Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite,1 which he had devised against the Jews.
Then the king extended the gold scepter2 to Esther and she arose and stood before him.
"If it pleases the king," she said, "and if he regards me with favor3 and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king's provinces.
For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?"47
King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, "Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have hanged5 him on the gallows.
Now write another decree6 in the king's name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal7 it with the king's signet ring8--for no document written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can be revoked."99
At once the royal secretaries were summoned--on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai's orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush.a10 These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language.1110
Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king's signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.
The king's edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate any armed force of any nationality or province that might attack them and their women and children; and to plunder12 the property of their enemies.
The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar.1313
A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day14 to avenge themselves on their enemies.
The couriers, riding the royal horses, raced out, spurred on by the king's command. And the edict was also issued in the citadel of Susa.15