The Enfolded Book of Esther

Douay Rheims Bible text is in green King James Bible text is in purple

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16

Chapter 1

1.1 In Now it came to pass in the days of Assuerus, who reigned Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India to Ethiopia even unto Ethiopia, over a an hundred and twenty seven provinces: and twenty provinces:)

1.2 When he That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city Susan which was in Shushan the capital of his kingdom. palace,

1.3 Now in In the third year of his reign reign, he made a great feast for unto all the princes, his princes and for his servants, for servants; the most mighty power of the Persians, Persia and Media, the nobles of the Medes, and the governors princes of the provinces in his sight, provinces, being before him:

1.4 That When he might shew shewed the riches of the glory of his kingdom, glorious kingdom and the greatness, and boasting honour of his power, for a long time, to wit, for a excellent majesty many days, even an hundred and fourscore days.

1.5 And when the these days of the feast were expired, he invited the king made a feast unto all the people that were found present in Susan, from the greatest to Shushan the least: palace, both unto great and commanded a feast to be made small, seven days days, in the court of the garden, and of the wood, which was planted by the care and the hand garden of the king. king's palace;

1.6 And there Where were hung up on every side sky coloured, and white, green, and violet blue, hangings, fastened with cords of silk, fine linen and of purple, which were put into purple to silver rings of ivory, and were held up with marble pillars. The pillars of marble: the beds also were of gold and silver, placed in order upon a floor paved with porphyry and white marble: which was embellished with painting pavement of wonderful variety. red, and blue, and white, and black, marble.

1.7 And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and the meats were brought gave them drink in divers vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one after another. Wine also in abundance from another,) and of royal wine in abundance, according to the best was presented, as was worthy state of a king's magnificence. the king.

1.8 Neither And the drinking was there any one to compel them according to drink that were not willing, but as the law; none did compel: for so the king had appointed, who set over every table one appointed to all the officers of his nobles, house, that they should do according to every man might take what he would. man's pleasure.

1.9 Also Vasthi Vashti the queen made a feast for the women in the palace, where king Assuerus was used royal house which belonged to dwell. king Ahasuerus.

1.10 Now on On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry, and after very much drinking was well warmed merry with wine, he commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, and Bagatha, and Abgatha, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Charcas, Carcas, the seven eunuchs chamberlains that served in his presence, the presence of Ahasuerus the king,

1.11 To bring in Vashti the queen Vasthi before the king, king with the crown set upon her head, royal, to shew her beauty to all the people and the princes: princes her beauty: for she was exceeding beautiful. fair to look on.

1.12 But she refused, and would not the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment, which he had signified to her commandment by the eunuchs. Whereupon his chamberlains: therefore was the king, being angry, and inflamed with a king very great fury, wroth, and his anger burned in him.

1.13 Asked Then the king said to the wise men, who according to which knew the custom of times, (for so was the kings, were always near his person, and king's manner toward all he did was by their counsel, who that knew the laws, law and judgments of their forefathers: judgment:

1.14 (Now And the chief and nearest next unto him were, Charsena, and Sethar, and was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, and Tharsis, and Mares, and Marsana, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Mamuchan, Memucan, the seven princes of the Persians Persia and of the Medes, who Media, which saw the face of the king, king's face, and were used to sit which sat the first after him:) in the kingdom;)

1.15 What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi shall we do unto the queen, who had refused queen Vashti according to obey law, because she hath not performed the commandment of the king Assuerus, which he had sent to her Ahasuerus by the eunuchs? chamberlains?

1.16 And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of Memucan answered before the king and the princes: Queen Vasthi princes, Vashti the queen hath not only injured done wrong to the king, king only, but also to all the people princes, and princes to all the people that are in all the provinces of the king Assuerus. Ahasuerus.

1.17 For this deed of the queen will go shall come abroad to unto all women, so that they will shall despise their husbands, and will say: King Assuerus husbands in their eyes, when it shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded that Vashti the queen Vasthi should come in to be brought in before him, and but she would came not.

1.18 And by Likewise shall the ladies of Persia and Media say this example day unto all the wives king's princes, which have heard of the princes deed of the Persians queen. Thus shall there arise too much contempt and the Medes will slight the commandments of their husbands: wherefore the king's indignation is just. wrath.

1.19 If it please thee, the king, let an edict there go out a royal commandment from thy presence, him, and let it be written according to among the law laws of the Persians and of the Medes, which must not that it be not altered, that Vasthi That Vashti come in no more to before king Ahasuerus; and let the king, but another, king give her royal estate unto another that is better than her, be made queen in her place. she.

1.20 And let this when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published through throughout all the provinces of thy his empire, (which (for it is very wide,) and let great,) all wives, as well of the greater as of the lesser, wives shall give honour to their husbands. husbands honour, both to great and small.

1.21 His counsel And the saying pleased the king, king and the princes: princes; and the king did according to the counsel word of Mamuchan. Memucan:

1.22 And For he sent letters to into all the provinces of his kingdom, as king's provinces, into every nation could hear and read, in divers languages province according to the writing thereof, and characters, to every people after their language, that the husbands every man should be rulers and masters bear rule in their houses: his own house, and that this it should be published according to the language of every people.

Chapter 2

2.1 After this, these things, when the wrath of king Assuerus Ahasuerus was appeased, he remembered Vasthi, Vashti, and what she had done done, and what she had suffered: was decreed against her.

2.2 And Then said the king's servants and his officers said: that ministered unto him, Let young women there be fair young virgins sought for the king, virgins and beautiful, king:

2.3 And let some persons be sent through the king appoint officers in all the provinces to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into his kingdom, that they may gather together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house of the women under women, unto the hand custody of Egeus the eunuch, who is Hege the overseer and king's chamberlain, keeper of the king's women: women; and let them receive women's ornaments, and other their things necessary for their use. purification be given them:

2.4 And whosoever among them all shall please the king's eyes, let her the maiden which pleaseth the king be queen instead of Vasthi. The word Vashti. And the thing pleased the king: king; and he commanded it should be done as they had suggested. did so.

