The Book Of ESTHER
Ahasuerus, all powerful king of Persia, banishes his queen Vashti for
failing to appear before him when bidden. The new chosen queen is
Esther, cousin and adopted daughter of Mordecai, the Jew. Mordecai's
bitter enemy at court is the wicked Haman, the king's right-hand man.
Because Mordecai fails to bow before him, Haman plots not only
Mordecai's death but also the extermination of all the Jews. Mordecai
calls on Queen Esther to save her people. Esther heroically risks the
king's wrath by appearing unbidden before him. She invites King
Ahasuerus and Haman to two banquets where she persuades the king both to
save her people and also to hang Haman on the very gallows he had
constructed for Mordecai. The king's edict to kill the Jews is reversed,
and the Jews instead get revenge on their would-be persecutors and
celebrate, initiating the festival of Purim.
The book of Esther teaches indirectly rather than directly four lessons:
(1) Maintaining community and religious identity in foreign territory
is a tricky but terribly important task. (2) Through wisdom, wit, and
courage, people can live productively in a foreign land, even when
subject to the whims of a foreign power. (3) Even when God remains
hidden, unnamed, and seemingly absent, as in the book of Esther, one can
detect the presence of the divine in favorable coincidences and in the
bravery of leaders who step up when needed. (4) All of this is taught
through irony and humor, which provides the book's final lesson:
laughter gives life.
The book of Esther gives no real hint as to who wrote the book. It was
possibly written by a Jew living in the Diaspora, perhaps in a foreign
court, as a way of entertaining and inspiring his or her Jewish
community and establishing the festival of Purim.
The book of Esther describes events that purportedly took place during
the reign of the Persian King Ahasuerus, probably a reference to Xerxes I
(486-465 B.C.E) or possibly Artaxerxes I or II (465-358 B.C.E.). Given
the language used, certain factual discrepancies, and the opening verse
of the book that looks back in time, the book was probably written
sometime between 400 and 150 B.C.E. This makes the book of Esther one of
the latest writings of the Old Testament, close in time to two
intertestamental books about women: Judith and Suzanna.
The book of Esther tells the story celebrated at Purim of how Queen
Esther and her cousin Mordecai saved the Jewish people from the plot of
the wicked Haman, who was adviser to the Persian King Ahasuerus and who
tried to have the Jews destroyed.
The book of Esther is best read as a satiric melodrama to be recited or
dramatized each year during the Jewish festival of Purim, which this
book both establishes and celebrates. The story is filled with
entertaining reversals, ironies, parodies of the great Persian court,
and exaggerations that invite the reader to cheer on the heroes Esther
and Mordecai, to laugh at the foolish king Ahasuerus, and to boo the
wicked villain Haman.
Esther can also be read as a wisdom tale that teaches people how they
might live in a foreign land, subject to the whims of a foreign power,
and how to discover the presence of God when God appears to be absent.
AUTHOR: Diane Jacobson, Professor of Old Testament
1 Now it
came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned,
from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty
2 That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace,
3 In the
third year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his
servants; the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the
provinces, being before him:
4 When he
shewed the riches of his glorious kingdom and the honour of his
excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.
when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people
that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small,
seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
were white, green, and blue, hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen
and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the beds were of gold
and silver, upon a pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black,
they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one
from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of
8 And the
drinking was according to the law; none did compel: for so the king had
appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do
according to every man's pleasure.
9 Also Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king Ahasuerus.
10 On the
seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he
commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and
Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus
bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the
people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.
the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by his
chamberlains: therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in
13 Then the king said to the wise men, which knew the times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment:
the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres,
Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, which saw
the king's face, and which sat the first in the kingdom;)
shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, because she hath not
performed the commandment of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?
Memucan answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath
not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all
the people that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
this deed of the queen shall come abroad unto all women, so that they
shall despise their husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported,
The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before
him, but she came not.
shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this day unto all the king's
princes, which have heard of the deed of the queen. Thus shall there
arise too much contempt and wrath.
19 If it
please the king, let there go a royal commandment from him, and let it
be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not
altered, That Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus; and let the
king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout
all his empire, (for it is great,) all the wives shall give to their
husbands honour, both to great and small.
