THE BOOK OF ESTHER
This Book takes its name from queen Esther, whose history
is here recorded. The general opinion of almost all
commentators on the Holy Scriptures makes Mardochai the
writer of it: which also may be collected below from
chap. 9 ver. 20.
Esther Chapter 1
King Assuerus maketh a great feast. Queen Vasthi being sent
for refuseth to come: for which disobedience she is
1:1. In the days of Assuerus, who reigned from India to
Ethiopia over a hundred and twenty seven provinces:
1:2. When he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city
Susan was the capital of his kingdom.
1:3. Now in the third year of his reign he made a great
feast for all the princes, and for his servants, for the
most mighty of the Persians, and the nobles of the Medes,
and the governors of the provinces in his sight,
1:4. That he might shew the riches of the glory of his
kingdom, and the greatness, and boasting of his power, for
a long time, to wit, for a hundred and fourscore days.
1:5. And when the days of the feast were expired, he
invited all the people that were found in Susan, from the
greatest to the least: and commanded a feast to be made
seven days in the court of the garden, and of the wood,
which was planted by the care and the hand of the king.
1:6. And there were hung up on every side sky coloured, and
green, and violet hangings, fastened with cords of silk,
and of purple, which were put into rings of ivory, and were
held up with marble pillars. The beds also were of gold and
silver, placed in order upon a floor paved with porphyry
and white marble: which was embellished with painting of
1:7. And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, and
the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another.
Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, as
was worthy of a king's magnificence.
1:8. Neither was there any one to compel them to drink that
were not willing, but as the king had appointed, who set
over every table one of his nobles, that every man might
take what he would.
1:9. Also Vasthi the queen made a feast for the women in
the palace, where king Assuerus was used to dwell.
1:10. Now on the seventh day, when the king was merry, and
after very much drinking was well warmed with wine, he
commanded Mauman, and Bazatha, and Harbona, and Bagatha,
and Abgatha, and Zethar, and Charcas, the seven eunuchs
that served in his presence,
1:11. To bring in queen Vasthi before the king, with the
crown set upon her head, to shew her beauty to all the
people and the princes: for she was exceeding beautiful.
1:12. But she refused, and would not come at the king's
commandment, which he had signified to her by the eunuchs.
Whereupon the king, being angry, and inflamed with a very
1:13. Asked the wise men, who according to the custom of
the kings, were always near his person, and all he did was
by their counsel, who knew the laws, and judgments of their
1:14. (Now the chief and nearest him were, Charsena, and
Sethar, and Admatha, and Tharsis, and Mares, and Marsana,
and Mamuchan, seven princes of the Persians and of the
Medes, who saw the face of the king, and were used to sit
first after him:)
1:15. What sentence ought to pass upon Vasthi the queen,
who had refused to obey the commandment of king Assuerus,
which he had sent to her by the eunuchs?
1:16. And Mamuchan answered, in the hearing of the king and
the princes: Queen Vasthi hath not only injured the king,
but also all the people and princes that are in all the
provinces of king Assuerus.
1:17. For this deed of the queen will go abroad to all
women, so that they will despise their husbands, and will
say: King Assuerus commanded that queen Vasthi should come
in to him, and she would not.
1:18. And by this example all the wives of the princes of
the Persians and the Medes will slight the commandments of
their husbands: wherefore the king's indignation is just.
1:19. If it please thee, let an edict go out from thy
presence, and let it be written according to the law of the
Persians and of the Medes, which must not be altered, that
Vasthi come in no more to the king, but another, that is
better than her, be made queen in her place.
1:20. And let this be published through all the provinces
of thy empire, (which is very wide,) and let all wives, as
well of the greater as of the lesser, give honour to their
1:21. His counsel pleased the king, and the princes: and
the king did according to the counsel of Mamuchan.
