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ESTHER CHAPTERS 1-10
ΕΤΟΥΣ δευτέρου βασιλεύοντος ᾿Αρταξέρξου τοῦ μεγάλου βασιλέως τῇ μιᾷ τοῦ Νισάν, ἐνύπνιον εἶδε Μαρδοχαῖος ὁ τοῦ ᾿Ιαΐρου, τοῦ Σεμεΐου, τοῦ Κισσαίου, ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμίν,
1β ἄνθρωπος ᾿Ιουδαῖος οἰκῶν ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει, ἄνθρωπος μέγας, θεραπεύων ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τοῦ βασιλέως.
1γ ἦν δὲ ἐκ τῆς αἰχμαλωσίας, ἧς ᾐχμαλώτευσε Ναβουχοδονόσορ βασιλεὺς Βαβυλῶνος ἐξ ῾Ιερουσαλὴμ μετὰ ᾿Ιεχονίου τοῦ βασιλέως τῆς ᾿Ιουδαίας.
1δ καὶ τοῦτο αὐτοῦ τὸ ἐνύπνιον· καὶ ἰδοὺ φωναὶ καὶ θόρυβος, βρονταὶ καὶ σεισμός, τάραχος ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
1ε καὶ ἰδοὺ δύο δράκοντες μεγάλοι ἕτοιμοι προῆλθον ἀμφότεροι παλαίειν, καὶ ἐγένετο αὐτῶν φωνὴ μεγάλη·
1ζ καὶ τῇ φωνῇ αὐτῶν ἡτοιμάσθη πᾶν ἔθνος εἰς πόλεμον, ὥστε πολεμῆσαι δικαίων ἔθνος.
1η καὶ ἰδοὺ ἡμέρα σκότος καὶ γνόφου, θλῖψις καὶ στενοχωρία, κάκωσις καὶ τάραχος μέγας ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς·
1θ καὶ ἐταράχθη πᾶν ἔθνος δίκαιον φοβούμενοι τὰ ἑαυτῶν κακὰ καὶ ἡτοιμάσθησαν ἀπολέσθαι καὶ ἐβόησαν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν.
1ι ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς βοῆς αὐτῶν ἐγένετο ὡσανεὶ ἀπὸ μικρᾶς πηγῆς ποταμὸς μέγας, ὕδωρ πολύ·
1κ καὶ φῶς καὶ ἥλιος ἀνέτειλε, καὶ οἱ ταπεινοὶ ὑψώθησαν καὶ κατέφαγον τοὺς ἐνδόξους.
1λ καὶ διεγερθεὶς Μαρδοχαῖος ὁ ἑωρακὼς τὸ ἐνύπνιον τοῦτο καὶ τί ὁ Θεὸς βεβούλευται ποιῆσαι, εἶχεν αὐτὸ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ καὶ ἐν παντὶ λόγῳ ἤθελεν ἐπιγνῶναι αὐτὸ ἕως τῆς νυκτός.
1μ καὶ ἡσύχασε Μαρδοχαῖος ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ μετὰ Γαβαθὰ καὶ Θάρα τῶν δύο εὐνούχων τοῦ βασιλέως τῶν φυλασσόντων τὴν αὐλὴν
1ν ἤκουσέ τε αὐτῶν τοὺς λογισμοὺς καὶ τὰς μερίμνας αὐτῶν ἐξηρεύνησε καὶ ἔμαθεν, ὅτι ἑτοιμάζουσι τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιβαλεῖν ᾿Αρταξέρξῃ τῷ βασιλεῖ, καὶ ὑπέδειξε τῷ βασιλεῖ περὶ αὐτῶν.
1ξ καὶ ἐξήτασεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοὺς δύο εὐνούχους, καὶ ὁμολογήσαντες ἀπήχθησαν.
1ο καὶ ἔγραψεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοὺς λόγους τούτους εἰς μνημόσυνον, καὶ Μαρδοχαῖος ἔγραψεν περὶ τῶν λόγων τούτων.
1π καὶ ἐπέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς Μαρδοχαίῳ θεραπεύειν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ δόματα περὶ τούτων.
1ρ καὶ ἦν ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου Βουγαῖος ἔνδοξος ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως· καὶ ἐζήτησε κακοποιῆσαι τὸν Μαρδοχαῖον καὶ τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ ὑπὲρ τῶν δύο εὐνούχων τοῦ βασιλέως.
1 Καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ᾿Αρταξέρξου —οὗτος ὁ ᾿Αρταξέρξης ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ χωρῶν ἐκράτησεν—
2 ἐν αὐταῖς ταῖς ἡμέραις ὅτε ἐθρονίσθη βασιλεὺς ᾿Αρταξέρξης ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει,
3 ἐν τῷ τρίτῳ ἔτει βασιλεύοντος αὐτοῦ, δοχὴν ἐποίησε τοῖς φίλοις καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσι καὶ τοῖς Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων ἐνδόξοις καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι τῶν σατραπῶν.
4 καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα μετὰ τὸ δεῖξαι αὐτοῖς τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν δόξαν τῆς εὐφροσύνης τοῦ πλούτου αὐτοῦ ἐν ἡμέραις ἑκατὸν ὀγδοήκοντα,
5 ὅτε δὲ ἀνεπληρώθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ γάμου, ἐποίησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πότον τοῖς ἔθνεσι τοῖς εὑρεθεῖσιν εἰς τὴν πόλιν ἐπὶ ἡμέρας ἓξ ἐν αὐλῇ οἴκου τοῦ βασιλέως
6 κεκοσμημένῃ βυσσίνοις καὶ καρπασίνοις τεταμένοις ἐπὶ σχοινίοις βυσσίνοις καὶ πορφυροῖς, ἐπὶ κύβοις χρυσοῖς καὶ ἀργυροῖς, ἐπὶ στύλοις παρίνοις καὶ λιθίνοις· κλῖναι χρυσαῖ καὶ ἀργυραῖ ἐπὶ λιθοστρώτου σμαραγδίτου λίθου καὶ πιννίνου καὶ παρίνου λίθου καὶ στρώμναι διαφανεῖς ποικίλως διηνθισμέναι, κύκλῳ ρόδα πεπασμένα·
7 ποτήρια χρυσᾶ καὶ ἀργυρᾶ καὶ ἀνθράκινον κυλίκιον προκείμενον ἀπὸ ταλάντων τρισμυρίων· οἶνος πολὺς καὶ ἡδύς, ὃν αὐτὸς ὁ βασιλεὺς ἔπινεν.
8 ὁ δὲ πότος οὗτος οὐ κατὰ προκείμενον νόμον ἐγένετο, οὕτως δὲ ἠθέλησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ἐπέταξε τοῖς οἰκονόμοις ποιῆσαι τὸ θέλημα αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων.
9 καὶ ᾿Αστὶν ἡ βασίλισσα ἐποίησε πότον ταῖς γυναιξὶν ἐν τοῖς βασιλείοις, ὅπου ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Αρταξέρξης,
10 ἐν δὲ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ἑβδόμῃ ἡδέως γενόμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς εἶπε τῷ ᾿Αμὰν καὶ Βαζὰν καὶ Θάρᾳ καὶ Βαραζὶ καὶ Ζαθολθὰ καὶ ᾿Αβαταζὰ καὶ Θαραβά, τοῖς ἑπτὰ εὐνούχοις τοῖς διακόνοις τοῦ βασιλέως ᾿Αρταξέρξου,
11 εἰσαγαγεῖν τὴν βασίλισσαν πρὸς αὐτόν, βασιλεύειν αὐτὴν καὶ περιθεῖναι αὐτῇ τὸ διάδημα καὶ δεῖξαι τοῖς ἄρχουσι καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσι τὸ κάλλος αὐτῆς, ὅτι καλὴ ἦν.
12 καὶ οὐκ εἰσήκουσεν αὐτοῦ ᾿Αστὶν ἡ βασίλισσα ἐλθεῖν μετὰ τῶν εὐνούχων. καὶ ἐλυπήθη ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ὠργίσθη
13 καὶ εἶπε τοῖς φίλοις αὐτοῦ· κατὰ ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν ᾿Αστίν, ποιήσατε οὖν περὶ τούτου νόμον καὶ κρίσιν.
14 καὶ προσῆλθεν αὐτῷ ᾿Αρκεσαῖος καὶ Σαρσαθαῖος καὶ Μαλησεὰρ οἱ ἄρχοντες Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων, οἱ ἐγγὺς τοῦ βασιλέως, οἱ πρῶτοι παρακαθήμενοι τῷ βασιλεῖ,
15 καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν αὐτῷ κατὰ τοὺς νόμους, ὡς δεῖ ποιῆσαι ᾿Αστὶν τῇ βασιλίσσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἐποίησε τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως προσταχθέντα διὰ τῶν εὐνούχων.
16 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ Μουχαῖος πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα καὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντας· οὐ τὸν βασιλέα μόνον ἠδίκησεν ᾿Αστὶν ἡ βασίλισσα, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἄρχοντας καὶ τοὺς ἡγουμένους τοῦ βασιλέως
17 (καὶ γὰρ διηγήσατο αὐτοῖς τὰ ρήματα τῆς βασιλίσσης καὶ ὡς ἀντεῖπε τῷ βασιλεῖ). ὡς οὖν ἀντεῖπε τῷ βασιλεῖ ᾿Αρταξέρξῃ,
18 οὕτω σήμερον αἱ τυραννίδες αἱ λοιπαὶ τῶν ἀρχόντων Περσῶν καὶ Μήδων ἀκούσασαι τὰ τῷ βασιλεῖ λεχθέντα ὑπ᾿ αὐτῆς, τολμήσουσιν ὁμοίως ἀτιμάσαι τοὺς ἄνδρας αὐτῶν.
19 εἰ οὖν δοκεῖ τῷ βασιλεῖ, προσταξάτω βασιλικόν, καὶ γραφήτω κατὰ τοὺς νόμους Μήδων καὶ Περσῶν· καὶ μὴ ἄλλως χρησάσθω, μηδὲ εἰσελθέτω ἔτι ἡ βασίλισσα πρὸς αὐτόν, καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτῆς δότω ὁ βασιλεὺς γυναικὶ κρείττονι αὐτῆς.
20 καὶ ἀκουσθήτω ὁ νόμος ὁ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως, ὃν ἐὰν ποιῇ ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ οὕτω πᾶσαι αἱ γυναῖκες περιθήσουσι τιμὴν τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἑαυτῶν, ἀπὸ πτωχοῦ ἕως πλουσίου.
