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setting him on the horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he worthy of, whom the king hath a mind to honour.


Nb that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the Jews' enemy, to queen Es ther, and Mardochai came in before the king. 12 And Mardochai returned to the palace gate: For Esther had confessed to him that he was and Aman made haste to go to his house, mourn-her uncle. ing and having his head covered:

2 And the king took the ring which he had 13 And he told Zares his wife, and his friends commanded to be taken again from Aman, and all that had befallen him. And the wise men gave it to Mardochai. And Esther set Mardowhom he had in counsel, and his wife answer-chai over her house.

ed him: If Mardochai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou canst not resist him, but thou shalt fall in his sight. 14 As they were yet speaking, the king's eunuchs came, and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the queen had prepared. CHAP. VII. Esther's petition for herself and her people: Aman is hanged upon the gibbet he had prepared for Mardochai.

So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen. 2 And the king said to her again the second day, after he was warm with wine: What is thy petition, Esther, that it may be granted thee? and what wilt thou have done: although thou ask the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it. 3 Then she answered: If I have found favour in thy sight, O king, and if it please thee, give me my life for which I ask, and my people for which I request.

4 For we are given up, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. And would God we were sold for bond-men and bond-women: the evil might be borne with, and I would have mourned in silence: but now we have an enemy, whose cruelty redoundeth upon the king. 5 And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and of what power, that he should do these things?

6 And Esther said: It is this Aman that is our adversary and most wicked enemy. Aman hearing this was forthwith astonished, not being able to bear the countenance of the king and of the queen.

7 But the king being angry rose up, and went from the place of the banquet into the garden set with trees. Aman also rose up, to entreat Esther the queen for his life, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king.

8 And when the king came back out of the garden set with trees, and entered into the place of the banquet, he found Aman was fallen upon the bed on which Esther lay, and he said: He will force the queen also in my presence, in my own house. The word was not yet gone out of the king's mouth, and immediately they covered his face.

9 And Harbona, one of the eunuchs that stood waiting on the king, said: Behold the gibbet which he hath prepared for Mardochai, who spoke for the king, standeth in Aman's house, being fifty cubits high. And the king said to him: Hang him upon it.

10 So Aman was hanged on the gibbet which he had prepared for Mardochai: and the king's wrath ceased.

3 And not content with these things, she fell down at the king's feet and wept, and speaking to him besought him, that he would give orders that the malice of Aman the Agagite, and his most wicked devices which he had invented against the Jews, should be of no effect.

4 But he, as the manner was, held out the golden sceptre with his hand, which was the sign of clemency: and she arose up and stood before him 5 And said: If it please the king, and if I have found favour in his sight, and my request be not disagreeable to him, I beseech thee, that the former letters of Aman the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he commanded that they should be destroyed in all the king's provinces, may be reversed by new letters.

6 For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my people?

7 And king Ássuerus answered Esther the queen, and Mardochai the Jew: I have given Aman's house to Esther, and I have commanded him to be hanged on a gibbet, because he durst lay hands on the Jews.

8 Write ye therefore to the Jews, as it pleaseth you, in the king's name, and seal the letters with my ring. For this was the custom, that no man durst gainsay the letters which were sent in the king's name, and were sealed with his ring.

9 Then the king's scribes and secretaries were called for (now it was the time of the third month which is called Siban) the three and twentieth day of the month, and letters were written, as Mardochai had a mind, to the Jews, and to the governors, and to the deputies, and to the judg es, who were rulers over the hundred and twenty seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia: to province and province, to people and people, according to their languages and characters, and to the Jews, according as they could read and hear.

10 And these letters which were sent in the king's name, were sealed with his ring, and sent by posts: who were to run through all the provinces, to prevent the former letters with new messages.

11 And the king gave orders to them, to speak to the Jews in every city, and to command them to gather themselves together, and to stand for their lives, and to kill and destroy all their enemies with their wives and children and all their houses, and to take their spoil.

