The Jews Employed to Smite their Own Enemies
1 And in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day thereof, when the king’s commandment and his decree drew near to be put in execution, in the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them (but it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had power over them that hated them), 2 the Jews gathered themselves together in their cities throughout the provinces of king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on such as sought their hurt. And no man could withstand them; for the fear of them had fallen upon all the peoples. 3 And all the princes of the provinces, and the satraps, and the governors and officers of the king, helped the Jews; for the fear of Mordecai had fallen upon them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s house, and his fame went forth throughout the provinces; for the man Mordecai became continually greater. 5 And the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword and slaughter and destruction, and did what they would to those that hated them. 6 And in Shushan the fortress the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men. 7 And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 8 and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9 and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vajezatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the oppressor of the Jews, they slew; but they laid not their hands on the prey. 11 On that day the number of those that were slain in Shushan the fortress was brought before the king. 12 And the king said to Esther the queen, The Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the fortress, and the ten sons of Haman; what have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? And what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee; and what is thy request further? and it shall be done. 13 And Esther said, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews that are in Shushan to do to-morrow also according to this day’s decree, and let Haman’s ten sons be hanged upon the gallows. 14 And the king commanded it so to be done: and the decree was given at Shushan; and they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 15 And the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew three hundred men at Shushan; but they laid not their hand on the prey. 16 And the other Jews that were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their life, and had rest from their enemies; and they slew of them that hated them seventy-five thousand (but they laid not their hand on the prey), 17 on the thirteenth day of the month Adar; and on the fourteenth of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and joy. 18 But the Jews that were at Shushan gathered themselves together on the thirteenth day thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth of the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and joy. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages that dwell in the country towns make the fourteenth of the month Adar a day of joy and feasting, and a good day, and on which they send portions one to another. 20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews near and far that were in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, 21 to establish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, 22 as the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month that was turned to them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor. 23 And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the oppressor of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them and to destroy them; 25 and when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he had devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head; and they hanged him and his sons on the gallows. 26 Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Therefore, according to all the words of this letter, and for what they had seen concerning this matter and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews ordained and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves to them, so that it should not fail, that they would observe these two days according to their writing and according to their fixed time, every year; 28 and that these days should be remembered and observed throughout every generation, in every family, every province, and every city, and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them cease from among their seed. 29 And queen Esther the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purim. 30 And he sent letters to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, words of peace and truth, 31 to confirm these days of Purim in their fixed times, according as Mordecai the Jew and queen Esther had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves and for their seed, as to the matters of the fastings and their cry. 32 And the decree of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.