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Esther 9:20-32 (The Message)

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20 Mordecai wrote all this down and sent copies to all the Jews in all King Xerxes' provinces, regardless of distance, 21 calling for an annual celebration on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar 22 as the occasion when Jews got relief from their enemies, the month in which their sorrow turned to joy, mourning somersaulted into a holiday for parties and fun and laughter, the sending and receiving of presents and of giving gifts to the poor. 23 And they did it. What started then became a tradition, continuing the practice of what Mordecai had written to them. 24 Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the archenemy of all Jews, had schemed to destroy all Jews. He had cast the pur (the lot) to throw them into a panic and destroy them. 25 But when Queen Esther intervened with the king, he gave written orders that the evil scheme that Haman had worked out should boomerang back on his own head. He and his sons were hanged on the gallows. 26 That's why these days are called "Purim," from the word pur or "lot." 27 the Jews agreed to continue. It became a tradition for them, their children, and all future converts to remember these two days every year on the specified dates set down in the letter. 28 These days are to be remembered and kept by every single generation, every last family, every province and city. These days of Purim must never be neglected among the Jews; the memory of them must never die out among their descendants. 29 Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, backed Mordecai the Jew, using her full queenly authority in this second Purim letter 30 to endorse and ratify what he wrote. Calming and reassuring letters went out to all the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of Xerxes' kingdom 31 to fix these days of Purim their assigned place on the calendar, dates set by Mordecai the Jew - what they had agreed to for themselves and their descendants regarding their fasting and mourning. 32 Esther's word confirmed the tradition of Purim and was written in the book.
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