2.5 There was a man Now in Shushan the city of Susan, palace there was a certain Jew, named Mardochai, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, Shimei, the son of Cis, of the race of Jemini, Kish, a Benjamite;

2.6 Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at with the time that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon captivity which had been carried away Jechonias with Jeconiah king of Juda, Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.

2.7 And he had brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his brother's daughter Edissa, who by another name was called Esther: now uncle's daughter: for she had lost both her parents: neither father nor mother, and the maid was exceeding fair and beautiful. And beautiful; whom Mordecai, when her father and mother being were dead, Mardochai adopted her took for his own daughter.

2.8 And So it came to pass, when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, commandment and according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were brought to Susan, decree was heard, and when many maidens were delivered gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to Egeus the eunuch: custody of Hegai, that Esther was brought also among the rest of unto the maidens was delivered to him king's house, to be kept in the number custody of Hegai, keeper of the women.

2.9 And she the maiden pleased him, and found favour in his sight. And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's ornaments, she obtained kindness of him; and to deliver to he speedily gave her her part, things for purification, with such things as belonged to her, and seven of the most beautiful maidens maidens, which were meet to be given her, out of the king's house, and to adorn house: and deck out both he preferred her and her waiting maids. maids unto the best place of the house of the women.

2.10 And she would Esther had not tell him shewed her people nor her country. For Mardochai kindred: for Mordecai had charged her to say nothing at all of that: that she should not shew it.

2.11 And he Mordecai walked every day before the court of the women's house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know how Esther did, and what would befall should become of her.

2.12 Now when every virgin's maid's turn came was come to go in to the king, king Ahasuerus, after all that she had been done for setting them off twelve months, according to advantage, it was the twelfth month: manner of the women, (for so that for were the days of their purifications accomplished, to wit, six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six months they used certain perfumes and with sweet spices. odours, and with other things for the purifying of the women;)

2.13 And when they were going in to Then thus came every maiden unto the king, king; whatsoever they asked she desired was given her to adorn themselves they received: and being decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from go with her out of the chamber house of the women to unto the king's chamber. house.

2.14 And she that went in at evening, came out in In the morning, evening she went, and from thence on the morrow she was conducted to returned into the second house, that was under the hand house of Susagaz the eunuch, who had women, to the charge over custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, which kept the concubines: neither could she return any more to came in unto the king, unless king no more, except the king desired it, delighted in her, and had ordered her that she were called by name to come. name.

2.15 And as the time came orderly about, the day was at hand, Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother uncle of Mardochai, whom he Mordecai, who had adopted taken her for his daughter, was come to go in to unto the king. But king, she sought not women's ornaments, required nothing but whatsoever Egeus what Hegai the eunuch king's chamberlain, the keeper of the virgins had a mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair, and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and amiable women, appointed. And Esther obtained favour in the eyes sight of all. all them that looked upon her.

2.16 So she Esther was brought to the chamber of taken unto king Assuerus Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is called the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

2.17 And the king loved her more than Esther above all the women, and she had favour obtained grace and kindness before him above favour in his sight more than all the women, and virgins; so that he set the royal crown on upon her head, and made her queen instead of Vasthi. Vashti.

2.18 And he commanded Then the king made a magnificent great feast to be prepared for unto all the princes, his princes and for his servants, for the marriage even Esther's feast; and wedding of Esther, And he gave rest made a release to all the provinces, and bestowed gifts gave gifts, according to princely magnificence. the state of the king.

2.19 And when the virgins were sought gathered together the second time, and gathered together, Mardochai stayed at then Mordecai sat in the king's gate, gate.

2.20 Neither had Esther as had not yet declared shewed her country and people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he commanded, kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther observed: and she did all things in the same manner commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was wont at that time when he brought her up a little one. with him.

2.21 At that time, therefore, when Mardochai abode at In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the king's eunuchs, who were porters, chamberlains, Bigthan and presided in the first entry Teresh, of those which kept the palace, door, were angry: wroth, and they designed sought to rise up against lay hands on the king, and to kill him. king Ahasuerus.

2.22 And Mardochai had notice of it, and immediately he the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it to queen Esther: unto Esther the queen; and she to Esther certified the king thereof in Mardochai's name, who had reported the thing unto her. Mordecai's name.

2.23 It And when inquisition was inquired into, and made of the matter, it was found out: and out; therefore they were both hanged on a gibbet. And tree: and it was put written in the histories, and recorded in book of the chronicles before the king.

Chapter 3

3.1 After these things, things did king Assuerus advanced Aman, Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Amadathi, who was of Hammedatha the race of Agag: Agagite, and he advanced him, and set his throne seat above all the princes that were with him.

3.2 And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of in the palace, bent their knees, king's gate, bowed, and worshipped Aman: reverenced Haman: for so the emperor king had so commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend his knee, nor worship concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

3.3 And Then the king's servants that servants, which were chief at the doors of in the palace, king's gate, said to him: unto Mordecai, Why dost transgressest thou alone not observe the king's commandment?

3.4 And Now it came to pass, when they were saying this often, spake daily unto him, and he would hearkened not hearken to unto them, that they told Aman, desirous Haman, to know see whether he Mordecai's matters would continue in his resolution: stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

3.5 Now And when Aman had heard this, and had proved by experience Haman saw that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, Mordecai bowed not, nor worship him, he did him reverence, then was exceeding angry. Haman full of wrath.

