The King Helps the Jews
1That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther everything Haman had left when he died. Haman had been the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came in to see the king. He came because Esther had told the king how he was related to her. 2Then the king took off his signet ring, which he had taken back from Haman. And he gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of everything Haman had left when he died.
3Once again Esther spoke to the king. She fell at the king’s feet and cried. She begged the king to stop the evil plan of Haman the Agagite. Haman had thought up the plan against the Jews. 4The king held out the gold scepter to Esther. Esther got up and stood in front of the king.
5She said, “My king, I hope you are pleased with me. And maybe it will please you to do this. You might think it is the right thing to do. And maybe you are happy with me. If so, let an order be written to cancel the letters Haman wrote. 6I could not stand to see that terrible thing happen to my people. I could not stand to see my family killed.”
7King Xerxes answered Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew. He said, “Because Haman was against the Jews, I have given his things to Esther. And my soldiers have hanged him. 8Now write another order in the king’s name. Write it to the Jews as it seems best to you. Then seal the order with the king’s signet ring. No letter written in the king’s name and sealed with his signet ring can be canceled.”
9At that time the king’s secretaries were called. This was done on the twenty-third day of the third month, which is Sivan. The secretaries wrote out all of Mordecai’s orders. They wrote to the Jews and to the governors and to the captains of the soldiers in each area. And they wrote to the important men of the 127 areas which reached from India to Cush. They wrote to each area in its own form of writing. And they wrote to each group of people in their own language. They also wrote to the Jews in their own form of writing and their own language. 10Mordecai wrote orders in the name of King Xerxes. And he sealed the letters with the king’s signet ring. Then he sent the king’s orders by messengers on horses. The messengers rode fast horses, which were raised just for the king.
11These were the king’s orders: The Jews in every city have the right to gather together to protect themselves. They have the right to destroy, kill and completely wipe out the army of any area or people who attack them. And they are to do the same to the women and children of that army. The Jews also have the right to take by force the property of the enemies. 12The one day set for the Jews to do this was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. This was the month of Adar. They were allowed to do this in all the empire of King Xerxes. 13A copy of the king’s order was to be sent out as a law in every area. It was to be made known to the people of every nation living in the kingdom. This was so the Jews would be ready on that set day. The Jews would be allowed to pay back their enemies.
14The messengers hurried out, riding on the royal horses. The king commanded those messengers to hurry. And the order was also given in the palace at Susa.
15Mordecai left the king’s presence wearing royal clothes. They were blue and white. And he had on a large gold crown. He also had a purple robe made of the best linen. And the people of Susa shouted for joy. 16It was a time of happiness, joy, gladness and honor for the Jews. 17The king’s order went to every area and city. And there was joy and gladness among the Jews. This happened in every area and city to which the king’s order went. The Jews were having feasts and celebrating. And many people through all the empire became Jews. They did that because they were afraid of the Jews.