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Esther Saves the Jews

On that day King Ahasuerus gave Queen Esther the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Mordecai came before the king because Esther disclosed who he was to her. The king took off his signet ring, which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Esther appointed Mordecai over the house of Haman.

Then Esther spoke again to the king and fell down at his feet and begged him with tears to avert the evil of Haman the Agagite, and the scheme that he had devised against the Jews. When the king held out the golden scepter to Esther, she rose and stood before the king, and said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his sight, and the idea seems right before the king, and I have his approval, then let it be written to reverse the letters, devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. For how am I able to watch the evil that will unfold against my people? How can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?”

Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “See, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows because he threatened violence against the Jews. Now, as it suits you, write in the king’s name on behalf of the Jews and seal it with the king’s signet ring, because a document written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be repealed.”

The king’s scribes were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day; and everything was written, according to all that Mordecai commanded, to the Jews, to the satraps, the governors, and the princes of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, to every province in its own script, to every people in their own language, and to the Jews in their script and language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus, sealed it with the king’s signet ring, sent letters by couriers on horseback, riding steeds bred from mares from the royal stables.

11 What the king granted to the Jews in each and every city was the right to assemble and to defend their lives by annihilating, slaying, and destroying any army of any people or any province that would assault them, the little children and women included, and to plunder their possessions. 12 This would happen on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (which is the month Adar). 13 A copy of the edict being issued as law in each and every province was published to all people, so that the Jews could be ready for this day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14 So the couriers riding on royal steeds went out with haste and urgency by the king’s edict. The decree was given at the citadel of Susa.

15 Mordecai went out from the king’s presence in royal apparel of blue and white, with a large crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple. The city of Susa erupted with shouts of rejoicing. 16 To the Jews belonged light, gladness, joy, and honor. 17 In each and every province as well as in each and every city, wherever the king’s edict and his decree reached, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast, and a holiday. Furthermore, many of the people of the land professed to be Jews because the dread of the Jews fell on them.