1 And in that day king Artaxerxes gave to Esther all that belonged to Aman the slanderer: and Mardochæus was called by the king; for Esther had shewn that he was related to her. 2 And the king took the ring which he had taken away from Aman, and gave it to Mardochæus: and Esther appointed Mardochæus over all that had been Aman's.
3 And she spoke yet again to the king, and fell at his feet, and besought him to do away the mischief of Aman, and all that he had done against the Jews. 4 Then the king stretched out to Esther the golden sceptre: and Esther arose to stand near the king. 5 And Esther said, If it seem good to thee, and I have found favour in thy sight, let an order be sent that the letters sent by Aman may be reversed, that were written for the destruction of the Jews, who are in thy kingdom. 6 For how shall I be able to look upon the affliction of my people, and how shall I be able to survive the destruction of my kindred?
7 And the king said to Esther, If I have given and freely granted thee all that was Aman's, and hanged him on a gallows, because he laid his hands upon the Jews, what dost thou yet further seek? 8 Write ye also in my name, as it seems good to you, and seal it with my ring: for whatever orders are written at the command of the king, and sealed with my ring, it is not lawful to gainsay them.
9 So the scribes were called in the first month, which is Nisan, on the three and twentieth day of the same year; and orders were written to the Jews, whatever the king had commanded to the local governors and chiefs of the satraps, from India even to Ethiopia, a hundred and twenty-seven satraps, according to the several provinces, according to their dialects.
10 And they were written by order of the king, and sealed with his ring, and they sent the letters by the posts: 11 wherein he charged them to use their own laws in every city, and to help each other, and to treat their adversaries, and those who attacked them, as they pleased, 12 on one day in all the kingdom of Artaxerxes, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar.
12a And the following is the copy of the letter of the orders.
12b [The great king Artaxerxes sends greeting to the rulers of provinces in a hundred and twenty-seven satrapies, from India to Ethiopia, even to those who are faithful to our interests. 12c Many who have been frequently honoured by the most abundant kindness of their benefactors have conceived ambitious designs, and not only endeavour to hurt our subjects, but moreover, not being able to bear prosperity, they also endeavour to plot against their own benefactors. 12d And they not only would utterly abolish gratitude from among men, but also, elated by the boastings of men who are strangers to all that is good, they suppose that they shall escape the sin-hating vengeance of the ever-seeing God. 12e And oftentimes evil exhortation has made partakers of the guilt of shedding innocent blood, and has involved in irremediable calamities, many of those who were appointed to offices of authority, who had been entrusted with the management of their friends' affairs; 12f while men, by the false sophistry of an evil disposition, have deceived the simple candour of the ruling powers. 12g And it is possible to see this, not so much from more ancient traditionary accounts, as it is immediately in your power to see it by examining what things have been wickedly perpetrated by the baseness of men unworthily holding power. 12h And it is right to take heed with regard to the future, that we may maintain the government in undisturbed peace for all men, 12i adopting needful changes, and ever judging those cases which come under our notice, with truly equitable decision.
12k For whereas Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadathes, in reality an alien from the blood of the Persians, and differing widely from our mild course of government, having been hospitably entertained by us, 12l obtained so large a share of our universal kindness, as to be called our father, and to continue the person next to the royal throne, reverenced of all; 12m he, however, overcome by the pride of his station, endeavoured to deprive us of our dominion, and our life; 12n having by various and subtle artifices demanded for destruction both Mardochæus our deliverer and perpetual benefactor, and Esther the blameless consort of our kingdom, with their whole nation. 12o For by these methods he thought, having surprised us in a defenceless state, to transfer the dominion of the Persians to the Macedonians. 12p But we find that the Jews, who have been consigned to destruction by the most abominable of men, are not malefactors, but living according to the justest laws, 12q and being the sons of the living God, the most high and mighty, who maintains the kingdom, to us as well as to our forefathers, in the most excellent order.
12r Ye will therefore do well in refusing to obey the letters sent by Aman the son of Amadathes, because he that has done these things, has been hanged with his whole family at the gates of Susa, Almighty God having swiftly returned to him a worthy recompence. 12s We enjoin you then, having openly published a copy of this letter in every place, to give the Jews permission to use their own lawful customs, and to strengthen them, that on the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar, on the self-same day, they may defend themselves against those who attacked them in a time of affliction. 12t For in the place of the destruction of the chosen race, Almighty God has granted them this time of gladness.
12u Do ye therefore also, among your notable feasts, keep a distinct day with all festivity, that both now and hereafter it may be a day of deliverance to us and those who are well disposed toward the Persians, but to those that plotted against us a memorial of destruction. 12x And every city and province collectively, which shall not do accordingly, shall be consumed with vengeance by spear and fire: it shall be made not only inaccessible to men, but also most hateful to wild beasts and birds for ever.] 13 And let the copies be posted in conspicuous places throughout the kingdom, and let all the Jews be ready against this day, to fight against their enemies.
14 So the horsemen went forth with haste to perform the king's commands; and the ordinance was also published in Susa.
15 And Mardochæus went forth robed in the royal apparel, and wearing a golden crown, and a diadem of fine purple linen: and the people in Susa saw it and rejoiced. 16 And the Jews had light and gladness, 17 in every city and province wherever the ordinance was published: wherever the proclamation took place, the Jews had joy and gladness, feasting and mirth: and many of the Gentiles were circumcised, and became Jews, for fear of the Jews.