21 καὶ ἤρεσεν ὁ λόγος τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι, καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καθὰ ἐλάλησεν ὁ Μουχαῖος·
22 καὶ ἀπέστειλεν εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν βασιλείαν κατὰ χώραν, κατὰ τὴν λέξιν αὐτῶν, ὥστε εἶναι φόβον αὐτοῖς ἐν ταῖς οἰκίαις αὐτῶν.
ΚΑΙ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ἐκόπασεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ θυμοῦ καὶ οὐκέτι ἐμνήσθη τῆς ᾿Αστίν, μνημονεύων οἷα ἐλάλησε καὶ ὡς κατέκρινεν αὐτήν.
2 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ διάκονοι τοῦ βασιλέως· ζητηθήτω τῷ βασιλεῖ κοράσια ἄφθορα καλὰ τῷ εἴδει·
3 καὶ καταστήσει ὁ βασιλεὺς κωμάρχας ἐν πάσαις ταῖς χώραις τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐπιλεξάτωσαν κοράσια παρθενικὰ καλὰ τῷ εἴδει εἰς Σοῦσαν τὴν πόλιν εἰς τὸν γυναικῶνα· καὶ παραδοθήτωσαν τῷ εὐνούχῳ τοῦ βασιλέως τῷ φύλακι τῶν γυναικῶν, καὶ δοθήτω σμῆγμα καὶ ἡ λοιπὴ ἐπιμέλεια·
4 καὶ ἡ γυνή, ἣ ἂν ἀρέσῃ τῷ βασιλεῖ, βασιλεύσει ἀντὶ ᾿Αστίν. καὶ ἤρεσε τῷ βασιλεῖ τὸ πρᾶγμα, καὶ ἐποίησεν οὕτως.
5 καὶ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ᾿Ιουδαῖος ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει, καὶ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Μαρδοχαῖος ὁ τοῦ ᾿Ιαΐρου, τοῦ Σεμεΐου, τοῦ Κισσαίου, ἐκ φυλῆς Βενιαμίν,
6 ὃς ἦν αἰχμάλωτος ἐξ ῾Ιερουσαλήμ, ἣν ᾐχμαλώτευσε Ναβουχοδονόσορ βασιλεὺς Βαβυλῶνος.
7 καὶ ἦν τούτῳ παῖς θρεπτή, θυγάτηρ ᾿Αμιναδὰβ ἀδελφοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ὄνομα αὐτῇ ᾿Εσθήρ· ἐν δὲ τῷ μεταλλάξαι αὐτῆς τοὺς γονεῖς ἐπαίδευσεν αὐτὴν ἑαυτῷ εἰς γυναῖκα· καὶ ἦν τὸ κοράσιον καλὸν τῷ εἴδει.
8 καὶ ὅτε ἠκούσθη τὸ τοῦ βασιλέως πρόσταγμα, συνήχθησαν πολλὰ κοράσια εἰς Σοῦσαν τὴν πόλιν ὑπὸ χεῖρα Γαΐ, καὶ ἤχθη ᾿Εσθὴρ πρὸς Γαΐ τὸν φύλακα τῶν γυναικῶν.
9 καὶ ἤρεσεν αὐτῷ τὸ κοράσιον καὶ εὗρε χάριν ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ· καὶ ἔσπευσε δοῦναι αὐτῇ τὸ σμῆγμα καὶ τὴν μερίδα καὶ τὰ ἑπτὰ κοράσια τὰ ὑποδεδειγμένα αὐτῇ ἐκ βασιλικοῦ καὶ ἐχρήσατο αὐτῇ καλῶς καὶ ταῖς ἅβραις αὐτῆς ἐν τῷ γυναικῶνι.
10 καὶ οὐχ ὑπέδειξε ᾿Εσθὴρ τὸ γένος αὐτῆς οὐδὲ τὴν πατρίδα· ὁ γὰρ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐνετείλατο αὐτῇ μὴ ἀπαγγεῖλαι·
11 καθ’ ἑκάστην δὲ ἡμέραν περιεπάτει ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος κατὰ τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν γυναικείαν ἐπισκοπῶν τί ᾿Εσθὴρ συμβήσεται.
12 οὗτος δὲ ἦν καιρὸς κορασίου εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, ὅταν ἀναπληρώσῃ μῆνας δεκαδύο· οὕτως γὰρ αναπληροῦνται αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς θεραπείας, μῆνας ἓξ ἀλειφόμεναι ἐν σμυρνίνῳ ἐλαίῳ καὶ μῆνας ἓξ ἐν τοῖς ἀρώμασι καὶ ἐν τοῖς σμήγμασι τῶν γυναικῶν,
13 καὶ τότε εἰσπορεύεται πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα. καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν εἴπῃ, παραδώσει αὐτὴν συνεισέρχεσθαι αὐτῷ ἀπὸ τοῦ γυναικῶνος ἕως τῶν βασιλείων.
14 δείλης εἰσπορεύεται καὶ πρὸς ἡμέραν ἀποτρέχει εἰς τὸν γυναικῶνα τὸν δεύτερον, οὗ Γαΐ ὁ εὐνοῦχος τοῦ βασιλέως ὁ φύλαξ τῶν γυναικῶν, καὶ οὐκέτι εἰσπορεύεται πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, ἐὰν μὴ κληθῇ ὀνόματι.
15 ἐν δὲ τῷ ἀναπληροῦσθαι τὸν χρόνον ᾿Εσθὴρ τῆς θυγατρὸς ᾿Αμιναδὰβ ἀδελφοῦ πατρὸς Μαρδοχαίου εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα οὐδὲν ἠθέτησεν, ὧν ἐνετείλατο ὁ εὐνοῦχος ὁ φύλαξ τῶν γυναικῶν· ἦν γὰρ ᾿Εσθὴρ εὑρίσκουσα χάριν παρὰ πάντων τῶν βλεπόντων αὐτήν.
16 καὶ εἰσῆλθεν ᾿Εσθὴρ πρὸς ᾿Αρταξέρξην τὸν βασιλέα τῷ δωδεκάτῳ μηνί, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ, τῷ ἑβδόμῳ ἔτει τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ.
17 καὶ ἠράσθη ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Εσθήρ, καὶ εὗρε χάριν παρὰ πάσας τὰς παρθένους, καὶ ἐπέθηκεν αὐτῇ τὸ διάδημα τὸ γυναικεῖον.
18 καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πότον πᾶσι τοῖς φίλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς δυνάμεσιν ἐπὶ ἡμέρας ἑπτὰ καὶ ὕψωσε τοὺς γάμους ᾿Εσθὴρ καὶ ἄφεσιν ἐποίησε τοῖς ὑπὸ τὴν βασιλείαν αὐτοῦ.
19 ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐθεράπευεν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ.
20 ἡ δὲ ᾿Εσθὴρ οὐχ ὑπέδειξε τὴν πατρίδα αὐτῆς· οὕτως γὰρ ἐνετείλατο αὐτῇ Μαρδοχαῖος, φοβεῖσθαι τὸν Θεὸν καὶ ποιεῖν τὰ προστάγματα αὐτοῦ, καθὼς ἦν μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ καὶ ᾿Εσθὴρ οὐ μετήλλαξε τὴν ἀγωγὴν αὐτῆς.
21 Καὶ ἐλυπήθησαν οἱ δύο εὐνοῦχοι τοῦ βασιλέως, οἱ ἀρχισωματοφύλακες, ὅτι προήχθη Μαρδοχαῖος, καὶ ἐζήτουν ἀποκτεῖναι ᾿Αρταξέρξην τὸν βασιλέα.
22 καὶ ἐδηλώθη Μαρδοχαίῳ ὁ λόγος, καὶ ἐσήμανεν ᾿Εσθήρ, καὶ αὐτὴ ἐνεφάνισε τῷ βασιλεῖ τὰ τῆς ἐπιβουλῆς
23 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἤτασε τοὺς δύο εὐνούχους καὶ ἐκρέμασεν αὐτούς· καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καταχωρίσαι εἰς μνημόσυνον ἐν τῇ βασιλικῇ βιβλιοθήκῃ ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐνοίας Μαρδοχαίου ἐν ἐγκωμίῳ.
ΜΕΤΑ δὲ ταῦτα ἐδόξασεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Αρταξέρξης ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου Βουγαῖον καὶ ὕψωσεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐπρωτοβάθρει πάντων τῶν φίλων αὐτοῦ.
2 καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ, οὕτως γὰρ προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ποιῆσαι· ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος οὐ προσεκύνει αὐτῷ.
3 καὶ ἐλάλησαν οἱ ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τοῦ βασιλέως τῷ Μαρδοχαίῳ· Μαρδοχαῖε, τί παρακούεις τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως λεγόμενα;
4 καθ᾿ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν ἐλάλουν αὐτῷ, καὶ οὐχ ὑπήκουεν αὐτῶν· καὶ ὑπέδειξαν τῷ ᾿Αμὰν Μαρδοχαῖον τοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως λόγοις ἀντιτασσόμενον· καὶ ὑπέδειξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος ὅτι ᾿Ιουδαῖός ἐστι.
5 καὶ ἐπιγνοὺς ᾿Αμὰν ὅτι οὐ προσκυνεῖ αὐτῷ Μαρδοχαῖος, ἐθυμώθη σφόδρα
6 καὶ ἐβουλεύσατο ἀφανίσαι πάντας τοὺς ὑπὸ τὴν ᾿Αρταξέρξου βασιλείαν ᾿Ιουδαίους.
7 καὶ ἐποίησε ψήφισμα ἐν ἔτει δωδεκάτῳ τῆς βασιλείας ᾿Αρταξέρξου καὶ ἔβαλε κλήρους ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας καὶ μῆνα ἐκ μηνός, ὥστε ἀπολέσαι ἐν μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ τὸ γένος Μαρδοχαίου, καὶ ἔπεσεν ὁ κλῆρος εἰς τὴν τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην τοῦ μηνός, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ.
8 καὶ ἐλάλησε πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾿Αρταξέρξης λέγων· ὑπάρχει ἔθνος διεσπαρμένον ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου, οἱ δὲ νόμοι αὐτῶν ἔξαλλοι παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, τῶν δὲ νόμων τοῦ βασιλέως παρακούουσι, καὶ οὐ συμφέρει τῷ βασιλεῖ ἐᾶσαι αὐτούς·
9 εἰ δοκεῖ τῷ βασιλεῖ, δογματισάτω ἀπολέσαι αὐτούς, κἀγὼ διαγράψω εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον τοῦ βασιλέως ἀργυρίου τάλαντα μύρια.
10 καὶ περιελόμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸ δακτύλιον ἔδωκεν εἰς χεῖρας τῷ ᾿Αμὰν σφραγίσαι κατὰ τῶν γεγραμμένων κατὰ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων.
11 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ ᾿Αμάν· τὸ μὲν ἀργύριον ἔχε, τῷ δὲ ἔθνει χρῶ ὡς βούλει.