1:22. And he sent letters to all the provinces of his
kingdom, as every nation could hear and read, in divers
languages and characters, that the husbands should be
rulers and masters in their houses: and that this should be
published to every people.
Esther Chapter 2
Esther is advanced to be queen. Mardochai detecteth a plot
against the king.
2:1. After this, when the wrath of king Assuerus was
appeased, he remembered Vasthi, and what she had done and
what she had suffered:
2:2. And the king's servants and his officers said: Let
young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful,
2:3. And let some persons be sent through all the provinces
to look for beautiful maidens and virgins: and let them
bring them to the city of Susan, and put them into the
house of the women under the hand of Egeus the eunuch, who
is the overseer and keeper of the king's women: and let
them receive women's ornaments, and other things necessary
for their use.
2:4. And whosoever among them all shall please the king's
eyes, let her be queen instead of Vasthi. The word pleased
the king: and he commanded it should be done as they had
2:5. There was a man in the city of Susan, a Jew, named
Mardochai, the son of Jair, the son of Semei, the son of
Cis, of the race of Jemini,
2:6. Who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time
that Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away Jechonias
king of Juda,
2:7. And he had brought up his brother's daughter Edissa,
who by another name was called Esther: now she had lost
both her parents: and was exceeding fair and beautiful. And
her father and mother being dead, Mardochai adopted her for
2:8. And when the king's ordinance was noised abroad, and
according to his commandment many beautiful virgins were
brought to Susan, and were delivered to Egeus the eunuch:
Esther also among the rest of the maidens was delivered to
him to be kept in the number of the women.
2:9. And she pleased him, and found favour in his sight.
And he commanded the eunuch to hasten the women's
ornaments, and to deliver to her her part, and seven of the
most beautiful maidens of the king's house, and to adorn
and deck out both her and her waiting maids.
2:10. And she would not tell him her people nor her
country. For Mardochai had charged her to say nothing at
all of that:
2:11. And he walked every day before the court of the
house, in which the chosen virgins were kept, having a care
for Esther's welfare, and desiring to know what would
2:12. Now when every virgin's turn came to go in to the
king, after all had been done for setting them off to
advantage, it was the twelfth month: so that for six months
they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for other six
months they used certain perfumes and sweet spices.
2:13. And when they were going in to the king, whatsoever
they asked to adorn themselves they received: and being
decked out, as it pleased them, they passed from the
chamber of the women to the king's chamber.
2:14. And she that went in at evening, came out in the
morning, and from thence she was conducted to the second
house, that was under the hand of Susagaz the eunuch, who
had the charge over the king's concubines: neither could
she return any more to the king, unless the king desired
it, and had ordered her by name to come.
2:15. And as the time came orderly about, the day was at
hand, when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of
Mardochai, whom he had adopted for his daughter, was to go
in to the king. But she sought not women's ornaments, but
whatsoever Egeus the eunuch the keeper of the virgins had a
mind, he gave her to adorn her. For she was exceeding fair,
and her incredible beauty made her appear agreeable and
amiable in the eyes of all.
2:16. So she was brought to the chamber of king Assuerus
the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh
year of his reign.
2:17. And the king loved her more than all the women, and
she had favour and kindness before him above all the women,
and he set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen
instead of Vasthi.
2:18. And he commanded a magnificent feast to be prepared
for all the princes, and for his servants, for the marriage
and wedding of Esther, And he gave rest to all the
provinces, and bestowed gifts according to princely
2:19. And when the virgins were sought the second time, and
gathered together, Mardochai stayed at the king's gate,
2:20. Neither had Esther as yet declared her country and
people, according to his commandment. For whatsoever he
commanded, Esther observed: and she did all things in the
same manner as she was wont at that time when he brought
her up a little one.
2:21. At that time, therefore, when Mardochai abode at the
king's gate, Bagathan and Thares, two of the king's
eunuchs, who were porters, and presided in the first entry
of the palace, were angry: and they designed to rise up
against the king, and to kill him.