21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:
22 For he
sent letters into all the king's provinces, into every province
according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their
language, that every man should bear rule in his own house, and that it
should be published according to the language of every people.
these things, when the wrath of king Ahasuerus was appeased, he
remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what was decreed against
2 Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king:
3 And let
the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that
they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the
palace, to the house of the women, unto the custody of Hege the king's
chamberlain, keeper of the women; and let their things for purification
be given them:
4 And let the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
5 Now in
Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the
son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;
6 Who had
been carried away from Jerusalem with the captivity which had been
carried away with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king
of Babylon had carried away.
7 And he
brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: for she had
neither father nor mother, and the maid was fair and beautiful; whom
Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own
8 So it
came to pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and
when many maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the
custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also unto the king's house,
to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.
9 And the
maiden pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily
gave her her things for purification, with such things as belonged to
her, and seven maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the
king's house: and he preferred her and her maids unto the best place of
the house of the women.
10 Esther had not shewed her people nor her kindred: for Mordecai had charged her that she should not shew it.
11 And Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what should become of her.
when every maid's turn was come to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that
she had been twelve months, according to the manner of the women, (for
so were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months
with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours, and with other
things for the purifying of the women;)
thus came every maiden unto the king; whatsoever she desired was given
her to go with her out of the house of the women unto the king's house.
14 In the
evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house
of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which
kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king
delighted in her, and that she were called by name.
when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai,
who had taken her for his daughter, was come to go in unto the king, she
required nothing but what Hegai the king's chamberlain, the keeper of
the women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the sight of all
them that looked upon her.
Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth
month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.
the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and
favour in his sight more than all the virgins; so that he set the royal
crown upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vashti.
the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even
Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts,
according to the state of the king.
19 And when the virgins were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai sat in the king's gate.
had not yet shewed her kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged
her: for Esther did the commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was
brought up with him.
those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's
chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were
wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king Ahasuerus.
the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and
Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore
they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the
chronicles before the king.
these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the
Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that
were with him.
2 And all
the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and
reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But
Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
3 Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?
4 Now it
came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto
them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would
stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.
5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
6 And he
thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him
the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews
that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of
7 In the
first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king
Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to
day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month
Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered
abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy
kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they
the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer
9 If it
please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I
will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have
the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.
were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month,
and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto
the king's lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every
province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according
to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the
name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.
the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to
destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old,
little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of
the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of
them for a prey.
copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was
published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.
posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree
was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to
drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.
Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his clothes, and put
on sackcloth with ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and
cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
2 And came even before the king's gate: for none might enter into the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
3 And in
every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree
came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping,
and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.
Esther's maids and her chamberlains came and told it her. Then was the
queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent raiment to clothe Mordecai, and
to take away his sackcloth from him: but he received it not.
called Esther for Hatach, one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had
appointed to attend upon her, and gave him a commandment to Mordecai, to
know what it was, and why it was.
6 So Hatach went forth to Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the king's gate.
Mordecai told him of all that had happened unto him, and of the sum of
the money that Haman had promised to pay to the king's treasuries for
the Jews, to destroy them.
8 Also he
gave him the copy of the writing of the decree that was given at
Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to declare it unto
her, and to charge her that she should go in unto the king, to make
supplication unto him, and to make request before him for her people.
9 And Hatach came and told Esther the words of Mordecai.
10 Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai;
the king's servants, and the people of the king's provinces, do know,
that whosoever, whether man or women, shall come unto the king into the
inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to
death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre,
that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king
these thirty days.
12 And they told to Mordecai Esther's words.
Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou
shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
14 For if
thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there
enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but
thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether
thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
15 Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer,
gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye
for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and
my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which
is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.
17 So Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
1 Now it
came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and
stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's
house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over
against the gate of the house.
2 And it
was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that
she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the
golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched
the top of the sceptre.
said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy
request? it shall be even given thee to the half of the kingdom.
Esther answered, If it seem good unto the king, let the king and Haman
come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared for him.
the king said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may do as Esther hath
said. So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had
6 And the
king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and
it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of
the kingdom it shall be performed.
7 Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is;
8 If I
have found favour in the sight of the king, and if it please the king to
grant my petition, and to perform my request, let the king and Haman
come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them, and I will do to
morrow as the king hath said.
went Haman forth that day joyful and with a glad heart: but when Haman
saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not up, nor moved for
him, he was full of indignation against Mordecai.
10 Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and when he came home, he sent and called for his friends, and Zeresh his wife.
Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his
children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how
he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the
king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and to morrow am
I invited unto her also with the king.
13 Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made
of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that
Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king
unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows
to be made.
1 On that
night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of
records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.
2 And it
was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of
the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay
hand on the king Ahasuerus.
