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1Now 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, 2the Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasu-eʹrus 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. 3All the princes of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and the royal officials also helped the Jews, for the fear of Morʹdecai had fallen upon them. 4For Morʹdecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man Morʹdecai grew more and more powerful. 5So the Jews smote all their enemies with the sword, slaughtering, and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6In Susa the capital itself the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men, 7and also slew Parshan-daʹtha and Dalphon and Aspaʹtha 8and Poraʹtha and Adaʹlia and Aridaʹtha 9and Parmashʹta and Arʹisai and Arʹidai and Vaizaʹtha, 10the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedaʹtha, the enemy of the Jews; but they laid no hand on the plunder.

11That very day the number of those slain in Susa the capital was reported to the king. 12And 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.” 13And 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.” 14So the king commanded this to be done; a decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15The 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.

16Now 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. 17This 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. 18But 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. 19Therefore 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.

20And Morʹdecai recorded these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasu-eʹrus, both near and far, 21enjoining them that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22as 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.

23So the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Morʹdecai had written to them. 24For Haman the Agʹagite, the son of Hammedaʹtha, 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; 25but 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 the gallows. 26Therefore 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, 27the 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, 28that 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.

29Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abʹihail, and Morʹdecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming this second letter about Purim. 30Letters were sent to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasu-eʹrus, in words of peace and truth, 31that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Morʹdecai 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. 32The command of Queen Esther fixed these practices of Purim, and it was recorded in writing.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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