12 καὶ ἐκλήθησαν οἱ γραμματεῖς τοῦ βασιλέως μηνὶ πρώτῳ τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ καὶ ἔγραψαν, ὡς ἐπέταξεν ᾿Αμάν, τοῖς στρατηγοῖς, καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι κατὰ πᾶσαν χώραν ἀπὸ ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας, ταῖς ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ χώραις, τοῖς τε ἄρχουσι τῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τὴν αὐτῶν λέξιν δι᾿ ᾿Αρταξέρξου τοῦ βασιλέως.
13 καὶ ἀπεστάλη διὰ βιβλιοφόρων εἰς τὴν ᾿Αρταξέρξου βασιλείαν ἀφανίσαι τὸ γένος τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾶ μηνὸς δωδεκάτου, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ, καὶ διαρπάσαι τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτῶν.
13α Τῆς δὲ ἐπιστολῆς ἐστι τὸ ἀντίγραφον τόδε· «Βασιλεὺς μέγας ᾿Αρταξέρξης τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ χωρῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ τοπάρχαις ὑποτεταγμένοις τάδε γράφει·
13β πολλῶν ἐπάρξας ἐθνῶν καὶ πάσης ἐπικρατήσας οἰκουμένης, ἐβουλήθην μὴ τῷ θράσει τῆς ἐξουσίας ἐπαιρόμενος, ἐπιεικέστερον δὲ καὶ μετὰ ἠπιότητος ἀεὶ διεξάγων, τοὺς τῶν ὑποτεταγμένων ἀκυμάντους διαπαντὸς καταστῆσαι βίους, τήν τε βασιλείαν ἥμερον καὶ πορευτὴν μέχρι περάτων παρεξόμενος ἀνανεώσασθαί τε τὴν ποθουμένην τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις εἰρήνην. ῟
13γ πυθομένου δέ μου τῶν συμβούλων, πῶς ἂν ἀχθείη τοῦτο ἐπὶ πέρας, ὁ σωφροσύνῃ παρ᾿ ἡμῖν διενέγκας καὶ ἐν τῇ εὐνοίᾳ ἀπαραλλάκτως καὶ βεβαίᾳ πίστει ἀποδεδειγμένος καὶ δεύτερον τῶν βασιλειῶν γέρας ἀπενηνεγμένος ᾿Αμὰν
13δ ἐπέδειξεν ἡμῖν ἐν πάσαις ταῖς κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην φυλαῖς ἀναμεμεῖχθαι δυσμενῆ λαόν τινα τοῖς νόμοις ἀντίθετον πρὸς πᾶν ἔθνος τά τε τῶν βασιλέων παραπέμποντας διηνεκῶς διατάγματα, πρὸς τὸ μὴ κατατίθεσθαι τὴν ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν κατευθυνομένην ἀμέμπτως συναρχίαν.
13ε διειληφότες οὖν τόδε τὸ ἔθνος μονώτατον ἐν ἀντιπαραγωγῇ παντὶ διαπαντὸς ἀνθρώπῳ κείμενον, διαγωγὴν νόμων ξενίζουσαν παραλλάσσον καὶ δυσνοοῦν τοῖς ἡμετέροις πράγμασι τὰ χείριστα συντελοῦν κακὰ καὶ πρὸς τὸ μὴ τὴν βασιλείαν εὐσταθείας τυγχάνειν·
13ζ προστετάχαμεν οὖν τοὺς σημαινομένους ὑμῖν ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ὑπὸ ᾿Αμὰν τοῦ τεταγμένου ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ δευτέρου πατρὸς ἡμῶν πάντας σὺν συναιξὶ καὶ τέκνοις ἀπολέσαι ὁλορριζεὶ ταῖς τῶν ἐχθρῶν μαχαίραις ἄνευ παντὸς οἴκτου καὶ φειδοῦς, τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς ᾿Αδάρ, τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος ἔτους,
13η ὅπως οἱ πάλαι καὶ νῦν δυσμενεῖς ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾷ βιαίως εἰς τὸν ᾅδην κατελθόντες, εἰς τὸν μετέπειτα χρόνον εὐσταθῆ καὶ ἀτάραχα παρέχωσιν ἡμῖν διὰ τέλους τὰ πράγματα».
14 Τὰ δὲ ἀντίγραφα τῶν ἐπιστολῶν ἐξετίθετο κατὰ χώραν, καὶ προσετάγη πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἑτοίμους εἶναι εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν ταύτην.
15 ἐσπεύδετο δὲ τὸ πρᾶγμα καὶ εἰς Σοῦσαν· ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς καὶ ᾿Αμὰν ἐκωθωνίζοντο, ἐταράσσετο δὲ ἡ πόλις.
Ο δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐπιγνοὺς τὸ συντελούμενον διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια ἑαυτοῦ καὶ ἐνεδύσατο σάκκον καὶ κατεπάσατο σποδὸν καὶ ἐκπηδήσας διὰ τῆς πλατείας τῆς πόλεως ἐβόα φωνῇ μεγάλῃ· αἴρεται ἔθνος μηδὲν ἠδικηκός.
2 καὶ ἦλθεν ἕως τῆς πύλης τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ ἔστη· οὐ γὰρ ἦν αὐτῷ ἐξὸν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν σάκκον ἔχοντι καὶ σποδόν.
3 καὶ ἐν πάσῃ χώρᾳ, οὗ ἐξετίθετο τὰ γράμματα, κραυγὴ καὶ κοπετὸς καὶ πένθος μέγα τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις, σάκκον καὶ σποδὸν ἔστρωσαν ἑαυτοῖς.
4 καὶ εἰσῆλθον αἱ ἅβραι καὶ οἱ εὐνοῦχοι τῆς βασιλίσσης καὶ ἀνήγγειλαν αὐτῇ, καὶ ἐταράχθη ἀκούσασα τὸ γεγονὸς καὶ ἀπέστειλε στολίσαι τὸν Μαρδαχαῖον καὶ ἀφελέσθαι αὐτοῦ τὸν σάκκον· ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἐπείσθη.
5 ἡ δὲ ᾿Εσθὴρ προσεκαλέσατο ᾿Αχραθαῖον τὸν εὐνοῦχον αὐτῆς, ὃς παρειστήκει αὐτῇ, καὶ ἀπέστειλε μαθεῖν αὕτη παρὰ τοῦ Μαρδοχαίου τὸ ἀκριβές.
7 ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος ὑπέδειξεν αὐτῷ τὸ γεγονὸς καὶ τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν, ἣν ἐπηγγείλατο ᾿Αμὰν τῷ βασιλεῖ εἰς τὴν γάζαν ταλάντων μυρίων, ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους·
8 καὶ τὸ ἀντίγραφον τὸ ἐν Σούσοις ἐκτεθὲν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἀπολέσθαι αὐτοὺς ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ δεῖξαι τῇ ᾿Εσθήρ. καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ἐντείλασθαι αὐτῇ εἰσελθούσῃ παραιτήσασθαι τὸν βασιλέα καὶ ἀξιῶσαι αὐτὸν περὶ τοῦ λαοῦ μνησθεῖσα ἡμερῶν ταπεινώσεώς σου, ὡς ἐτράφης ἐν χειρί μου, διότι ᾿Αμὰν ὁ δευτερεύων τῷ βασιλεῖ ἐλάλησε καθ᾿ ἡμῶν εἰς θάνατον· ἐπικάλεσαι τὸν Κύριον καὶ λάλησον τῷ βασιλεῖ περὶ ἡμῶν ρῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἐκ θανάτου.
9 εἰσελθὼν δὲ ὁ ᾿Αχραθαῖος ἐλάλησεν αὐτῇ πάντας τοὺς λόγους τούτους.
10 εἶπε δὲ ᾿Εσθὴρ πρὸς ᾿Αχραθαῖον· πορεύθητι πρὸς Μαρδοχαῖον καὶ εἰπόν,
11 ὅτι τὰ ἔθνη πάντα τῆς βασιλείας γινώσκει, ὅτι πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ἢ γυνή, ὃς εἰσελεύσεται πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν ἐσωτέραν ἄκλητος, οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτῷ σωτηρία· πλὴν ᾧ ἐκτείνῃ ὁ βασιλεὺς τὴν χρυσῆν ράβδον, οὗτος σωθήσεται· κἀγὼ οὐ κέκλημαι εἰσελθεῖν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα, εἰσὶν αὗται ἡμέραι τριάκοντα.
12 καὶ ἀπήγγειλεν ᾿Αχραθαῖος Μαρδοχαίῳ πάντας τοὺς λόγους ᾿Εσθήρ,
13 καὶ εἶπε Μαρδοχαῖος πρὸς ᾿Αχραθαῖον· πορεύθητι καὶ εἶπον αὐτῇ· ᾿Εσθήρ, μὴ εἴπῃς σεαυτῇ, ὅτι σωθήσῃ μόνη ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ παρὰ πάντας τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους·
14 ὡς ὅτι ἐὰν παρακούσῃς ἐν τούτῳ τῷ καιρῷ, ἄλλοθεν βοήθεια καὶ σκέπη ἔσται τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις, σὺ δὲ καὶ ὁ οἶκος τοῦ πατρός σου ἀπολεῖσθε· καὶ τίς οἶδεν, εἰ εἰς τὸν καιρὸν τοῦτον ἐβασίλευσας;
15 καὶ ἐξαπέστειλεν ᾿Εσθὴρ τὸν ἥκοντα πρὸς αὐτήν, πρὸς Μαρδοχαῖον λέγουσα·
16 βαδίσας ἐκκλησίασον τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους τοὺς ἐν Σούσοις καὶ νηστεύσατε ἐπ᾿ ἐμοὶ καὶ μὴ φάγητε μηδὲ πίητε ἐπὶ ἡμέρας τρεῖς νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, κἀγὼ δὲ καὶ αἱ ἅβραι μου ἀσιτήσομεν, καὶ τότε εἰσελεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα παρὰ τὸν νόμον, ἐὰν καὶ ἀπολέσθαι με δέῃ.
17 Καὶ βαδίσας Μαρδοχαῖος ἐποίησεν ὅσα ἐνετείλατο αὐτῷ ᾿Εσθήρ.
17α καὶ ἐδεήθη Κυρίου μνημονεύων πάντα τὰ ἔργα Κυρίου καὶ εἶπε·
17β Κύριε Κύριε, βασιλεῦ πάντων κρατῶν, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ σου τὸ πᾶν ἐστι, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ ἀντιδοξῶν σοι ἐν τῷ θέλειν σε σῶσαι τὸν ᾿Ισραήλ·
17γ ὅτι σὺ ἐποίησας τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ πᾶν θαυμαζόμενον ἐν τῇ ὑπ᾿ οὐρανὸν καὶ Κύριος εἶ πάντων, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ὃς ἀντιτάξεταί σοι τῷ Κυρίῳ.
