On April 17 a Haman called in the king's secretaries and dictated letters to the princes, the governors of the respective provinces, and the local officials of each province in their own scripts and languages. These letters were signed in the name of King Xerxes, sealed with his ring,
and sent by messengers into all the provinces of the empire. The letters decreed that all Jews -- young and old, including women and children -- must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen nearly a year later on March 7. b The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them.
A copy of this decree was to be issued in every province and made known to all the people, so that they would be ready to do their duty on the appointed day.
At the king's command, the decree went out by the swiftest messengers, and it was proclaimed in the fortress of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa fell into confusion.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)