translated from the Greek Septuagint
The book of Esther in the Greek Septuagint contains 5 additions that the traditional Hebrew text doesn’t have. These additions are recognised as Deuterocanonical Scripture by the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox Churches. Those additions are enclosed in [square brackets]. Because the additions by themselves make little sense without the broader context of the book, we present here a translation of the whole book of Esther from the Greek.
We have chosen not to distract the reader with confusing out-of-order chapter numbers that would result from using the KJV versification, but rather merge these 5 additions as extensions at the beginning of 1:1 and after 3:13, 4:17, 8:12, and 10:3. This makes some verses (1:1, 5:1, and 8:12) really long, but it also makes the verses line up with the same verse numbers in Esther as translated from the traditional Hebrew text. Some of the proper names in this book have been changed to the more familiar Hebrew form instead of the direct transliteration from the Greek.
1 [In the second year of the reign of Ahasuerus the great king, on the first day of Nisan, Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Jew dwelling in the city Susa, a great man, serving in the king’s palace, saw a vision. Now he was one of the captives whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried captive from Jerusalem with Jeconiah the king of Judea. This was his dream: Behold, voices and a noise, thunders and earthquake, tumult upon the earth. And, behold, two great serpents came out, both ready for conflict. A great voice came from them. Every nation was prepared for battle by their voice, even to fight against the nation of the just. Behold, a day of darkness and blackness, suffering and anguish, affection and tumult upon the earth. And all the righteous nation was troubled, fearing their own afflictions. They prepared to die, and cried to God. Something like a great river from a little spring with much water, came from their cry. Light and the sun arose, and the lowly were exalted, and devoured the honourable.
Mordecai, who had seen this vision and what God desired to do, having arisen, kept it in his heart, and desired by all means to interpret it, even until night.
Mordecai rested quietly in the palace with Gabatha and Tharrha the king’s two chamberlains, eunuchs who guarded the palace. He heard their conversation and searched out their plans. He learnt that they were preparing to lay hands on king Ahasuerus; and he informed the king concerning them. The king examined the two chamberlains. They confessed, and were led away and executed. The king wrote these things for a record. Mordecai also wrote concerning these matters. The king commanded Mordecai to serve in the palace, and gave gifts for this service. But Haman the son of Hammedatha the Bougean was honoured in the sight of the king, and he endeavored to harm Mordecai and his people, because of the king’s two chamberlains.]
* Note: In the Hebrew and some copies of LXX, Esther begins here. And it came to pass after these things† Greek words. in the days of Ahasuerus, —(this Ahasuerus ruled over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India)— 2 in those days, when king Ahasuerus was on the throne in the city of Susa, 3 in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for his friends, for people from the rest of the nations, for the nobles of the Persians and Medes, and for the chief of the local governors. 4 After this—after he had shown them the wealth of his kingdom and the abundant glory of his wealth during one hundred and eighty days— 5 when the days of the wedding feast were completed, the king made a banquet lasting six days for the people of the nations who were present in the city, in the court of the king’s house, 6 which was adorned with fine linen and flax on cords of fine linen and purple, fastened to golden and silver studs on pillars of white marble and stone. There were golden and silver couches on a pavement of emerald stone, and of mother-of-pearl, and of white marble, with transparent coverings variously flowered, having roses arranged around it. 7 There were gold and silver cups, and a small cup of carbuncle set out, of the value of thirty thousand talents, with abundant and sweet wine, which the king himself drank. 8 This banquet was not according to the appointed law, but as the king desired to have it. He charged the stewards to perform his will and that of the company.
9 Also Vashti the queen made a banquet for the women in the palace where king Ahasuerus lived. 10 Now on the seventh day, the king, being merry, told Haman, Bazan, Tharrha, Baraze, Zatholtha, Abataza, and Tharaba, the seven chamberlains, servants of king Ahasuerus, 11 to bring in the queen to him, to‡ Greek to make her queen. enthrone her, and crown her with the diadem, and to show her to the princes, and her beauty to the nations, for she was beautiful. 12 But queen Vashti refused to come with the chamberlains; so the king was grieved and angered. 13 And he said to his friends, “This is what Vashti said. Therefore pronounce your legal judgement on this case.”
14 So Arkesaeus, Sarsathaeus, and Malisear, the princes of the Persians and Medes, who were near the king, who sat chief in rank by the king, drew near to him, 15 and reported to him according to the laws what it was proper to do to queen Vashti, because she had not done the things commanded by the king through the chamberlains. 16 And Memucan said to the king and to the princes, “Queen Vashti has not wronged the king only, but also all the king’s rulers and princes; 17 for he has told them the words of the queen, and how she§ Greek contradicted. disobeyed the king. As she then refused to obey king Ahasuerus, 18 so this day the other wives of the chiefs of the Persians and Medes, having heard what she said to the king, will dare in the same way to dishonour their husbands. 19 If then it seems good to the king, let him make a royal decree, and let it be written according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, and let him not alter it: ‘Don’t allow the queen to come in to him any more. Let the king give her royalty to a woman better than she.’ 20 Let the law of the king which he will have made be widely proclaimed in his kingdom. Then all the women will give honour to their husbands, from the poor even to the rich.” 21 This advice pleased the king and the princes; and the king did as Memucan had said, 22 and sent into all his kingdom through the several provinces, according to their language, so that men might be feared in their own houses.
*1:1: Note: In the Hebrew and some copies of LXX, Esther begins here.
†1:1: Greek words.
‡1:11: Greek to make her queen.
§1:17: Greek contradicted.