17δ σὺ πάντα γινώσκεις· σὺ οἶδας, Κύριε, ὅτι οὐκ ἐν ὕβρει οὐδὲ ἐν ὑπερηφανίᾳ οὐδὲ ἐν φιλοδοξίᾳ ἐποίησα τοῦτο, τὸ μὴ προσκυνεῖν τὸν ὑπερήφανον ᾿Αμάν, ὅτι ηὐδόκουν φιλεῖν πέλματα ποδῶν αὐτοῦ πρὸς σωτηρίαν ᾿Ισραήλ·
17ε ἀλλ᾿ ἐποίησα τοῦτο, ἵνα μὴ θῶ δόξαν ἀνθρώπου ὑπεράνω δόξης Θεοῦ, καὶ οὐ προσκυνήσω οὐδένα, πλὴν σοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου μου καὶ οὐ ποιήσω αὐτὰ ἐν ὑπερηφανίᾳ.
17ζ καὶ νῦν, Κύριε ὁ Θεός, ὁ βασιλεύς, ὁ Θεὸς ῾Αβραάμ, φεῖσαι τοῦ λαοῦ σου, ὅτι ἐπιβλέπουσιν ἡμῖν εἰς καταφθορὰν καὶ ἐπεθύμησαν ἀπολέσαι τὴν ἐξ ἀρχῆς κληρονομίαν σου·
17η μὴ ὑπερίδῃς τὴν μερίδα σου, ἣν σεαυτῷ ἐλυτρώσω ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου·
17θ ἐπάκουσον τῆς δεήσεώς μου καὶ ἱλάσθητι τῷ κλήρῳ σου καὶ στρέψον τὸ πένθος ἡμῶν εἰς εὐωχίαν, ἵνα ζῶντες ὑμνῶμέν σου τὸ ὄνομα, Κύριε, καὶ μὴ ἀφανίσῃς στόμα αἰνούντων σε, Κύριε.
17ι καὶ πᾶς ᾿Ισραὴλ ἐκέκραξεν ἐξ ἰσχύος αὐτῶν, ὅτι θάνατος αὐτῶν ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς αὐτῶν.
17κ Καὶ ᾿Εσθὴρ ἡ βασίλισσα κατέφυγεν ἐπὶ τὸν Κύριον ἐν ἀγῶνι θανάτου κατειλημμένη, καὶ ἀφελομένη τὰ ἱμάτια τῆς δόξης αὐτῆς ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτια στενοχωρίας καὶ πένθους, καὶ ἀντὶ τῶν ὑπερηφάνων ἡδυσμάτων, σποδοῦ καὶ κοπριῶν ἐνέπλησε τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτῆς καὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτῆς ἐταπείνωσε σφόδρα καὶ πάντα τόπον κόσμου ἀγαλλιάματος αὐτῆς ἔπλησε στρεπτῶν τριχῶν αὐτῆς καὶ ἐδεῖτο Κυρίου Θεοῦ ᾿Ισραήλ, καὶ εἶπε·
17λ Κύριέ μου, βασιλεὺς ἡμῶν σὺ εἶ μόνος· βοήθησόν μοι τῇ μόνῃ καὶ μὴ ἐχούσῃ βοηθὸν εἰ μὴ σέ, ὅτι κίνδυνός μου ἐν χειρί μου.
17μ ἐγὼ ἤκουον ἐκ γενετῆς μου ἐν φυλῇ πατριᾶς μου ὅτι σύ, Κύριε, ἔλαβες τὸν ᾿Ισραὴλ ἐκ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν καὶ τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν ἐκ πάντων τῶν προγόνων αὐτῶν εἰς κληρονομίαν αἰώνιον καὶ ἐποίησας αὐτοῖς ὅσα ἐλάλησας.
17ν καὶ νῦν ἡμάρτομεν ἐνώπιόν σου, καὶ παρέδωκας ἡμᾶς εἰς χεῖρας τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἡμῶν, ἀνθ᾿ ὧν ἐδοξάσαμεν τοὺς θεοὺς αὐτῶν· δίκαιος εἶ, Κύριε.
17ξ καὶ νῦν οὐκ ἱκανώθησαν ἐν πικρασμῷ δουλείας ἡμῶν, ἀλλ᾿ ἔθηκαν τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὰς χεῖρας τῶν εἰδώλων αὐτῶν ἐξάραι ὁρισμὸν στόματός σου καὶ ἀφανίσαι κληρονομίαν σου καὶ ἐμφράξαι στόμα αἰνούντων σοι καὶ σβέσαι δόξαν οἴκου σου καὶ θυσιαστηρίου σου,
17ο καὶ ἀνοῖξαι στόμα ἐθνῶν εἰς ἀρετὰς ματαίων καὶ θαυμασθῆναι βασιλέα σάρκινον εἰς αἰῶνα.
17π μὴ παραδῷς, Κύριε, τὸ σκῆπτρόν σου τοῖς μὴ οὖσι, καὶ μὴ καταγελασάτωσαν ἐν τῇ πτώσει ἡμῶν, ἀλλὰ στρέψον τὴν βουλὴν αὐτῶν ἐπ᾿ αὐτούς, τὸν δὲ ἀρξάμενον ἐφ᾿ ἡμᾶς παραδειγμάτισον.
17ρ μνήσθητι, Κύριε, γνώσθητι ἐν καιρῷ θλίψεως ἡμῶν καὶ ἐμὲ θάρσυνον, βασιλεῦ τῶν θεῶν καὶ πάσης ἀρχῆς ἐπικρατῶν·
17σ δὸς λόγον εὔρυθμον εἰς τὸ στόμα μου ἐνώπιον τοῦ λέοντος καὶ μετάθες τὴν καρδίαν αὐτοῦ εἰς μῖσος τοῦ πολεμοῦντος ἡμᾶς εἰς συντέλειαν αὐτοῦ καὶ τῶν ὁμονούντων αὐτῶ·
17τ ἡμᾶς δὲ ρῦσαι ἐν χειρί σου καὶ βοήθησόν μοι τῇ μόνῃ καὶ μὴ ἐχούσῃ εἰς μὴ σέ, Κύριε·
17υ πάντων γνῶσιν ἔχεις καὶ οἶδας ὅτι ἐμίσησα δόξαν ἀνόμων καὶ βδελύσσομαι κοίτην ἀπεριτμήτων καὶ παντὸς ἀλλοτρίου.
17φ σὺ οἶδας τὴν ἀνάγκην μου, ὅτι βδελύσσομαι τὸ σημεῖον τῆς ὑπερηφανίας μου, ὅ ἐστιν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς μου ἐν ἡμέραις ὀπτασίας μου· βδελύσσομαι αὐτὸ ὡς ράκος καταμηνίων καὶ οὐ φορῶ αὐτὸ ἐν ἡμέραις ἡσυχίας μου.
17χ καὶ οὐκ ἔφαγεν ἡ δούλη σου τράπεζαν ᾿Αμὰν καὶ οὐκ ἐδόξασα συμπόσιον βασιλέως, οὐδὲ ἔπιον οἶνον σπονδῶν·
17ψ καὶ οὐκ ηὐφράνθη ἡ δούλη σου ἀφ᾿ ἡμέρας μεταβολῆς μου μέχρι νῦν, πλὴν ἐπὶ σοί, Κύριε, ὁ Θεὸς ῾Αβραάμ.
17ω ὁ Θεὸς ὁ ἰσχύων ἐπὶ πάντας, εἰσάκουσον φωνὴν ἀπηλπισμένων καὶ ρῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἐκ χειρὸς τῶν πονηρευομένων, καὶ ρῦσαί με ἐκ τοῦ φόβου μου.
ΚΑΙ ἐγενήθη ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ, ὡς ἐπαύσατο προσευχομένη, ἐξεδύσατο τὰ ἱμάτια τῆς θεραπείας καὶ περιεβάλετο τὴν δόξαν αὐτῆς.
1α καὶ γενηθεῖσα ἐπιφανής, ἐπικαλεσαμένη τῶν πάντων ἐπόπτην Θεὸν καὶ σωτῆρα, παρέλαβε τὰς δύο ἅβρας· καὶ τῇ μὲν μιᾷ ἐπηρείδετο ὡς τρυφερευομένη, ἡ δὲ ἑτέρα ἐπηκολούθει κουφίζουσα τὴν ἔνδυσιν αὐτῆς,
1β καὶ αὐτὴ ἐρυθριῶσα ἀκμῇ κάλλους αὐτῆς, καὶ τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτῆς ἱλαρὸν ὡς προσφιλές, ἡ δὲ καρδία αὐτῆς ἀπεστενωμένη ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου.
1γ καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα πάσας τὰς θύρας κατέστη ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκάθητο ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ καὶ πᾶσαν στολὴν τῆς ἐπιφανείας αὐτοῦ ἐνδεδύκει, ὅλος διὰ χρυσοῦ καὶ λίθων πολυτελῶν, καὶ ἦν φοβερὸς σφόδρα.
1δ καὶ ἄρας τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ πεπυρωμένον δόξῃ ἐν ἀκμῇ θυμοῦ ἔβλεψε, καὶ ἔπεσεν ἡ βασίλισσα καὶ μετέβαλε τὸ χρῶμα αὐτῆς ἐν ἐκλύσει καὶ κατεπέκυψεν ἐπὶ τὴν κεφαλὴν τῆς ἅβρας τῆς προπορευομένης.
1ε καὶ μετέβαλεν ὁ Θεὸς τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ βασιλέως εἰς πραΰτητα, καὶ ἀγωνιάσας ἀνεπήδησεν ἀπὸ τοῦ θρόνου αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέλαβεν αὐτὴν ἐπὶ τὰς ἀγκάλας αὐτοῦ, μέχρις οὗ κατέστη, καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὴν λόγοις εἰρηνικοῖς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῇ·
1ζ τί ἐστιν ᾿Εσθήρ; ἐγὼ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, θάρσει, οὐ μὴ ἀποθάνῃς ὅτι κοινὸν τὸ πρόσταγμα ἡμῶν ἐστι· πρόσελθε.
2 καὶ ἄρας τὴν χρυσῆν ράβδον ἐπέθηκεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτῆς καὶ ἠσπάσατο αὐτὴν καὶ εἶπε· λάλησόν μοι.
2α καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· εἶδόν σε, κύριε, ὡς ἄγγελον Θεοῦ, καὶ ἐταράχθη ἡ καρδία μου ἀπὸ φόβου τῆς δόξης σου, ὅτι θαυμαστὸς εἶ, κύριε, καὶ τὸ πρόσωπόν σου χαρίτων μεστόν.