3.6 And he counted it nothing thought scorn to lay his hands upon Mardochai alone: on Mordecai alone; for he they had heard that he was of shewed him the nation people of the Jews, and he chose rather Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the nation of the Jews that were in throughout the whole kingdom of Assuerus. Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

3.7 In the first month, that is, the month (which is called Nisan) Nisan, in the twelfth year of the reign of Assuerus, the lot was king Ahasuerus, they cast into an urn, which in Hebrew is called Phur, Pur, that is, the lot, before Aman, on what Haman from day to day, and what from month the nation of the Jews should be destroyed: and there came out to month, to the twelfth month, which is called that is, the month Adar.

3.8 And Aman Haman said to unto king Assuerus: Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered through abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom, kingdom; and separated one from another, that use new their laws and ceremonies, and moreover despise are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king's ordinances: and thou knowest very well that laws: therefore it is not expedient for thy kingdom that they should grow insolent by impunity. the king's profit to suffer them.

3.9 If it please thee, decree the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed, destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to thy treasurers. the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.

3.10 And the king took the his ring that he used, from his own hand, and gave it to Aman, unto Haman the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, Hammedatha the enemy of Agagite, the Jews, Jews' enemy.

3.11 And he the king said to him: As unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the money which thou promisest, keep it for thyself: and as people also, to the people, do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

3.12 And Then were the king's scribes were called in the first month Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the same mouth: first month, and they wrote, as Aman had commanded, there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king's lieutenants, and to the judges of the provinces, governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of divers nations, as every nation could read, and hear people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their different languages, language; in the name of king Assuerus: Ahasuerus was it written, and the letters, sealed with his ring, the king's ring.

3.13 Were And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's messengers to all provinces, to kill destroy, to kill, and destroy to cause to perish, all the Jews, both young and old, little children, children and women, in one day, that is, on even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called the month Adar, and to make a take the spoil of their goods. them for a prey.

3.14 And the contents The copy of the letters were writing for a commandment to this effect, that be given in every province was published unto all provinces might know and people, that they should be ready against that day.

3.15 The couriers that were sent made haste to fulfil posts went out, being hastened by the king's commandment. And immediately commandment, and the edict decree was hung up given in Susan, Shushan the palace. And the king and Aman feasting together, and all the Jews that were in Haman sat down to drink; but the city weeping. Shushan was perplexed.

Chapter 4

4.1 Now when Mardochai had heard these things, he When Mordecai perceived all that was done, Mordecai rent his garments, clothes, and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head and he cried sackcloth with a loud voice in the street in ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, shewing the anguish of his mind. and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;

4.2 And he came lamenting in this manner even to the gate of before the palace: king's gate: for no one clothed with sackcloth none might enter into the king's court. gate clothed with sackcloth.

4.3 And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which every province, whithersoever the king's cruel edict was come, commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with and fasting, wailing, and weeping, and wailing; and many using lay in sackcloth and ashes for their bed. ashes.

4.4 Then So Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in, chamberlains came and told her. And when she heard it she her. Then was in a consternation the queen exceedingly grieved; and she sent a garment, raiment to clothe him, Mordecai, and to take away the sackcloth: his sackcloth from him: but he would not receive it. received it not.

4.5 And she Then called Esther for Athach Hatach, one of the eunuch, king's chamberlains, whom the king he had appointed to attend upon her, and she commanded gave him a commandment to go Mordecai, to Mardochai, know what it was, and learn of him why he did this. it was.

4.6 And Athach going out So Hatach went forth to Mardochai, who was standing in Mordecai unto the street of the city, which was before the palace gate: king's gate.

4.7 And Mardochai Mordecai told him of all that had happened, how Aman happened unto him, and of the sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay money into to the king's treasures, to have treasuries for the Jews destroyed. Jews, to destroy them.

4.8 He Also he gave him also a the copy of the edict which was hanging up in Susan, writing of the decree that he should was given at Shushan to destroy them, to shew it unto Esther, and to the queen, declare it unto her, and admonish her to charge her that she should go in to unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to entreat make request before him for her people.

4.9 And Athach went back Hatach came and told Esther all that Mardochai had said. the words of Mordecai.

4.10 She answered him, Again Esther spake unto Hatach, and bade gave him say to Mardochai: commandment unto Mordecai;

4.11 All the king's servants, and all the provinces that are under his dominion, people of the king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, cometh women, shall come unto the king into the king's inner court, who is not called for, called, there is immediately one law of his to be put him to death without any delay: death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden sceptre to him, in token of clemency, sceptre, that so he may live. How then can live: but I go in to the king, who for these thirty days now have not been called to come in unto him? the king these thirty days.

4.12 And when Mardochai had heard this, they told to Mordecai Esther's words.

4.13 He sent word Then Mordecai commanded to Esther again, saying: answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou mayst save thy life only, because thou art shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews: Jews.

4.14 For if thou wilt now hold altogether holdest thy peace, the Jews peace at this time, then shall be delivered by some other occasion: there enlargement and thou, deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall perish. And be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art not therefore come to the kingdom, that thou mightest be ready in kingdom for such a time as this?

4.15 And again Then Esther sent to Mardochai in these words: bade them return Mordecai this answer,

4.16 Go, and gather together all the Jews whom thou shalt find that are present in Susan, Shushan, and pray fast ye for me. Neither me, and neither eat nor drink for three days and three nights: and days, night or day: I with also and my handmaids maidens will fast in like manner, likewise; and then I so will I go in to unto the king, against the law, which is not being called, and expose myself according to death the law: and to danger. if I perish, I perish.

4.17 So Mardochai went, Mordecai went his way, and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.

Chapter 5

5.1 And Now it came to pass on the third day day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's hall: now he house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the hall of the palace, royal house, over against the door gate of the house.

