The Jews Destroy Their Enemies
1Now in the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar) on the thirteenth day when the king’s command and edict were about to be executed, on the [very] day when the enemies of the Jews had hoped to gain power over them [and slaughter them], it happened the other way around so that the Jews themselves gained power over those who hated them. 2 The Jews assembled in their cities throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to apprehend those who wanted to do them harm; and no one could stand before them, for the fear of them [and their God] had fallen on all the peoples. 3 Even all the officials of the provinces and the chief rulers (satraps) and the governors and those who attended to the king’s business supported the Jews [in defeating their enemies], because the fear of Mordecai [and his God’s power] had fallen on them. 4 For Mordecai was great and respected in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man Mordecai became greater and greater. 5 So the Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them; and they did what they pleased to those who hated them. 6 At the citadel in Susa the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, 7 and [they killed] Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jews’ enemy; but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
11 On that day the number of those who were killed at the citadel in Susa was reported to the king. 12 The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman at the citadel in Susa. What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces! Now what is your petition? It shall be granted to you. What is your further request? It shall also be done.” 13 Esther replied, “If it pleases the king, let it be granted to the Jews who are in Susa to act tomorrow also in accordance with the decree of today; and let [the dead bodies of] Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.” 14 So the king commanded it to be done; the decree was given in Susa, and they hanged [the bodies of] Haman’s ten sons. 15 The Jews who were in Susa also gathered together on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and killed three hundred men in Susa, but they did not lay their hands on the plunder.
16 Now the rest of the Jews who were in the king’s provinces assembled, to defend their lives and rid themselves of their enemies, and kill 75,000 of those who hated them; but they did not lay their hands on the plunder. 17 This was done on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing.
18 But the Jews who were in Susa assembled on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth of the same month, and on the fifteenth day they rested and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural [unwalled] towns, make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a holiday for rejoicing and feasting and sending choice portions of food to one another.
The Feast of Purim Instituted
20 Now Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who lived in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21 obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same month, annually, 22 because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and as the month which was turned for them from grief to joy and from mourning into a holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending choice portions of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews undertook what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, [to find the right time] to disturb and destroy them. 25 But when it came before the king, he commanded in writing that Haman’s wicked scheme which he had devised against the Jews was to return on his own head, and that he and his sons should [endure what he planned for the Jews and] be hanged on the gallows. 26 Therefore they called these days Purim after the name Pur (lot). And because of all the instructions in this letter, and what they had faced in this regard and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews established and made it a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all who joined them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days as it was written and at the appointed time annually. 28 So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to cease from among the Jews, nor their memory fade from their descendants.
29 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with full power and authority to confirm this second letter about Purim. 30 He sent letters to all the Jews, to the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth, 31 to establish these days of Purim [to be observed] at their appointed times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established for them, and as they had established for themselves and for their descendants with instructions regarding their times of fasting and their lamentations (expressions of needing help). 32 The command of Esther established these customs for Purim, and it was written in the book [of the royal archives].