Esther 8 (New Living Translation)

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1 On that same day King Xerxes gave the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Then Mordecai was brought before the king, for Esther had told the king how they were related. 2 The king took off his signet ring -- which he had taken back from Haman -- and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai to be in charge of Haman's property. 3 Now once more Esther came before the king, falling down at his feet and begging him with tears to stop Haman's evil plot against the Jews. 4 Again the king held out the gold scepter to Esther. So she rose and stood before him 5 and said, "If Your Majesty is pleased with me and if he thinks it is right, send out a decree reversing Haman's orders to destroy the Jews throughout all the provinces of the king. 6 For how can I endure to see my people and my family slaughtered and destroyed?" 7 Then King Xerxes said to Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew, "I have given Esther the estate of Haman, and he has been hanged on the gallows a because he tried to destroy the Jews. 8 Now go ahead and send a message to the Jews in the king's name, telling them whatever you want, and seal it with the king's signet ring. But remember that whatever is written in the king's name and sealed with his ring can never be revoked." 9 So on June 25 b the king's secretaries were summoned. As Mordecai dictated, they wrote a decree to the Jews and to the princes, governors, and local officials of all the 127 provinces stretching from India to Ethiopia. c The decree was written in the scripts and languages of all the peoples of the empire, including the Jews. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes and sealed the message with the king's signet ring. He sent the letters by swift messengers, who rode horses especially bred for the king's service. 11 The king's decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies. 12 The day chosen for this event throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes was March 7 of the next year. d 13 A copy of this decree was to be recognized as law in every province and proclaimed to all the people. That way the Jews would be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies. 14 So urged on by the king's command, the messengers rode out swiftly on horses bred for the king's service. The same decree was also issued at the fortress of Susa. 15 Then Mordecai put on the royal robe of blue and white and the great crown of gold, and he wore an outer cloak of fine linen and purple. And the people of Susa celebrated the new decree. 16 The Jews were filled with joy and gladness and were honored everywhere. 17 In every city and province, wherever the king's decree arrived, the Jews rejoiced and had a great celebration and declared a public festival and holiday. And many of the people of the land became Jews themselves, for they feared what the Jews might do to them.
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