5.2 And it was so, when he the king saw Esther the queen standing, standing in the court, that she pleased obtained favour in his eyes, sight: and he the king held out toward her to Esther the golden sceptre, which he held sceptre that was in his hand and she hand. So Esther drew near, and kissed touched the top of his the sceptre.

5.3 And Then said the king said to her: unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy request? if thou shouldst even ask one half of the kingdom, it shall be even given thee to thee. the half of the kingdom.

5.4 But she answered: And Esther answered, If it please seem good unto the king, I beseech thee to let the king and Haman come to me this day, and Aman with thee to day unto the banquet which that I have prepared. prepared for him.

5.5 And Then the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly, said, Cause Haman to make haste, that he may obey Esther's will. do as Esther hath said. So the king and Aman Haman came to the banquet which the queen that Esther had prepared for them. prepared.

5.6 And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine plentifully: unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What dost thou desire should is thy petition? and it shall be given thee? granted thee: and for what thing askest thou? although thou shouldst ask is thy request? even to the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it. the kingdom it shall be performed.

5.7 And Esther answered: Then answered Esther, and said, My petition and my request is this: is;

5.8 If I have found favour in the king's sight, sight of the king, and if it please the king to give me what I ask, grant my petition, and to fulfil perform my petition: request, let the king and Aman Haman come to the banquet which that I have prepared shall prepare for them, and to morrow I will open my mind do to morrow as the king. king hath said.

5.9 So Aman Then went out Haman forth that day joyful and merry. And with a glad heart: but when he Haman saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of Mordecai in the palace, and king's gate, that he not only did stood not rise up to honour up, nor moved for him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was exceedingly angry: full of indignation against Mordecai.

5.10 But dissembling his anger, Nevertheless Haman refrained himself: and returning into his house, when he came home, he sent and called together to him for his friends, and Zares Zeresh his wife: wife.

5.11 And he declared to Haman told them of the greatness glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above all his the princes and servants. servants of the king.

5.12 And after this he said: Queen Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther also hath invited no other to the banquet queen did let no man come in with the king, king unto the banquet that she had prepared but me: myself; and with her I am also to dine to morrow am I invited unto her also with the king: king.

5.13 And whereas I have Yet all these things, I think I have this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mardochai Mordecai the Jew sitting before at the king's gate.

5.14 Then Zares said Zeresh his wife, wife and the rest of all his friends answered him: Order unto him, Let a great beam to gallows be prepared, made of fifty cubits high, and in the morning speak to morrow speak thou unto the king, king that Mardochai Mordecai may be hanged upon it, and so thou shalt thereon: then go full of joy thou in merrily with the king to unto the banquet. The counsel And the thing pleased him, Haman; and he commanded a high gibbet caused the gallows to be prepared. made.

Chapter 6

6.1 That On that night could not the king passed without sleep, and he commanded to bring the histories and chronicles book of former times to be brought him. And when records of the chronicles; and they were reading them read before him, the king.

6.2 They came to that place where And it was found written, how Mardochai that Mordecai had discovered the treason told of Bagathan Bigthana and Thares Teresh, two of the eunuchs, king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to kill lay hand on the king Assuerus. Ahasuerus.

6.3 And when the king heard this, he said: said, What honour and reward dignity hath Mardochai received been done to Mordecai for this fidelity? His servants and ministers this? Then said to him: He hath received no reward at all. the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for him.

6.4 And the king said immediately: said, Who is in the court? for Aman Now Haman was coming in to come into the inner outward court of the king's house, to speak unto the king to hang Mordecai on the king, gallows that he might order Mardochai to be hanged upon the gibbet, which was had prepared for him.

6.5 The And the king's servants answered: Aman said unto him, Behold, Haman standeth in the court, and court. And the king said: said, Let him come in.

6.6 So Haman came in. And when he was come in, he the king said to him: unto him, What ought to shall be done to unto the man whom the king is desirous delighteth to honour? But Aman thinking Now Haman thought in his heart, and supposing that To whom would the king would delight to do honour no other but himself, more than to myself?

6.7 Answered: The And Haman answered the king, For the man whom the king desireth delighteth to honour,

6.8 Ought to Let the royal apparel be clothed with brought which the king's apparel, and king useth to be set upon wear, and the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have the royal crown royal which is set upon his head, head:

6.9 And let this apparel and horse be delivered to the first hand of one of the king's princes and nobles hold his horse, most noble princes, that they may array the man withal whom the king delighteth to honour, and going bring him on horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him and say: him, Thus shall he it be honoured, done to the man whom the king hath a mind delighteth to honour.

6.10 And Then the king said to him: Haman, Make haste haste, and take the robe apparel and the horse, and do as thou hast spoken said, and do even so to Mardochai Mordecai the Jew, who that sitteth before the gates of at the palace. Beware thou pass over any king's gate: let nothing fail of those things which all that thou hast spoken.

6.11 So Aman Then took Haman the robe apparel and the horse, and arraying Mardochai in arrayed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, went proclaimed before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, Thus shall it be done unto the man whom the king hath a mind delighteth to honour.

6.12 But Mardochai returned And Mordecai came again to the palace gate: and Aman made haste to go king's gate. But Haman hasted to his house, mourning house mourning, and having his head covered: covered.

6.13 And he Haman told Zares Zeresh his wife, wife and his friends, all his friends every thing that had befallen him. And the Then said his wise men whom he had in counsel, and Zeresh his wife answered him: unto him, If Mardochai Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou canst shalt not resist prevail against him, but thou shalt surely fall in his sight. before him.

6.14 As And while they were yet speaking, talking with him, came the king's eunuchs came, chamberlains, and compelled him to go quickly hasted to bring Haman unto the banquet which the queen that Esther had prepared.

Chapter 7

7.1 So the king and Aman went in, Haman came to drink banquet with Esther the queen.

7.2 And the king said to her again unto Esther on the second day, after he was warm with wine: day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, Esther, that queen Esther? and it may shall be granted thee? thee: and what wilt thou have done: although thou ask is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it. the kingdom.

