Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus
(this is Ahasuerus who reigned from India even unto Ethiopia, over a
hundred and seven and twenty provinces), that in
those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom,
which was in Shushan the palace, in the third
year of his reign, he made a feast unto all his princes and his servants;
the power of Persia and Media, the nobles and princes of the provinces,
being before him; when he showed the riches of
his glorious kingdom and the honor of his excellent majesty many days,
even a hundred and fourscore days. And when these
days were fulfilled, the king made a feast unto all the people that were
present in Shushan the palace, both great and small, seven days, in the
court of the garden of the king's palace.
There were hangings of white cloth,
of green, and of blue, fastened with cords of fine linen and
purple to silver rings and pillars of marble: the couches were of gold and
silver, upon a pavement of red, and white, and yellow, and black marble.
And they gave them drink in vessels of gold (the
vessels being diverse one from another), and royal wine in abundance,
according to the bounty of the king. And the
drinking was according to the law; none could compel: for so the king had
appointed to all the officers of his house, that they should do according
to every man's pleasure. Also Vashti the queen
made a feast for the women in the royal house which belonged to king
Ahasuerus. On the seventh day, when the heart of
the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona,
Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that
ministered in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
to bring Vashti the queen before the king with
the crown royal, to show the peoples and the princes her beauty; for she
was fair to look on. But the queen Vashti
refused to come at the king's commandment by the chamberlains: therefore
was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him.
Then the king said to the wise men, who knew the
times, (for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and
judgment; and the next unto him were Carshena,
Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes
of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat first in the
kingdom), What shall we do unto the queen Vashti
according to law, because she hath not done the bidding of the king
Ahasuerus by the chamberlains? And Memucan
answered before the king and the princes, Vashti the queen hath not done
wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the
peoples that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
For this deed of the queen will come abroad unto
all women, to make their husbands contemptible in their eyes, when it
shall be reported, The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be
brought in before him, but she came not. And
this day will the princesses of Persia and Media who have heard of the
deed of the queen say the like unto all the king's princes. So
will there arise much contempt and wrath.
If it please the king, let there go forth a
royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the
Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more
before king Ahasuerus; and let the king give her royal estate unto another
that is better than she. And when the king's
decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his kingdom
(for it is great), all the wives will give to their husbands honor, both
to great and small. And the saying pleased the
king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan:
for he sent letters into all the king's
provinces, into every province according to the writing thereof, and to
every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his
own house, and should speak according to the language of his people.
After these things, when the wrath of king
Ahasuerus was pacified, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and
what was decreed against her. Then said the
king's servants that ministered unto him, Let there be fair young virgins
sought for the king: and let the king appoint
officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, that they may gather
together all the fair young virgins unto Shushan the palace, to the house
of the women, unto the custody of Hegai the king's chamberlain, keeper of
the women; and let their things for purification be given them;
and let the maiden that pleaseth the king be
queen instead of Vashti. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
There was a certain Jew in Shushan the palace,
whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of
Kish, a Benjamite, who had been carried away from
Jerusalem with the captives that had been carried away with Jeconiah king
of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away.
And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his
uncle's daughter: for she had neither father nor mother, and the maiden
was fair and beautiful; and when her father and mother were dead, Mordecai
took her for his own daughter. So it came to
pass, when the king's commandment and his decree was heard, and when many
maidens were gathered together unto Shushan the palace, to the custody of
Hegai, that Esther was taken into the king's house, to the custody of
Hegai, keeper of the women. And the maiden
pleased him, and she obtained kindness of him; and he speedily gave her
her things for purification, with her portions, and the seven maidens who
were meet to be given her out of the king's house: and he removed her and
her maidens to the best place of the house of the women.
Esther had not made known her people nor her
kindred; for Mordecai had charged her that she should not make it known.
And Mordecai walked every day before the court
of the women's house, to know how Esther did, and what would become of
her. Now when the turn of every maiden was come
to go in to king Ahasuerus, after that it had been done to her according
to the law for the women twelve months (for so were the days of their
purifications accomplished, to wit, six months with oil of myrrh,
and six months with sweet odors and with the things for the purifying of
the women), then in this wise came the maiden
unto the king: whatsoever she desired was given her to go with her out of
the house of the women unto the king's house. In
the evening she went, and on the morrow she returned into the second house
of the women, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's chamberlain, who
kept the concubines: she came in unto the king no more, except the king
delighted in her, and she were called by name.
Now when the turn of Esther, the daughter of
Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her for his daughter, was
come to go in unto the king, she required nothing but what Hegai the
king's chamberlain, the keeper of the women, appointed. And Esther
obtained favor in the sight of all them that looked upon her.
