1: In the days of Ahasu-e'rus, the Ahasu-e'rus who
reigned from India to Ethiopia over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces,
2: in those days when King Ahasu-e'rus sat on his royal throne in
Susa the capital,
3: in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet
for all his princes and servants, the army chiefs of Persia and Media and the
nobles and governors of the provinces being before him,
4: while he
showed the riches of his royal glory and the splendor and pomp of his majesty
for many days, a hundred and eighty days.
5: And when these days were
completed, the king gave for all the people present in Susa the capital, both
great and small, a banquet lasting for seven days, in the court of the garden of
the king's palace.
6: There were white cotton curtains and blue
hangings caught up with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and
marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of
porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones.
7: Drinks were
served in golden goblets, goblets of different kinds, and the royal wine was
lavished according to the bounty of the king.
8: And drinking was
according to the law, no one was compelled; for the king had given orders to all
the officials of his palace to do as every man desired.
Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the palace which belonged to King
10: On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was
merry with wine, he commanded Mehu'man, Biztha, Harbo'na, Bigtha and Abag'tha,
Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served King Ahasu-e'rus as
11: to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her
royal crown, in order to show the peoples and the princes her beauty; for she
was fair to behold.
12: But Queen Vashti refused to come at the
king's command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his
anger burned within him.
13: Then the king said to the wise men who
knew the times -- for this was the king's procedure toward all who were versed
in law and judgment,
14: the men next to him being Carshe'na,
Shethar, Adma'tha, Tarshish, Meres, Marse'na, and Memu'can, the seven princes of
Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the kingdom -- :
15: "According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti,
because she has not performed the command of King Ahasu-e'rus conveyed by the
16: Then Memu'can said in presence of the king and the
princes, "Not only to the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also to all the
princes and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasu-e'rus.
17: For this deed of the queen will be made known to all women,
causing them to look with contempt upon their husbands, since they will say,
`King Ahasu-e'rus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did
18: This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have
heard of the queen's behavior will be telling it to all the king's princes, and
there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.
19: If it please the
king, let a royal order go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws
of the Persians and the Medes so that it may not be altered, that Vashti is to
come no more before King Ahasu-e'rus; and let the king give her royal position
to another who is better than she.
20: So when the decree made by the
king is proclaimed throughout all his kingdom, vast as it is, all women will
give honor to their husbands, high and low."
21: This advice pleased
the king and the princes, and the king did as Memu'can proposed;
he sent letters to all the royal provinces, to every province in its own script
and to every people in its own language, that every man be lord in his own house
and speak according to the language of his people.
1: After these things, when the anger of King
Ahasu-e'rus had abated, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what had
been decreed against her.
2: Then the king's servants who attended
him said, "Let beautiful young virgins be sought out for the king.
And let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom to gather
all the beautiful young virgins to the harem in Susa the capital, under custody
of Hegai the king's eunuch who is in charge of the women; let their ointments be
4: And let the maiden who pleases the king be queen
instead of Vashti." This pleased the king, and he did so.
there was a Jew in Susa the capital whose name was Mor'decai, the son of Ja'ir,
son of Shim'e-i, son of Kish, a Benjaminite,
6: who had been carried
away from Jerusalem among the captives carried away with Jeconi'ah king of
Judah, whom Nebuchadnez'zar king of Babylon had carried away.
had brought up Hadas'sah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had
neither father nor mother; the maiden was beautiful and lovely, and when her
father and her mother died, Mor'decai adopted her as his own daughter.
8: So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when
many maidens were gathered in Susa the capital in custody of Hegai, Esther also
was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai who had charge of
9: And the maiden pleased him and won his favor; and he
quickly provided her with her ointments and her portion of food, and with seven
chosen maids from the king's palace, and advanced her and her maids to the best
place in the harem.
10: Esther had not made known her people or
kindred, for Mor'decai had charged her not to make it known.
every day Mor'decai walked in front of the court of the harem, to learn how
Esther was and how she fared.
