Esther 6; Esther 7; Esther 8; Esther 9; Esther 10

1 That night the king passed without sleep, and he commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought him. And when they were reading them before him, 2 They came to that place where it was written, how Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus. 3 And when the king heard this, he said: What honour and reward hath Mardochai received for this fidelity? His servants and ministers said to him: He hath received no reward at all. 4 And the king said immediately: Who is in the court? for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king’s house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet, which was prepared for him. 5 The servants answered: Aman standeth in the court, and the king said: Let him come in. 6 And when he was come in, he said to him: What ought to be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour? But Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king would honour no other but himself, 7 Answered: The man whom the king desireth to honour, 8 Ought to be clothed with the king’s apparel, and to be set upon the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have the royal crown upon his head, 9 And let the first of the king’s princes and nobles hold his horse, and going through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say: Thus shall he be honoured, whom the king hath a mind to honour. 10 And the king said to him: Make haste and take the robe and the horse, and do as thou hast spoken to Mardochai the Jew, who sitteth before the gates of the palace. Beware thou pass over any of those things which thou hast spoken. 11 So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, whom the king hath a mind to honour. 12 But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourning and having his head covered: 13 And he told Zares his wife, and his friends, all that had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel, and his wife answered him: If Mardochai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou canst not resist him, but thou shalt fall in his sight. 14 As they were yet speaking, the king’s eunuchs came, and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the queen had prepared.
1 So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen. 2 And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: What is thy petition, Esther, that it may be granted thee? and what wilt thou have done: although thou ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it. 3 Then she answered: If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please thee, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request. 4 For we are given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bondmen and bondwomen: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redoundeth upon the king. 5 And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things? 6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing this was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of the king and of the queen. 7 But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up to entreat Esther the queen for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king. 8 And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: He will force the queen also in my presence, in my own house. The word was not yet gone out of the king’s mouth, and immediately they covered his face. 9 And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: Behold the gibbet which he hath prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, standeth in Aman’s house, being fifty cubits high. And the king said to him: Hang him upon it. 10 So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king’s wrath ceased.
1 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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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, 5 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. 6 For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people? 7 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. 8 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. 9 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. 10 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. 11 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. 12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar. 13 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. 14 So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king’s edict was hung up in Susan. 15 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. 16 But to the Jews, a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing. 17 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.
1 So on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said above is called Adar, when all the Jews were designed to be massacred, and their enemies were greedy after their blood, the case being altered, the Jews began to have the upper hand, and to revenge themselves of their adversaries. 2 And they gathered themselves together in every city, and town, and place, to lay their hands on their enemies, and their persecutors. And no one durst withstand them, for the fear of their power had gone through every people. 3 And the judges of the provinces, and the governors, and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of Mardochai: 4 For they knew him to be prince of the palace, and to have great power: and the fame of his name increased daily, and was spread abroad through all men’s mouths. 5 So the Jews made a great slaughter of their enemies, and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them: 6 Insomuch that even in Susan they killed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Aman the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews: whose names are these: 7 Pharsandatha, and Delphon, and Esphatha 8 And Phoratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9 And Phermesta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Jezatha. 10 And when they had slain them, they would not touch the spoils of their goods. 11 And presently the number of them that were killed in Susan was brought to the king. 12 And he said to the queen: The Jews have killed five hundred men in the city of Susan, besides the ten sons of Aman: how many dost thou think they have slain in all the provinces? What askest thou more, and what wilt thou have me to command to be done? 13 And she answered: If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews, to do to morrow in Susan as they have done to day, and that the ten sons of Aman may be hanged upon gibbets. 14 And the king commanded that it should be so done. And forthwith the edict was hung up in Susan, and the ten sons of Aman were hanged. 15 And on the fourteenth day of the month Adar the Jews gathered themselves together, and they killed in Susan three hundred men: but they took not their substance. 16 Moreover through all the provinces which were subject to the king’s dominion the Jews stood for their lives, and slew their enemies and persecutors: insomuch that the number of them that were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and no man took any of their goods. 17 Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with them all of the slaughter, and on the fourteenth day they left off. Which they ordained to be kept holy day, so that all times hereafter they should celebrate it with feasting, joy, and banquets. 18 But they that were killing in the city of Susan, were employed in the slaughter on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month: and on the fifteenth day they rested. And therefore they appointed that day to be a holy day of feasting and gladness. 19 But those Jews that dwelt in towns not walled and in villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for banquets and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day, and send one another portions of their banquets and meats. 20 And Mardochai wrote all these things, and sent them comprised in letters to the Jews that abode in all the king’s provinces, both those that lay near and those afar off, 21 That they should receive the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, and always at the return of the year should celebrate them with solemn honour: 22 Because on those days the Jews revenged themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, and that these should be days of feasting and gladness, in which they should send one to another portions of meats, and should give gifts to the poor. 23 And the Jews undertook to observe with solemnity all they had begun to do at that time, which Mardochai by letters had commanded to be done. 24 For Aman, the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and destroy them; and had cast Phur, that is, the lot. 25 And afterwards Esther went in to the king, beseeching him that his endeavours might be made void by the king’s letters: and the evil that he had intended against the Jews, might return upon his own head. And so both he and his sons were hanged upon gibbets. 26 And since that time these days are called Phurim, that is, of lots: because Phur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that were done, are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book: 27 And the things that they suffered, and that were afterwards changed, the Jews took upon themselves and their seed, and upon all that had a mind to be joined to their religion, so that it should be lawful for none to pass these days without solemnity: which the writing testifieth, and certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another. 28 These are the days which shall never be forgot: and which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate throughout all generations: neither is there any city wherein the days of Phurim, that is, of lots, must not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which is bound to these ceremonies. 29 And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mardochai the Jew, wrote also a second epistle, that with all diligence this day should be established a festival for the time to come. 30 And they sent to all the Jews that were in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of king Assuerus, that they should have peace, and receive truth, 31 And observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy in their proper time: as Mardochai and Esther had appointed, and they undertook them to be observed by themselves and by their seed, fasts, and cries, and the days of lots, 32 And all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.
1 And king Assuerus made all the land, and all the islands of the sea tributary. 2 And his strength and his empire, and the dignity and greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, are written in the books of the Medes, and of the Persians: 3 And how Mardochai of the race of the Jews, was next after king Assuerus: and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of his seed.
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