1 So the king and Aman went in to drink with the queen. 2 And the king said to Esther at the banquet on the second day, What is it, queen Esther? and what is thy request, and what is thy petition? and it shall be done for thee, to the half of my kingdom. 3 And she answered and said, If I have found favour in the sight of the king, let my life be granted to my petition, and my people to my request. 4 For both I and my people are sold for destruction, and pillage, and slavery; both we and our children for bondmen and bondwomen: and I consented not to it, for the 1slanderer is not
7 And the king rose up from the banquet to go into the garden: and Aman began to intreat the queen; for he saw that he was in 3an evil case.
8 And the king returned from the garden; and Aman had fallen upon the bed, intreating the queen. And the king said, Wilt thou even force my wife in my house? And when Aman heard it, he changed countenance. 9 And Bugathan, one of the chamberlains, said to the king, Behold, Aman has also prepared a gallows for Mardochæus, who spoke concerning the king, and a gallows of fifty cubits high has been set up in the premises of Aman. And the king said, Let him be 4hanged thereon. 10 So Aman was hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mardochæus: and then the king's wrath was appeased.
1 And in that day king Artaxerxes gave to Esther all that belonged to Aman the slanderer: and Mardochæus was called by the king; for Esther had shewn that he was related to her. 2 And the king took the ring which he had taken away from Aman, and gave it to Mardochæus: and Esther appointed Mardochæus over all that had been Aman's.
3 And she spoke yet again to the king, and fell at his feet, and besought him to do away the mischief of Aman, and all that he had done against the Jews. 4 Then the king stretched out to Esther the golden sceptre: and Esther arose to stand near the king. 5 And Esther said, If it seem good to thee, and I have found favour in thy sight, let an order be sent that the letters sent by Aman may be reversed, that were written for the destruction of the Jews, who are in thy kingdom. 6 For how shall I be able to look upon the affliction of my people, and how shall I be able to survive the destruction of my 5kindred?
7 And the king said to Esther, If I have given and freely granted thee all that was Aman's, and hanged him on a gallows, because he laid his hands upon the Jews, what dost thou yet further seek? 8 Write ye also in my name, as it seems good to you, and seal it with my ring: for whatever orders are written at the command of the king, and sealed with my ring, it is not 6lawful to gainsay them.
9 So the scribes were called in the first-month, which is Nisan, on the three and twentieth day of the same year; and orders were written to the Jews, whatever the king had commanded to the 7local governors and chiefs of the satraps, from India even to Ethiopia, a hundred and twenty-seven satraps, according to the several provinces, according to their dialects.
10 And they were written by order of the king, and sealed with his ring, and they sent the letters by the posts: 11 wherein he charged them to use their own laws in every city, and to help each other, and to treat
13 And the following is the copy of the letter of the orders.
[The great king Artaxerxes sends greetings to the rulers of provinces in a hundred and twenty-seven satrapies, from India to Ethiopia, even to those who are faithful to our interests. Many who have been frequently honored by the most abundant kindness of their 8benefactors have conceived ambitious designs, and not only endeavour to hurt our subjects, but moreover, not being able to bear prosperity, they also endeavour to plot against their own benefactors. And they not only would utterly abolish gratitude from among men, but also, elated by the boastings of men who are strangers to all that is good, they supposed that they shall escape the sin-hating vengeance of the ever-seeing God. And oftentimes evil exhortation has made partakers of the guilt of shedding innocent blood, and has involved in irremediable calamities, many of those who had been appointed to offices of authority, who had been entrusted with the management of their friends' affairs; while men, by the false sophistry of an evil disposition, have deceived the simple candour of the ruling powers. And it is possible to see this, not so much from more ancient traditionary accounts, as it is immediately in your power to see it by examining what things have been wickedly 9perpetrated by the baseness of men unworthily holding power. And it is right to take heed with regard to the future, that we may maintain the government in undistributed peace for all men, adopting needful changes, and ever judging those cases which come under our notices, with truly equitable decision.
For whereas Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadathes, in reality an alien from the blood of the Persians, and differing widely from our mild course of government, having been hospitable entertained by us, obtained so large a share of our universal kindness, as to be called our father, and to continue the person next to the royal throne, reverenced of all; he however, 10overcome by the pride of his station, endeavored to deprive us of our dominion, and our 11life; having by various and subtle artifices demanded for destruction both Mardochæus our deliverer and perpetual benefactor, and Esther the blameless consort of our kingdom, with their whole nation. For by these methods he thought, having surprised us in a defenceless state, to transfer the dominion of the Persians to the Macedonians. But we find that the Jews, who have been consigned to destruction by the 12most abominable of men, are not malefactors, but living according to the justest laws, and being the sons of the living God, the most high and 13mighty, who maintains the kingdom. to us as well as to our forefathers, in the most excellent order.
Ye will therefore do well in refusing to
Do ye therefore also, among your notable feasts, keep a distinct day with all festivity, that both now and hereafter it may be a day of deliverance to us and who are well disposed toward the Persians, but to those that plotted against us a memorial of destruction. And every city and province collectively, which shall not do accordingly, shall be consumed with vengeance by spear and fire: it shall be made not only inaccessible to men, but most hateful to wild beasts and birds for ever.] And let the copies be posted in conspicuous places throughout the kingdom and let all the Jews be ready against this day, to fight against their enemies.
14 So the horsemen went forth with haste to perform the king's commands; and the ordinance was also published in Susa.
15 And Mardochæus went forth robed in the royal apparel, and wearing a golden crown, and a diadem of fine purple linen: and the people in Susa saw it and rejoiced. 16 And the Jews had light and gladness, 17 in every city and province wherever the ordinance was published: wherever the proclamation took place, the Jews had joy and gladness, feasting and mirth: and many of the Gentiles were circumcised, and became Jews, for fear of the Jews.
1 See Heb.
2 Gr. hostile man.
3 Gr. evils.
4 Or, impaled.
5 Gr. country.
6 Or, possible.
7 Gr. stewards.
8 Perhaps rulers, see
9 Or, contrived.
10 Gr. not having borne.
11 Gr. spirit.
12 Gr. thrice guilty.
13 Gr. greatest.
Calvin College. Last modified on 08/11/06. Contact the CCEL.