1 Artaxerxes, the great king from India all the way to Ethiopia, to the generals and leaders of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces that obey our command: greetings, he says.
2 In arrogance, many have abused the goodness of leaders and the honor that has been bestowed on them,
3 and they strive, not only to oppress the king’s subjects, but, not acting according to the glory given to them, set in motion a plan to ambush those very ones who gave it.
4 Neither are they content to withhold thanks for benefits and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they also think they are able to escape from every sentence of the sifting judgment of God.
5 And they rush forth in such insanity that they attempt to subvert by filthy lies those who carefully fulfill the offices delegated to them and so perform everything that is deserving of the praise of all.
6 Meanwhile, they craftily deceive by fraud the ears of single-minded leaders, and they judge others according to their own nature.
7 These things are proven both from the ancient histories and from those things which happen daily: how the zeal of kings can be corrupted by the evil suggestions of such persons.
8 Therefore, we will make provision for the peace of all the provinces.
9 Neither should you think, if we change our orders, that they come from a fickle mind, but that we draw conclusions from the quality and necessity of the times, just as the expediency of the public good demands.
10 And, so that you may more clearly understand what we are saying: Haman the son of Hammedatha, a Macedonian both in mind and ancestry, and foreign to Persian blood, and with his cruelty contaminating our piety, was accepted by us as a sojourner.
11 And our humanity proved to be so great towards him that he was called our father and was adored by all as second only to the king.
12 But he was so filled with arrogance as to strive to deprive us of our kingdom and our life.
13 For example, with certain strange and unheard of machinations, he sought the death of Mordecai, whose faith and kindness kept us alive, and Esther, the partner of our kingdom, and all their people.
14 This he planned so that, after they were executed, he might work treason against us in our solitude and transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.
15 But we, having been resolved to ruin in death the mortal Jews, discovered no fault within them, but on the contrary, they use just laws
16 and are sons of the highest and greatest and ever-living God, by whose kindness the kingdom was handed down both to our fathers and to us, and is cared for even unto this day.
17 Therefore, you should understand to be null and void those letters that he administered under our name.
18 For this crime, before the gates of this city, that is, Susa, both he who devised it, and all his associates, hang on gallows: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.
19 But this edict, which we now send, shall be displayed in all cities so that the Jews may be allowed to use their own laws.
20 You must be a support to them, so that they may be able to execute those, who themselves had prepared to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
21 For the almighty God has turned this day of grief and sorrow into joy for them.
22 Therefore, you too will keep this day, along with the other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, so that it may be known even by future generations.
23 All those who faithfully obey the Persians deserve, for their fidelity, to receive a reward, but those who are traitors to their kingdom deserve to be destroyed for their crime.
24 But every province and city, which is not willing to participate in this solemnity, must perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in this way so that they will be forever an indisputable example of contempt and disobedience, not only to humans, but even to wild animals.”
25 And such was the content of the letter, so that it would be made known in all lands and nations, which are subject to the authority of king Artaxerxes, that the Jews have been made ready to be vindicated of their enemies.
26 And so the swift couriers departed in haste, carrying through the announcement, and the king’s edict was hung up in Susa.
27 But Mordecai, going forth from the palace and from the king’s presence, shone in royal apparel the color of hyacinth and of the sky, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was joyful.
28 But for the Jews, a new light seemed to rise; there was joy, honor, and dancing.
29 With all the peoples, cities, and provinces, wherever the king’s orders arrived, there was wonderful rejoicing, banquets and feasts, and a solemn holy day, so much so that many of the other nations joined themselves to their religious practices and ceremonies. For a great fear of the name of the Jews had overcome them all.
1 Therefore, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said before is called Adar, when all the Jews were prepared to be executed and their enemies were greedy for their blood, the situation turned around, and the Jews began to have the upper hand and to vindicate themselves of their adversaries.
2 And they gathered together throughout each city, and town, and place, so as to extend their hands against their enemies and their persecutors. And no one dared to resist them, because their great power had pierced all the peoples.
3 For even the judges of the provinces, and the rulers, and the procurators, and everyone of dignity, who presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of Mordecai.
4 For they knew him to be the leader of the palace and to have much power. Likewise, the fame of his name increased daily and flew everywhere through word of mouth.
