9So on March 7 the two decrees of the king were put into effect. On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies.H8147H6240H2320H2320H143H7969H6240H3117H4428H1697H1881H5060H6213H3117H341H3064H7663H7980H2015H3064H7980H8130 2The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king's provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them.H3064H6950H5892H4082H4428H325H7971H3027H1245H7451H376H5975H6440H6343H5307H5971 3And all the nobles of the provinces, the highest officers, the governors, and the royal officials helped the Jews for fear of Mordecai.H8269H4082H323H6346H6213H4399H4428H5375H3064H6343H4782H5307 4For Mordecai had been promoted in the king's palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces as he became more and more powerful.H4782H1419H4428H1004H8089H1980H4082H376H4782H1980H1419 5So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. They killed and annihilated their enemies and did as they pleased with those who hated them.H3064H5221H341H4347H2719H2027H12H6213H7522H8130 6In the fortress of Susa itself, the Jews killed 500 men.H7800H1002H3064H2026H6H2568H3967H376 7They also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,H6577H1813H630 8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,H6334H118H743 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha—H6534H747H742H2055 10the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not take any plunder.H6235H1121H2001H1121H4099H6887H3064H2026H961H7971H3027 11That very day, when the king was informed of the number of people killed in the fortress of Susa,H3117H4557H2026H7800H1002H935H6440H4428 12he called for Queen Esther. He said, "The Jews have killed 500 men in the fortress of Susa alone, as well as Haman's ten sons. If they have done that here, what has happened in the rest of the provinces? But now, what more do you want? It will be granted to you; tell me and I will do it."H4428H559H635H4436H3064H2026H6H2568H3967H376H7800H1002H6235H1121H2001H6213H7605H4428H4082H7596H5414H1246H5750H6213 13Esther responded, "If it please the king, give the Jews in Susa permission to do again tomorrow as they have done today, and let the bodies of Haman's ten sons be impaled on a pole."H559H635H2896H4428H5414H3064H7800H6213H4279H3117H1881H2001H6235H1121H8518H6086 14So the king agreed, and the decree was announced in Susa. And they impaled the bodies of Haman's ten sons.H4428H559H6213H1881H5414H7800H8518H2001H6235H1121 15Then the Jews at Susa gathered together on March 8 and killed 300 more men, and again they took no plunder.H3064H7800H6950H702H6240H3117H2320H143H2026H7969H3967H376H7800H961H7971H3027 16Meanwhile, the other Jews throughout the king's provinces had gathered together to defend their lives. They gained relief from all their enemies, killing 75,000 of those who hated them. But they did not take any plunder.H7605H3064H4428H4082H6950H5975H5315H5118H341H2026H8130H7657H2568H505H7971H3027H961 17This was done throughout the provinces on March 7, and on March 8 they rested, celebrating their victory with a day of feasting and gladness.H7969H6240H3117H2320H143H702H6240H5118H6213H3117H4960H8057 18(The Jews at Susa killed their enemies on March 7 and again on March 8, then rested on March 9, making that their day of feasting and gladness.)H3064H7800H6950H7969H6240H702H6240H2568H6240H5118H6213H3117H4960H8057 19So to this day, rural Jews living in remote villages celebrate an annual festival and holiday on the appointed day in late winter, when they rejoice and send gifts of food to each other.H3064H6521H3427H6519H5892H6213H702H6240H3117H2320H143H8057H4960H2896H3117H4916H4490H376H7453 20Mordecai recorded these events and sent letters to the Jews near and far, throughout all the provinces of King Xerxes,H4782H3789H1697H7971H5612H3064H4082H4428H325H7138H7350 21calling on them to celebrate an annual festival on these two days.H6965H6213H702H6240H3117H2320H143H2568H6240H3117H8141H8141 22He told them to celebrate these days with feasting and gladness and by giving gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. This would commemorate a time when the Jews gained relief from their enemies, when their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.H3117H3064H5117H341H2320H2015H3015H8057H60H2896H3117H6213H3117H4960H8057H4916H4490H376H7453H4979H34 23So the Jews accepted Mordecai's proposal and adopted this annual custom.H3064H6901H6213H2490H4782H3789 24Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, had plotted to crush and destroy them on the date determined by casting lots (the lots were called purim).H2001H1121H4099H91H6887H3064H2803H3064H6H5307H6332H1486H2000H6 25But when Esther came before the king, he issued a decree causing Haman's evil plot to backfire, and Haman and his sons were impaled on a sharpened pole.H935H6440H4428H559H5612H7451H4284H2803H3064H7725H7218H1121H8518H6086 26That is why this celebration is called Purim, because it is the ancient word for casting lots. So because of Mordecai's letter and because of what they had experienced,H7121H3117H6332H8034H6332H1697H107H7200H3602H5060 27the Jews throughout the realm agreed to inaugurate this tradition and to pass it on to their descendants and to all who became Jews. They declared they would never fail to celebrate these two prescribed days at the appointed time each year.H3064H6965H6901H2233H3867H5674H6213H8147H3117H3791H2165H8141H8141 28These days would be remembered and kept from generation to generation and celebrated by every family throughout the provinces and cities of the empire. This Festival of Purim would never cease to be celebrated among the Jews, nor would the memory of what happened ever die out among their descendants.H3117H2142H6213H1755H1755H4940H4082H5892H3117H6332H5674H8432H3064H2143H5486H2233 29Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote another letter putting the queen's full authority behind Mordecai's letter to establish the Festival of Purim.H635H4436H1323H32H4782H3064H3789H8633H6965H8145H107H6332 30Letters wishing peace and security were sent to the Jews throughout the 127 provinces of the empire of Xerxes.H7971H5612H3064H3967H6242H7651H4082H4438H325H1697H7965H571 31These letters established the Festival of Purim—an annual celebration of these days at the appointed time, decreed by both Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther. (The people decided to observe this festival, just as they had decided for themselves and their descendants to establish the times of fasting and mourning.)H6965H3117H6332H2165H4782H3064H635H4436H6965H6965H5315H2233H1697H6685H2201 32So the command of Esther confirmed the practices of Purim, and it was all written down in the records.H3982H635H6965H1697H6332H3789H5612
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