Victory for the Jews
1The order the king had commanded was to be done on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month. That was the month of Adar. That was the day the enemies of the Jews had hoped to defeat them. But that was changed. So the Jews themselves defeated those who hated them. 2The Jews met in their cities in all the empire of King Xerxes. They met in order to attack those who wanted to harm them. And no one was strong enough to fight against them. This was because all the other people living in the empire were afraid of the Jews. 3And all the important men of the areas, the governors, captains of the soldiers, and the king’s officers helped the Jews. They helped because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4Mordecai was very important in the king’s palace. He was famous in all the empire. This was because he was becoming a leader of more and more people.
5And, with their swords, the Jews defeated all their enemies, killing and destroying them. And the Jews did what they wanted with those people who hated them. 6In the palace at Susa, they killed and destroyed 500 men. 7They also killed these men: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizatha. 10They were the ten sons of Haman, son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But the Jews did not take their belongings.
11And on that day the number of the men killed in the palace at Susa was reported to the king. 12The king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men in the palace at Susa. And they have also killed Haman’s ten sons. What have they done in the rest of the king’s empire! Now what else are you asking? I will do it! And what else do you want? It will be done.”
13Esther answered, “If it pleases the king, give the Jews who are in Susa permission to do this. Let them do again tomorrow what the king ordered for today. And let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the platform built for hanging people to death.”
14So the king ordered that it be done. A law was given in Susa, and the bodies of the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15The Jews in Susa came together. It was on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. And they killed 300 men in Susa. But they did not take their belongings.
16At that same time, the other Jews in the king’s empire also met. They met in order to protect themselves and get rid of their enemies. And they killed 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not take their belongings. 17This happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth day the Jews rested. They made it a day of joyful feasting.
The Feast of Purim
18But the Jews in Susa met on the thirteenth and fourteenth days of the month of Adar. Then they rested on the fifteenth day. They made it a day of joyful feasting.
19This is why the Jews who live in the country and small villages celebrate on the fourteenth day. They keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day of joyful feasting. And it is also a day for giving presents to each other.
20Mordecai wrote down everything that had happened. Then he sent letters to all the Jews in all the empire of King Xerxes. He sent letters to places far and near. 21Mordecai did this to have the Jews celebrate every year. They were to celebrate on the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar. 22It was to celebrate a time when the Jews got rid of their enemies. They were also to celebrate it as the month their sadness was turned to joy. It was the month when their crying for the dead was turned into celebration. Mordecai wrote letters to all the Jews. He wrote to tell them to celebrate those days as days of joyful feasting. It was to be a time of giving food to each other. And it was a time of giving presents to the poor.
23So the Jews agreed to do what Mordecai had written to them. And they agreed to hold the celebration every year. 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 pur (that is, the lot) to choose a day to ruin and destroy the Jews. 25But when the king learned of the evil plan, he sent out written orders. This was so the evil plans Haman had made against the Jews would be used against him. And those orders said that Haman and his sons should be hanged on the platform for hanging. 26So these days were called Purim. The name Purim comes from the word “pur” (the lot). 27And so the Jews set up this custom. They and their descendants would celebrate these two days every year. The Jews and all those who join them are to celebrate these two days. They should do it without fail every year. They should do it in the right way and at the time Mordecai had ordered them in the letter. 28These two days should be remembered and celebrated from now on in every family. And they must be celebrated in every area and every city. These days of Purim should never stop being celebrated by the Jews. And the descendants of the Jews should always remember to celebrate these two days of Purim.
29So Queen Esther daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote this second letter about Purim. Using the power they had, they wrote to prove the first letter was true. 30And Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 areas of the kingdom of Xerxes. Mordecai wrote a message of peace and truth. 31He wrote to set up these days of Purim. They are to be celebrated at their chosen times. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had sent out the order for the Jews. They had set up for themselves and their descendants these two days. They set them up so the Jews would give up eating and cry loudly. 32Esther’s letter showed that these practices about Purim were correct. They were written down in the records.