ which was in Shu′shan+ 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 Me′di·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 Shu′shan 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, Vash′ti+ the queen herself held a banquet for the women at the royal house that belonged to King A·has·u·e′rus.*

10 On the seventh day, when the king’s heart was in a merry mood with wine,+ he said to Me·hu′man, Biz′tha, Har·bo′na,+ Big′tha and A·bag′tha, Ze′thar and Car′kas, the seven court officials that were ministering*+ to the person of King A·has·u·e′rus, 11 to bring Vash′ti 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 Vash′ti 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·she′na, She′thar, Ad·ma′tha, Tar′shish, Me′res, Mar·se′na, [and] Me·mu′can, seven+ princes of Persia and Me′di·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 Vash′ti because she has not performed the saying of King A·has·u·e′rus by means of the court officials?”

16 To this Me·mu′can+ said before the king and the princes: “It is not against the king alone that Vash′ti 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·e′rus. 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·e′rus himself said to bring in Vash′ti the queen before him, and she did not come in.’ 18 And this day the princesses of Persia and Me′di·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 Me′di·a, that it may not pass away,+ that Vash′ti may not come in before King A·has·u·e′rus; 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·mu′can. 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·e′rus+ had subsided, he remembered Vash′ti+ 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 Shu′shan the castle,+ at the house of the women in charge of Heg′a·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 Vash′ti.”+ 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 Shu′shan+ the castle, and his name was Mor′de·cai+ the son of Ja′ir the son of Shim′e·i the son of Kish a Ben′ja·min·ite,+ who had been taken into exile+ from Jerusalem with the deported people* who were taken into exile with Jec·o·ni′ah*+ the king of Judah whom Neb·u·chad·nez′zar+ the king of Babylon* took into exile. And he came to be the caretaker+ of Ha·das′sah,* 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 Mor′de·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 Shu′shan+ the castle in charge of Heg′a·i,+ then Esther was taken to the king’s house in charge of Heg′a·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 Mor′de·cai himself had laid the command upon her that she should not tell.+ 11 And day after day Mor′de·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·e′rus 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·ash′gaz 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 Ab′i·ha·il the uncle of Mor′de·cai, whom he had taken as his daughter,+ arrived to come in to the king, she did not request anything+ except what Heg′a·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·e′rus at his royal house in the tenth month, that is, the month Te′beth,* 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 Vash′ti. 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, Mor′de·cai was sitting in the king’s gate.+ 20 Esther was not telling about her relatives and her people,+ just as Mor′de·cai+ had laid the command upon her;+ and the saying of Mor′de·cai Esther was performing, just as when she happened to be under care by him.+

21 In those days while Mor′de·cai was sitting in the king’s gate, Big′than and Te′resh, two court officials of the king, doorkeepers, became indignant and kept seeking to lay hand+ on King A·has·u·e′rus. 22 And the thing came to be known to Mor′de·cai, and he immediately told+ Esther the queen. In turn Esther talked to the king in Mor′de·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·e′rus magnified Ha′man+ the son of Ham·me·da′tha the Ag′ag·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 Ha′man, for so the king had commanded respecting him. But as for Mor′de·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 Mor′de·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 Ha′man to see whether Mor′de·cai’s affairs would stand;+ for he had told them that he was a Jew.+

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

In the first month,+ that is, the month Ni′san,* in the twelfth year+ of King A·has·u·e′rus, someone cast Pur,*+ that is, the Lot,+ before Ha′man from day to day and from month to month, [to] the twelfth, that is, the month A′dar.*+ And Ha′man proceeded to say to King A·has·u·e′rus: “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 Ha′man+ the son of Ham·me·da′tha the Ag′ag·ite,+ the one showing hostility to the Jews.+ 11 And the king went on to say to Ha′man: “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 Ha′man 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·e′rus 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 A′dar,+ 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 Shu′shan+ the castle. As for the king and Ha′man, they sat down to drink;+ but as for the city of Shu′shan,+ it was in confusion.+

4 And Mor′de·cai+ himself got knowledge of everything that had been done;+ and Mor′de·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 Mor′de·cai and to remove his sackcloth off him. And he did not accept [them].+ At this Esther called Ha′thach,+ one of the king’s eunuchs, whom he had made to attend upon her, and she proceeded to give him a command concerning Mor′de·cai, to know what this meant and what this was all about.

