Esther 8 (Complete Jewish Bible)

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1 That same day King Achashverosh gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Ester the queen. Also Mordekhai appeared before the king, for Ester had revealed his relationship to her. 2 The king removed his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman, and gave it to Mordekhai. Then Ester put Mordekhai in charge of Haman's house. 3 Again Ester spoke to the king; she fell at his feet and begged him with tears to put an end to the mischief Haman the Agagi had caused by the scheme he had worked out against the Jews. 4 The king extended the gold scepter toward Ester. So Ester got up and stood in front of the king. 5 She said, "If it pleases the king, if I have won his favor, if the matter seem right to the king and if I have his approval, then let an order be written rescinding the letters devised by Haman the son of Hamdata the Agagi, which he wrote to destroy the Jews in all the royal provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see the disaster that will overcome my people? How can I endure seeing the extermination of my kinsmen?" 7 King Achashverosh said to Ester the queen and Mordekhai the Jew, "Listen! I gave Ester the house of Haman, and they hanged him on the gallows, because he threatened the lives of the Jews. 8 You should issue a decree in the king's name for whatever you want concerning the Jews, and seal it with the king's signet ring; because a decree written in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring can't be rescinded by anyone." 9 The king's secretaries were summoned at that time, on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan; and a decree was written according to everything Mordekhai ordered concerning the Jews, to the army commanders, governors and officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, 127 provinces, to each province in its script and to each people in their language, also to the Jews in their script and language. 10 They wrote in the name of King Achashverosh and sealed it with the king's signet ring; they sent the letters by couriers on horseback riding fast horses used in the king's service and bred from the royal stock. 11 The letters said that the king had granted the Jews in every city the right "to assemble and defend their lives by destroying, killing and exterminating any forces of any people or province that would attack them, their little ones or their women or would try to seize their goods as plunder 12 on the designated day in any of the provinces of King Achashverosh, namely, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar." 13 A copy of the edict was to be issued as a decree in every province and proclaimed to all the peoples, and the Jews were to be ready on that day to take vengeance against their enemies. 14 Couriers riding fast horses used in the king's service left quickly, pressed by the king's order; and the decree was issued in Shushan the capital. 15 Meanwhile, Mordekhai left the king's presence arrayed in royal blue and white, wearing a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple; and the city of Shushan shouted for joy. 16 For the Jews, all was light, gladness, joy and honor. 17 In every province and city where the king's order and decree arrived, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a holiday. Many from the peoples of the land became Jews, because fear of the Jews had overcome them.
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