Esther 9

Victory for the Jewish People

9 The order the king had commanded was to be done on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. That was the day the enemies of the Jewish people had hoped to defeat them, but that was changed. So the Jewish people themselves defeated those who hated them. 2 The Jews met in their cities in all the empire of King Xerxes in order to attack those who wanted to harm them. No one was strong enough to fight against them, because all the other people living in the empire were afraid of them. 3 All the important men of the states, the governors, captains of the soldiers, and the king’s officers helped the Jewish people, because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4 Mordecai was very important in the king’s palace. He was famous in all the empire, because he was becoming a leader of more and more people.

5 And, with their swords, the Jewish people defeated all their enemies, killing and destroying them. And they did what they wanted with those people who hated them. 6 In the palace at Susa, they killed and destroyed five hundred men. 7 They also killed: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman, son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jewish people. But the Jewish people did not take their belongings.

11 On that day the number killed in the palace at Susa was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jewish people have killed and destroyed five hundred people in the palace at Susa, and they have also killed Haman’s ten sons. What have they done in the rest of the king’s empire! Now what else are you asking? I will do it! What else do you want? It will be done!”

13 Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, give the Jewish people who are in Susa permission to do again tomorrow what the king ordered for today. And let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the platform.”

14 So the king ordered that it be done. A law was given in Susa, and the bodies of the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15 The Jewish people in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. They killed three hundred people in Susa, but they did not take their belongings.

16 At that same time, all the Jewish people in the king’s empire also met to protect themselves and get rid of their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of those who hated them, but they did not take their belongings. 17 This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. On the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of joyful feasting.

The Feast of Purim

18 But the Jewish people in Susa met on the thirteenth and fourteenth days of the month of Adar. Then they rested on the fifteenth day and made it a day of joyful feasting.

19 This is why the Jewish people who live in the country and small villages celebrate on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. It is a day of joyful feasting and a day for exchanging gifts.

20 Mordecai wrote down everything that had happened. Then he sent letters to all the Jewish people in all the empire of King Xerxes, far and near. 21 He told them to celebrate every year on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, 22 because that was when the Jewish people got rid of their enemies. They were also to celebrate it as the month their sadness was turned to joy and their crying for the dead was turned into celebration. He told them to celebrate those days as days of joyful feasting and as a time for giving food to each other and presents to the poor.

23 So the Jewish people agreed to do what Mordecai had written to them, and they agreed to hold the celebration every year. 24 Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, was the enemy of all the Jewish people. He had made an evil plan against the Jewish people to destroy them, and he had thrown the Pur (that is, the lot) to choose a day to ruin and destroy them. 25 But when the king learned of the evil plan, he sent out written orders that the evil plans Haman had made against the Jewish people would be used against him. And those orders said that Haman and his sons should be hanged on the platform. 26 So these days were called Purim, which comes from the word “Pur” (the lot). Because of everything written in this letter and what they had seen and what happened to them, 27 the Jewish people set up this custom. They and their descendants and all those who join them are always to celebrate these two days every year. They should do it in the right way and at the time Mordecai had ordered them in the letter. 28 These two days should be remembered and celebrated from now on in every family, in every state, and in every city. These days of Purim should always be celebrated by the Jewish people, and their descendants should always remember to celebrate them, too.

29 So Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote this second letter about Purim. Using the power they had, they wrote to prove the first letter was true. 30 And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jewish people in the one hundred twenty-seven states of the kingdom of Xerxes, writing them a message of peace and truth. 31 He wrote to set up these days of Purim at the chosen times. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had sent out the order for the Jewish people, just as they had set up things for themselves and their descendants: On these two days the people should fast and cry loudly. 32 Esther’s letter set up the rules for Purim, and they were written down in the records.

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