Esther 9

1On the 13th day of the twelfth month (Adar), the people were supposed to obey the king’s command. That was the day the enemies of the Jews hoped to defeat them. But now, things had changed. Now, the Jews were stronger than their enemies who hated them. 2The Jews met together in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes. They met together so they would be strong enough to attack the people that wanted to destroy them. So no one was strong enough to stand against them. Those people were afraid of the Jews. 3And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps ˻(leaders)˼, the governors, and the king’s administrators helped the Jews. All those leaders helped the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4Mordecai had become a very important man in the king’s palace. Everyone in the provinces knew his name and knew how important he was. And Mordecai became more and more powerful. 5The Jews defeated all their enemies. They used swords to kill and destroy their enemies. And the Jews did what they wanted to with those people that hated them. 6The Jews killed and destroyed 500 men in the capital city of Susa. 7The Jews also killed these men: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10These men were the ten sons of Haman. Haman son of Hammedatha was the enemy of the Jews. The Jews killed all those men, but they didn’t take any of the things that belonged to them. 11That day the king heard how many men had been killed in the capital city of Susa. 12So the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed 500 men in Susa, including Haman’s ten sons. Now, what do you want done in the other provinces of the king? Tell me, and I will have it done. Ask, and I will do it.” 13Esther said, “If it pleases the king, please let the Jews in Susa do the same thing again tomorrow. Also, hang the bodies of Haman’s ten sons on posts.” 14So the king gave the command. That law continued another day in Susa. And they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 15The Jews in Susa met together on the 14th day of the month of Adar. They killed 300 men in Susa, but they didn’t take the things that belonged to those men. 16At the same time, the Jews living in the other provinces also met together. They met together so they would be strong enough to protect themselves. And so they got rid of their enemies. The Jews killed 75,000 of their enemies. But the Jews didn’t take any of the things that belonged to those people. 17This happened on the 13th day of the month Adar. And on the 14th day the Jews rested. The Jews made that day a happy holiday. 18The Jews in Susa had met together on the 13th and 14th days of the month of Adar. And then on the 15th day they rested. So they made the 15th day a happy holiday. 19So, the Jews that live in the country and small villages celebrate Purim on the 14th day Adar. They keep the 14th day as a happy holiday. On that day they have parties and give presents to each other. 20Mordecai wrote everything down that had happened. And then he sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Xerxes’ provinces. He sent letters far and near. 21Mordecai did that to tell the Jews to celebrate Purim every year on the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar. 22The Jews were to celebrate those days because on those days the Jews got rid of their enemies. And they were also to celebrate that month as the month when their sadness was turned into joy. And it was a month when their crying was changed into a day of celebration. Mordecai wrote letters to all the Jews. He told them to celebrate those days as a happy holiday. They should have parties and give gifts to each other and give presents to poor people. 23So the Jews agreed to do what Mordecai had written to them. And they agreed to continue the celebration they had begun. 24Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite was the enemy of all the Jews. He had made an evil plan against the Jews to destroy them. And Haman had thrown the lot to choose a day to ruin and to destroy the Jews. At that time, the lot was called a “pur,” ˻so the holiday is called “Purim.”˼ 25Haman did those things, but Esther went to talk to the king. So he sent out new commands. These commands not only ruined Haman’s plans, but these commands caused those bad things to happen to Haman and his family! So Haman and his sons were hung on the posts. 26- 27At this time, lots were called “purim”. So this holiday is called “Purim.” Mordecai wrote a letter and told the Jews to celebrate this holiday. And so the Jews started the custom of celebrating these two days every year. 28They do this to help them remember what they had seen happen to them. The Jews and all the people that join them celebrate these two days every year at the right time in just the right way. Every generation and every family remembers these two days. They celebrate this holiday in each and every province and in each and every town. And the Jews will never stop celebrating the days of Purim. The descendants of those Jews will always remember this holiday. 29So Queen Esther the daughter of Abihail and Mordecai the Jew wrote an official letter about Purim. They wrote with full authority of the king to prove that the second letter was true. 30So Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of King Xerxes’ kingdom. Mordecai told the people that the holiday should bring peace and make people trust each other. 31Mordecai wrote these letters to tell the people to start celebrating Purim. And he told them when to celebrate this new holiday. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had sent out the command for the Jews. They did this to establish this two-day holiday for themselves and their descendants. They will remember this holiday just like they remember the other holidays when they fast and cry about the bad things that had happened. 32Esther’s letter made the rules for Purim official. And these things were written down in a book.

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