12 And one day of revenge was appointed through all the provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar.

13 And this was the content of the letter, that it should be notified in all lands and peoples that ere subject to the empire of king Assuerus, Mardochai is advanced: Aman's letters are reversed. that the Jews were ready to be revenged of their




M. 3495. A. M. 3495.

let it be granted to the Jews, to do to-morrow in Susan as they have done to-day, and that the ten sons of Aman may be hanged upon gibbets. 14 And the king commanded that it should be so done. And forthwith the edict was hung up in Susan, and the ten sons of Aman were hanged. 15 And on the fourteenth day of the month Adar the Jews gathered themselves together, and they killed in Susan three hundred men: but they took not their substance.

16 Moreover through all the provinces which were subject to the king's dominion the Jews stood for their lives, and slew their enemies and persecutors: insomuch that the number of them that were killed amounted to seventy five thousand, and no man took any of their goods. 17 Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with them all of the slaughter, and on the fourteenth day they left off. Which they ordained to be kept holy-day, so that all times hereafter they should celebrate it with feasting, joy, and banquets.

CHAP. IX. The Jews kill their enemies that would have killed them. The days of Phurim are appointed to be kept holy. So "on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, 18 But they that were killing in the city of which as we have said above is called Adar, Susan, were employed in the slaughter on the when all the Jews were designed to be massa-thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month: cred, and their enemies were greedy after their and on the fifteenth day they rested. And thereblood, the case being altered, the Jews began to fore they appointed that day to be a holy-day of have the upper hand, and to revenge themselves feasting and gladness. of their adversaries.

2 And they gathered themselves together, in every city, and town, and place, to lay their hands on their enemies, and their persecutors. And no one durst withstand them, for the fear of their power had gone through every people. 3 And the judges of the provinces, and the governors, and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided over every place and work,

19 But those Jews that dwelt in towns not walled and in villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for banquets and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day, and send one another portions of their banquets and meats. 20 And Mardochai wrote all these things, and sent them comprised in letters to the Jews that abode in all the king's provinces, both those that lay near, and those afar off,

extolled the Jews for fear of Mardochai:

21 That they should receive the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holydays, and always at the return of the year should celebrate them with solemn honour:

14 So the swift posts went out carrying the messages, and the king's edict was hung up in


15 And Mardochai going forth out of the palace, and from the king's presence, shone in royal apparel, to wit, of violet and sky-colour wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was glad.

16 But to the Jews a new light seemed to rise, joy, honour, and dancing.

17 And in all peoples, cities and provinces, whithersoever the king's commandments came, there was wonderful rejoicing, feasts and banquets, and keeping holy-day: insomuch that many of other nations and religion, joined themselves to their worship and ceremonies. For a great dread of the name of the Jews had fallen upon all.

4 For they knew him to be prince of the palace, and to have great power: and the fame of his name increased daily, and was spread abroad through all men's mouths.

5 So the Jews made a great slaughter of their enemies, and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them:

22 Because on those days the Jews revenged themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, and that these should be days of feasting and glad

6 Insomuch that even in Susan they killed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Aman theness, in which they should send one to another portions of meats, and should give gifts to the Agagite the enemy of the Jews: whose names poor. are these:

23 And the Jews undertook to observe with so

7 Pharsandatha, and Deiphon, and Esphatha,
8 And Phoratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9 And Phermesta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and

lemnity all they had begun to do at that time,
be done.
which Mardochai by letters had commanded to


10 And when they had slain them, they would not touch the spoils of their goods.

11 And presently the number of them that were killed in Susan was brought to the king. 12 And he said to the queen: The Jews have killed five hundred men in the city of Susan, besides the ten sons of Aman: how many dost thou think they have slain in all the provinces? What askest thou more, and what wilt thou have me to command to be done?

13 And she answered: If it please the king,

A. M. 3496. A. C. 503.

Ch. 9. v. 1. To revenge, &c. The Jews on this occasion by authority from the king, were made executioners of the public justice, for punishing by death a crime worthy of death, viz., A malicious conspiracy for extirpating their whole nation.