So Ha′thach went out to Mor′de·cai into the public square of the city that was before the king’s gate. Then Mor′de·cai told him about all the things that had befallen him+ and the exact statement of the money that Ha′man 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 Shu′shan+ 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.+

Ha′thach+ now came in and told Esther Mor′de·cai’s words. 10 Then Esther said to Ha′thach and commanded him concerning Mor′de·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 Mor′de·cai the words of Esther. 13 Then Mor′de·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 Mor′de·cai: 16 “Go, gather all the Jews that are to be found in Shu′shan+ 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 Mor′de·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 Ha′man+ come today* to the banquet+ that I have made for him.” Accordingly the king said: “YOU men, have Ha′man act quickly+ on the word of Esther.” Later the king and Ha′man 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 Ha′man come to the banquet that I shall hold for them [tomorrow],* and tomorrow I shall do according to the king’s word.”+

Consequently Ha′man went out on that day joyful+ and merry of heart; but as soon as Ha′man saw Mor′de·cai in the king’s gate+ and that he did not rise+ and did not quake on account of him,+ Ha′man was immediately filled with rage+ against Mor′de·cai. 10 However, Ha′man kept control of himself and came into his house. Then he sent and had his friends* and Ze′resh+ his wife brought in; 11 and Ha′man 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 Ha′man 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 Mor′de·cai the Jew sitting in the king’s gate.” 14 At that Ze′resh 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 Mor′de·cai on it.+ Then go in with the king to the banquet joyful.” So the thing seemed good+ before Ha′man, 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 Mor′de·cai had reported+ concerning Big·tha′na and Te′resh, two court officials+ of the king, doorkeepers, who had sought to lay hand on King A·has·u·e′rus.* Then the king said: “What honor and great thing has been done to Mor′de·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 Ha′man himself had come into the outer courtyard+ of the king’s house to say to the king to hang Mor′de·cai on the stake+ that he had prepared for him. Accordingly the king’s attendants said to him: “Here is Ha′man+ standing in the courtyard.” So the king said: “Let him come in.”

When Ha′man 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 Ha′man said in his heart: “To whom would the king take delight in rendering an honor more than me?”+ So Ha′man 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 Ha′man: “Quickly, take the apparel and the horse, just as you have said, and do that way to Mor′de·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 Ha′man proceeded to take the apparel+ and the horse and clothe Mor′de·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 Mor′de·cai returned to the king’s gate.+ As for Ha′man, he hurried to his house, mourning and with his head covered.+ 13 And Ha′man went on to relate to Ze′resh+ his wife and to all his friends* everything that had befallen him. At that his wise men+ and Ze′resh his wife said to him: “If it is from the seed of the Jews that Mor′de·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 Ha′man to the banquet+ that Esther had made.

7 Then the king and Ha′man+ 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·e′rus 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 Ha′man.”

As for Ha′man, 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 Ha′man 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 Ha′man 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 Ha′man’s face they covered. Har·bo′na,+ one of the court officials+ before the king, now said: “Also, there is the stake+ that Ha′man made for Mor′de·cai, who had spoken good concerning the king,+ standing in Ha′man’s house—fifty cubits* high.” At that the king said: “YOU men, hang him on it.”+ 10 And they proceeded to hang Ha′man on the stake+ that he had prepared for Mor′de·cai;+ and the king’s rage itself subsided.

8 On that day King A·has·u·e′rus* gave to Esther the queen the house of Ha′man,+ the one showing hostility to the Jews;+ and Mor′de·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 Ha′man and gave it to Mor′de·cai; and Esther went on to place Mor′de·cai over the house of Ha′man.+

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 Ha′man the Ag′ag·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 Ha′man the son of Ham·me·da′tha the Ag′ag·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·e′rus said to Esther the queen and to Mor′de·cai the Jew: “Look! The house of Ha′man 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 Si′van,* on the twenty-third [day] of it; and writing went on according to all that Mor′de·cai commanded to the Jews and to the satraps+ and the governors and the princes of the jurisdictional districts that were from In′di·a* to E·thi·o′pi·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·e′rus 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·e′rus, on the thirteenth [day]+ of the twelfth month, that is, the month of A′dar.*+ 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 Shu′shan+ the castle.

