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Esther 9

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 1 Now on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar, when the king's command and his decree was to be carried out, on the very day that the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, it was turned to the contrary so that the Jews overpowered those who hated them.

 2 The Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hand on any who sought their harm; and no man could withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen upon all people.

 3 And all the rulers of the provinces and the lieutenants and the governors and officers of the king helped the Jews because the fear of Mordecai had fallen upon them.

 4 For Mordecai was great in the king's palace, and his fame went throughout all the provinces for this man Mordecai became more and more powerful.

 5 So the Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, slaughtering and destroying them, and did what they pleased to those that hated them.

 6 In the citadel of Shushan the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

 7 They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,

 8  Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,

 9  Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha,

 10 The ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews; but they did not lay a hand on the plunder.

 11 On that day the number of those who were slain in the citadel of Shushan was brought before the king.

 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, "The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman in the citadel of Shushan; what then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. What is your further request? It shall be done."

 13 Then Esther said, "If it pleases the king, give the Jews who are in Shushan permission to also do tomorrow as was decreed this day, and let the bodies of Haman's ten sons be hung on the gallows."

 14 So the king commanded it to be done; the decree was issued in Shushan, and they hung the bodies of Haman's ten sons.

 15 And the Jews who were in Shushan gathered together again on the fourteenth day of the month Adar and slew three hundred more men at Shushan, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.

 16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces gathered together to protect themselves and get rest from their enemies. They slew seventy five thousand of their enemies, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.

 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

 18 But the Jews who were at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and on the fifteenth day they rested and made it a day of feasting and gladness.

 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who dwell in the un-walled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting, a holiday and a day of sending presents of food to one another.

 20 Now Mordecai recorded all these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,

 21 To have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar,

 22 As the days when the Jews had rest from their enemies, and as the month that was turned from sorrow to joy and from mourning into a holiday for them. He wrote that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

 23 So the Jews continued the custom of celebrating as they had begun, as Mordecai had written to them,

 24 Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is lots, for their ruin and destruction.

 25 But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that this wicked plot, which Haman had devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head and that he and his sons should be hung on the gallows.

 26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the name Pur [lot]. And because of what was in this letter and of what they had seen and what had happened to them,

 27 The Jews ordained and took upon themselves and their descendants and all who joined with them to keep without fail these two days at the appointed time every year as it was written,

 28 And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation in every family, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should not cease from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their descendants.

 29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter of Purim.

 30 And he sent the letters to all the Jews, to the hundred twenty seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth,

 31 To confirm that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed times, as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had established and had decreed for themselves and for their descendants in the matter of their fasts and lamentations.

 32 The decree of Esther confirmed these observances of Purim, and it was written in the book.


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