2:22. And Mardochai had notice of it, and immediately he
told it to queen Esther: and she to the king in Mardochai's
name, who had reported the thing unto her.
2:23. It was inquired into, and found out: and they were
both hanged on a gibbet. And it was put in the histories,
and recorded in the chronicles before the king.
Esther Chapter 3
Aman, advanced by the king, is offended at Mardochai, and
therefore procureth the king's decree to destroy the whole
nation of the Jews.
3:1. After these things, king Assuerus advanced Aman, the
son of Amadathi, who was of the race of Agag: and he set
his throne above all the princes that were with him.
3:2. And all the king's servants, that were at the doors of
the palace, bent their knees, and worshipped Aman: for so
the emperor had commanded them, only Mardochai did not bend
his knee, nor worship him.
3:3. And the king's servants that were chief at the doors
of the palace, said to him: Why dost thou alone not observe
the king's commandment?
3:4. And when they were saying this often, and he would not
hearken to them, they told Aman, desirous to know whether
he would continue in his resolution: for he had told them
that he was a Jew.
3:5. Now when Aman had heard this, and had proved by
experience that Mardochai did not bend his knee to him, nor
worship him, he was exceeding angry.
3:6. And he counted it nothing to lay his hands upon
Mardochai alone: for he had heard that he was of the nation
of the Jews, and he chose rather to destroy all the nation
of the Jews that were in the kingdom of Assuerus.
3:7. In the first month (which is called Nisan) in the
twelfth year of the reign of Assuerus, the lot was cast
into an urn, which in Hebrew is called Phur, before Aman,
on what day and what month the nation of the Jews should be
destroyed: and there came out the twelfth month, which is
3:8. And Aman said to king Assuerus: There is a people
scattered through all the provinces of thy kingdom, and
separated one from another, that use new laws and
ceremonies, and moreover despise the king's ordinances: and
thou knowest very well that it is not expedient for thy
kingdom that they should grow insolent by impunity.
3:9. If it please thee, decree that they may be destroyed,
and I will pay ten thousand talents to thy treasurers.
3:10. And the king took the ring that he used, from his own
hand, and gave it to Aman, the son of Amadathi of the race
of Agag, the enemy of the Jews,
3:11. And he said to him: As to the money which thou
promisest, keep it for thyself: and as to the people, do
with them as seemeth good to thee.
3:12. And the king's scribes were called in the first month
Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the same mouth: and they
wrote, as Aman had commanded, to all the king's
lieutenants, and to the judges of the provinces, and of
divers nations, as every nation could read, and hear
according to their different languages, in the name of king
Assuerus: and the letters, sealed with his ring,
3:13. Were sent by the king's messengers to all provinces,
to kill and destroy all the Jews, both young and old,
little children, and women, in one day, that is, on the
thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is called Adar, and
to make a spoil of their goods.
3:14. And the contents of the letters were to this effect,
that all provinces might know and be ready against that
3:15. The couriers that were sent made haste to fulfil the
king's commandment. And immediately the edict was hung up
in Susan, the king and Aman feasting together, and all the
Jews that were in the city weeping.
Esther Chapter 4
Mardochai desireth Esther to petition the king for the
Jews. They join in fasting and prayer.
4:1. Now when Mardochai had heard these things, he rent his
garments, and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head
and he cried with a loud voice in the street in the midst
of the city, shewing the anguish of his mind.
4:2. And he came lamenting in this manner even to the gate
of the palace: for no one clothed with sackcloth might
enter the king's court.
4:3. And in all provinces, towns, and places, to which the
king's cruel edict was come, there was great mourning among
the Jews, with fasting, wailing, and weeping, many using
sackcloth and ashes for their bed.
4:4. Then Esther's maids and her eunuchs went in, and told
her. And when she heard it she was in a consternation and
she sent a garment, to clothe him, and to take away the
sackcloth: but he would not receive it.