2β ἐν δὲ τῷ διαλέγεσθαι αὐτὴν ἔπεσεν ἀπὸ ἐκλύσεως αὐτῆς καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐταράσσετο, καὶ πᾶσα ἡ θεραπεία αὐτοῦ παρεκάλει αὐτήν.
3 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς· τί θέλεις, ᾿Εσθήρ; καὶ τί σού ἐστι τὸ ἀξίωμα; ἕως τοῦ ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου, καὶ ἔσται σοι.
4 εἶπε δὲ ᾿Εσθήρ· ἡμέρα μου ἐπίσημος σήμερόν ἐστι· εἰ οὖν δοκεῖ τῷ βασιλεῖ, ἐλθάτω καὶ αὐτὸς καὶ ᾿Αμὰν εἰς τὴν δοχήν, ἣν ποιήσω σήμερον.
5 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς· κατασπεύσατε ᾿Αμάν, ὅπως ποιήσωμεν τὸν λόγον ᾿Εσθήρ· καὶ παραγίνονται ἀμφότεροι εἰς τὴν δοχήν, ἣν εἶπεν ᾿Εσθήρ.
6 ἐν δὲ τῷ πότῳ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πρὸς ᾿Εσθήρ· τί ἐστι βασίλισσα ᾿Εσθήρ; καὶ ἔσται ὅσα ἀξιοῖς.
7 καὶ εἶπε· τὸ αἴτημά μου καὶ τὸ ἀξίωμα·
8 εἰ εὗρον χάριν ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως, ἐλθάτω ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ᾿Αμὰν ἔτι τὴν αὔριον εἰς τὴν δοχήν, ἣν ποιήσω αὐτοῖς, καὶ αὔριον ποιήσω τὰ αὐτά.
9 Καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὁ ᾿Αμὰν ἀπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως ὑπερχαρὴς εὐφραινόμενος· ἐν δὲ τῷ ἰδεῖν ᾿Αμὰν Μαρδοχαῖον τὸν ᾿Ιουδαῖον ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ ἐθυμώθη σφόδρα
10 καὶ εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὰ ἴδια ἐκάλεσε τοὺς φίλους καὶ Ζωσάραν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ,
11 καὶ ὑπέδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὸν πλοῦτον αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν δόξαν, ἣν ὁ βασιλεὺς αὐτῷ περιέθηκε, καὶ ὡς ἐποίησεν αὐτὸν πρωτεύειν καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι τῆς βασιλείας.
12 καὶ εἶπεν ᾿Αμάν· οὐ κέκληκεν ἡ βασίλισσα μετὰ τοῦ βασιλέως οὐδένα εἰς τὴν δοχὴν ἀλλ᾿ ἢ ἐμέ, καὶ εἰς τὴν αὔριον κέκλημαι·
13 καὶ ταῦτά μοι οὐκ ἀρέσκει, ὅταν ἴδω Μαρδοχαῖον τὸν ᾿Ιουδαῖον ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ.
14 καὶ εἶπε πρὸς αὐτὸν Ζωσάρα ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ φίλοι· κοπήτω σοι ξύλον πηχῶν πεντήκοντα, ὄρθρου δὲ εἰπὸν τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ κρεμασθήτω Μαρδοχαῖος ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου· σὺ δὲ εἴσελθε εἰς τὴ δοχὴν σὺν τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ εὐφραίνου. καὶ ἤρεσε τὸ ρῆμα τῷ ᾿Αμάν, καὶ ἡτοιμάσθη τὸ ξύλον.
Ο δὲ Κύριος ἀπέστησε τὸν ὕπνον ἀπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως τὴν νύκτα ἐκείνην, καὶ εἶπε τῷ διακόνῳ αὐτοῦ εἰσφέρειν γράμματα μνημόσυνα τῶν ἡμερῶν ἀναγινώσκειν αὐτῷ.
2 εὗρε δὲ τὰ γράμματα τὰ γραφέντα περὶ Μαρδοχαίου, ὡς ἀπήγγειλε τῷ βασιλεῖ περὶ τῶν δύο εὐνούχων τοῦ βασιλέως ἐν τῷ φυλάσσειν αὐτοὺς καὶ ζητῆσαι ἐπιβαλεῖν τὰς χεῖρας ᾿Αρταξέρξῃ.
3 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς· τίνα δόξαν ἢ χάριν ἐποιήσαμεν τῷ Μαρδοχαίῳ; καὶ εἶπαν οἱ διάκονοι τοῦ βασιλέως· οὐκ ἐποίησας αὐτῷ οὐδέν.
4 ἐν δὲ τῷ πυνθάνεσθαι τὸν βασιλέα περὶ τῆς εὐνοίας Μαρδοχαίου, ἰδοὺ ᾿Αμὰν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ. εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς· τίς ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ; ὁ δὲ ᾿Αμὰν εἰσῆλθεν εἰπεῖν τῷ βασιλεῖ κρεμάσαι τὸν Μαρδοχαῖον ἐπὶ τῷ ξύλῳ, ᾧ ἡτοίμασε.
5 καὶ εἶπαν οἱ διάκονοι τοῦ βασιλέως· ἰδοὺ ᾿Αμὰν ἕστηκεν ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ. καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεύς· καλέσατε αὐτόν.
6 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ ᾿Αμάν· τί ποιήσω τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ, ὃν ἐγὼ θέλω δοξάσαι; εἶπε δὲ ἐν ἑαυτῷ ᾿Αμάν· τίνα θέλει ὁ βασιλεὺς δοξάσαι εἰ μὴ ἐμέ;
7 εἶπε δὲ πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα· ἄνθρωπον, ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς θέλει δοξάσαι,
8 ἐνεγκάτωσαν οἱ παῖδες τοῦ βασιλέως στολὴν βυσσίνην, ἣν ὁ βασιλεὺς περιβάλλεται, καὶ ἵππον ἐφ᾿ ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐπιβαίνει,
9 καὶ δότω ἑνὶ τῶν φίλων τοῦ βασιλέως τῶν ἐνδόξων καὶ στολισάτω τὸν ἄνθρωπον, ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς ἀγαπᾷ, καὶ ἀναβιβασάτω αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον καὶ κηρυσσέτω διὰ τῆς πλατείας τῆς πόλεως λέγων· οὕτως ἔσται παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ, ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς δοξάζει.
10 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ ᾿Αμάν· καλῶς ἐλάλησας. οὕτως ποίησον τῷ Μαρδοχαίῳ τῷ ᾿Ιουδαίῳ τῷ θεραπεύοντι ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ, καὶ μὴ παραπεσάτω σου λόγος, ὧν ἐλάλησας.
11 ἔλαβε δὲ ᾿Αμὰν τὴν στολὴν καὶ τὸν ἵππον, καὶ ἐστόλισε τὸν Μαρδοχαῖον, καὶ ἀνεβίβασεν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸν ἵππον καὶ διῆλθε διὰ τῆς πλατείας τῆς πόλεως καὶ ἐκήρυσσε λέγων· οὕτως ἔσται παντὶ ἀνθρώπῳ, ὃν ὁ βασιλεὺς θέλει δοξάσαι.
12 ἐπέστρεψε δὲ ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος εἰς τὴν αὐλήν. ᾿Αμὰν δὲ ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὰ ἴδια λυπούμενος κατὰ κεφαλῆς.
13 καὶ διηγήσατο ᾿Αμὰν τὰ συμβεβηκότα αὐτῷ Ζωσάρᾳ τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῖς φίλοις, καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτὸν οἱ φίλοι καὶ ἡ γυνή· εἰ ἐκ γένους ᾿Ιουδαίων Μαρδοχαῖος, ἦρξαι ταπεινοῦσθαι ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ, πεσὼν πεσῇ καὶ οὐ μὴ δύνῃ αὐτὸν ἀμύνασθαι, ὅτι Θεὸς ζῶν μετ᾿ αὐτοῦ.
14 ἔτι αὐτῶν λαλούντων, παραγίνονται οἱ εὐνοῦχοι ἐπισπεύδοντες τὸν ᾿Αμὰν ἐπὶ τὸν πότον, ὃν ἡτοίμασεν ᾿Εσθήρ.
ΕΙΣΗΛΘΕ δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ᾿Αμὰν συμπιεῖν τῇ βασιλίσσῃ.
2 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Εσθὴρ τῇ δευτέρᾳ ἡμέρᾳ ἐν τῷ πότῳ· τί ἐστιν, ᾿Εσθὴρ βασίλισσα, καὶ τί τὸ αἴτημά σου καὶ τί τὸ ἀξιωμά σου; καὶ ἔστω σοι ἕως ἡμίσους τῆς βασιλείας μου.
3 καὶ ἀποκριθεῖσα εἶπεν· εἰ εὗρον χάριν ἐνώπιον τοῦ βασιλέως, δοθήτω ἡ ψυχὴ τῷ αἰτήματί μου καὶ ὁ λαός μου τῷ ἀξιώματί μου·
4 ἐπράθημεν γὰρ ἐγώ τε καὶ ὁ λαός μου εἰς ἀπώλειαν καὶ διαρπαγὴν καὶ δουλείαν, ἡμεῖς καὶ τὰ τέκνα ἡμῶν εἰς παῖδας καὶ παιδίσκας, καὶ παρήκουσα· οὐ γὰρ ἄξιος ὁ διάβολος τῆς αὐλῆς τοῦ βασιλέως.
5 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς· τίς οὗτος, ὅστις ἐτόλμησε ποιῆσαι τὸ πρᾶγμα τοῦτο;
6 εἶπε δὲ ᾿Εσθήρ· ἄνθρωπος ἐχθρὸς ᾿Αμάν, ὁ πονηρὸς οὗτος. ᾿Αμὰν δὲ ἐταράχθη ἀπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ τῆς βασιλίσσης.
7 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἐξανέστη ἀπὸ τοῦ συμποσίου εἰς τὸν κῆπον· ὁ δὲ ᾿Αμὰν παρῃτεῖτο τὴν βασίλισσαν, ἑώρα γὰρ ἑαυτὸν ἐν κακοῖς ὄντα.
8 ἐπέστρεψε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκ τοῦ κήπου, ᾿Αμάν δὲ ἐπιπεπτώκει ἐπὶ τὴν κλίνην ἀξιῶν τὴν βασίλισσαν. εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς· ὥστε καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα βιάζῃ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ μου; ᾿Αμὰν δὲ ἀκούσας διετράπη τῷ προσώπῳ.
