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Translated by Mordecai Housman
© Copyright 2004
1 On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, the king's decree was supposed to be executed. The enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower the Jews that day, but the plot was overturned, and the Jews overpowered their enemies.
2 Throughout King Achashvairosh's provinces the Jews gathered in their cities to defend themselves against those who tried to hurt them. No one could withstand them, because everyone was afraid of them.
3 Even the provincial ministers, the satraps, the governors, and the king's pages, supported the Jews, because they were afraid of Mordechai.
4 You see, Mordechai had become very influential in the king's household, and his reputation was known throughout the empire; as a result, Mordechai was becoming more and more powerful.
5 The Jews struck at all their opponents with the sword, killing and destroying them, and they defeated all their enemies.
6 In Shushan Capital the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.
7 They also killed
10 the ten sons of Haman, the son of Hamdoso, persecutor of the Jews. But they did not pillage their property.
11 They notified the king of the death toll in Shushan Capital the same day it occurred.
12 The king said to Queen Esther, "In Shushan Capital the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, as well as the ten sons of Haman. Who knows what they did in the more distant provinces of the empire? Whatever you want, you will be given; whatever your request, it will be done."
13 Esther replied, "If it pleases the king, may the Jews of Shushan have tomorrow also, with the same rules as today? And also, could the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows?"
14 The king ordered these things to be done. The decree was announced in Shushan, and also the ten sons of Haman were hanged on the gallows.
15 So the Jews of Shushan gathered again on the fourteenth day of Adar, and they killed another three hundred men in Shushan, but they did not pillage their property.
16 The Jews in the rest of the empire also gathered to defend themselves and get peace from their enemies, and they killed a total of seventy-five thousand, but they did not pillage their property.
17 They fought their battle on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and they rested on the fourteenth. So they made the fourteenth day of Adar a day of feasting and celebration.
18 But the Jews of Shushan gathered together on the thirteenth and the fourteenth days of Adar, and rested on the fifteenth day, so they made the fifteenth day of Adar a day of feasting and celebration.
19 That's why the Jews who live in villages and cities without walls around them observe the fourteenth day of Adar as the celebration, feasting, and a holy day, sending portions of food to each other.
20 Mordechai wrote down the details of all these events, and sent copies to all the Jews in all the provinces of King Achashvairosh's empire, whether nearby or distant.
21 Telling them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, each and every year,
22 as the days that the Jews rested from their opponents, and the month that was reversed from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to holy celebration. These days should be observed as days of feasting and rejoicing, the sending of portions of food to a friend, and gifts to poor people.
23 The Jews all agreed to continue observing what they had already begun to observe, and everything that Mordechai had written to them.
24 For Haman the son of Hamodoso, the Agagite, persecutor of the Jews, had planned to destroy the Jews. He drew a pur, a lottery, to terrify and destroy them.
25 But when Esther came to the king, the king ordered decrees that the evil plans he had plotted against the Jews be visited upon him instead, and he and his sons were hanged on the gallows.
26 That's why these days are called Purim, because of the pur. Now, because of everything told in this letter, and because of everyone's personal experiences in these events, and because they finally understood the reason for everything that had taken place,
27 the Jews established and firmly accepted on themselves and on their descendants, and on anyone who might convert to Judaism, to faithfully observe these two days, as written, and at the right times, each and every year.
28 These days must be remembered and observed for every generation, every family, in every part of the world, in every city. The Holiday of Purim will never be abolished among the Jews, and their descendants will never cease to observe them.
29 The next year, Queen Esther, the daughter of Avichayil, and Mordechai the Jew, used their authority to write a command that the Jews should obey this second Purim letter.
30 They sent copies of the letter to all the Jews throughout the one hundred twenty-seven provinces of Achashvairosh's empire, and the letter offered words of peace and truth.
31 The purpose of the second letter was to ensure that the days of Purim be kept at their proper times, as established by Mordechai the Jew and Queen Esther, and as accepted by all Jews on themselves and their descendants, the fasts and the prayers as well.
32 Esther's statements confirmed the Holiday of Purim, and this Book was also included in the Tanach.
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