So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his
house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh
year of his reign. And the king loved Esther
above all the women, and she obtained favor and kindness in his sight more
than all the virgins; so that he set the royal crown upon her head, and
made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king
made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's
feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according
to the bounty of the king. And when the virgins
were gathered together the second time, then Mordecai was sitting in the
king's gate. Esther had not yet made known her
kindred nor her people; as Mordecai had charged her: for Esther did the
commandment of Mordecai, like as when she was brought up with him.
In those days, while Mordecai was sitting in the
king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those
that kept the threshold, were wroth, and sought to lay hands on the king
Ahasuerus. And the thing became known to
Mordecai, who showed it unto Esther the queen; and Esther told the king
thereof in Mordecai's name. And when
inquisition was made of the matter, and it was found to be so, they were
both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles
before the king.
After these things did king Ahasuerus promote
Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his
seat above all the princes that were with him.
And all the king's servants, that were in the
king's gate, bowed down, and did reverence to Haman; for the king had so
commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not down, nor did him
reverence. Then the king's servants, that were in
the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king's
commandment? Now it came to pass, when they spake
daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to
see whether Mordecai's matters would stand: for he had told them that he
was a Jew. And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed
not down, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.
But he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai
alone; for they had made known to him the people of Mordecai: wherefore
Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole
kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.
In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in
the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot,
before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the
twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a
certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the
provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from those of
every people; neither keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for
the king's profit to suffer them. If it please
the king, let it be written that they be destroyed: and I will pay ten
thousand talents of silver into the hands of those that have the charge of
the king's business, to bring it into the king's treasuries.
And the king took his ring from his hand, and
gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.
And the king said unto Haman, The silver is
given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to
thee. Then were the king's scribes called in the
first month, on the thirteenth day thereof; and there was written
according to all that Haman commanded unto the king's satraps, and to the
governors that were over every province, and to the princes of every
people, to every province according to the writing thereof, and to every
people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written,
and it was sealed with the king's ring. And
letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to
slay, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little
children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the
twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for
a prey. A copy of the writing, that the decree
should be given out in every province, was published unto all the peoples,
that they should be ready against that day. The
posts went forth in haste by the king's commandment, and the decree was
given out in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink;
but the city of Shushan was perplexed.
Now when Mordecai knew all that was done,
Mordecai rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth with ashes, and went out
into the midst of the city, and cried with a loud and a bitter cry;
and he came even before the king's gate: for none
might enter within the king's gate clothed with sackcloth.
And in every province, whithersoever the king's
commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews,
and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and
ashes. And Esther's maidens and her chamberlains
came and told it her; and the queen was exceedingly grieved: and she sent
raiment to clothe Mordecai, and to take his sackcloth from off him; but he
received it not. Then called Esther for Hathach,
one of the king's chamberlains, whom he had appointed to attend upon her,
and charged him to go to Mordecai, to know what this was, and why it was.
So Hathach went forth to Mordecai unto the broad
place of the city, which was before the king's gate.
And Mordecai told him of all that had happened
unto him, and the exact sum of the money that Haman had promised to pay to
the king's treasuries for the Jews, to destroy them.
Also he gave him the copy of the writing of the
decree that was given out in Shushan to destroy them, to show it unto
Esther, and to declare it unto her, and to charge her that she should go
in unto the king, to make supplication unto him, and to make request
before him, for her people. And Hathach came and
told Esther the words of Mordecai. Then Esther
spake unto Hathach, and gave him a message unto Mordecai saying:
All the king's servants, and the people of the
king's provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall
come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one
law for him, that he be put to death, except those to whom the king shall
hold out the golden sceptre, that he may live: but I have not been called
to come in unto the king these thirty days. And
they told to Mordecai Esther's words. Then
Mordecai bade them return answer unto Esther, Think not with thyself that
thou will escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews.
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this
time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another
place, but thou and thy father's house will perish: and who knoweth
whether thou art not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Then Esther bade them return answer unto
Mordecai, Go, gather together all the Jews that
are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink
three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast in like manner;
and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and
if I perish, I perish. So Mordecai went his way,
and did according to all that Esther had commanded him.
Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther
put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's
house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal
throne in the royal house, over against the entrance of the house.
And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen
standing in the court, that she obtained favor in his sight; and the king
held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew
near, and touched the top of the sceptre. Then
said the king unto her, What wilt thou, queen Esther? and what is thy
request? it shall be given thee even to the half of the kingdom.
And Esther said, If it seem good unto the king,
let the king and Haman come this day unto the banquet that I have prepared
for him. Then the king said, Cause Haman to make
haste, that it may be done as Esther hath said. So the king and Haman came
to the banquet that Esther had prepared. And the
king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it
shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the
kingdom it shall be performed. Then answered
Esther, and said, My petition and my request is:
if I have found favor in the sight of the king,
and if it please the king to grant my petition, and to perform my request,
let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I shall prepare for them,
and I will do to-morrow as the king hath said.