7.3 Then she answered: Esther the queen answered and said, If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please thee, give me the king, let my life for which I ask, be given me at my petition, and my people for which I request. at my request:

7.4 For we are given up, sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God But if we were had been sold for bondmen and bondwomen: the evil might be borne with, and bondwomen, I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redoundeth upon had held my tongue, although the king. enemy could not countervail the king's damage.

7.5 And Then the king Assuerus Ahasuerus answered and said: said unto Esther the queen, Who is this, he, and of what power, where is he, that he should durst presume in his heart to do these things? so?

7.6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our said, The adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of afraid before the king and of the queen.

7.7 But And the king being angry rose up, and went arising from the place of the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose palace garden: and Haman stood up to entreat Esther the queen make request for his life, life to Esther the queen; for he understood saw that evil there was prepared for evil determined against him by the king.

7.8 And when Then the king came back returned out of the palace garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed on which whereon Esther lay, and was. Then said the king, Will he said: He will force the queen also in my presence, before me in my own house. The the house? As the word was not yet gone went out of the king's mouth, and immediately they covered his Haman's face.

7.9 And Harbona, Harbonah, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on chamberlains, said before the king, said: Behold also, the gibbet gallows fifty cubits high, which he hath prepared Haman had made for Mardochai, Mordecai, who spoke spoken good for the king, standeth in Aman's house, being fifty cubits high. And the house of Haman. Then the king said to him: said, Hang him upon it. thereon.

7.10 So Aman was they hanged Haman on the gibbet, which gallows that he had prepared for Mardochai: and Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath ceased. pacified.

Chapter 8

8.1 On that day did the king Assuerus gave Ahasuerus give the house of Aman, Haman the Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came in before the king. For king; for Esther had confessed to him that told what he was her uncle. unto her.

8.2 And the king took the ring off his ring, which he had commanded to be taken again from Aman, Haman, and gave it to Mardochai. unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mardochai Mordecai over her house. the house of Haman.

8.3 And not content with these things, she Esther spake yet again before the king, and fell down at the king's feet and wept, his feet, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that him with tears to put away the malice mischief of Aman Haman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which device that he had invented devised against the Jews, should be of no effect. Jews.

8.4 But he, as Then the manner was, king held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up toward Esther. So Esther arose, and stood before him, the king,

8.5 And said: said, If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request the thing seem right before the king, and I be not disagreeable pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to him, I beseech thee, that reverse the former letters of Aman devised by Haman the traitor and enemy son of Hammedatha the Jews, by Agagite, which he commanded that they should be destroyed wrote to destroy the Jews which are in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters. provinces:

8.6 For how can I endure to see the murdering and slaughter of evil that shall come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my kindred?

8.7 And Then the king Assuerus answered Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen, queen and Mardochai to Mordecai the Jew: Jew, Behold, I have given Aman's Esther the house to Esther, of Haman, and I have commanded him to be they have hanged on a gibbet, upon the gallows, because he durst lay hands on laid his hand upon the Jews.

8.8 Write ye therefore to also for the Jews, as it pleaseth you liketh you, in the king's name, and seal the letters it with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay king's ring: for the letters writing which were sent is written in the king's name, and were sealed with his ring. the king's ring, may no man reverse.

8.9 Then were the king's scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the at that time of in the third month, that is, the month which is called Siban) Sivan, on the three and twentieth day of the month, thereof; and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the governors, lieutenants, and to the deputies, deputies and to the judges, who were rulers over of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, an hundred twenty and twenty-seven seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to unto every province and province, to people and people, according to their languages the writing thereof, and characters, unto every people after their language, and to the Jews, Jews according as they could read to their writing, and hear. according to their language.

8.10 And these letters which were sent he wrote in the king's king Ahasuerus' name, were and sealed it with his the king's ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages. by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries:

8.11 And Wherein the king gave orders to them, to speak to granted the Jews which were in every city, and to command them city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and life, to kill destroy, to slay and destroy to cause to perish, all their enemies with their wives the power of the people and children province that would assault them, both little ones and all their houses, women, and to take their spoil. the spoil of them for a prey,

8.12 And Upon one day of revenge was appointed through in all the provinces, to wit, provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.

8.13 And this was the content The copy of the letter, that it should writing for a commandment to be notified given in every province was published unto all lands people, and peoples that were subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were should be ready against that day to be revenged of avenge themselves on their enemies.

8.14 So the swift posts that rode upon mules and camels went out carrying the messages, out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's edict commandment. And the decree was hung up in Susan. given at Shushan the palace.

8.15 And Mardochai going forth Mordecai went out of the palace, and from the king's presence, shone presence of the king in royal apparel, to wit, apparel of violet blue and sky colour, wearing white, and with a golden great crown on his head, of gold, and clothed with a cloak garment of silk fine linen and purple. And all purple: and the city rejoiced, of Shushan rejoiced and was glad.

8.16 But to the Jews, a new light seemed to rise, The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, honour, and dancing. honour.

8.17 And in all peoples, cities, every province, and provinces, in every city, whithersoever the king's commandments commandment and his decree came, there was wonderful rejoicing, feasts the Jews had joy and banquets, gladness, a feast and keeping holy day: Insomuch that a good day. And many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread the people of the name land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews had fallen fell upon all. them.

Chapter 9

9.1 So Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said above is called Adar, same, when all the Jews were designed king's commandment and his decree drew near to be massacred, and their enemies were greedy after their blood, put in execution, in the case being altered, day that the enemies of the Jews began hoped to have the upper hand, and power over them, (though it was turned to revenge themselves of their adversaries. the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;)

9.2 And they The Jews gathered themselves together in every city, and town, and place, their cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay their hands hand on such as sought their enemies, hurt: and their persecutors. And no one durst man could withstand them, them; for the fear of their power had gone through every them fell upon all people.