5 And so the Jews struck their enemies like a great plague and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them,
6 so much so that even in Susa they executed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Haman the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, and their names are these:
7 Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha
8 and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,
9 and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vaizatha.
10 When they had slain them, they were unwilling to touch the spoils of their belongings.
11 And immediately the number of those who had been killed in Susa was reported to the king.
12 He said to the queen, “In the city of Susa, the Jews have executed five hundred men, and also the ten sons of Haman. How many executions do you think that they have carried out in all the provinces? What more do you ask, and what do you wish, so that I may order it to be done?”
13 And she answered, “If it pleases the king, may power be granted to the Jews, so as to do tomorrow in Susa just as they have done today, and that the ten sons of Haman may be hung up the gallows.”
14 And the king instructed that it should be so done. And immediately the edict was hung up in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hung up.
15 On the fourteenth day of the month Adar, the Jews gathered themselves together, and they executed in Susa three hundred men, but they did not seize their belongings from them.
16 Moreover, throughout all the provinces which were subject to the king’s dominion, the Jews made a stand for their lives, and they executed their enemies and their persecutors, so much so that the number of those who were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and yet no one touched any of their belongings.
17 Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with all of the executions, and on the fourteenth day they ceased the killing. This day they established to be sacred, so that in all times hereafter they would be free for feasting, joyfulness, and celebration.
18 But, as for those who were carrying out the killings in the city of Susa, they turned to killing on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month. But on the fifteenth day they ceased to attack. And for that reason they established that day as sacred, with feasting and with gladness.
19 But in truth, those Jews who were staying in unwalled towns and villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for celebration and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day and send one another portions of their feasts and their meals.
20 And so Mordecai wrote down all these things and sent them, composed in letters, to the Jews who were staying in all the king’s provinces, as much to those in nearby places as to those far away,
21 so that they would accept the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, and always, at the return of the year, would celebrate them with sacred esteem.
22 For on those days, the Jews vindicated themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, so that these would be days of feasting and gladness, in which they would send one another portions of their feasts, and would grant gifts to the poor.
23 And the Jews accepted as a solemn ritual all the things which they had begun to do at that time, which Mordecai had commanded with letters to be done.
24 For Haman, the son of Hammedatha of Agag lineage, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and to destroy them. And he had cast Pur, which in our language means the lot.
25 And after this, Esther had entered before the king, begging him that his efforts might be made ineffective by the king’s letters, and that the evil he intended against the Jews might return upon his own head. Finally, both he and his sons were fastened to a cross.
26 And so, from that time, these days are called Purim, that is, of the lots, because Pur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that had been carried out are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book.
27 And whatever they suffered, and whatever was altered afterwards, the Jews received for themselves and their offspring and for all who were willing to be joined to their religion, so that none would be permitted to transgress the solemnity of these two days, to which the writing testifies, and which certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another.
28 These are the days which no one ever will erase into oblivion, and which every province in the whole world, throughout each generation, shall celebrate. Neither is there any city wherein the days of Purim, that is, of lots, may not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which has been obligated to these ceremonies.
29 And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, also wrote a second letter, so that with all zealousness this day would be confirmed as customary for future generations.
30 And they sent to all the Jews, who had been stirred up in the one hundred twenty-seven provinces of king Artaxerxes, that they should have peace and receive truth,
31 and observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy at their proper time, just as Mordecai and Esther had established. And they accepted these to be observed by themselves and by their offspring: fasting, and crying out, and the days of lots,
32 and all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.
1 Truly, king Artaxerxes made all the land, and all the islands of the sea, tributaries.
2 And his strength and his authority, and the dignity and supremacy with which he exalted Mordecai, have been written in the books of the Medes and the Persians,
3 and how Mordecai of Jewish birth, was second after king Artaxerxes, and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking about things which pertained to peace for their descendents.
4 And Mordecai said, “By God have these things been done.
5 I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things, and nothing of this whatsoever has failed to occur.
6 The little fountain which grew into a river, and had turned into light and into the sun, and overflowed into many waters, is Esther, whom the king received as wife and whom he preferred to be queen.
7 But the two dragons are I and Haman.
8 The peoples who gathered together are those who had attempted to erase the name of the Jews.
9 And my people is Israel, who cried out to the Lord, and the Lord brought salvation to his people, and he freed us from all evils, and he created great signs and portents among the nations.