9 εἶπε δὲ Βουγαθὰν εἷς τῶν εὐνούχων πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα· ἰδοὺ καὶ ξύλον ἡτοίμασεν ᾿Αμὰν Μαρδοχαίῳ τῷ λαλήσαντι περὶ τοῦ βασιλέως, καὶ ὤρθωται ἐν τοῖς ᾿Αμὰν ξύλον πηχῶν πεντήκοντα. εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς· σταυρωθήτω ἐπ᾿ αὐτοῦ.
10 καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη ᾿Αμὰν ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου, ὃ ἡτοιμάσθη Μαρδοχαίῳ. καὶ τότε ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκόπασε τοῦ θυμοῦ.
ΚΑΙ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Αρταξέρξης ἐδωρήσατο ᾿Εσθὴρ ὅσα ὑπῆρχεν ᾿Αμὰν τῷ διαβόλῳ, καὶ Μαρδοχαῖος προσεκλήθη ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως· ὑπέδειξε γὰρ ᾿Εσθήρ, ὅτι ἐνοικείωται αὐτῇ.
2 ἔλαβε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸν δακτύλιον, ὃν ἀφείλετο ᾿Αμάν, καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν Μαρδοχαίῳ, καὶ κατέστησεν ᾿Εσθὴρ Μαρδοχαῖον ἐπὶ πάντων τῶν ᾿Αμάν.
3 καὶ προσθεῖσα ἐλάλησε πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα καὶ προσέπεσε πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἠξίου ἀφελεῖν τὴν ᾿Αμὰν κακίαν καὶ ὅσα ἐποίησε τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις.
4 ἐξέτεινε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Εσθὴρ τὴν ράβδον τὴν χρυσῆν, ἐξηγέρθη δὲ ᾿Εσθὴρ παρεστηκέναι τῷ βασιλεῖ,
5 καὶ εἶπεν ᾿Εσθήρ· εἰ δοκεῖ σοι καὶ εὗρον χάριν, πεμφθήτω ἀποστραφῆναι τὰ γράμματα τὰ ἀπεσταλμένα ὑπὸ ᾿Αμάν, τὰ γραφέντα ἀπολέσθαι τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους, οἵ εἰσιν ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου·
6 πῶς γὰρ δυνήσομαι ἰδεῖν τὴν κάκωσιν τοῦ λαοῦ μου καὶ πῶς δυνήσομαι σωθῆναι ἐν τῇ ἀπωλείᾳ τῆς πατρίδος μου;
7 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πρὸς ᾿Εσθήρ· εἰ πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντα ᾿Αμὰν ἔδωκα καὶ ἐχαρισάμην σοι καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκρέμασα ἐπὶ ξύλου, ὅτι τὰς χεῖρας ἐπήνεγκε τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις, τί ἔτι ἐπιζητεῖς;
8 γράψατε καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐκ τοῦ ὀνόματός μου, ὡς δοκεῖ ὑμῖν, καὶ σφραγίσατε τῷ δακτυλίῳ μου· ὅσα γὰρ γράφετε τοῦ βασιλέως ἐπιτάξαντος καὶ σφραγισθῇ τῷ δακτυλίω μου, οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῖς ἀντειπεῖν.
9 ἐκλήθησαν δὲ οἱ γραμματεῖς ἐν τῷ πρώτῳ μηνί, ὅς ἐστι Νισάν, τρίτῃ καὶ εἰκάδι τοῦ αὐτοῦ ἔτους, καὶ ἐγράφη τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις ὅσα ἐνετείλατο τοῖς οἰκονόμοις καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι τῶν σατραπῶν, ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας, ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ σατράπαις κατὰ χώραν καὶ χώραν, κατὰ τὴν ἑαυτῶν λέξιν.
10 ἐγράφη δὲ διὰ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ ἐσφραγίσθη τῷ δακτυλίῳ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν τὰ γράμματα διὰ βιβλιοφόρων,
11 ὡς ἐπέταξε αὐτοῖς χρῆσθαι τοῖς νόμοις αὐτῶν ἐν πάσῃ πόλει βοηθῆσαί τε αὐτοῖς καὶ χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἀντιδίκοις αὐτῶν καὶ τοῖς ἀντικειμένοις αὐτῶν, ὡς βούλονται,
12 ἐν ἡμέρα μιᾷ ἐν πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ ᾿Αρταξέρξου, τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνός, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ.
12α ῟Ων ἐστιν ἀντίγραφον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς τὰ ὑπογεγραμμένα·
12β «βασιλεὺς μέγας ᾿Αρταξέρξης τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ σατραπείαις χωρῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ τοῖς τὰ ἡμέτερα φρονοῦσι, χαίρειν.
12γ πολλοὶ τῇ πλείστῃ τῶν εὐεργετούντων χρηστότητι πυκνότερον τιμώμενοι μεῖζον ἐφρόνησαν καὶ οὐ μόνον τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους ἡμῖν ζητοῦσι κακοποιεῖν, τόν τε κόρον οὐ δυνάμενοι φέρειν καὶ τοῖς ἑαυτῶν εὐεργέταις ἐπιχειροῦσιν μηχανᾶσθαι·
12δ καὶ τὴν εὐχαριστίαν οὐ μόνον ἐκ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀνταναιροῦντες, ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς τῶν ἀπειραγάθων κόμποις ἐπαρθέντες, τοῦ τὰ πάντα κατοπτεύοντος ἀεὶ Θεοῦ μισοπόνηρον ὑπολαμβάνουσιν ἐκφεύξεσθαι δίκην.
12ε πολλάκις δὲ καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν ἐπ᾿ ἐξουσίαις τεταγμένων τῶν πιστευθέντων χειρίζειν φίλων τὰ πράγματα παραμυθία μετόχους αἱμάτων ἀθώων καταστήσασα, περιέβαλε συμφοραῖς ἀνηκέστοις,
12ζ τῷ τῆς κακοηθείας ψευδεῖ παραλογισμῷ παραλογισαμένων τὴν τῶν ἐπικρατούντων ἀκέραιον εὐγνωμοσύνην.
12η σκοπεῖν δὲ ἔξεστιν, οὐ τοσοῦτον ἐκ τῶν παλαιοτέρων ὧν παρεδώκαμεν ἱστοριῶν, ὅσα ἐστὶ παρὰ πόδας ὑμᾶς ἐκζητοῦντας ἀνοσίως συντετελεσμένα τῇ τῶν ἀνάξια δυναστευόντων λοιμότητι,
12θ καὶ προσέχειν εἰς τὰ μετὰ ταῦτα εἰς τὸ τὴν βασιλείαν ἀτάραχον τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις μετ᾿ εἰρήνης παρεξόμεθα,
12ι χρώμενοι ταῖς μεταβολαῖς, τὰ δὲ ὑπὸ τὴν ὄψιν ἐρχόμενα διακρίνοντες ἀεὶ μετ᾿ ἐπιεικεστέρας ἀπαντήσεως.
12κ ὡς γὰρ ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου Μακεδών, ταῖς ἀληθείας ἀλλότριος τοῦ τῶν Περσῶν αἵματος καὶ πολὺ διεστηκὼς τῆς ἡμετέρας χρηστότητος, ἐπιξενωθεὶς ἡμῖν
12λ ἔτυχεν, ἧς ἔχομεν πρὸς πᾶν ἔθνος φιλανθρωπίας ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον, ὥστε ἀναγορεύεσθαι ἡμῶν πατέρα καὶ προσκυνούμενον ὑπὸ πάντων τὸ δεύτερον τοῦ βασιλικοῦ θρόνου πρόσωπον διατελεῖν·
12μ οὐκ ἐνέγκας δὲ τὴν ὑπερηφανίαν ἐπετήδευσε τῆς ἀρχῆς στερῆσαι ἡμᾶς καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος,
12ν τόν τε ἡμέτερον σωτῆρα καὶ διαπαντὸς εὐεργέτην Μαρδοχαῖον καὶ τὴν ἄμεμπτον τῆς βασιλείας κοινωνὸν ᾿Εσθὴρ σὺν παντὶ τῷ τούτων ἔθνει πολυπλόκοις μεθόδων παραλογισμοῖς αἰτησάμενος εἰς ἀπώλειαν·
12ξ διὰ γὰρ τῶν τρόπων τούτων ᾠήθη λαβὼν ἡμᾶς ἐρήμους, τὴν τῶν Περσῶν ἐπικράτησιν εἰς τοὺς Μακεδόνας μετάξαι.
12ο ἡμεῖς δὲ τοὺς ὑπὸ τοῦ τρισαλιτηρίου παραδεδομένους εἰς ἀφανισμὸν ᾿Ιουδαίους, εὑρίσκομεν οὐ κακούργους ὄντας, δικαιοτάτοις δὲ πολιτευομένους νόμοις,
12π ὄντας δὲ υἱοὺς τοῦ ῾Υψίστου μεγίστου ζῶντος Θεοῦ τοῦ κατευθύνοντος ἡμῖν τε καὶ τοῖς προγόνοις ἡμῶν τὴν βασιλείαν ἐν τῇ καλλίστῃ διαθέσει.
12ρ καλῶς οὗν ποιήσετε μὴ προσχρησάμενοι τοῖς ὑπὸ ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου ἀποσταλεῖσι γράμμασι διὰ τὸν αὐτὸν τὸν ταῦτα ἐξεργασάμενον πρὸς ταῖς Σούσων πύλαις ἐσταυρῶσθαι σὺν τῇ πανοικίᾳ, τὴν καταξίαν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐπικρατοῦντος Θεοῦ διὰ τάχους ἀποδόντος αὐτῷ κρίσιν.
12σ τὸ δὲ ἀντίγραφον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς ταύτης ἐκθέντες ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ μετὰ παρρησίας, ἐᾶν τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἑαυτῶν νομίμοις καὶ συνεπισχύειν αὐτοῖς, ὅπως τοὺς ἐν καιρῷ θλίψεως ἐπιθεμένους αὐτοῖς ἀμύνωνται τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς ᾿Αδὰρ τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ·
12τ ταύτην γὰρ ὁ τὰ πάντα δυναστεύων Θεὸς ἀντ᾿ ὀλεθρίας τοῦ ἐκλεκτοῦ γένους ἐποίησεν αὐτοῖς εὐφροσύνην.
12υ καὶ ὑμεῖς οὖν ἐν ταῖς ἐπωνύμοις ὑμῶν ἑορταῖς ἐπίσημον ἡμέραν μετὰ πάσης εὐωχίας ἄγεται, ὅπως καὶ νῦν καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα σωτηρία ᾖ ἡμῖν καὶ τοῖς εὐνοοῦσι Πέρσαις, τοῖς δὲ ἡμῖν ἐπιβουλεύουσι μνημόσυνον τῆς ἀπωλείας.