24 For Aman, the son of Amadathi of the race of Agag, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and destroy them: and had cast Phur, that is, the lot. 25 And afterwards Esther went in to the king, beseeching him that his endeavours might be made void by the king's letters: and the evil that he had intended against the Jews, might return upon his own head. And so both he and his sons were hanged upon gibbets.

26 And since that time these days are called

Phurim, that is, of Lots: because Phur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that were done, are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book:

27 And the things that they suffered, and that were afterwards changed, the Jews took upon

lots, one of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.

11 And both lots came to the day appointed already from that time before God to all nations: 12 And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on his inheritance.

13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth and fifteenth

28 These are the days which shall never be forgot: and which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate throughout all genera-day of the same month, with all diligence, and tions: neither is there any city wherein the days joy of the people gathered into one assembly, of Phurim, that is, of lots, must not be observed throughout all the generations hereafter of the by the Jews, and by their posterity, which is people of Israel. bound to these ceremonies.

themselves and their seed, and upon all that had a mind to be joined to their religion, so that it should be lawful for none to pass these days without solemnity: which the writing testifieth, and certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another.

29 And Esther the queen the daughter of Abihail, and Mardochai the Jew, wrote also a second epistle, that with all diligence this day should be established a festival for the time to come.



the fourth of the and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who said he was a priest, and of the Levitical race, and Ptolemy his son brought this epistle of Phurim, which they said Lysimachus the son of Ptolemy had interpreted in Jerusalem.


2 In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the great, in the first day of the month Nisan, Mardochai the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of Cis, of the tribe of Benjamin: 3 Á Jew who dwelt in the city of Susan, a great man and among the first of the king's court, had a dream.

4 Now he was of the number of the captives, whom Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem with Jechonias king of Juda:

5 And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth. 6 And behold two great dragons came forth ready to fight one against another.


7 And at their cry all nations were stirred up to fight against the nation of the just.

8 And that was a day of darkness and danger, of tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.

9 And the nation of the just was troubled, fear sig-ing their own evils, and was prepared for death. 10 And they cried to God: and as they were crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded into many waters.

11 The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the glorious. 12 And when Mardochai had seen this, and arose out of his bed, he was thinking what God would do: and he kept it fixed in his mind, desirous to know what the dream should signify.

Mardochai detects the conspiracy of the two eunuchs
ND he abode at that time in the king's


court with Bagatha and Thara the king's

eunuchs, who were porters of the palace.

2 And when he understood their designs, and had diligently searched into their projects, he learned that they went about to lay violent hands on king Artaxerxes, and he told the king thereof. 3 Then the king had them both examined, and after they had confessed, commanded them to be put to death.

30 And they sent to all the Jews that were in the hundred and twenty seven provinces of king Assuerus, that they should have peace, and receive truth, 31 And observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy in their proper time: as Mardochai and Esther had appointed, and they undertook them to be observed by themselves and by their seed, fasts, and cries, and the days of lots, 32 And all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther. CHAP. X.

Assuerus's greatness. Mardochai's dignity.
All the islands of the sea tributary.
ND king Assuerus made all the land, and

2 And his strength and his empire, and the dignity and greatness wherewith he exalted Mardochai, are written in the books of the Medes, and of the Persians:

3 And how Mardochai of the race of the Jews, was next after king Assuerus: and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking those things which were for the welfare of his seed.

4 Then Mardochai said: God hath done these things.

5 I remember a dream that I saw, which nified these same things: and nothing thereof

hath failed.

6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and was turned into a light, and into the sun, and abounded into many waters, is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.

7 But the two dragous: are I, and Aman. 8 The nations that were assembled: are they that endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.

9 And my nation is Israel, who cried to the Lord, and the Lord saved his people: and he delivered us from all evils, and hath wrought great signs and wonders among the nations: 10 And he commanded that there should be two

A. M. 3927. A. C. 177.- A. M. 3484. A. C. 520.4 Kin.

24. 15. Supra, 2. 6.- Supra, 10. 7.- Supra, 2. 21. & 6. 2.