Then went Haman forth that day joyful and glad of
heart: but when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, that he stood not
up nor moved for him, he was filled with wrath against Mordecai.
Nevertheless Haman refrained himself, and went
home; and he sent and fetched his friends and Zeresh his wife.
And Haman recounted unto them the glory of his
riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the
king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and
servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea,
Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet
that she had prepared but myself; and to-morrow also am I invited by her
together with the king. Yet all this availeth me
nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate.
Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends
unto him, Let a gallows be made fifty cubits high, and in the morning
speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou
in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman;
and he caused the gallows to be made.
On that night could not the king sleep; and he
commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles, and they were
read before the king. And it was found written,
that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's
chamberlains, of those that kept the threshold, who had sought to lay
hands on the king Ahasuerus. And the king said,
What honor and dignity hath been bestowed on Mordecai for this? Then said
the king's servants that ministered unto him, There is nothing done for
him. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now
Haman was come into the outward court of the king's house, to speak unto
the king to hang Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him.
And the king's servants said unto him, Behold,
Haman standeth in the court. And the king said, Let him come in.
So Haman came in. And the king said unto him,
What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor? Now
Haman said in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honor more
than to myself? And Haman said unto the king, For
the man whom the king delighteth to honor, let
royal apparel be brought which the king useth to wear, and the horse that
the king rideth upon, and on the head of which a crown royal is set:
and let the apparel and the horse be delivered to
the hand of one of the king's most noble princes, that they may array the
man therewith whom the king delighteth to honor, and cause him to ride on
horseback through the street of the city, and proclaim before him, Thus
shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor.
Then the king said to Haman, Make haste, and
take the apparel and the horse, as thou hast said, and do even so to
Mordecai the Jew, that sitteth at the king's gate: let nothing fail of all
that thou hast spoken. Then took Haman the
apparel and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and caused him to ride
through the street of the city, and proclaimed before him, Thus shall it
be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor.
And Mordecai came again to the king's gate. But
Haman hasted to his house, mourning and having his head covered.
And Haman recounted unto Zeresh his wife and all
his friends everything that had befallen him. Then said his wise men and
Zeresh his wife unto him, If Mordecai, before whom thou hast begun to
fall, be of the seed of the Jews, thou will not prevail against him, but
will surely fall before him. While they were
yet talking with him, came the king's chamberlains, and hasted to bring
Haman unto the banquet that Esther had prepared.
So the king and Haman came to banquet with Esther
the queen. And the king said again unto Esther on
the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther?
and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of
the kingdom it shall be performed. Then Esther
the queen answered and said, If I have found favor in thy sight, O king,
and if it please the king, let my life be given me at my petition, and my
people at my request: for we are sold, I and my
people, to be destroyed, to be slain, and to perish. But if we had been
sold for bondmen and bondwomen, I had held my peace, although the
adversary could not have compensated for the king's damage.
Then spake the king Ahasuerus and said unto
Esther the queen, Who is he, and where is he, that durst presume in his
heart to do so? And Esther said, An adversary and
an enemy, even this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king
and the queen. And the king arose in his wrath
from the banquet of wine and went into the palace garden: and Haman
stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that
there was evil determined against him by the king.
Then the king returned out of the palace garden
into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the couch
whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he even force the queen
before me in the house? As the word went out of the king's mouth, they
covered Haman's face. Then said Harbonah, one of
the chamberlains that were before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty
cubits high, which Haman hath made for Mordecai, who spake good for the
king, standeth in the house of Haman. And the king said, Hang him thereon.
So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had
prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified.
On that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house
of Haman the Jews' enemy unto Esther the queen. And Mordecai came before
the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her.
And the king took off his ring, which he had
taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over
the house of Haman. And Esther spake yet again
before the king, and fell down at his feet, and besought him with tears to
put away the mischief of Haman the Agagite, and his device that he had
devised against the Jews. Then the king held out
to Esther the golden sceptre. So Esther arose, and stood before the king.
And she said, If it please the king, and if I
have found favor in his sight, and the thing seem right before the king,
and I be pleasing in his eyes, let it be written to reverse the letters
devised by Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote to
destroy the Jews that are in all the king's provinces:
for how can I endure to see the evil that shall
come unto my people? or how can I endure to see the destruction of my
kindred? Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther
the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house
of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his
hand upon the Jews. Write ye also to the Jews, as
it pleaseth you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring; for
the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the
king's ring, may no man reverse. Then were the
king's scribes called at that time, in the third month Sivan, on the three
and twentieth day thereof; and it was written according to all that
Mordecai commanded unto the Jews, and to the satraps, and the governors
and princes of the provinces which are from India unto Ethiopia, a hundred
twenty and seven provinces, unto every province according to the writing
thereof, and unto every people after their language, and to the Jews
according to their writing, and according to their language.