4:5. And she called for Athach the eunuch, whom the king
had appointed to attend upon her, and she commanded him to
go to Mardochai, and learn of him why he did this.
4:6. And Athach going out went to Mardochai, who was
standing in the street of the city, before the palace gate:
4:7. And Mardochai told him all that had happened, how Aman
had promised to pay money into the king's treasures, to
have the Jews destroyed.
4:8. He gave him also a copy of the edict which was hanging
up in Susan, that he should shew it to the queen, and
admonish her to go in to the king, and to entreat him for
4:9. And Athach went back and told Esther all that
Mardochai had said.
4:10. She answered him, and bade him say to Mardochai:
4:11. All the king's servants, and all the provinces that
are under his dominion, know, that whosoever, whether man
or woman, cometh into the king's inner court, who is not
called for, is immediately to be put to death without any
delay: except the king shall hold out the golden sceptre to
him, in token of clemency, that so he may live. How then
can I go in to the king, who for these thirty days now have
not been called unto him?
4:12. And when Mardochai had heard this,
4:13. He sent word to Esther again, saying: Think not that
thou mayst save thy life only, because thou art in the
king's house, more than all the Jews:
4:14. For if thou wilt now hold thy peace, the Jews shall
be delivered by some other occasion: and thou, and thy
father's house shall perish. And who knoweth whether thou
art not therefore come to the kingdom, that thou mightest
be ready in such a time as this?
4:15. And again Esther sent to Mardochai in these words:
4:16. Go, and gather together all the Jews whom thou shalt
find in Susan, and pray ye for me. Neither eat nor drink
for three days and three nights: and I with my handmaids
will fast in like manner, and then I will go in to the
king, against the law, not being called, and expose myself
to death and to danger.
4:17. So Mardochai went, and did all that Esther had
Esther Chapter 5
Esther is graciously received: she inviteth the king and
Aman to dinner, Aman prepareth a gibbet for Mardochai.
5:1. And on the third day Esther put on her royal apparel,
and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over
against the king's hall: now he sat upon his throne in the
hall of the palace, over against the door of the house.
5:2. And when he saw Esther the queen standing, she pleased
his eyes, and he held out toward her the golden sceptre,
which he held in his hand and she drew near, and kissed the
top of his sceptre.
5:3. And the king said to her: What wilt thou, queen
Esther? what is thy request? if thou shouldst even ask one
half of the kingdom, it shall be given to thee.
5:4. But she answered: If it please the king, I beseech
thee to come to me this day, and Aman with thee to the
banquet which I have prepared.
5:5. And the king said forthwith: Call ye Aman quickly,
that he may obey Esther's will. So the king and Aman came
to the banquet which the queen had prepared for them.
5:6. And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine
plentifully: What dost thou desire should be given thee?
and for what thing askest thou? although thou shouldst ask
the half of my kingdom, thou shalt have it.
5:7. And Esther answered: My petition and request is this:
5:8. If I have found favour in the king's sight, and if it
please the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfil my
petition: let the king and Aman come to the banquet which I
have prepared them, and to morrow I will open my mind to
5:9. So Aman went out that day joyful and merry. And when
he saw Mardochai sitting before the gate of the palace, and
that he not only did not rise up to honour him, but did not
so much as move from the place where he sat, he was
5:10. But dissembling his anger, and returning into his
house, he called together to him his friends, and Zares his
5:11. And he declared to them the greatness of his riches,
and the multitude of his children, and with how great glory
the king had advanced him above all his princes and
5:12. And after this he said: Queen Esther also hath
invited no other to the banquet with the king, but me: and
with her I am also to dine to morrow with the king:
5:13. And whereas I have all these things, I think I have
nothing, so long as I see Mardochai the Jew sitting before
the king's gate.