12: Now when the turn came for each
maiden to go in to King Ahasu-e'rus, after being twelve months under the
regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their
beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and
ointments for women --
13: when the maiden went in to the king in
this way she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to
the king's palace.
14: In the evening she went, and in the morning
she came back to the second harem in custody of Sha-ash'gaz the king's eunuch
who was in charge of the concubines; she did not go in to the king again, unless
the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.
15: When the
turn came for Esther the daughter of Ab'ihail the uncle of Mor'decai, who had
adopted her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing
except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised. Now
Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her.
16: And when
Esther was taken to King Ahasu-e'rus into his royal palace in the tenth month,
which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign,
the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she found grace and favor in
his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head
and made her queen instead of Vashti.
18: Then the king gave a great
banquet to all his princes and servants; it was Esther's banquet. He also
granted a remission of taxes to the provinces, and gave gifts with royal
19: When the virgins were gathered together the second
time, Mor'decai was sitting at the king's gate.
20: Now Esther had
not made known her kindred or her people, as Mor'decai had charged her; for
Esther obeyed Mor'decai just as when she was brought up by him.
And in those days, as Mor'decai was sitting at the king's gate, Bigthan and
Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the threshold, became angry and
sought to lay hands on King Ahasu-e'rus.
22: And this came to the
knowledge of Mor'decai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king
in the name of Mor'decai.
23: When the affair was investigated and
found to be so, the men were both hanged on the gallows. And it was recorded in
the Book of the Chronicles in the presence of the king.
1: After these things King Ahasu-e'rus promoted
Haman the Ag'agite, the son of Hammeda'tha, and advanced him and set his seat
above all the princes who were with him.
2: And all the king's
servants who were at the king's gate bowed down and did obeisance to Haman; for
the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mor'decai did not bow down or do
3: Then the king's servants who were at the king's gate
said to Mor'decai, "Why do you transgress the king's command?"
when they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told
Haman, in order to see whether Mor'decai's words would avail; for he had told
them that he was a Jew.
5: And when Haman saw that Mor'decai did not
bow down or do obeisance to him, Haman was filled with fury.
he disdained to lay hands on Mor'decai alone. So, as they had made known to him
the people of Mor'decai, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of
Mor'decai, throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasu-e'rus.
7: In the
first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King
Ahasu-e'rus, they cast Pur, that is the lot, before Haman day after day; and
they cast it month after month till the twelfth month, which is the month of
8: Then Haman said to King Ahasu-e'rus, "There is a certain
people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of
your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other people, and
they do not keep the king's laws, so that it is not for the king's profit to
9: If it please the king, let it be decreed that they
be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of
those who have charge of the king's business, that they may put it into the
10: So the king took his signet ring from his
hand and gave it to Haman the Ag'agite, the son of Hammeda'tha, the enemy of the
11: And the king said to Haman, "The money is given to you, the
people also, to do with them as it seems good to you."
12: Then the
king's secretaries were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month, and
an edict, according to all that Haman commanded, was written to the king's
satraps and to the governors over all the provinces and to the princes of all
the peoples, to every province in its own script and every people in its own
language; it was written in the name of King Ahasu-e'rus and sealed with the
13: Letters were sent by couriers to all the king's
provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women
and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the
month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.
14: A copy of the document
was to be issued as a decree in every province by proclamation to all the
peoples to be ready for that day.
15: The couriers went in haste by
order of the king, and the decree was issued in Susa the capital. And the king
and Haman sat down to drink; but the city of Susa was perplexed.
1: When Mor'decai learned all that had been done,
Mor'decai rent his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the
midst of the city, wailing with a loud and bitter cry;
2: he went up
to the entrance of the king's gate, for no one might enter the king's gate
clothed with sackcloth.
3: And in every province, wherever the king's
command and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with
fasting and weeping and lamenting, and most of them lay in sackcloth and ashes.