12φ πᾶσα δὲ πόλις ἢ χώρα τὸ σύνολον, ἥτις κατὰ ταῦτα μὴ ποιήσῃ, δόρατι καὶ πυρὶ καταναλωθήσεται μετ᾿ ὀργῆς· οὐ μόνον ἀνθρώποις ἄβατος, ἀλλὰ καὶ θηρίοις καὶ πετεινοῖς εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον ἔχθιστος κατασταθήσεται.
13 τὰ δὲ ἀντίγραφα ἐκτιθέσθωσαν ὀφθαλμοφανῶς ἐν πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ, ἑτοίμους τε εἶναι πάντας τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους εἰς ταύτην τὴν ἡμέραν, πολεμῆσαι αὐτῶν τοὺς ὑπεναντίους».
14 Οἱ μὲν οὗν ἱππεῖς ἐξῆλθον σπεύδοντες τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως λεγόμενα ἐπιτελεῖν· ἐξετέθη δὲ τὸ πρόσταγμα καὶ ἐν Σούσοις.
15 ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος ἐξῆλθεν ἐστολισμένος τὴν βασιλικὴν στολὴν καὶ στέφανον ἔχων χρυσοῦν καὶ διάδημα βύσσινον πορφυροῦν· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ ἐν Σούσοις ἐχάρησαν.
16 τοῖς δὲ ᾿Ιουδαίοις ἐγένετο φῶς καὶ εὐφροσύνη·
17 κατὰ πόλιν καὶ χώραν, οὗ ἂν ἐξετέθη τὸ πρόσταγμα, οὗ ἂν ἐξετέθη τὸ ἔκθεμα, χαρὰ καὶ εὐφροσύνη τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις, κώθων καὶ εὐφροσύνη. καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν ἐθνῶν περιετέμνοντο καὶ ἰουδάϊζον διὰ τὸν φόβον τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων.
Εν γὰρ τῷ δωδεκάτῳ μηνί, τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτη τοῦ μηνός, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ, παρῆν τὰ γράμματα τὰ γραφέντα ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως.
2 ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἀπώλοντο οἱ ἀντικείμενοι τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις· οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀντέστη, φοβούμενος αὐτούς.
3 οἱ γὰρ ἄρχοντες τῶν σατραπῶν καὶ οἱ τύραννοι καὶ οἱ βασιλικοὶ γραμματεῖς ἐτίμων τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους· ὁ γὰρ φόβος Μαρδοχαίου ἐνέκειτο αὐτοῖς.
4 προσέπεσε γὰρ τὸ πρόσταγμα τοῦ βασιλέως ὀνομασθῆναι ἐν πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ καὶ ἐμεγαλύνετο.
5 καὶ ἐπάταξαν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι πληγὴν ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἐχθροῖς αὐτῶν πληγὴν μαχαίρας καὶ ἀναιρέσεως καὶ ἀπωλείας καὶ ἐποίησαν ἐν τοῖς μισοῦσιν αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ θέλημα αὐτῶν.
6 καὶ ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει ἀπέκτειναν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἄνδρας πεντακοσίους,
7 τόν τε Φαρσαννὲς καὶ Δελφὼν καὶ Φασγὰ
8 καὶ Φαραδαθὰ καὶ Βαρέα καὶ Σαρβακὰ
9 καὶ Μαρμασιμὰ καὶ Ρουφαῖον καὶ ᾿Αρσαῖον καὶ Ζαβουθαῖον,
10 τοὺς δέκα υἱοὺς ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου Βουγαίου τοῦ ἐχθροῦ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων, καὶ διήρπασαν.
11 ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐπεδόθη ὁ ἀριθμὸς τῷ βασιλεῖ τῶν ἀπολωλότων ἐν Σούσοις.
12 εἶπε δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς πρὸς ᾿Εσθήρ· ἀπώλεσαν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει ἄνδρας πεντακοσίους· ἐν δὲ τῇ περιχώρῳ πῶς οἴει ἐχρήσαντο; τί οὖν ἀξιοῖς ἔτι, καὶ ἔσται σοι;
13 καὶ εἶπεν ᾿Εσθὴρ τῷ βασιλεῖ· δοθήτω τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις χρῆσθαι ὡσαύτως τὴν αὔριον, ὥστε τοὺς δέκα υἱοὺς ᾿Αμὰν κρεμάσαι.
14 καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν οὕτως γενέσθαι καὶ ἐξέθηκε τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις τῆς πόλεως τὰ σώματα τῶν υἱῶν ᾿Αμὰν κρεμάσαι.
15 καὶ συνήχθησαν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἐν Σούσοις τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ ᾿Αδὰρ καὶ ἀπέκτειναν ἄνδρας τριακοσίους καὶ οὐδὲν διήρπασαν.
16 οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων οἱ ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ συνήχθησαν καὶ ἑαυτοῖς ἐβοήθουν καὶ ἀνεπαύσαντο ἀπὸ τῶν πολεμίων· ἀπώλεσαν γὰρ αὐτῶν μυρίους πεντακισχιλίους τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ ᾿Αδὰρ καὶ οὐδὲν διήρπασαν.
17 καὶ ἀνεπαύσαντο τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνὸς καὶ ἦγον αὐτὴν ἡμέραν ἀναπαύσεως μετὰ χαρᾶς καὶ εὐφροσύνης.
18 οἱ δὲ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἐν Σούσοις τῇ πόλει συνήχθησαν καὶ τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ καὶ ἀνεπαύσαντο· ἦγον δὲ καὶ τὴν πεντεκαιδεκάτην μετὰ χαρᾶς καὶ εὐφροσύνης.
19 διὰ τοῦτο οὖν οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι οἱ διεσπαρμένοι ἐν πάσῃ χώρᾳ τῇ ἔξω ἄγουσι τὴν τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην τοῦ ᾿Αδὰρ ἡμέραν ἀγαθὴν μετ᾿ εὐφροσύνης ἀποστέλλοντες μερίδας ἕκαστος τῷ πλησίον.
20 ῎Εγραψε δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος τοὺς λόγους τούτους εἰς βιβλίον καὶ ἐξαπέστειλε τοῖς ᾿Ιουδαίοις, ὅσοι ἦσαν ἐν τῇ ᾿Αρταξέρξου βασιλεία, τοῖς ἐγγὺς καὶ τοῖς μακράν,
21 στῆσαι τὰς ἡμέρας ταύτας ἀγαθὰς ἄγειν τε τὴν τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην καὶ τὴν πεντεκαιδεκάτην τοῦ ᾿Αδὰρ —
22 ἐν γὰρ ταύταις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἀνεπαύσαντο οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἀπὸ τῶν ἐχθρῶν αὐτῶν— καὶ τὸν μῆνα, ἐν ᾧ ἐστράφη αὐτοῖς (ὃς ἦν ᾿Αδὰρ) ἀπὸ πένθους εἰς χαρὰν καὶ ἀπὸ ὀδύνης εἰς ἀγαθὴν ἡμέραν, ἄγειν ὅλον ἀγαθὰς ἡμέρας γάμων καὶ εὐφροσύνης, ἐξαποστέλλοντας μερίδας τοῖς φίλοις καὶ τοῖς πτωχοῖς.
23 καὶ προσεδέξαντο οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι, καθὼς ἔγραψεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος,
24 πῶς ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου, ὁ Μακεδών, ἐπολέμει αὐτούς, καθὼς ἔθετο ψήφισμα καὶ κλῆρον ἀφανίσαι αὐτούς,
25 καὶ ὡς εἰσῆλθε πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα λέγων κρεμάσαι τὸν Μαρδοχαῖον· ὅσα δὲ ἐπεχείρησεν ἐπάξαι ἐπὶ τοὺς ᾿Ιουδαίους κακά, ἐπ᾿ αὐτὸν ἐγένοντο, καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη αὐτός, καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦ.
26 διὰ τοῦτο ἐπεκλήθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι αὗται Φρουραὶ διὰ τοὺς κλήρους, ὅτι τῇ διαλέκτῳ αὐτῶν καλοῦνται Φρουραί, διὰ τοὺς λόγους τῆς ἐπιστολῆς ταύτης καὶ ὅσα πεπόνθασι διὰ ταῦτα καὶ ὅσα αὐτοῖς ἐγένετο,
27 καὶ ἔστησε· καὶ προσεδέχοντο οἱ ᾿Ιουδαῖοι ἐφ᾿ ἑαυτοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς προστεθειμένοις ἐπ᾿ αὐτῶν, οὐδὲ μὴν ἄλλων χρήσονται. αἱ δὲ ἡμέραι αὗται μνημόσυνον ἐπιτελούμενον κατὰ γενεὰν καὶ γενεὰν καὶ πόλιν καὶ πατριὰν καὶ χώραν.
28 αἱ δὲ ἡμέραι αὗται τῶν Φρουραὶ ἀχθήσονται εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον, καὶ τὸ μνημόσυνον αὐτῶν οὐ μὴ ἐκλίπῃ ἐκ τῶν γενεῶν.
29 καὶ ἔγραψεν ᾿Εσθὴρ ἡ βασίλισσα θυγάτηρ ᾿Αμιναδὰβ καὶ Μαρδοχαῖος ὁ ᾿Ιουδαῖος ὅσα ἐποίησαν τό τε στερέωμα τῆς ἐπιστολῆς τῶν Φρουραί.
30 καὶ Μαρδοχαῖος καὶ ᾿Εσθὴρ ἡ βασίλισσα ἔστησαν ἑαυτοῖς καθ᾿ ἑαυτῶν, καὶ τότε στήσαντες κατὰ τῆς ὑγείας ἑαυτῶν καὶ τὴν βουλὴν αὐτῶν.
31 καὶ ᾿Εσθὴρ λόγῳ ἔστησεν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, καὶ ἐγράφη εἰς μνημόσυνον.
Ἔγραψεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τέλη ἐπὶ
τὴν βασιλείαν τῆς τε γῆς καὶ τῆς θαλάσσης
3α καὶ εἶπεν Μαρδοχαῖος παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο ταῦτα
3β ἐμνήσθην γὰρ περὶ τοῦ ἐνυπνίου οὗ εἶδον περὶ τῶν λόγων τούτων οὐδὲ γὰρ παρῆλθεν ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν λόγος
3γ ἡ μικρὰ πηγή ἣ ἐγένετο ποταμὸς καὶ ἦν φῶς καὶ ἥλιος καὶ ὕδωρ πολύ ᾿Εσθὴρ ἐστὶν ὁ ποταμός ἣν ἐγάμησεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ ἐποίησεν βασίλισσαν.