And he wrote the name of king Ahasuerus, and
sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by post on horseback,
riding on swift steeds that were used in the king's service, bred of the
stud: wherein the king granted the Jews that
were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their
life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the
people and province that would assault them, their little ones and
women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
upon one day in all the provinces of king
Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth
month, which is the month Adar. A copy of the
writing, that the decree should be given out in every province, was
published unto all the peoples, and that the Jews should be ready against
that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
So the posts that rode upon swift steeds that
were used in the king's service went out, being hastened and pressed on by
the king's commandment; and the decree was given out in Shushan the
palace. And Mordecai went forth from the
presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great
crown of gold, and with a robe of fine linen and purple: and the city of
Shushan shouted and was glad. The Jews had light
and gladness, and joy and honor. And in every
province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his
decree came, the Jews had gladness and joy, a feast and a good day. And
many from among the peoples of the land became Jews; for the fear of the
Jews was fallen upon them.
Now in the twelfth month, which is the month
Adar, on the thirteenth day of the same, when the king's commandment and
his decree drew near to be put in execution, on the day that the enemies
of the Jews hoped to have rule over them, (whereas it was turned to the
contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them,)
the Jews gathered themselves together in their
cities throughout all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, to lay hand on
such as sought their hurt: and no man could withstand them; for the fear
of them was fallen upon all the peoples. And all
the princes of the provinces, and the satraps, and the governors, and they
that did the king's business, helped the Jews; because the fear of
Mordecai was fallen upon them. For Mordecai was
great in the king's house, and his fame went forth throughout all the
provinces; for the man Mordecai waxed greater and greater.
And the Jews smote all their enemies with the
stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did what they
would unto them that hated them. And in Shushan
the palace the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men.
And Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha,
and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and
Vaizatha, the ten sons of Haman the son of
Hammedatha, the Jew's enemy, slew they; but on the spoil they laid not
their hand. On that day the number of those that
were slain in Shushan the palace was brought before the king.
And the king said unto Esther the queen, The
Jews have slain and destroyed five hundred men in Shushan the palace, and
the ten sons of Haman; what then have they done in the rest of the king's
provinces! Now what is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: or what
is thy request further? and it shall be done.
Then said Esther, If it please the king, let it
be granted to the Jews that are in Shushan to do to-morrow also according
unto this day's decree, and let Haman's ten sons be hanged upon the
gallows. And the king commanded it so to be
done: and a decree was given out in Shushan; and they hanged Haman's ten
sons. And the Jews that were in Shushan gathered
themselves together on the fourteenth day also of the month Adar, and slew
three hundred men in Shushan; but on the spoil they laid not their hand.
And the other Jews that were in the king's
provinces gathered themselves together, and stood for their lives, and had
rest from their enemies, and slew of them that hated them seventy and five
thousand; but on the spoil they laid not their hand.
This was done on the thirteenth day of
the month Adar; and on the fourteenth day of the same they rested, and
made it a day of feasting and gladness. But the
Jews that were in Shushan assembled together on the thirteenth day
thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth day of
the same they rested, and made it a day of feasting and gladness.
Therefore do the Jews of the villages, that
dwell in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar
a day of gladness and feasting, and a good day, and of sending
portions one to another. And Mordecai wrote
these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the
provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far,
to enjoin them that they should keep the
fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same,
yearly, as the days wherein the Jews had rest
from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow
to gladness, and from mourning into a good day; that they should make them
days of feasting and gladness, and of sending portions one to another, and
gifts to the poor. And the Jews undertook to do
as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;
because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the
Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to
destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is the lot, to consume them, and to
destroy them; but when the matter came
before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he
had devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he
and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
Wherefore they called these days Purim, after
the name of Pur. Therefore because of all the words of this letter, and of
that which they had seen concerning this matter, and that which had come
unto them, the Jews ordained, and took upon
them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto
them, so that it should not fail, that they would keep these two days
according to the writing thereof, and according to the appointed time
thereof, every year; and that these days should
be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every
province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail
from among the Jews, nor the remembrance of them perish from their seed.
Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail,
and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second
letter of Purim. And he sent letters unto all
the Jews, to the hundred twenty and seven provinces of the kingdom of
Ahasuerus, with words of peace and truth,
to confirm these days of Purim in their
appointed times, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had
enjoined them, and as they had ordained for themselves and for their seed,
in the matter of the fastings and their cry. And
the commandment of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was
written in the book.
And the king Ahasuerus laid a tribute upon the
land, and upon the isles of the sea. And all the
acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness
of Mordecai, whereunto the king advanced him, are they not written in the
book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?
For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king
Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his
brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking peace to all his