On that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her uncle.
And the king took the ring which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardochai over her house.
And not content with these things, she fell down at the king's feet and wept, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that the malice of Aman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect.
But he, as the manner was, held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him,
And said: If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech thee, that the former letters of Aman the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters.
For how call I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people?
And king Assuerus answered Esther the queen, and Mardochai the Jew: I have given Aman's house to Esther, and I have commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet, because he durst lay hands on the Jews.
Write ye therefore to the Jews, as it pleaseth you, in the king's name, and seal the letters with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay the letters which were sent in the king's name, and were sealed with his ring.
Then the king's scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the time of the third month which is called Siban) the three and twentieth day of the month, and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, to the Jews, and to the governors, and to the deputies, and to the judges, who were rulers over the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to province and province, to people and people, according to their languages and characters, and to the Jews, according as they could read and hear.
And these letters which were sent in the king's name, were sealed with his ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages.
And the king gave orders to them, to speak to the Jews in every city, and to command them to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and to kill and destroy all their enemies with their wives and children and all their houses, and to take their spoil.
And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar.
The great king Artaxerxes, from India to Ethiopia, to the governors and princes of a hundred and twenty- seven provinces, which obey our command, sendeth greeting.
Many have abused unto pride the goodness of princes, and the honour that hath been bestowed upon them:
And not only endeavour to oppress the king's subjects, but not bearing the glory that is given them, take in hand to practise also against them that gave it.
Neither are they content not to re- turn thanks for benefits received, and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they think they can also escape the justice of God who seeth all things.
And they break out into so great madness, as to endeavour to undermine by lies such as observe diligently the offices committed to them, and do all things in such manner as to be worthy of all men's praise,
While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of princes that are well meaning, and judge of others by their own nature.
Now this is proved both from ancient histories, and by the things which are done daily, how the good designs of kings are depraved by the evil suggestions of certain men.
Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all provinces.
Neither must you think, if we command different things, that it cometh of the levity of our mind, but that we give sentence according to the quality and necessity of times, as the profit of the commonwealth requireth.
Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, I Aman the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received being a stranger by us:
And found our humanity so great towards him, that he was called our father, and was worshipped by all as the next man after the king:
But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go about to deprive us of our kingdom and life.
For with certain new and unheard of devices he hath sought the destruction of Mardochai, by whose fidelity and good services our life was saved, and of Esther the partner of our kingdom, with all their nation:
Thinking that after they were slain, he might work treason against us left alone without friends, and might transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.
But we have found that the Jews, who were by that most wicked man appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but contrariwise, use just laws,
And are the children of the highest and the greatest, and the ever living God, by whose benefit the kingdom was given both to our fathers and to us, and is kept unto this day.
Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent in our name, are void and of no effect.
For which crime both he himself that devised it, and all his kindred hang on gibbets, before the gates of this city Susan: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.
But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws.
And you shall aid them that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
For the almighty God hath turned this day of sadness and mourning into joy to them.
Wherefore you shall also count this day among other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may be known also in times to come,
That all they who faithfully obey the Persians, receive a worthy reward for their fidelity : but they that are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their wickedness.
And let every province and city, that will not be partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of contempt, and disobedience.
And this was the content of the letter, that it should be notified in all lands and peoples that were subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were ready to be revenged of their enemies.
So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king's edict was hung up in Susan.
And Mardochai going forth out of the palace, and from the king's presence, shone in royal apparel, to wit, of violet and sky colour, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was glad.
But to the Jews a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing.
And in all peoples, cities, and provinces, whithersoever the king's commandments came, there was wonderful rejoicing, feasts and banquets, and keeping holy day: insomuch that many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread of the name of the Jews had fallen upon all.