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Greek Esther 3:13
Fast runners carried the order throughout Artaxerxes’ kingdom. The order commanded people to wipe out all the Jews on a single day of the twelfth month, the month called Adar, and to seize their property. The following is a copy of the letter: The Great King Artaxerxes writes as follows to the governors of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia, and to the district governors subject to them: I rule over many nations and have conquered the whole world. Nevertheless, I am not carelessly driven by power; rather, I have always conducted my affairs with moderation and gentleness. I am committed to providing a calm and stable environment for my subjects, and to restore the peace that all people desire. In this way, the kingdom will be at peace and safe for travel throughout its borders. I have, therefore, asked my advisors how this might be accomplished. Haman stands out among us for his moderation. He has demonstrated goodwill and firm loyalty in equal measure, and has attained the second-highest honor in the kingdom. He pointed out to us that there is a certain hostile group scattered among all the peoples of the world. These people are at odds with every nation because of their peculiar laws. They constantly ignore the king’s decrees, so that the government, although well managed by us, is never secure. We see that this nation stands alone in its constant hostility toward everyone. They follow a strange manner of life because of their law code, and they don’t think well of our actions. They carry out the worst evils so that the kingdom is not at peace. We have therefore commanded that this people—pointed out to you in the letters written by Haman, who has been appointed over the government and is like a second father to us—should be destroyed one and all by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint. Their wives and children should also be destroyed, all on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, in the current year. In this way, these people who have always been hostile to us, and remain so, will all go straight to the grave in a single day. Then our affairs will be stable and peaceful.
Instructions were sent by couriers throughout all the empire of Artaxerxes to destroy the Jewish people on a given day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods. This is a copy of the letter: “The Great King, Artaxerxes, writes the following to the governors of the hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia and to the officials under them: “Having become ruler of many nations and master of the whole world (not elated with presumption of authority but always acting reasonably and with kindness), I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects in lasting tranquility and, in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent, to restore the peace desired by all people. “When I asked my counselors how this might be accomplished, Haman—who excels among us in sound judgment, and is distinguished for his unchanging goodwill and steadfast fidelity, and has attained the second place in the kingdom— pointed out to us that among all the nations in the world there is scattered a certain hostile people, who have laws contrary to those of every nation and continually disregard the ordinances of kings, so that the unifying of the kingdom that we honorably intend cannot be brought about. We understand that this people, and it alone, stands constantly in opposition to every nation, perversely following a strange manner of life and laws, and is ill-disposed to our government, doing all the harm they can so that our kingdom may not attain stability. “Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters written by Haman, who is in charge of affairs and is our second father, shall all—wives and children included—be utterly destroyed by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year, so that those who have long been hostile and remain so may in a single day go down in violence to Hades, and leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.”
Instructions were sent by couriers throughout all the empire of Artaxerxes to destroy the Jewish people on a given day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods. This is a copy of the letter: ‘The Great King, Artaxerxes, writes the following to the governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia and to the officials under them: ‘Having become ruler of many nations and master of the whole world (not elated with presumption of authority but always acting reasonably and with kindness), I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects in lasting tranquillity and, in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent, to restore the peace desired by all people. ‘When I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, Haman—who excels among us in sound judgement, and is distinguished for his unchanging goodwill and steadfast fidelity, and has attained the second place in the kingdom— pointed out to us that among all the nations in the world there is scattered a certain hostile people, who have laws contrary to those of every nation and continually disregard the ordinances of kings, so that the unifying of the kingdom that we honourably intend cannot be brought about. We understand that this people, and it alone, stands constantly in opposition to every nation, perversely following a strange manner of life and laws, and is ill-disposed to our government, doing all the harm they can so that our kingdom may not attain stability. ‘Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters written by Haman, who is in charge of affairs and is our second father, shall all—wives and children included—be utterly destroyed by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year, so that those who have long been hostile and remain so may in a single day go down in violence to Hades, and leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.’
Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. This is a copy of the letter: “The Great King, Ahasu-e′rus, to the rulers of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia and to the governors under them, writes thus: “Having become ruler of many nations and master of the whole world, not elated with presumption of authority but always acting reasonably and with kindness, I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects in lasting tranquillity and, in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent, to re-establish the peace which all men desire. “When I asked my counselors how this might be accomplished, Haman, who excels among us in sound judgment, and is distinguished for his unchanging good will and steadfast fidelity, and has attained the second place in the kingdom, pointed out to us that among all the nations in the world there is scattered a certain hostile people, who have laws contrary to those of every nation and continually disregard the ordinances of the kings, so that the unifying of the kingdom which we honorably intend cannot be brought about. We understand that this people, and it alone, stands constantly in opposition to all men, perversely following a strange manner of life and laws, and is ill-disposed to our government, doing all the harm they can so that our kingdom may not attain stability. “Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters of Haman, who is in charge of affairs and is our second father, shall all, with their wives and children, be utterly destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without pity or mercy, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year, so that those who have long been and are now hostile may in one day go down in violence to Hades, and leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.”
Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible; New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.; New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.; Revised Standard Version (RSV) Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.