Esther 9
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The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

1Therefore, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said before is called Adar, when all the Jews were prepared to be executed and their enemies were greedy for their blood, the situation turned around, and the Jews began to have the upper hand and to vindicate themselves of their adversaries. 2And they gathered together throughout each city, and town, and place, so as to extend their hands against their enemies and their persecutors. And no one dared to resist them, because their great power had pierced all the peoples. 3For even the judges of the provinces, and the rulers, and the procurators, and everyone of dignity, who presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of Mordecai. 4For they knew him to be the leader of the palace and to have much power. Likewise, the fame of his name increased daily and flew everywhere through word of mouth. 5And so the Jews struck their enemies like a great plague and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them, 6so much so that even in Susa they executed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Haman the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, and their names are these: 7Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha 8and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10When they had slain them, they were unwilling to touch the spoils of their belongings.

Haman’s Sons Hanged

11And immediately the number of those who had been killed in Susa was reported to the king.

12He said to the queen, “In the city of Susa, the Jews have executed five hundred men, and also the ten sons of Haman. How many executions do you think that they have carried out in all the provinces? What more do you ask, and what do you wish, so that I may order it to be done?” 13And she answered, “If it pleases the king, may power be granted to the Jews, so as to do tomorrow in Susa just as they have done today, and that the ten sons of Haman may be hung up the gallows.” 14And the king instructed that it should be so done. And immediately the edict was hung up in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hung up. 15On the fourteenth day of the month Adar, the Jews gathered themselves together, and they executed in Susa three hundred men, but they did not seize their belongings from them.

16Moreover, throughout all the provinces which were subject to the king’s dominion, the Jews made a stand for their lives, and they executed their enemies and their persecutors, so much so that the number of those who were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and yet no one touched any of their belongings. 17Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with all of the executions, and on the fourteenth day they ceased the killing. This day they established to be sacred, so that in all times hereafter they would be free for feasting, joyfulness, and celebration.

The Feast of Purim Instituted

18But, as for those who were carrying out the killings in the city of Susa, they turned to killing on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month. But on the fifteenth day they ceased to attack. And for that reason they established that day as sacred, with feasting and with gladness. 19But in truth, those Jews who were staying in unwalled towns and villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for celebration and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day and send one another portions of their feasts and their meals.

20And so Mordecai wrote down all these things and sent them, composed in letters, to the Jews who were staying in all the king’s provinces, as much to those in nearby places as to those far away, 21so that they would accept the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, and always, at the return of the year, would celebrate them with sacred esteem. 22For on those days, the Jews vindicated themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, so that these would be days of feasting and gladness, in which they would send one another portions of their feasts, and would grant gifts to the poor.

23And the Jews accepted as a solemn ritual all the things which they had begun to do at that time, which Mordecai had commanded with letters to be done. 24For Haman, the son of Hammedatha of Agag lineage, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and to destroy them. And he had cast Pur, which in our language means the lot. 25And after this, Esther had entered before the king, begging him that his efforts might be made ineffective by the king’s letters, and that the evil he intended against the Jews might return upon his own head. Finally, both he and his sons were fastened to a cross. 26And so, from that time, these days are called Purim, that is, of the lots, because Pur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that had been carried out are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book. 27And whatever they suffered, and whatever was altered afterwards, the Jews received for themselves and their offspring and for all who were willing to be joined to their religion, so that none would be permitted to transgress the solemnity of these two days, to which the writing testifies, and which certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another. 28These are the days which no one ever will erase into oblivion, and which every province in the whole world, throughout each generation, shall celebrate. Neither is there any city wherein the days of Purim, that is, of lots, may not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which has been obligated to these ceremonies.

29And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, also wrote a second letter, so that with all zealousness this day would be confirmed as customary for future generations. 30And they sent to all the Jews, who had been stirred up in the one hundred twenty-seven provinces of king Artaxerxes, that they should have peace and receive truth, 31and observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy at their proper time, just as Mordecai and Esther had established. And they accepted these to be observed by themselves and by their offspring: fasting, and crying out, and the days of lots, 32and all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.

Catholic Public Domain Version

Section Headings Courtesy Berean Bible

Esther 8
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