5:14. Then Zares his wife, and the rest of his friends
answered him: Order a great beam to be prepared, fifty
cubits high, and in the morning speak to the king, that
Mardochai may be hanged upon it, and so thou shalt go full
of joy with the king to the banquet. The counsel pleased
him, and he commanded a high gibbet to be prepared.
Esther Chapter 6
The king hearing of the good service done him by Mardochai,
commandeth Aman to honour him next to the king, which he
6:1. That night the king passed without sleep, and he
commanded the histories and chronicles of former times to
be brought him. And when they were reading them before him,
6:2. They came to that place where it was written, how
Mardochai had discovered the treason of Bagathan and Thares
the eunuchs, who sought to kill king Assuerus.
6:3. And when the king heard this, he said: What honour and
reward hath Mardochai received for this fidelity? His
servants and ministers said to him: He hath received no
reward at all.
No reward at all... He received some presents from the
king, chap. 12.5; but these were so inconsiderable in the
opinion of the courtiers, that they esteemed them as
nothing at all.
6:4. And the king said immediately: Who is in the court?
for Aman was coming in to the inner court of the king's
house, to speak to the king, that he might order Mardochai
to be hanged upon the gibbet, which was prepared for him.
6:5. The servants answered: Aman standeth in the court, and
the king said: Let him come in.
6:6. And when he was come in, he said to him: What ought to
be done to the man whom the king is desirous to honour? But
Aman thinking in his heart, and supposing that the king
would honour no other but himself,
6:7. Answered: The man whom the king desireth to honour,
6:8. Ought to be clothed with the king's apparel, and to be
set upon the horse that the king rideth upon, and to have
the royal crown upon his head,
6:9. And let the first of the king's princes and nobles
hold his horse, and going through the street of the city,
proclaim before him and say: Thus shall he be honoured,
whom the king hath a mind to honour.
6:10. And the king said to him: Make haste and take the
robe and the horse, and do as thou hast spoken to Mardochai
the Jew, who sitteth before the gates of the palace. Beware
thou pass over any of those things which thou hast spoken.
6:11. So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arraying
Mardochai in the street of the city, and setting him on the
horse, went before him, and proclaimed: This honour is he
worthy of, whom the king hath a mind to honour.
6:12. But Mardochai returned to the palace gate: and Aman
made haste to go to his house, mourning and having his head
6:13. And he told Zares his wife, and his friends, all that
had befallen him. And the wise men whom he had in counsel,
and his wife answered 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.
6:14. As they were yet speaking, the king's eunuchs came,
and compelled him to go quickly to the banquet which the
queen had prepared.
Esther Chapter 7
Esther's petition for herself and her people: Aman is
hanged upon the gibbet he had prepared for Mardochai.
7:1. So the king and Aman went in, to drink with the queen.
7:2. 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
7:3. 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.
7:4. 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
bondmen and bondwomen: 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.
7:5. And king Assuerus answered and said: Who is this, and
of what power, that he should do these things?
7:6. 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.
7:7. 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.
7:8. 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.
7:9. 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.
7:10. So Aman was hanged on the gibbet, which he had
prepared for Mardochai: and the king's wrath ceased.
Esther Chapter 8
Mardochai is advanced: Aman's letters are reversed.
8:1. On that day king Assuerus gave the house of Aman, the
Jews' enemy, to queen Esther, and Mardochai came in before
the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her
8:2. And the king took the ring which he had commanded to
be taken again from Aman, and gave it to Mardochai. And
Esther set Mardochai over her house.
8:3. 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.
8:4. 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,
8:5. 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.
8:6. For how can I endure the murdering and slaughter of my
8:7. And king Assuerus 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.
8:8. 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
8:9. 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
judges, 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.
8:10. 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.
8:11. 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.
8:12. And one day of revenge was appointed through all the
provinces, to wit, the thirteenth of the twelfth month
8:13. And this was the content of the letter, that it
should be notified in all lands and peoples that were
subject to the empire of king Assuerus, that the Jews were
ready to be revenged of their enemies.