The dream of Mardochai which in the ancient Greek and Latin bibles was in the beginning of the book, but was detached by St. Jerome, and put in this place.


Ch. 10. v. 4. Then Mardochai, &c. Here St. Jerome advertiseth the reader, that what follows is not in the Hebrew: but is found in the septuagint Greek edition, which the seventy two interpreters translated out of the Hebrew, or added by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Ver. 5. A dream. This dream was prophetical and extraordinary: otherwise the general rule is not to ob

serve dreams.

4 But the king made a record of what was done: and Mardochai also committed the memory of the thing to writing.

5 And the king commanded him, to abide in ham, have mercy on thy people, because our the court of the palace, and gave him presents for the information.

enemies resolve to destroy us, and extinguish thy inheritance.

16 Despise not thy portion, which thou hast redeemed for thyself out of Egypt.

6 But Aman the son of Amadathi the Bugite was in great honour with the king, and sought to hurt Mardochai and his people, because of the two eunuchs of the king who were put to death. CHAP. XIII.

17 Hear my supplication, and be merciful to thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise thy name, O Lord, and shut not the mouths of them that sing to thee.

18 And all Israel with like mind and supplication cried to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over their heads. CHAP. XIV.

A copy of a letter sent by Aman to destroy the Jews.
Mardochai's prayer for the people.

ND this was the copy of the letter. Arta-
xerxes the great king who reigneth from
India to Ethiopia, to the princes and governors
of the hundred and twenty seven provinces, that
are subject to his empire, greeting.

2 Whereas I reigned over many nations, and had brought all the world under my dominion, I was not willing to abuse the greatness of my power, but to govern my subjects with clemency and lenity, that they might live quietly without any terror, and might enjoy peace, which is desired by all men.

3 But when I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, one that excelled the rest in wisdom and fidelity, and was second after the king, Aman by name,

4 My danger is in my hands.

5 I have heard of my father that thou, O Lord, didst take Israel from among all nations, and

4 Told me that there was a people scattered through the whole world, which used new laws, and acted against the customs of all nations, despised the commandments of kings, and violated by their opposition the concord of all nations. 5 Wherefore having learned this, and seeing our fathers from all their predecessors, to posone nation in opposition to all mankind using sess them as an everlasting inheritance, and perverse laws, and going against our command- thou hast done to them as thou hast promised. ments, and disturbing the peace and concord of 6 We have sinned in thy sight, and therefore the provinces subject to us, thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies:

6 We have commanded that all whom Aman shall mark out, who is chief over all the provinces, and second after the king, and whom we honour as a father, shall be utterly destroyed by their enemies, with their wives and children, and that none shall have pity on them, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year:

7 That these wicked men, going down to hell in one day, may restore to our empire the peace which they had disturbed.

8 But Mardochai besought the Lord remembering all his works,

9 And said: O Lord, Lord, almighty king, for all things are in thy power, and there is none that can resist thy will, if thou determine to save Israel.

10 Thou hast made heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven.

11 Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can resist thy majesty.


The prayer of Esther for herself and her people. UÉEN Esther also, fearing the danger that was at hand, had recourse to the Lord. 2 And when she had laid away her royal apparel, she put on garments suitable for weeping and mourning, instead of divers precious ointments, she covered her head with ashes and dung, and she humbled her body with fasts: and all the places in which before she was accustomed to rejoice, she filled with her torn hair. 3 And she prayed to the Lord the God of Israel, saying: O my Lord, who alone art our king, help me a desolate woman, and who have no other helper but thee.

7 For we have worshipped their gods. Thou art just, O Lord.

8 And now they are not content to oppress us with most hard bondage, but attributing the strength of their hands to the power of their idols, 9 They design to change thy promises, and destroy thy inheritance, and shut the mouths of them that praise thee, and extinguish the glory of thy temple and altar,

10 That they may open the mouths of Gentiles, and praise the strength of idols, and magnify for ever a carnal king.

11 Give not, O Lord, thy sceptre to them that are not, lest they laugh at our ruin: but turn their counsel upon themselves, and destroy him that hath begun to rage against us.