4: When Esther's maids and her eunuchs came and told her, the queen
was deeply distressed; she sent garments to clothe Mor'decai, so that he might
take off his sackcloth, but he would not accept them.
5: Then Esther
called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, who had been appointed to attend
her, and ordered him to go to Mor'decai to learn what this was and why it was.
6: Hathach went out to Mor'decai in the open square of the city in
front of the king's gate,
7: and Mor'decai told him all that had
happened to him, and the exact sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into
the king's treasuries for the destruction of the Jews.
also gave him a copy of the written decree issued in Susa for their destruction,
that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and charge her to go to
the king to make supplication to him and entreat him for her people.
9: And Hathach went and told Esther what Mor'decai had said.
10: Then Esther spoke to Hathach and gave him a message for
11: "All the king's servants and the people of the
king's provinces know that if any man or woman goes to the king inside the inner
court without being called, there is but one law; all alike are to be put to
death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter that he may
live. And I have not been called to come in to the king these thirty days."
12: And they told Mor'decai what Esther had said.
Mor'decai told them to return answer to Esther, "Think not that in the king's
palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.
14: For if
you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will rise for
the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father's house will perish. And
who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
15: Then Esther told them to reply to Mor'decai,
gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and
neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also
fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if
I perish, I perish."
17: Mor'decai then went away and did everything
as Esther had ordered him.
1: On the third day Esther put on her royal robes
and stood in the inner court of the king's palace, opposite the king's hall. The
king was sitting on his royal throne inside the palace opposite the entrance to
2: and when the king saw Queen Esther standing in the
court, she found favor in his sight and he held out to Esther the golden scepter
that was in his hand. Then Esther approached and touched the top of the scepter.
3: And the king said to her, "What is it, Queen Esther? What is your
request? It shall be given you, even to the half of my kingdom."
And Esther said, "If it please the king, let the king and Haman come this day to
a dinner that I have prepared for the king."
5: Then said the king,
"Bring Haman quickly, that we may do as Esther desires." So the king and Haman
came to the dinner that Esther had prepared.
6: And as they were
drinking wine, the king said to Esther, "What is your petition? It shall be
granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall
7: But Esther said, "My petition and my request is:
8: If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it please
the king to grant my petition and fulfil my request, let the king and Haman come
tomorrow to the dinner which I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as
the king has said."
9: And Haman went out that day joyful and glad of
heart. But when Haman saw Mor'decai in the king's gate, that he neither rose nor
trembled before him, he was filled with wrath against Mor'decai.
Nevertheless Haman restrained himself, and went home; and he sent and fetched
his friends and his wife Zeresh.
11: And Haman recounted to them the
splendor of his riches, the number of his sons, all the promotions with which
the king had honored him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and the
servants of the king.
12: And Haman added, "Even Queen Esther let no
one come with the king to the banquet she prepared but myself. And tomorrow also
I am invited by her together with the king.
13: Yet all this does me
no good, so long as I see Mor'decai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."
14: Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a
gallows fifty cubits high be made, and in the morning tell the king to have
Mor'decai hanged upon it; then go merrily with the king to the dinner." This
counsel pleased Haman, and he had the gallows made.
1: On that night the king could not sleep; and he
gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were
read before the king.
2: And it was found written how Mor'decai had
told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's eunuchs, who guarded the
threshold, and who had sought to lay hands upon King Ahasu-e'rus.
And the king said, "What honor or dignity has been bestowed on Mor'decai for
this?" The king's servants who attended him said, "Nothing has been done for
4: And the king said, "Who is in the court?" Now Haman had just
entered the outer court of the king's palace to speak to the king about having
Mor'decai hanged on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
the king's servants told him, "Haman is there, standing in the court." And the
king said, "Let him come in."
6: So Haman came in, and the king said
to him, "What shall be done to the man whom the king delights to honor?" And
Haman said to himself, "Whom would the king delight to honor more than me?"
