Esther 8:10-17 (The Message)

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10 He wrote under the name of King Xerxes and sealed the order with the royal signet ring; he sent out the bulletins by couriers on horseback, riding the fastest royal steeds bred from the royal stud. 11 The king's order authorized the Jews in every city to arm and defend themselves to the death, killing anyone who threatened them or their women and children, and confiscating for themselves anything owned by their enemies. 12 The day set for this in all King Xerxes' provinces was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 The order was posted in public places in each province so everyone could read it, authorizing the Jews to be prepared on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies. 14 The couriers, fired up by the king's order, raced off on their royal horses. At the same time, the order was posted in the palace complex of Susa. 15 Mordecai walked out of the king's presence wearing a royal robe of violet and white, a huge gold crown, and a purple cape of fine linen. The city of Susa exploded with joy. 16 For Jews it was all sunshine and laughter: they celebrated, they were honored. 17 It was that way all over the country, in every province, every city when the king's bulletin was posted: the Jews took to the streets in celebration, cheering, and feasting. Not only that, but many non-Jews became Jews - now it was dangerous not to be a Jew!
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