The king said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Susa. What have they done in the rest of the king's provinces? Now what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? It will also be granted."113
"If it pleases the king," Esther answered, "give the Jews in Susa permission to carry out this day's edict tomorrow also, and let Haman's ten sons2 be hanged3 on gallows."
So the king commanded that this be done. An edict was issued in Susa, and they hanged4 the ten sons of Haman.
The Jews in Susa came together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they put to death in Susa three hundred men, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.516
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also assembled to protect themselves and get relief6 from their enemies.7 They killed seventy-five thousand of them8 but did not lay their hands on the plunder.917
This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting10 and joy.
The Jews in Susa, however, had assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and then on the fifteenth they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.
That is why rural Jews--those living in villages--observe the fourteenth of the month of Adar11 as a day of joy and feasting, a day for giving presents to each other.1220
Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far,
to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar
as the time when the Jews got relief13 from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration.14 He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food15 to one another and gifts to the poor.16