10 And he commanded there to be two lots, one for the people of God and the other for all the nations.
11 And both lots arrived at the day appointed before God, even from that past time, for all peoples.
12 And the Lord remembered his people and had mercy on his inheritance.
13 And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the same month, with all zealousness and joy, by the people gathered together into one union, throughout all the generations hereafter of the people of Israel.”
14 In the fourth year of the reigns of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who was himself a priest and born of the Levites, and Ptolemy his son, brought this epistle of Purim, which they said was a translation by Lysimachus the son of Ptolemy in Jerusalem.
1 And I lifted up my eyes, and I saw, and behold, a man, and in his hand was a measuring line.
2 And I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, so that I may see how great its width and how great its length may be.”
3 And behold, the angel, who had been speaking with me, departed, and another angel went out to meet him.
4 And he said to him: Hurry, speak to this young man, saying: Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls, because of the multitude of men and beasts of burden in its midst.
5 And I will be to it, says the Lord, a wall of fire all around. And in glory, I will be in its midst.
6 O, O flee from the land of the North, says the Lord, for I have scattered you into the four winds of heaven, says the Lord.
7 O Zion, flee, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.
8 For thus says the Lord of hosts: After the glory, he has sent me to the Gentiles, which have despoiled you. For he who touches you, touches the pupil of my eye.
9 For behold, I lift up my hand over them, and they will be a prey to those who had served them. And you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me.
10 Sing praise and rejoice, daughter of Zion. For behold, I approach, and I will dwell in your midst, says the Lord.
11 And many nations will be joined to the Lord in that day, and they will be my people, and I will dwell in your midst. And you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
12 And the Lord will possess his portion, Judah, in the sanctified land, and still he will single out Jerusalem.
13 Let all flesh be silent before the face of the Lord: for he has arisen from his holy dwelling place.
1 Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
2 Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth now and for ever.
3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the name of the Lord is worthy of praise.
4 The Lord is high above all nations; and his glory above the heavens.
5 Who is as the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high:
6 And looketh down on the low things in heaven and in earth?
7 Raising up the needy from the earth, and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill:
8 That he may place him with princes, with the princes of his people.
9 Who maketh a barren woman to dwell in a house, the joyful mother of children.
1 And you were once dead in your sins and offenses,
2 in which you walked in times past, according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of this sky, the spirit who now works in the sons of distrust.
3 And we too were all conversant in these things, in times past, by the desires of our flesh, acting according to the will of the flesh and according to our own thoughts. And so we were, by nature, sons of wrath, even like the others.
4 Yet still, God, who is rich in mercy, for the sake of his exceedingly great charity with which he loved us,
5 even when we were dead in our sins, has enlivened us together in Christ, by whose grace you have been saved.
6 And he has raised us up together, and he has caused us to sit down together in the heavens, in Christ Jesus,
7 so that he may display, in the ages soon to arrive, the abundant wealth of his grace, by his goodness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves, for it is a gift of God.
9 And this is not of works, so that no one may glory.
10 For we are his handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has prepared and in which we should walk.
11 Because of this, be mindful that, in times past, you were Gentiles in the flesh, and that you were called uncircumcised by those who are called circumcised in the flesh, something done by man,
12 and that you were, in that time, without Christ, being foreign to the way of life of Israel, being visitors to the testament, having no hope of the promise, and being without God in this world.
13 But now, in Christ Jesus, you, who were in times past far away, have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace. He made the two into one, by dissolving the intermediate wall of separation, of opposition, by his flesh,
15 emptying the law of commandments by decree, so that he might join these two, in himself, into one new man, making peace
16 and reconciling both to God, in one body, through the cross, destroying this opposition in himself.
17 And upon arriving, he evangelized peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near.
18 For by him, we both have access, in the one Spirit, to the Father.
19 Now, therefore, you are no longer visitors and new arrivals. Instead, you are citizens among the saints in the household of God,
20 having been built upon the foundation of the Apostles and of the Prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the preeminent cornerstone.
21 In him, all that has been built is framed together, rising up into a holy temple in the Lord.
22 In him, you also have been built together into a habitation of God in the Spirit.