8:14. So the swift posts went out carrying the messages,
and the king's edict was hung up in Susan.
8:15. 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.
8:16. But to the Jews, a new light seemed to rise, joy,
honour, and dancing.
8:17. 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.
Esther Chapter 9
The Jews kill their enemies that would have killed them.
The days of Phurim are appointed to be kept holy.
9:1. So on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which
as we have said above is called Adar, when all the Jews
were designed to be massacred, and their enemies were
greedy after their blood, the case being altered, the Jews
began to have the upper hand, and to revenge themselves of
To revenge, etc... 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
9:2. 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.
9:3. And the judges of the provinces, and the governors,
and lieutenants, and every one in dignity, that presided
over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of
9:4. 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.
9:5. So the Jews made a great slaughter of their enemies,
and killed them, repaying according to what they had
prepared to do to them:
9:6. Insomuch that even in Susan they killed five hundred
men, besides the ten sons of Aman the Agagite, the enemy of
the Jews: whose names are these:
9:7. Pharsandatha, and Delphon, and Esphatha
9:8. And Phoratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9:9. And Phermesta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Jezatha.
9:10. And when they had slain them, they would not touch
the spoils of their goods.
9:11. And presently the number of them that were killed in
Susan was brought to the king.
9:12. 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?
9:13. And she answered: If it please the king, 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
9:14. 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.
9:15. 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.
9:16. 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.
9:17. 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.
9:18. But they that were killing in the city of Susan, were
employed in the slaughter on the thirteenth and fourteenth
day of the same month: and on the fifteenth day they
rested. And therefore they appointed that day to be a holy
day of feasting and gladness.
9:19. 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.
9:20. 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
9:21. That they should receive the fourteenth and fifteenth
day of the month Adar for holy days, and always at the
return of the year should celebrate them with solemn
9:22. 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 gladness, in which they should send one to
another portions of meats, and should give gifts to the
9:23. And the Jews undertook to observe with solemnity all
they had begun to do at that time, which Mardochai by
letters had commanded to be done.
9:24. 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.
9:25. 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.
9:26. 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:
9:27. And the things that they suffered, and that were
afterwards changed, the Jews took upon 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
9:28. These are the days which shall never be forgot: and
which all provinces in the whole world shall celebrate
throughout all generations: neither is there any city
wherein the days of Phurim, that is, of lots, must not be
observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which is
bound to these ceremonies.
9:29. 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.
9:30. 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,
9:31. 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,
9:32. And all things which are contained in the history of
this book, which is called Esther.
Esther Chapter 10
Assuerus's greatness. Mardochai's dignity.
10:1. And king Assuerus made all the land, and all the
islands of the sea tributary.
10:2. 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:
10:3. 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.
10:4. Then Mardochai said: God hath done these things.
Then Mardochai, etc... 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.
10:5. I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these
same things: and nothing thereof hath failed.
A dream... This dream was prophetical and extraordinary:
otherwise the general rule is not to observe dreams.
10:6. 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
10:7. But the two dragons are I and Aman.
10:8. The nations that were assembled are they that
endeavoured to destroy the name of the Jews.
10:9. 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
10:10. And he commanded that there should be two lots, one
of the people of God, and the other of all the nations.
10:11. And both lots came to the day appointed already from
that time before God to all nations:
10:12. And the Lord remembered his people, and had mercy on
10:13. And these days shall be observed in the month of
Adar on the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same
month, with all diligence, and joy of the people gathered
into one assembly, throughout all the generations hereafter
of the people of Israel.
Esther Chapter 11
The dream of Mardochai, which in the ancient Greek and
Latin Bibles was into the beginning of the book, but was
detached by St. Jerome, and put in this place.
11:1. In the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemy 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.
11:2. 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
11:3. A Jew who dwelt in the city of Susan, a great man and
among the first of the king's court, had a dream.