15 As for Mor′de·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 Shu′shan 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 A′dar,+ 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·e′rus+ 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 Mor′de·cai had fallen upon them. For Mor′de·cai was great+ in the king’s house and his fame+ was traveling throughout all the jurisdictional districts, because the man Mor′de·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 Shu′shan+ the castle the Jews killed and there was a destroying of five hundred men. Also, Par·shan·da′tha and Dal′phon and As·pa′tha and Po·ra′tha and A·da′li·a and A·ri·da′tha and Par·mash′ta and Ar′i·sai and Ar′i·dai and Vai·za′tha, 10 the ten sons+ of Ha′man+ the son of Ham·me·da′tha, 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 Shu′shan the castle came before the king.

12 And the king proceeded to say to Esther the queen:+ “In Shu′shan the castle+ the Jews have killed, and there has been a destroying* of five hundred men and the ten sons of Ha′man. 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 Shu′shan to do according to the law of today;+ and let the ten sons of Ha′man be hanged upon the stake.”+ 14 So the king said for it to be done that way.+ Then a law was given out in Shu′shan, and the ten sons of Ha′man were hanged.

15 And the Jews that were in Shu′shan proceeded to congregate themselves also on the fourteenth+ day of the month A′dar, and they got to kill in Shu′shan 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 A′dar; 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 Shu′shan, 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 A′dar+ a rejoicing+ and a banqueting and a good day+ and a sending of portions+ to one another.

20 And Mor′de·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·e′rus,* the nearby and the distant ones, 21 to impose upon them the obligation+ to be regularly holding the fourteenth day of the month A′dar 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 Mor′de·cai had written to them. 24 For Ha′man+ the son of Ham·me·da′tha,+ the Ag′ag·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 Pu′rim, 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 Pu′rim 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 Ab′i·ha·il,+ and Mor′de·cai the Jew proceeded to write with all forcefulness to confirm this second letter concerning Pu′rim. 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·e′rus,+ [in] words of peace and truth,+ 31 to confirm these days of Pu′rim at their appointed times, just as Mor′de·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 Pu′rim,+ and it was written down in a book.

10 And King A·has·u·e′rus 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 Mor′de·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 Me′di·a and Persia?+ For Mor′de·cai the Jew was second+ to King A·has·u·e′rus* 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·ter′; Gr., Hes·ther′; Lat., Hes′ter. 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·Hod′du; Gr., In·di·kes′,Indian [country]”; Syr., Hudh; Lat., In′di·a.

“Ethiopia,” Vg; MSy, “Cush.”

“Provinces,” Lat., pro·vin′ci·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·rethim′; Gr., tois di·a·ko′nois; Lat., mi·ni·stra′bant, “they were ministering.”

Lit., “seeing the face of the king.”

“Their owners.” Heb., baʽ·leh·hen′.

“It . . . and all the wives themselves will give.” H Wekhol-Han·na·shim′ Yit·tenu′ (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·lah′.

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

“Babylon,” LXXVg; MSy, “Babel.”

Meaning “Myrtle; Joy.” Heb., Hadhas·sah′.

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·ti′bu·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., ʼAdhar′. 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·vohʼ′ Ham·me′lekh Weha·man′ Hai·yohm′, 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-zeH′ ʼeh·nen′nU sho·weH′ 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., xy′lon; Lat., tra′bem. Compare Ge 40:19 ftn.

About 22.3 m (73 ft).

“Artaxerxes,” LXX.

“His ministers.” Heb., mesha·rethav′; Gr., di·a′ko·noi; Lat., mi·ni′stri.

“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·shi′; Lat., a′ni·mam me′am.

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·shoh′; Lat., a′ni·ma su′a.

“That bad had been determined against him.” In this acrostic kI-khol·thaH′ ʼe·laV′ ha·ra·ʽaH′ (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·Hod′du; Gr., In·di·kes′,Indian [country]”; Syr., Hudh; Lat., In′di·a.

“Ethiopia,” LXXVg; MSy, “Cush.”

“For their souls (lives).” Heb., ʽal-naph·sham′; Syr., lenaph·shehun; Lat., a·ni·ma′bus.

See 3:7 ftn, “Adar.”

Or, “were Judaizing.” Heb., mith·Ya·hadhim′; LXX, “were getting circumcised and Judaizing”; Vgc, “joined themselves to the sect of their religion [Lat., re·li·gi·o′ni] and ceremonies [Lat., cae·re·mo′ni·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.”