9.3 And all the judges rulers of the provinces, and the governors, and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided over every place the deputies, and work, extolled officers of the Jews for king, helped the Jews; because the fear of Mardochai: Mordecai fell upon them.

9.4 For they knew him to be prince of the palace, and to have Mordecai was great power: and in the fame of his name increased daily, king's house, and was spread abroad through his fame went out throughout all men's mouths. the provinces: for this man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.

9.5 So Thus the Jews made a great slaughter of smote all their enemies, enemies with the stroke of the sword, and killed them, repaying according to slaughter, and destruction, and did what they had prepared to do to them: would unto those that hated them.

9.6 Insomuch that even And in Susan they killed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Aman the Agagite, Shushan the enemy of palace the Jews: whose names are these: Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.

9.7 Pharsandatha, And Parshandatha, and Delphon, Dalphon, and Esphatha Aspatha,

9.8 And Phoratha, Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

9.9 And Phermesta, Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Jezatha. Vajezatha,

9.10 And when they had slain them, they would not touch The ten sons of Haman the spoils son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews, slew they; but on the spoil laid they not their goods. hand.

9.11 And presently On that day the number of them those that were killed slain in Susan Shushan the palace was brought to before the king.

9.12 And he the king said to unto Esther the queen: queen, The Jews have killed slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the city of Susan, besides palace, and the ten sons of Aman: how many dost thou think they Haman; what have slain they done in all the rest of the king's provinces? What askest thou more, now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what wilt thou have me to command to is thy request further? and it shall be done? done.

9.13 And she answered: Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it be granted to the Jews, Jews which are in Shushan to do to morrow in Susan as they have done to day, also according unto this day's decree, and that the let Haman's ten sons of Aman may be hanged upon gibbets. the gallows.

9.14 And the king commanded that it should be so done. And forthwith to be done: and the edict decree was hung up in Susan, given at Shushan; and the they hanged Haman's ten sons of Aman were hanged. sons.

9.15 And For the Jews that were in Shushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar the Jews gathered themselves together, Adar, and they killed in Susan slew three hundred men: men at Shushan; but on the prey they took laid not their substance. hand.

9.16 Moreover through all But the provinces which other Jews that were subject to in the king's dominion the Jews provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and slew had rest from their enemies enemies, and persecutors: insomuch that the number slew of them that were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, their foes seventy and no man took any of five thousand, but they laid not their goods. hands on the prey,

9.17 Now On the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with them all of the slaughter, Adar; and on the fourteenth day they left off. Which they ordained to be kept holy day, so that all times hereafter they should celebrate of the same rested they, and made it with feasting, joy, a day of feasting and banquets. gladness.

9.18 But they that were killing in the city of Susan, Jews that were employed in the slaughter at Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of thereof, and on the same month: fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day they rested. And therefore of the same they appointed that day to be rested, and made it a holy day of feasting and gladness.

9.19 But those Therefore the Jews of the villages, that dwelt in towns not walled and in villages, appointed the unwalled towns, made the fourteenth day of the month Adar for banquets a day of gladness and gladness, so as to rejoice on that feasting, and a good day, and send one another portions of their banquets and meats. sending portions one to another.

9.20 And Mardochai Mordecai wrote all these things, and sent them comprised in letters to unto all the Jews that abode were in all the king's provinces, provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both those that lay near nigh and those afar off, far,

9.21 That To stablish this among them, that they should receive keep the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, Adar, and always at the return fifteenth day of the year should celebrate them with solemn honour: same, yearly,

9.22 Because on those As the days wherein the Jews revenged themselves of rested from their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were the month which was turned into mirth and unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that these they should be make them days of feasting and gladness, in which they should send joy, and of sending portions one to another portions of meats, another, and should give gifts to the poor.

9.23 And the Jews undertook to observe with solemnity all do as they had begun to do at that time, which Mardochai by letters begun, and as Mordecai had commanded to be done. written unto them;

9.24 For Aman, Because Haman the son of Amadathi of Hammedatha, the race of Agag, Agagite, the enemy and adversary of all the Jews, had devised evil against them, the Jews to kill them and destroy them; them, and had cast Phur, Pur, that is, the lot. lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;

9.25 And afterwards But when Esther went in to came before the king, beseeching him that his endeavours might be made void he commanded by the king's letters: and the evil letters that his wicked device, which he had intended devised against the Jews, might should return upon his own head. And so both head, and that he and his sons were should be hanged upon gibbets. on the gallows.

9.26 And since that time Wherefore they called these days are called Phurim, that is, of lots: because Phur, that is, the lot, was cast into Purim after the urn. And name of Pur. Therefore for all things that were done, are contained in the volume words of this epistle, that is, letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this book: matter, and which had come unto them,

9.27 And the things that they suffered, and that were afterwards changed, the The Jews ordained, and took upon themselves them, and upon their seed, and upon all that had a mind to be such as joined to their religion, themselves unto them, so that as it should be lawful for none to pass not fail, that they would keep these two days without solemnity: which the writing testifieth, according to their writing, and certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another. according to their appointed time every year;

9.28 These are the And that these days which shall never should be forgot: remembered and which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate kept throughout all generations: neither is there any city wherein the days of Phurim, every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that is, these days of lots, must Purim should not be observed by fail from among the Jews, and by nor the memorial of them perish from their posterity, which is bound to these ceremonies. seed.

9.29 And Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mardochai Mordecai the Jew, wrote also a second epistle, that with all diligence this day should be established a festival for the time authority, to come. confirm this second letter of Purim.

