Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them.
The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples.
All the officials of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.
For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew more and more powerful.
The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them.
In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men,
and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha
and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha
and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha,
the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, but they laid no hand on the plunder.
That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king.
And the king said to Queen Esther, "In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled."
And Esther said, "If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows."
So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.
The Jews who were in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they killed 300 men in Susa, but they laid no hands on the plunder.
Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder.
This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness.
But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness.
Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another.
And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,
obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year,
as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them.
For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them.
But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term Pur. Therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them,
the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year,
that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants.
Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming this second letter about Purim.
Letters were sent to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth,
that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther obligated them, and as they had obligated themselves and their offspring, with regard to their fasts and their lamenting.
The command of Queen Esther confirmed these practices of Purim, and it was recorded in writing.
King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea.
And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.
And the high priest said, "Are these things so?"
And Stephen said: "Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.'
Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living.
Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child.
And God spoke to this effect--that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years.
'But I will judge the nation that they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.'
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
"And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him
and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household.
Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food.
But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit.
And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh.
And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all.
And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers,
and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
"But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt
until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph.
He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive.
At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house,
and when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.