11:4. Now he was of the number of the captives, whom
Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried away from
Jerusalem with Jechonias king of Juda:
11:5. And this was his dream: Behold there were voices, and
tumults, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance
upon the earth.
11:6. And behold two great dragons came forth ready to
fight one against another.
11:7. And at their cry all nations were stirred up to fight
against the nation of the just.
11:8. And that was a day of darkness and danger, of
tribulation and distress, and great fear upon the earth.
11:9. And the nation of the just was troubled fearing their
own evils, and was prepared for death.
11:10. And they cried to God: and as they were crying, a
little fountain grew into a very great river, and abounded
into many waters.
11:11. The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were
exalted, and they devoured the glorious.
11:12. 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
Esther Chapter 12
Mardochai detects the conspiracy of the two eunuchs.
12:1. And he abode at that time in the king's court with
Bagatha and Thara the king's eunuchs, who were porters of
12:2. 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.
12:3. Then the king had them both examined, and after they
had confessed, commanded them to be put to death.
12:4. But the king made a record of what was done: and
Mardochai also committed the memory of the thing to
12:5. And the king commanded him, to abide in the court of
the palace, and gave him presents for the information.
12:6. 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
Esther Chapter 13
A copy of a letter sent by Aman to destroy the Jews.
Mardochai's prayer for the people.
13:1. And this was the copy of the letter: Artaxerxes 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.
13:2. 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 that they might live quietly without any
terror, and might enjoy peace, which is desired by all men,
13:3. 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,
13:4. 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
13:5. Wherefore having learned this, and seeing one nation
in opposition to all mankind using perverse laws, and going
against our commandments, and disturbing the peace and
concord of the provinces subject to us,
13:6. 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:
13:7. That these wicked men going down to hell in one day,
may restore to our empire the peace which they had
13:8. But Mardochai besought the Lord, remembering all his
13:9. 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.
13:10. Thou hast made heaven and earth and all things that
are under the cope of heaven.
13:11. Thou art Lord of all, and there is none that can
resist thy majesty.
13:12. Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest that it
was not out of pride and or any desire of glory, that I
refused to worship the proud Aman,
13:13. (For I would willingly and readily for the salvation
of Israel have kissed even the steps of his feet,)
13:14. But I feared lest I should transfer the honour of my
God to a man, and lest I should adore any one except my
13:15. And now, O Lord, O king, O God of Abraham, have
mercy on thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy
us, and extinguish thy inheritance.
13:16. Despise not thy portion, which thou hast redeemed
for thyself out of Egypt.
13:17. 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.
13:18. And all Israel with like mind and supplication cried
to the Lord, because they saw certain death hanging over
Esther Chapter 14
The prayer of Esther for herself and her people.
14:1. Queen Esther also, fearing the danger that was at
hand, had recourse to the Lord.
14:2. 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.
14:3. 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.
14:4. My danger is in my hands.
14:5. I have heard of my father that thou, O Lord, didst
take Israel from among all nations, and our fathers from
all their predecessors, to possess them as an everlasting
inheritance, and thou hast done to them as thou hast
14:6. We have sinned in thy sight, and therefore thou hast
delivered us into the hands of our enemies:
14:7. For we have worshipped their gods. Thou art just, O
14:8. 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.
14:9. 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,
14:10. That they may open the mouths of Gentiles, and
praise the strength of idols, and magnify for ever a carnal
14:11. 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
14:12. 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:
14:13. 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.
14:14. But deliver us by thy hand, and help me, who have no
other helper, but thee, O Lord, who hast the knowledge of
14:15. And thou knowest that I hate the glory of the
wicked, and abhor the bed of the uncircumcised, and of
14:16. Thou knowest my necessity, that I abominate the sign
of my pride and glory, which is upon my head in the days of
my public appearance, and detest it as a menstruous rag,
and wear it not in the days of my silence,
14:17. And that I have not eaten at Aman's table, nor hath
the king's banquet pleased me, and that I have not drunk
the wine of the drink offerings:
14:18. And that thy handmaid hath never rejoiced, since I
was brought hither unto this day but in thee, O Lord, the
God of Abraham.
