Esther 8-10 New Life Version (NLV)
The Jews Are Allowed to Fight for Their Lives
8 On that day King Ahasuerus gave everything Haman owned, the one who hated the Jews, to Queen Esther. Mordecai came to the king, for Esther had told him what he was to her. 2 The king took off the ring he used for marking his name, which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther put Mordecai over everything Haman had owned.
3 Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and cried and begged him to stop the sinful plan of Haman the Agagite, the plan he had made against the Jews. 4 The king held out the special golden stick toward Esther. So she got up and stood in front of the king. 5 Then she said, “If it pleases the king and if I have his favor, if the king thinks it is right and if I am pleasing in his eyes, let letters be written to keep Haman’s letters from being carried out. The letters Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, wrote would destroy the Jews in all the king’s nation. 6 For how can I stand to see all the trouble that will come to my people? How can I keep on if I see them destroyed?” 7 So King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “See, I have given everything Haman owned to Esther. They have hanged him on the tower because he had wanted to destroy all the Jews. 8 Now you write whatever pleases you about the Jews, in the king’s name, and mark it with the king’s special ring. For what is written in the king’s name and marked with the king’s special ring may not be changed.”
9 So the king’s writers were called at that time, on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. All that Mordecai said was written and sent to the Jews, the rulers, the leaders, and the princes of the 127 parts of the nation from India to Ethiopia. The letters were sent to every land in its own writing and to every people in their own language. And they were sent to the Jews in their own writing and language. 10 He wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and marked it with the king’s special ring. He sent the letters by men on fast horses used in the king’s work, raised from the king’s best male horse. 11 In the letters the king allowed the Jews who were in every city the right to gather together to fight for their lives. He gave them the right to destroy, kill, and do away with the whole army of any people or nation which might come to fight against them. They were given the right to kill even the children and women, and to take whatever belonged to them. 12 On one day in all the nation of King Ahasuerus, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, they were to do this. 13 The letter was law in every part of the nation and was sent to all the people, so the Jews would be ready on that day to stand against those who hated them. 14 The men went out in a hurry on the fast horses that were used for the king’s work, just as the king told them. And the letter was made known in the city of Susa where the king ruled.
15 Then Mordecai went out from the king wearing king’s clothing of blue and white, with a large gold crown and a long coat of fine linen and purple cloth. The people in the city of Susa were filled with joy and called out in loud voices. 16 For the Jews it was a time of joy and happiness and honor. 17 In every part of the nation and in every city where the king’s law had come, there was happiness and joy for the Jews, a special supper and a good day. And many people who had come there from other countries became Jews because they were afraid of the Jews.
The Jews Destroy Those Who Try to Kill Them
9 Now came the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, when the king’s law was about to be carried out. It was the day when those who hated the Jews hoped to get the rule over them. But their plan was turned around, and the Jews ruled over those who hated them. 2 The Jews gathered in their cities in all the parts of the nation of King Ahasuerus to hurt those who wanted to kill them. No one could stand in front of them, for the fear of them had come upon all the people. 3 The princes of the nation, the rulers, the leaders, and those who were doing the king’s work all helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had come upon them. 4 For Mordecai was great in the king’s house. His name spread through all the nation, for the man Mordecai became greater and greater. 5 So the Jews killed and destroyed with sword all those who hated them. They did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In the city of Susa where the king ruled the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 and Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10 These were the ten sons of Haman, the son of Hammedatha, who hated the Jews. But they did not touch anything that belonged to them.
11 On that day the number of those who were killed in the city of Susa where the king lived was told to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and the ten sons of Haman in Susa. What then have they done in the rest of the king’s nation! Now what do you ask of me? It will be done for you. What else do you want? It will be done.” 13 Esther said, “If it pleases the king, let the Jews in Susa be allowed tomorrow also to carry out today’s law. Let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the tower.” 14 So the king said that this should be done. He made it known in Susa, and the bodies of Haman’s ten sons were hanged. 15 The Jews in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed 300 men in Susa. But they did not touch anything that belonged to them.
16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s nation gathered to fight for their lives and get rid of those who hated them. They killed 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not touch anything that belonged to them. 17 This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. On the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of eating and joy. 18 But the Jews in Susa gathered on the thirteenth and fourteenth days of the same month. And they rested on the fifteenth day and made it a day of eating and joy. 19 So the Jews of the villages, who lived in the small towns without walls, made the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a special day of joy and eating and sharing their food with one another.
The Special Supper of Purim
20 Mordecai wrote down these things. And he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the nation of King Ahasuerus, both near and far. 21 He told them to remember the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar each year. 22 Because on those days the Jews got rid of those who hated them. It was a month which was changed from sorrow into joy, from a day of sorrow into a special day. He said that they should make them days of eating and joy and sending food to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews agreed to do what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the one who hated all the Jews, had planned to destroy the Jews. He had drawn names, using Pur, to trouble them and destroy them. 25 But when the king heard about it, he made it known by letter that his plan against the Jews should bring trouble upon himself. And he had Haman and his sons hanged on the tower. 26 So they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. Because of what was written in this letter, and what they had seen and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews set apart this special time each year for themselves, for their children and their children’s children, and for all who joined them. They would always remember to keep these two days special, as it was written and at the same time every year. 28 These days were to be remembered and kept as a special time for all their children-to-come, in every family, every land, and every city. These days of Purim were not to be forgotten by the Jews. Their children and their children’s children were to remember them forever.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full power to make this second letter about Purim sure. 30 Letters were sent to all the Jews in the 127 parts of the nation of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth. 31 They made sure that these days of Purim would be kept at the right times, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had told them. These days were set apart for themselves and for their children and their children’s children, with the times they were to go without food and the times they were to be sad. 32 The words of Esther made the rules for keeping Purim sure, and it was written in the book.
Mordecai Is Honored by the King
10 King Ahasuerus put a tax on the people of the nation and the parts beside the sea. 2 All the acts of his power and strength, and the whole story of the high honor given to Mordecai by the king, are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia. 3 For Mordecai the Jew was second in power only to King Ahasuerus and great among the Jews. He found favor in the eyes of his people. He worked for the good of his people and spoke for the well-being of all the Jews.