The following is a copy of the letter: The Great King Artaxerxes writes as follows to the governors of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia, and to the district governors subject to them:
I rule over many nations and have conquered the whole world. Nevertheless, I am not carelessly driven by power; rather, I have always conducted my affairs with moderation and gentleness. I am committed to providing a calm and stable environment for my subjects, and to restore the peace that all people desire. In this way, the kingdom will be at peace and safe for travel throughout its borders.
I have, therefore, asked my advisors how this might be accomplished. Haman stands out among us for his moderation. He has demonstrated goodwill and firm loyalty in equal measure, and has attained the second-highest honor in the kingdom.
He pointed out to us that there is a certain hostile group scattered among all the peoples of the world. These people are at odds with every nation because of their peculiar laws. They constantly ignore the king's decrees, so that the government, although well managed by us, is never secure.
We see that this nation stands alone in its constant hostility toward everyone. They follow a strange manner of life because of their law code, and they don't think well of our actions. They carry out the worst evils so that the kingdom is not at peace.
We have therefore commanded that this people—pointed out to you in the letters written by Haman, who has been appointed over the government and is like a second father to us—should be destroyed one and all by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint. Their wives and children should also be destroyed, all on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, in the current year.
In this way, these people who have always been hostile to us, and remain so, will all go straight to the grave in a single day. Then our affairs will be stable and peaceful.