12 Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest that it was not out of pride and contempt, or any desire of glory, that I refused to worship the proud Aman,

12 Remember, O Lord, and shew thyself to us in the time of our tribulation, and give me boldness, O Lord, king of gods, and of all power: 13 Give me a well ordered speech in my mouth in the presence of the lion, and turn his heart to the hatred of our enemy, that both he himself may perish, and the rest that consent to him. 14 But deliver us by thy hand, and help me, who have no other helper, but thee, O Lord, who hast the knowledge of all things,

15 And thou knowest that I hate the glory of

13 (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet,) 14 But I feared lest I should transfer the hon-the wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumour of my God to a man, and lest I should adore cised, and of every stranger. any one except my God.

15 And now, O Lord, O king, O God

16 Thou knowest my necessity, that I abomAbra-inate the sign of my pride and glory, which is upon my head in the days of my public appear

Deut. 4. 20. 34. & 32. 9.

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18 And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and was almost in a swoon. 19 But the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.


16 She answered: "I saw thee, my lord, as an Angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty.

17 For thou, my lord, art very admirable, and thy face is full of graces.

A copy of the king's letter in favour of the Jews.
HE great king Artaxerxes, from India

Gen. 33. 10. 2 Kin. 9. 17.-b Supra, 11. 2.- Supra, 3. 10.— Supra, 3. 1.

a hundred and twenty seven provinces, which obey our command, sendeth greeting.

2 Many have abused unto pride the goodness of princes, and the honour that hath been bestowed upon them:

3 And not only endeavour to oppress the king's subjects, but not bearing the glory that is given them, take in hand to practise also against them that gave it.

4 Neither are they content not to return thanks for benefits received, and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they think they can also escape the justice of God who seeth all things. 5 And they break out into so great madness, as to endeavour to undermine by lies such as observe diligently the offices committed to them and do all things in such manner as to be worth of all men's praise,

6 While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of princes that are well-meaning, and judge of others by their own nature.

7 Now this is proved both from ancient histories, and by the things which are done daily, how the good designs of kings are depraved by the evil suggestions of certain men.

8 Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all provinces.

9 Neither must you think, if we command different things, that it cometh of the levity of our mind, but that we give sentence according to the quality and necessity of times, as the profit of the commonwealth requireth.

10 And when he had lifted up his countenance, and with burning eyes had shewn the wrath of his heart, the queen sunk down, and her col-being a stranger by us: our turned pale, and she rested her weary head upon her hand-maid.

11 And God changed the king's spirit into mildness, and all in haste and in fear he leaped from his throne, and holding her up in his arms, till she came to herself, caressed her with these words:


10 Now that you may more plainly understand what we say, Aman the son of Amadathi, a Macedonian both in mind and country, and having nothing of the Persian blood, but with his cruelty staining our goodness, was received

12 What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother, fear not.

13 Thou shalt not die: for this law is not made for thee, but for all others.

14 Come near then, and touch the sceptre.

14 Thinking that after they were slain, he might work treason against us left alone with

15 And as she held her peace, he took the gol-out friends, and might transfer the kingdom of den sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and the Persians to the Macedonians. kissed her, and said: Why dost thou not speak to me?

15 But we have found that the Jews, who were by that most wicked man appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but contrariwise use just laws,

16 And are the children of the highest and the greatest, and the ever-living God, by whose benefit the kingdom was given both to our fa

11 And found our humanity so great towards him, that he was called our father, and was worshipped by all as the next man after the king: 12 But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go about to deprive us of our kingdom and life. 13 For with certain new and unheard of devices he hath sought the destruction of Mardochai, by whose fidelity and good services our life was saved, and of Esther the partner of our kingdom, with all their nation:

Ch. 16. v. 1. From India to Ethiopia. That is, who reigneth from India to Ethiopia.

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