Esther 9

Listen to Esther 9

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

1 1Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, 2on the thirteenth day of the same, 3when the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, 4on 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.
2 5The 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, 6for the fear of them had fallen on all peoples.
3 All the officials of the provinces and 7the satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them.
4 For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew 8more and more powerful.
5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them.
6 In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men,
7 and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha
8 and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha
9 and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha,
10 9the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, 10the enemy of the Jews, 11but they laid no hand on the plunder.
11 That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king.
12 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! 12Now what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled."
13 And Esther said, "If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed 13tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows."[a]
14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.
15 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.
16 14Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also 15gathered 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.
17 This was 16on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness.
18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered 17on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested 18on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness.
19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in 19the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as 20a holiday, and 21as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another.

The Feast of Purim Inaugurated

20 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,
21 obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year,
22 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 22a 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.
23 So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them.
24 For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, 23the enemy of all the Jews, 24had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and 25had cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them.
25 But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing 26that his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews 27should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.[b]
26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term 28Pur. Therefore, because of all that was written in 29this letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them,
27 the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and 30all who joined them, that without fail they would keep 31these two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year,
28 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.
29 Then Queen Esther, 32the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming 33this second letter about Purim.
30 Letters were sent to all the Jews, 34to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth,
31 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 35their fasts and their lamenting.
32 The command of Queen Esther confirmed these practices of 36Purim, and it was recorded in writing.

Esther 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

The success of the Jews. (1-19) The feast of Purim in remembrance of this. (20-32)

Verses 1-19 The enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them by the former edict. If they had attempted nothing against the people of God, they would not themselves have suffered. The Jews, acting together, strengthened one another. Let us learn to stand fast in one spirit, and with one mind, striving together against the enemies of our souls, who endeavour to rob us of our faith, which is more precious than our lives. The Jews, to the honour of their religion, showed contempt of wordly wealth, that they might make it appear they desired nothing except their own preservation. In every case the people of God should manifest humanity and disinterestedness, frequently refusing advantages which might lawfully be obtained. The Jews celebrated their festival the day after they had finished their work. When we have received great mercies from God, we ought to be speedy in making thankful returns to him.

Verses 20-32 The observance of the Jewish feasts, is a public declaration of the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures. And as the Old Testament Scriptures are true, the Messiah expected by the Jews is come long ago; and none but Jesus of Nazareth can be that Messiah. The festival was appointed by authority, yet under the direction of the Spirit of God. It was called the feast of Purim, from a Persian word, which signifies a lot. The name of this festival would remind them of the almighty power of the God of Israel, who served his own purposes by the superstitions of the heathen. In reviewing our mercies, we should advert to former fears and distresses. When our mercies are personal, we should not by forgetfulness lose the comfort of them, or withhold from the Lord the glory due to his name. May the Lord teach us to rejoice, with that holy joy which anticipates and prepares for the blessedness of heaven. Every instance of Divine goodness to ourselves, is a new obligation laid on us to do good, to those especially who most need our bounty. Above all, ( 2 Corinthians. 8:9 )

Cross References 36

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have an account of the Jews gathering together, on the day fixed for their destruction, to defend themselves, which they did in all the provinces, and smote their enemies; Es 9:1-5. In Shushan the palace they slew the ten sons of Haman and five hundred men on that day, Es 9:6-11 and at the request of the queen they were allowed the next day to hang up his sons, when they slew three hundred men more, Es 9:12-15, in the provinces they slew 75,000 and those in one day only, and the following days they kept as a festival, but they in Shushan kept the two days following, Es 9:16-19, and which two days were established by Esther and Mordecai as festivals, to be observed as such in future ages, by the name of the days of Purim, Es 9:20-32.

Esther 9 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.