Esther 8-10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Esther Intervenes for the Jews
8 That same day King Ahasuerus awarded Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Mordecai entered the king’s presence because Esther had revealed her relationship to Mordecai. 2 The king removed his signet ring he had recovered from Haman and gave it to Mordecai, and Esther put him in charge of Haman’s estate.
3 Then Esther addressed the king again. She fell at his feet, wept, and begged him to revoke the evil of Haman the Agagite, and his plot he had devised against the Jews. 4 The king extended the gold scepter toward Esther, so she got up and stood before the king.
5 She said, “If it pleases the king, and I have found approval before him, if the matter seems right to the king and I am pleasing in his sight, let a royal edict be written. Let it revoke the documents the scheming Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how could I bear to see the disaster that would come on my people? How could I bear to see the destruction of my relatives?”
7 King Ahasuerus said to Esther the Queen and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I have given Haman’s estate to Esther, and he was hanged on the gallows because he attacked[a] the Jews. 8 You may write in the king’s name whatever pleases you concerning the Jews, and seal it with the royal signet ring. A document written in the king’s name and sealed with the royal signet ring cannot be revoked.”
9 On the twenty-third day of the third month (that is, the month Sivan),[b] the royal scribes were summoned. Everything was written exactly as Mordecai ordered for the Jews, to the satraps, the governors, and the officials of the 127 provinces from India[c] to Cush. The edict was written for each province in its own script, for each ethnic group in its own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.
10 Mordecai wrote in King Ahasuerus’s name and sealed the edicts with the royal signet ring. He sent the documents by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses bred from the royal racing mares.
11 The king’s edict gave the Jews in each and every city the right to assemble and defend themselves, to destroy, kill, and annihilate every ethnic and provincial army hostile to them, including women and children, and to take their possessions as spoils of war. 12 This would take place on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar.[d]
13 A copy of the text, issued as law throughout every province, was distributed to all the peoples so the Jews could be ready to avenge themselves against their enemies on that day. 14 The couriers rode out in haste on their royal horses at the king’s urgent command. The law was also issued in the fortress of Susa.
15 Mordecai went from the king’s presence clothed in royal purple and white, with a great gold crown and a purple robe of fine linen. The city of Susa shouted and rejoiced, 16 and the Jews celebrated[e] with gladness, joy, and honor. 17 In every province and every city, wherever the king’s command and his law reached, joy and rejoicing took place among the Jews. There was a celebration and a holiday.[f] And many of the ethnic groups of the land professed themselves to be Jews because fear of the Jews had overcome them.
Victories of the Jews
9 The king’s command and law went into effect on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar.[g] On the day when the Jews’ enemies had hoped to overpower them, just the opposite happened. The Jews overpowered those who hated them. 2 In each of King Ahasuerus’s provinces the Jews assembled in their cities to attack those who intended to harm them.[h] Not a single person could withstand them; terror of them fell on every nationality.
3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the royal civil administrators[i] aided the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4 For Mordecai exercised great power in the palace, and his fame spread throughout the provinces as he became more and more powerful.
5 The Jews put all their enemies to the sword, killing and destroying them. They did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In the fortress of Susa the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10 They killed these 10 sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. However, they did not seize[j] any plunder.
11 On that day the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “In the fortress of Susa the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men, including Haman’s 10 sons. What have they done in the rest of the royal provinces? Whatever you ask will be given to you. Whatever you seek will also be done.”
13 Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, may the Jews who are in Susa also have tomorrow to carry out today’s law, and may the bodies of Haman’s 10 sons be hung on the gallows.” 14 The king gave the orders for this to be done, so a law was announced in Susa, and they hung the bodies of Haman’s 10 sons. 15 The Jews in Susa assembled again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed 300 men in Susa, but they did not seize[k] any plunder.
16 The rest of the Jews in the royal provinces assembled, defended themselves, and got rid of[l] their enemies. They killed 75,000[m] of those who hated them, but they did not seize[n] any plunder. 17 They fought on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar and rested on the fourteenth, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing.
18 But the Jews in Susa had assembled on the thirteenth and the fourteenth days of the month. They rested on the fifteenth day of the month, and it became a day of feasting and rejoicing. 19 This explains why the rural Jews who live in villages observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a time of rejoicing and feasting. It is a holiday when they send gifts to one another.
20 Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Ahasuerus’s provinces, both near and far. 21 He ordered them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month Adar every year 22 because during those days the Jews got rid of[o] their enemies. That was the month when their sorrow was turned into rejoicing and their mourning into a holiday. They were to be days of feasting, rejoicing, and of sending gifts to one another and the poor.
23 So the Jews agreed to continue the practice they had begun, as Mordecai had written them to do. 24 For Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them. He cast the Pur (that is, the lot) to crush and destroy them. 25 But when the matter was brought before the king, he commanded by letter that the evil plan Haman had devised against the Jews return on his own head and that he should be hanged with his sons on the gallows. 26 For this reason these days are called Purim, from the word Pur.
Because of all the instructions in this letter as well as what they had witnessed and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews bound themselves, their descendants, and all who joined with them to a commitment that they would not fail to celebrate these two days each and every year according to the written instructions and according to the time appointed. 28 These days are remembered and celebrated by every generation, family, province, and city, so that these days of Purim will not lose their significance in Jewish life[p] and their memory will not fade from their descendants.
29 Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote this second letter with full authority to confirm the letter about Purim. 30 He sent letters with messages of peace and faithfulness to all the Jews who were in the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, 31 in order to confirm these days of Purim at their proper time just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established them and just as they had committed themselves and their descendants to the practices of fasting and lamentation. 32 So Esther’s command confirmed these customs of Purim, which were then written into the record.
10 King Ahasuerus imposed a tax throughout the land even to the farthest shores.[q] 2 All of his powerful and magnificent accomplishments and the detailed account of Mordecai’s great rank to which the king had honored him, have they not been written in the Historical Records of the Kings of Media and Persia? 3 Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus, famous among the Jews, and highly popular with many of his relatives. He continued to seek good for his people and to speak for the welfare of all his descendants.