On the twenty-third day of the first month, the month of Nisan, the king's secretaries were called and letters were written to the Jews and to the governors and administrators of all 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia. The letters were written to each province in its own language.
They were written in the name of the king and stamped with the royal seal and they were delivered by runners.
These letters explained that the king would allow the Jews in every city of the empire to live by their own laws and organize for self-defense. They were permitted to treat their opponents and enemies in any way they liked.
This decree was to take effect throughout the Persian Empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month.
This is a copy of the decree: "Greetings from King Xerxes the Great to the governors of the 127 provinces, which extend from India to Ethiopia, and to all those who are loyal to us. %0
"Many people become increasingly arrogant when honors are given to them and favors are done for them.
They do not know what to do with so much good fortune, so they not only try to harm our subjects, but they even scheme against those who grant them favors.
They are never grateful for what people do for them, and they even think they can escape the judgment of God, who hates evil and sees everything. In their arrogance they listen to the flattery of ignorant, sinful people. %0
"It often happens also that friends who have been entrusted with administrative responsibilities exert pressure on those in authority. They make their leaders their partners in killing people and bring about misfortunes that can never be remedied.
These friends, by their lies and deceitful ways, take advantage of the good will of their rulers. %0
"You can see examples of this misuse of power not only in the stories that have been handed down to us from the past, but in the more recent outrageous things which have happened among you. %0