14:19. O God, who art mighty above all, hear the voice of
them, that have no other hope, and deliver us from the hand
of the wicked, and deliver me from my fear.
Esther Chapter 15
Esther comes into the king's presence: she is terrified,
but God turns his heart.
15:1. And he commanded her (no doubt but he was Mardochai)
to go to the king, and petition for her people, and for her
15:2. Remember, (said he,) the days of thy low estate, how
thou wast brought up by my hand, because Aman the second
after the king hath spoken against us unto death.
15:3. And do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king
for us, and deliver us from death.
15:4. And on the third day she laid away the garments she
wore, and put on her glorious apparel.
15:5. And glittering in royal robes, after she had called
upon God the ruler and Saviour of all, she took two maids
15:6. And upon one of them she leaned, as if for
delicateness and overmuch tenderness she were not able to
bear up her own body.
15:7. And the other maid followed her lady, bearing up her
train flowing on the ground.
15:8. But she with a rosy colour in her face, and with
gracious and bright eyes hid a mind full of anguish, and
exceeding great fear.
15:9. So going in she passed through all doors in order,
and stood before the king, where he sat upon his royal
throne, clothed with his royal robes, and glittering with
gold, and precious stones, and he was terrible to behold.
15:10. 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 colour turned pale, and she rested her
weary head upon her handmaid.
15:11. 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:
15:12. What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother, fear
15:13. Thou shalt not die: for this law is not made for
thee, but for all others.
15:14. Come near then, and touch the sceptre.
15:15. And as she held her peace, he took the golden
sceptre, and laid it upon her neck, and kissed her, and
said: Why dost thou not speak to me?
15:16. She answered: I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of
God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy majesty.
15:17. For thou, my lord, art very admirable, and thy face
is full of graces.
15:18. And while she was speaking, she fell down again, and
was almost in a swoon.
15:19. But the king was troubled, and all his servants
Esther Chapter 16
A copy of the king's letter in favour of the Jews.
16:1. The great king Artaxerxes, from India to Ethiopia, to
the governors and princes of a hundred and twenty-seven
provinces, which obey our command, sendeth greeting.
From India to Ethiopia... That is, who reigneth from India
16:2. Many have abused unto pride the goodness of princes,
and the honour that hath been bestowed upon them:
16:3. 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.
16:4. 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.
16:5. 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 worthy of all men's praise,
16:6. While with crafty fraud they deceive the ears of
princes that are well meaning, and judge of others by their
16:7. 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.
16:8. Wherefore we must provide for the peace of all
16:9. 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.
16:10. 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 being
a stranger by us:
16:11. 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:
16:12. But he was so far puffed up with arrogancy, as to go
about to deprive us of our kingdom and life.
16:13. 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:
16:14. Thinking that after they were slain, he might work
treason against us left alone without friends, and might
transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.
16:15. 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,
16:16. 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 fathers and to us, and is
kept unto this day.
16:17. Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent
in our name, are void and of no effect.
16:18. For which crime both he himself that devised it, and
all his kindred hang on gibbets, before the gates of this
city Susan: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.
16:19. But this edict, which we now send, shall be
published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow
their own laws.
16:20. And you shall aid them that they may kill those who
had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day
of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
16:21. For the almighty God hath turned this day of sadness
and mourning into joy to them.
16:22. Wherefore you shall also count this day among other
festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may
be known also in times to come,
16:23. That all they who faithfully obey the Persians,
receive a worthy reward for their fidelity: but they that
are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their
16:24. And let every province and city, that will not be
partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword and by
fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made
unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of
contempt, and disobedience.
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