3 And the
king said, What honour and dignity hath been done to Mordecai for this?
Then said the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is
nothing done for him.
4 And the
king said, Who is in the court? Now Haman was come into the outward
court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on
the gallows that he had prepared for him.
5 And the king's servants said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the
man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart,
To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself?
7 And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king delighteth to honour,
8 Let the
royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse
that the king rideth upon, and the crown royal which is set upon his
9 And let
this apparel and horse be delivered to the hand of one of the king's
most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king
delighteth to honour, and bring him on horseback through the street of
the city, and proclaim before him, Thus shall it be done to the man whom
the king delighteth to honour.
the king said to Haman, Make haste, and take the apparel and the horse,
as thou hast said, and do even so to Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at
the king's gate: let nothing fail of all that thou hast spoken.
took Haman the apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and brought
him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaimed before
him, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to
12 And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house mourning, and having his head covered.
Haman told Zeresh his wife and all his friends every thing that had
befallen him. Then said his wise men and Zeresh his wife unto him, If
Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to
fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before
while they were yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and
hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
1 So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther the queen.
2 And the
king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine,
What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and
what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the
Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight,
O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my
petition, and my people at my request:
4 For we
are sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish.
But if we had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my tongue,
although the enemy could not countervail the king's damage.
the king Ahasuerus answered and said unto Esther the queen, Who is he,
and where is he, that durst presume in his heart to do so?
6 And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.
7 And the
king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace
garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the
queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the
the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet
of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then
said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As
the word went out of king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
Harbonah, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also,
the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who
spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king
said, Hang him thereon.
10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
1 On that
day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews' enemy unto
Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had
told what he was unto her.
2 And the
king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto
Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at his feet, and
besought him with tears to put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite,
and his device that he had devised against the Jews.
4 Then the king held out the golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before the king,
said, If it please the king, and if I have favour in his sight, and the
thing seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it
be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha
the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the
6 For how can I endure to see the evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?
the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew,
Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged
upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.
ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it
with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's
name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.
were the king's scribes called at that time in the third month, that is,
the month Sivan, on the three and twentieth day thereof; and it was
written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to
the lieutenants, and the deputies and rulers of the provinces which are
from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and seven provinces, unto
every province according to the writing thereof, and unto every people
after their language, and to the Jews according to their writing, and
according to their language.
10 And he
wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring,
and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and
the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves
together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause
to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault
them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a
one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the
thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was
published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against
that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
14 So the
posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and
pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at
Shushan the palace.
Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue
and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine
linen and purple: and the city of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.
16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour.
17 And in
every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment
and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good
day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the
Jews fell upon them.
1 Now in
the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the
same, when the king's commandment and his decree drew near to be put in
execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power
over them, (though it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule
over them that hated them;)
Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the
provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their
hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear of them fell upon
3 And all
the rulers of the provinces, and the lieutenants, and the deputies, and
officers of the king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mordecai
fell upon them.
Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame went out throughout
all the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and
slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that
6 And in Shushan the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
8 And Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9 And Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha,
10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their hand.
11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
the king said unto Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed
five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and the ten sons of Haman; what
have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? now what is thy
petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what is thy request further?
and it shall be done.
said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews which
are in Shushan to do to morrow also according unto this day's decree,
and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the gallows.
14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten sons.
the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the
fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at
Shushan; but on the prey they laid not their hand.
the other Jews that were in the king's provinces gathered themselves
together, and stood for their lives, and had rest from their enemies,
and slew of their foes seventy and five thousand, but they laid not
their hands on the prey,
17 On the
thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same
rested they, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
the Jews that were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day
thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of the
same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in the unwalled towns, made the
fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a
good day, and of sending portions one to another.
Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that
were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
stablish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of
the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly,
22 As the
days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which
was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good
day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending
portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.
23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews,
had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is,
the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;
when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his
wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his
own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore for all
the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning
this matter, and which had come unto them,
Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all
such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they
would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to
their appointed time every year;
that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every
generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these
days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of
them perish from their seed.
Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote
with all authority, to confirm this second letter of Purim.
30 And he
sent the letters unto all the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven
provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as
Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had
decreed for themselves and for their seed, the matters of the fastings
and their cry.
32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.
1 And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and upon the isles of the sea.
2 And all
the acts of his power and of his might, and the declaration of the
greatness of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not
written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews,
and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of
his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.