9.30 And they he sent to the letters unto all the Jews that were in Jews, to the hundred twenty and twenty-seven seven provinces of king Assuerus, that they should have peace, the kingdom of Ahasuerus, with words of peace and receive truth,

9.31 And observe the To confirm these days of lots, and celebrate them with joy Purim in their proper time: times appointed, according as Mardochai Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had appointed, enjoined them, and as they undertook them to be observed by had decreed for themselves and by for their seed, fasts, and cries, and the days matters of lots, the fastings and their cry.

9.32 And all things which are contained in the history decree of this book, which is called Esther. Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the book.

Chapter 10

10.1 And the king Assuerus made all Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the land, and all upon the islands isles of the sea tributary. sea.

10.2 And all the acts of his strength power and of his empire, might, and the dignity and declaration of the greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the books book of the Medes, and chronicles of the Persians: kings of Media and Persia?

10.3 And how Mardochai of the race of For Mordecai the Jews, Jew was next after unto king Assuerus: Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and acceptable to accepted of the people multitude of his brethren, seeking the good wealth of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of peace to all his seed.

10.4 Then Mardochai said: God hath done these things.

10.5 I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things: and nothing thereof hath failed.

10.6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters, is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.

10.7 But the two dragons are I and Aman.

10.8 The nations that were assembled are they that endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.

10.9 And my nation is Israel, who cried to the Lord, and the Lord saved his people: and he delivered us from all evils, and hath wrought great signs and wonders among the nations:

10.10 And he commanded that there should be two lots, one of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.

10.11 And both lots came to the day appointed already from that time before God to all nations:

10.12 And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on his inheritance.

10.13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar on the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same month, with all diligence, and joy of the people gathered into one assembly, throughout all the generations hereafter of the people of Israel.

Chapter 11

11.1 In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest, and of the Levitical race, and Ptolemy his son brought this epistle of Phurim, which they said Lysimachus the son of Ptolemy had interpreted in Jerusalem.

11.2 In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the great, in the first day of the month Nisan, Mardochai the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the tribe of Benjamin:

11.3 A Jew who dwelt in the city of Susan, a great man and among the first of the king's court, had a dream.

11.4 Now he was of the number of the captives, whom Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem with Jechonias king of Juda:

11.5 And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

11.6 And behold two great dragons came forth ready to fight one against another.

11.7 And at their cry all nations were stirred up to fight against the nation of the just.

11.8 And that was a day of darkness and danger, of tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.

11.9 And the nation of the just was troubled fearing their own evils, and was prepared for death.

11.10 And they cried to God: and as they were crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded into many waters.

11.11 The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the glorious.

11.12 And when Mardochai had seen this, and arose out of his bed, he was thinking what God would do: and he kept it fixed in his mind, desirous to know what the dream should signify.

Chapter 12

12.1 And he abode at that time in the king's court with Bagatha and Thara the king's eunuchs, who were porters of the palace.

12.2 And when he understood their designs, and had diligently searched into their projects, he learned that they went about to lay violent hands on king Artaxerxes, and he told the king thereof.

12.3 Then the king had them both examined, and after they had confessed, commanded them to be put to death.

12.4 But the king made a record of what was done: and Mardochai also committed the memory of the thing to writing.

12.5 And the king commanded him, to abide in the court of the palace, and gave him presents for the information.

12.6 But Aman the son of Amadathi the Bugite was in great honour with the king, and sought to hurt Mardochai and his people, because of the two eunuchs of the king who were put to death.

Chapter 13

13.1 And this was the copy of the letter: Artaxerxes the great king who reigneth from India to Ethiopia, to the princes and governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces, that are subject to his empire, greeting.

13.2 Whereas I reigned over many nations, and had brought all the world under my dominion, I was not willing to abuse the greatness of my power, but to govern my subjects with clemency and that they might live quietly without any terror, and might enjoy peace, which is desired by all men,

13.3 But when I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, one that excelled the rest in wisdom and fidelity, and was second after the king, Aman by name,

13.4 Told me that there was a people scattered through the whole world, which used new laws, and acted against the customs of all nations, despised the commandments of kings, and violated by their opposition the concord of all nations.

13.5 Wherefore having learned this, and seeing one nation in opposition to all mankind using perverse laws, and going against our commandments, and disturbing the peace and concord of the provinces subject to us,

13.6 We have commanded that all whom Aman shall mark out, who is chief over all the provinces, and second after the king, and whom we honour as a father, shall be utterly destroyed by their enemies, with their wives and children, and that none shall have pity on them, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year:

13.7 That these wicked men going down to hell in one day, may restore to our empire the peace which they had disturbed.

13.8 But Mardochai besought the Lord, remembering all his works,

13.9 And said: O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel.

13.10 Thou hast made heaven and earth and all things that are under the cope of heaven.

13.11 Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist thy majesty.

13.12 Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest that it was not out of pride and or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Aman,

13.13 (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet,)

13.14 But I feared lest I should transfer the honour of my God to a man, and lest I should adore any one except my God.

13.15 And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have mercy on thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish thy inheritance.

13.16 Despise not thy portion, which thou hast redeemed for thyself out of Egypt.

13.17 Hear my supplication, and be merciful to thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to thee.

13.18 And all Israel with like mind and supplication cried to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over their heads.

Chapter 14

14.1 Queen Esther also, fearing the danger that was at hand, had recourse to the Lord.

14.2 And when she had laid away her royal apparel, she put on garments suitable for weeping and mourning: instead of divers precious ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body with fasts: and all the places in which before she was accustomed to rejoice, she filled with her torn hair.

14.3 And she prayed to the Lord the God of Israel, saying: O my Lord, who alone art our king, help me a desolate woman, and who have no other helper but thee.

14.4 My danger is in my hands.

14.5 I have heard of my father that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel from among all nations, and our fathers from all their predecessors, to possess them as an everlasting inheritance, and thou hast done to them as thou hast promised.

