Old Testament

Esther 9
91On the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (Adar), the day which the king's proclamation had specified for his decree to be carried out, the day on which the enemies of the Jews hoped to obtain power over them, the situation was reversed so that the Jews would gain power over those who hated them.
2The Jews gathered in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes, to strike against those who were seeking to hurt them. No one opposed them because the fear of the Jews had fallen upon all the people. 3All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors, and the people who did the work of the king were helping the Jews because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them, 4because he was important in the king's house. His reputation was spreading in all the provinces because this man Mordecai was becoming more and more influential.
5The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, slaughtering and destroying them. They did whatever they pleased against their enemies.
6In Susa, the citadel, the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, 7including Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10They killed the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, who had been persecuting the Jews, but they did not seize any plunder.
11On that day the number of those killed in Susa, the citadel, was reported to the king. 12The king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa, the citadel, the Jews have killed five hundred men, including the ten sons of Haman. What have they done in the rest of the provinces of the king? What is your request? It will be granted. What you are still seeking will be done.”
13Esther said, “If it seems good to the king, let permission be given to the Jews who are in Susa to carry out today's order also tomorrow and that the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.”
14The king said that this would be done, so the command was given in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.
15The Jews in Susa gathered again on the fourteenth of Adar. In Susa they killed three hundred men, but they did not seize any plunder.
16The rest of the Jews who were in the provinces of the king also gathered and defended themselves, getting relief from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of those who hated them, but they did not seize any plunder. 17This happened on the thirteenth day of Adar. They rested on the fourteenth and had a day of feasting[] and joyful celebration.
18But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth and on the fourteenth. They rested on the fifteenth and made it a day of feasting and joyful celebration. 19Therefore the Jews of the villages, who lived in the unwalled towns of the open countryside, have their day of joyful celebration and feasting on the fourteenth of Adar. It is a holiday, and they send portions of food to their neighbors.
20Mordecai wrote these things down. Then he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Xerxes, both near and far, 21to call upon them to celebrate the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar every year, 22because those were the days on which the Jews gained relief from their enemies. This was the month which was changed from sorrow to gladness for them and from a day of mourning to a holiday. They were to make those days into days of feasting and joyful celebration, sending portions of food to their neighbors and gifts to the poor.
23So the Jews completed what they had begun to do and what Mordecai had written to them, 24because Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the one opposed to all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast pur (that is, they had cast lots) to crush them and to destroy them.
25However, because Esther came into the presence of the king, he said in writing that Haman's wicked plot, which he had devised against the Jews, was to return on his own head, and they should hang him and his sons on the gallows.
26That is why they called these days Purim (lots) because of the word pur. Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, because of what they had observed, and because of what had happened to them, 27the Jews established this festival and made a commitment that they, their descendants, and all those associated with them would never fail to observe these two days according to these directions and at their proper time every year.
28These days are to be remembered and preserved in every generation, in every family, province, and city. The Jews should never stop celebrating the days of Purim. Their commemoration should never be set aside by their descendants.
29Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew used their authority to publish this second communication about Purim. 30He sent letters to all the Jews in one hundred twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Xerxes containing words of true peace, 31telling them to observe the days of Purim at their appointed times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had given them the responsibility to do, and telling them to carry out the directions about their fasts and their lamentation just as they and their descendants had agreed to do.
32The command of Esther established the directions about Purim, and they were written in the book.


  • 9:17 The word translated feasting emphasizes drinking more than eating.