7: and Haman said to the king, "For the man whom the king delights to
8: let royal robes be brought, which the king has worn, and
the horse which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown is set;
9: and let the robes and the horse be handed over to one of the
king's most noble princes; let him array the man whom the king delights to
honor, and let him conduct the man on horseback through the open square of the
city, proclaiming before him: `Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king
delights to honor.'"
10: Then the king said to Haman, "Make haste,
take the robes and the horse, as you have said, and do so to Mor'decai the Jew
who sits at the king's gate. Leave out nothing that you have mentioned."
11: So Haman took the robes and the horse, and he arrayed Mor'decai
and made him ride through the open square of the city, proclaiming, "Thus shall
it be done to the man whom the king delights to honor."
Mor'decai returned to the king's gate. But Haman hurried to his house, mourning
and with his head covered.
13: And Haman told his wife Zeresh and all
his friends everything that had befallen him. Then his wise men and his wife
Zeresh said to him, "If Mor'decai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of the
Jewish people, you will not prevail against him but will surely fall before
14: While they were yet talking with him, the king's eunuchs
arrived and brought Haman in haste to the banquet that Esther had prepared.
1: So the king and Haman went in to feast with
2: And on the second day, as they were drinking wine,
the king again said to Esther, "What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be
granted you. And what is your request? Even to the half of my kingdom, it shall
3: Then Queen Esther answered, "If I have found favor
in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my
petition, and my people at my request.
4: For we are sold, I and my
people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to be annihilated. If we had been sold
merely as slaves, men and women, I would have held my peace; for our affliction
is not to be compared with the loss to the king."
5: Then King
Ahasu-e'rus said to Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, that would
presume to do this?"
6: And Esther said, "A foe and enemy! This
wicked Haman!" Then Haman was in terror before the king and the queen.
7: And the king rose from the feast in wrath and went into the palace
garden; but Haman stayed to beg his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that evil
was determined against him by the king.
8: And the king returned from
the palace garden to the place where they were drinking wine, as Haman was
falling on the couch where Esther was; and the king said, "Will he even assault
the queen in my presence, in my own house?" As the words left the mouth of the
king, they covered Haman's face.
9: Then said Harbo'na, one of the
eunuchs in attendance on the king, "Moreover, the gallows which Haman has
prepared for Mor'decai, whose word saved the king, is standing in Haman's house,
fifty cubits high."
10: And the king said, "Hang him on that." So
they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mor'decai. Then the
anger of the king abated.
1: On that day King Ahasu-e'rus gave to Queen
Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mor'decai came before the
king, for Esther had told what he was to her;
2: and the king took
off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Mor'decai.
And Esther set Mor'decai over the house of Haman.
3: Then Esther
spoke again to the king; she fell at his feet and besought him with tears to
avert the evil design of Haman the Ag'agite and the plot which he had devised
against the Jews.
4: And the king held out the golden scepter to
5: and Esther rose and stood before the king. And she said,
"If it please the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and if the thing
seem right before the king, and I be pleasing in his eyes, let an order be
written to revoke the letters devised by Haman the Ag'agite, the son of
Hammeda'tha, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the provinces of
6: For how can I endure to see the calamity that is coming
to my people? Or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?"
7: Then King Ahasu-e'rus said to Queen Esther and to Mor'decai the
Jew, "Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him
on the gallows, because he would lay hands on the Jews.
8: And you
may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and
seal it with the king's ring; for an edict written in the name of the king and
sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked."
9: The king's
secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month
of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and an edict was written according to all
that Mor'decai commanded concerning the Jews to the satraps and the governors
and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, a hundred and
twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script and to every people
in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language.
10: The writing was in the name of King Ahasu-e'rus and sealed with
the king's ring, and letters were sent by mounted couriers riding on swift
horses that were used in the king's service, bred from the royal stud.
11: By these the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to
gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate any armed
force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and
women, and to plunder their goods,
12: upon one day throughout all
the provinces of King Ahasu-e'rus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month,
which is the month of Adar.