14.6 We have sinned in thy sight, and therefore thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies:

14.7 For we have worshipped their gods. Thou art just, O Lord.

14.8 And now they are not content to oppress us with most hard bondage, but attributing the strength of their hands to the power of their idols.

14.9 They design to change thy promises, and destroy thy inheritance, and shut the mouths of them that praise thee, and extinguish the glory of thy temple and altar,

14.10 That they may open the mouths of Gentiles, and praise the strength of idols, and magnify for ever a carnal king.

14.11 Give not, O Lord, thy sceptre to them that are not, lest they laugh at our ruin: but turn their counsel upon themselves, and destroy him that hath begun to rage against us.

14.12 Remember, O Lord, and shew thyself to us in the time of our tribulation, and give me boldness, O Lord, king of gods, and of all power:

14.13 Give me a well ordered speech in my mouth in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to the hatred of our enemy, that both he himself may perish, and the rest that consent to him.

14.14 But deliver us by thy hand, and help me, who have no other helper, but thee, O Lord, who hast the knowledge of all things.

14.15 And thou knowest that I hate the glory of the wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of every stranger.

14.16 Thou knowest my necessity, that I abominate the sign of my pride and glory, which is upon my head in the days of my public appearance, and detest it as a menstruous rag, and wear it not in the days of my silence,

14.17 And that I have not eaten at Aman's table, nor hath the king's banquet pleased me, and that I have not drunk the wine of the drink offerings:

14.18 And that thy handmaid hath never rejoiced, since I was brought hither unto this day but in thee, O Lord, the God of Abraham.

14.19 O God, who art mighty above all, hear the voice of them, that have no other hope, and deliver us from the hand of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.

Chapter 15

15.1 And he commanded her (no doubt but he was Mardochai) to go to the king, and petition for her people, and for her country.

15.2 Remember, (said he,) the days of thy low estate, how thou wast brought up by my hand, because Aman the second after the king hath spoken against us unto death.

15.3 And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king for us, and deliver us from death.

15.4 And on the third day she laid away the garments she wore, and put on her glorious apparel.

15.5 And glittering in royal robes, after she had called upon God the ruler and Saviour of all, she took two maids with her,

15.6 And upon one of them she leaned, as if for delicateness and overmuch tenderness she were not able to bear up her own body.

15.7 And the other maid followed her lady, bearing up her train flowing on the ground.

15.8 But she with a rosy colour in her face, and with gracious and bright eyes hid a mind full of anguish, and exceeding great fear.

15.9 So going in she passed through all doors in order, and stood before the king, where he sat upon his royal throne, clothed with his royal robes, and glittering with gold, and precious stones, and he was terrible to behold.

15.10 And when he had lifted up his countenance, and with burning eyes had shewn the wrath of his heart, the queen sunk down, and her colour turned pale, and she rested her weary head upon her handmaid.

15.11 And God changed the king's spirit into mildness, and all in haste and in fear he leaped from his throne, and holding her up in his arms, till she came to herself, caressed her with these words:

15.12 What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother, fear not.

15.13 Thou shalt not die: for this law is not made for thee, but for all others.

15.14 Come near then, and touch the sceptre.

15.15 And as she held her peace, he took the golden sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and kissed her, and said: Why dost thou not speak to me?

15.16 She answered: I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty.

15.17 For thou, my lord, art very admirable, and thy face is full of graces.

15.18 And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and was almost in a swoon.

15.19 But the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.

Chapter 16

16.1 The great king Artaxerxes, from India to Ethiopia, to the governors and princes of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, which obey our command, sendeth greeting.

16.2 Many have abused unto pride the goodness of princes, and the honour that hath been bestowed upon them:

16.3 And not only endeavour to oppress the king's subjects, but not bearing the glory that is given them, take in hand, to practise also against them that gave it.

16.4 Neither are they content not to return thanks for benefits received, and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they think they can also escape the justice of God who seeth all things.

16.5 And they break out into so great madness, as to endeavour to undermine by lies such as observe diligently the offices committed to them, and do all things in such manner as to be worthy of all men's praise,

16.6 While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of princes that are well meaning, and judge of others by their own nature.

16.7 Now this is proved both from ancient histories, and by the things which are done daily, how the good designs of kings are depraved by the evil suggestions of certain men.

16.8 Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all provinces.

16.9 Neither must you think, if we command different things, that it cometh of the levity of our mind, but that we give sentence according to the quality and necessity of times, as the profit of the commonwealth requireth.

16.10 Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, Aman the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received being a stranger by us:

16.11 And found our humanity so great towards him, that he was called our father, and was worshipped by all as the next man after the king:

16.12 But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go about to deprive us of our kingdom and life.

16.13 For with certain new and unheard of devices he hath sought the destruction of Mardochai, by whose fidelity and good services our life was saved, and of Esther the partner of our kingdom with all their nation:

16.14 Thinking that after they were slain, he might work treason against us left alone without friends, and might transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.

16.15 But we have found that the Jews, who were by that most wicked man appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but contrariwise, use just laws,

16.16 And are the children of the highest and the greatest, and the ever living God, by whose benefit the kingdom was given both to our fathers and to us, and is kept unto this day.

16.17 Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent in our name, are void and of no effect.

16.18 For which crime both he himself that devised it, and all his kindred hang on gibbets, before the gates of this city Susan: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.

16.19 But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws.

16.20 And you shall aid them that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.

16.21 For the almighty God hath turned this day of sadness and mourning into joy to them.

16.22 Wherefore you shall also count this day among other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may be known also in times to come,

16.23 That all they who faithfully obey the Persians, receive a worthy reward for their fidelity: but they that are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their wickedness.

16.24 And let every province and city, that will not be partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of contempt, and disobedience.