13: A copy of what was written was to be
issued as a decree in every province, and by proclamation to all peoples, and
the Jews were to be ready on that day to avenge themselves upon their enemies.
14: So the couriers, mounted on their swift horses that were used in
the king's service, rode out in haste, urged by the king's command; and the
decree was issued in Susa the capital.
15: Then Mor'decai went out
from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a great
golden crown and a mantle of fine linen and purple, while the city of Susa
shouted and rejoiced.
16: The Jews had light and gladness and joy and
17: And in every province and in every city, wherever the
king's command and his edict came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews, a
feast and a holiday. And many from the peoples of the country declared
themselves Jews, for the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.
1: Now in the twelfth month, which is the month of
Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's command and edict were
about to be executed, on the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to get
the mastery over them, but which had been changed to a day when the Jews should
get the mastery over their foes,
2: the Jews gathered in their cities
throughout all the provinces of King Ahasu-e'rus to lay hands on such as sought
their hurt. And no one could make a stand against them, for the fear of them had
fallen upon all peoples.
3: All the princes of the provinces and the
satraps and the governors and the royal officials also helped the Jews, for the
fear of Mor'decai had fallen upon them.
4: For Mor'decai was great in
the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man
Mor'decai grew more and more powerful.
5: So the Jews smote all their
enemies with the sword, slaughtering, and destroying them, and did as they
pleased to those who hated them.
6: In Susa the capital itself the
Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men,
7: and also slew
Par-shan-da'tha and Dalphon and Aspa'tha
8: and Pora'tha and Ada'lia
9: and Parmash'ta and Ar'isai and Ar'idai and
10: the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammeda'tha, the
enemy of the Jews; but they laid no hand on the plunder.
very day the number of those slain in Susa the capital was reported to the king.
12: And the king said to Queen Esther, "In Susa the capital the Jews
have slain five hundred men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they
done in the rest of the king's provinces! Now what is your petition? 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 tomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the
ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows."
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 slew three hundred men in Susa; but
they laid no hands on the plunder.
16: Now the other Jews who were in
the king's provinces also gathered to defend their lives, and got relief from
their enemies, and slew seventy-five thousand of those who hated them; but they
laid no hands on the plunder.
17: This was on 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 on
the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day,
making that a day of feasting and gladness.
19: Therefore the Jews of
the villages, who live in the open towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month
of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting and holiday-making, and a day on
which they send choice portions to one another.
20: And Mor'decai
recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the
provinces of King Ahasu-e'rus, both near and far,
21: enjoining them
that they should 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 a holiday; that they
should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending choice portions
to one another and gifts to the poor.
23: So the Jews undertook to do
as they had begun, and as Mor'decai had written to them.
Haman the Ag'agite, the son of Hammeda'tha, the enemy of all the Jews, had
plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is the lot, to
crush and destroy them;
25: but when Esther came before the king, he
gave orders in writing that his wicked plot which he had devised against the
Jews should come upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on
26: Therefore they called these days Purim, after the
term Pur. And therefore, because of all that was written in this letter, and of
what they had faced in this matter, and of what had befallen them,
27: the Jews ordained and took it upon themselves and their
descendants and all who joined them, that without fail they would keep these 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 family, 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, the
daughter of Ab'ihail, and Mor'decai the Jew gave full written authority,
confirming this second letter about Purim.
30: Letters were sent to
all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of
Ahasu-e'rus, in words of peace and truth,
31: that these days of
Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mor'decai the Jew and
Queen Esther enjoined upon the Jews, and as they had laid down for themselves
and for their descendants, with regard to their fasts and their lamenting.
32: The command of Queen Esther fixed these practices of Purim, and
it was recorded in writing.
1: King Ahasu-e'rus laid tribute on the land and on
the coastlands of the sea.
2: And all the acts of his power and
might, and the full account of the high honor of Mor'decai, to which the king
advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of
Media and Persia?
3: For Mor'decai the Jew was next in rank to King
Ahasu-e'rus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of
his brethren, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his