3δ Oἱ δὲ δύο δράκοντες ἐγώ εἰμι καὶ Ἀμὰν
3ε τὰ δὲ ἔθνη τὰ ἐπισυναχθέντα ἀπολέσαι τὸ ὄνομα τῶν Ιουδαίων
3ζτὸ δὲ ἔθνος τὸ ἐμόν οὗτός ἐστιν Ἰσραήλ οἱ βοήσαντες πρὸς τὸν θεὸν καὶ σωθέντες καὶ ἔσωσεν κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐρρύσατο κύριος ἡμᾶς ἐκ πάντων τῶν κακῶν τούτων καὶ ἐποίησεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ σημεῖα καὶ τὰ τέρατα τὰ μεγάλα ἃ οὐ γέγονεν ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
3η διὰ τοῦτο ἐποίησεν κλήρους δύο ἕνα τῷ λαῷ τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἕνα πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
3θ καὶ ἦλθον οἱ δύο κλῆροι οὗτοι εἰς ὥραν καὶ καιρὸν καὶ εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ ἐν πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν
3ι καὶ ἐμνήσθη ὁ θεὸς τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐδικαίωσεν τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ
3κ καὶ ἔσονται αὐτοῖς αἱ ἡμέραι αὗται ἐν μηνὶ Ἀδὰρ τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ καὶ τῇ πεντεκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνὸς μετὰ συναγωγῆς καὶ χαρᾶς καὶ εὐφροσύνης ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ κατὰ γενεὰς εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἐν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ Ἰσραήλ.
Ἔτους τετάρτου βασιλεύοντος Πτολεμαίου καὶ
Κλεοπάτρας εἰσήνεγκεν Δωσίθεος ὃς ἔφη εἶναι ἱερεὺς καὶ Λευίτης καὶ
Πτολεμαῖος ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν προκειμένην ἐπιστολὴν τῶν Φρουραί
ἣν ἔφασαν εἶναι καὶ ἑρμηνευκέναι Λυσίμαχον Πτολεμαίου τῶν ἐν
In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the great king, on the first day of Nisan, Mardochaeus the son of Jarius, the son of Semeias, the son of Cisaus, of the tribe of Benjamine,
1b a Jew dwelling in the city Susa, a great man, serving in the king's palace, saw a vision.
1c Now he was of the captivity which Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried captive from Jerusalem, with Jechonias the king of Judea.
1d And this was his dream: Behold, voices and a noise, thunders and earthquake, tumult upon the earth.
1e And, behold, two great serpents came forth, both ready for conflict, and there came from them a great voice,
1f and by their voice every nation was prepared for battle, even to fight against the nation of the just.
1g And, behold, a day of darkness and blackness, tribulation and anguish, affection and tumult upon the earth.
1h And all the righteous nation was troubled, fearing their own afflictions; and they prepared to die, and cried to God:
1i and from their cry there came as it were a great river from a little fountain , even much water.
1j And light and the sun arose, and the lowly were exalted, and devoured the honorable.
1k And Mardochaeus who had seen this vision and what God desired to do, having awoke, kept it in his heart, and desired by all means to interpret it, even till night.
1l And Mardochaeus rested quiet in the palace with Gabatha and Tharrha the king's two chamberlains, eunuchs who guarded the palace.
1m And he heard their reasoning and searched out their plans, and learnt that they were preparing to lay hands on king Artaxerxes: and he informed the king concerning them.
1n And the king examined the two chamberlains, and they confessed, and were executed.
1o And the king wrote these things for a memorial: also Mardochaeus wrote concerning these matters.
1p And the king commanded Mardochaeus to attend in the palace, and gave gifts for this service.
1q And Aman the son of Amadathes the Bugean was honourable in the sight of the king, and he endeavored to hurt Mardochaeus and his people, because of the two chamberlains of the king.
1 And it came to pass after these things in the days of Artaxerxes, —(this Artaxerxes ruled over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India)—
2 in those days, when king Artaxerxes was on the throne in the city of Susa,
3 in the third year of his reign, he made a feast to his friends, and the other nations, and to the nobles of the Persians and Medes, and the chief of the satraps.
4 And after this, after he had shewn to them the wealth of his kingdom, and the abundant glory of his wealth during a hundred and eighty days,
5 when, I say, the days of the marriage feast were completed, the king made a banquet to the nations who were present in the city six days, in the court of the king’s house,
6 which was adorned with hangings of fine linen and flax on cords of fine linen and purple, fastened to golden and silver studs, on pillars of Parian marble and stone: there were golden and silver couches on a pavement of emerald stone, and of pearl, and of Parian stone, and open-worked coverings variously flowered, having roses worked round about;
7 gold and silver cups, and a small cup of carbuncle set out of the value of thirty thousand talents, abundant and sweet wine, which the king himself drank.
8 And this banquet was not according to the appointed law; but so the king would have it: and he charged the stewards to perform his will and that of the company.
9 Also Astin the queen made a banquet for the women in the palace where king Artaxerxes dwelt.
10 Now on the seventh day the king, being merry, told Aman, and Bazan, and Tharrha, and Barazi, and Zatholtha, and Abataza, and Tharaba, the seven chamberlains, servants of king Artaxerxes,
11 to bring in the queen to him, to enthrone her, and crown her with the diadem, and to shew her to the princes, and her beauty to the nations: for she was beautiful.
12 But queen Astin hearkened not to him to come with the chamberlains: so the king was grieved and angered.
13 And he said to his friends, Thus hast Astin spoken: pronounce therefore upon this case law and judgment.
14 So Arkesaeus, and Sarsathaeus, and Malisear, the princes of the Persians and Medes, who were near the king, who sat chief in rank by the king, drew near to him,
15 and reported to him according to the laws how it was proper to do to queen Astin, because she had not done the things commanded of the king by the chamberlains.
16 And Muchaeus said to the king and to the princes, Queen Astin has not wronged the king only, but also all the king’s rulers and princes:
17 for he has told them the words of the queen, and how she disobeyed the king. As then, said he, she refused to obey king Artaxerxes,
18 so this day shall the other ladies of the chiefs of the Persians and Medes, having heard what she said to the king, dare in the same way to dishonour their husbands.
19 If then it seem good to the king, let him make a royal decree, and let it be written according to the laws of the Medes and Persians, and let him not alter it: and let not the queen come in to him any more; and let the king give her royalty to a woman better than she.
20 And let the law of the king which he shall have made, be widely proclaimed, in his kingdom: and so shall all the women give honour to their husbands, from the poor even to the rich.
21 And the saying pleased the king and the princes; and the king did as Muchaeus had said,
22 and sent into all his kingdom through the several provinces, according to their language, in order that men might be feared in their own houses.
And after this the king’s anger was pacified, and he no more mentioned Astin, bearing in mind what she had said, and how he had condemned her.
2 Then the servants of the king said, Let there be sought for the king chaste and beautiful young virgins.
3 And let the king appoint local governors in all the provinces of his kingdom, and let them select fair and chaste young damsels and bring them to the city Susa, into the women’s apartment, and let them be consigned to the king’s chamberlain, the keeper of the women; and let things for purification and other attendance be given to them.
4 And let the woman who shall please the king be queen instead of Astin. And the thing pleased the king; and he did so.
5 Now there was a Jew in the city Susa, and his name was Mardochaeus, the son of Jairus, the son of Semeias, the son of Cisaeus, of the tribe of Benjamin;
6 who had been brought a prisoner from Jerusalem, which Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon had carried into captivity.
7 And he had a foster child, daughter of Aminadab his father’s brother, and her name was Esther; and when her parents were dead, he brought her up for a wife for himself: and the damsel was beautiful.
8 And because the king’s ordinance was published, many damsels were gathered to the city Susa under the hand of Gai; and Esther was brought to Gai the keeper of the women.
9 And the damsel pleased him, and she found favour in his sight; and he hasted to give her the things for purification, and her portion, and the seven maidens appointed her out of the palace: and he treated her and her maidens well in the women’s apartment.
10 But Esther discovered not her family nor her kindred: for Mardochaeus had charged her not to tell.
11 But Mardochaeus used to walk every day by the women’s court, to see what would become of Esther.
12 Now this was the time for a virgin to go into the king, when she should have fulfilled twelve months; for so are the days of purification fulfilled, six months while they are anointing themselves with oil of myrrh, and six months with spices and women’s purifications.
13 And then the damsel goes in to the king; and the officer to whomsoever he shall give the command, will bring her to come in with him from the women’s apartment to the king’s chamber.
14 She enters in the evening, and in the morning she departs to the second women’s apartment, where Gai the king’s chamberlain is keeper of the women: and she goes not in to the king again, unless she should be called by name.
15 And when the time. was fulfilled for Esther the daughter of Aminadab the brother of Mardochaeus’ father to go in to the king, she neglected nothing which the chamberlain, the women’s keeper, commanded; for Esther found grace in the sight of all that looked upon her.
16 So Esther went in to king Artaxerxes in the twelfth month, which is Adar, in the seventh year of his reign.
17 And the king loved Esther, and she found favour beyond all the other virgins: and he put on her the queen’s crown.
18 And the king made a banquet for all his friends and great men for seven days, and he highly celebrated the marriage of Esther; and he made a release to those who were under his dominion.
19 But Mardochaeus served in the palace.
20 Now Esther had not discovered her kindred; for so Mardochaeus commanded her, to fear God, and perform his commandments, as when she was with him: and Esther changed not her manner of life.
21 And two chamberlains of the king, the chiefs of the body-guard, were grieved, because Mardochaeus was promoted; and they sought to kill king Artaxerxes.
22 And the matter was discovered to Mardochaeus, and he made it known to Esther, and she declared to the king the matter of the conspiracy.
23 And the king examined the two chamberlains, and hanged them: and the king gave orders to make a note for a memorial in the royal records of the good offices of Mardochaeus, as a commendation.
And after this king Artaxerxes highly honoured Aman son of Amadathes, the Bugaean, and exalted him, and set his seat above all his friends.
2 And all in the palace did him obeisance, for so the king had given orders to do: but Mardochaeus did not do him obeisance.
3 And they in the king’s palace said to Mardochaeus, Mardochaeus, why dost thou transgress the commands of the king?
4 Thus they spoke daily to him, but he hearkened not unto them; so they represented to Aman that Mardochaeus resisted the commands of the king: and Mardochaeus had shewn to them that he was a Jew.
5 And when Aman understood that Mardochaeus did not obeisance to him, he was greatly enraged,
6 and took counsel to destroy utterly all the Jews who were under the rule of Artaxerxes.
7 And he made a decree in the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, and cast lots daily and monthly, to slay in one day the race of Mardochaeus: and the lot fell on the fourteenth day of the month which is Adar.
8 And he spoke to king Artaxerxes, saying, There is a nation scattered among the nations in all thy kingdom, and their laws differ from those of all the other nations; and they disobey the laws of the king; and it is not expedient for the king to let them alone.
9 If it seem good to the king, let him make a decree to destroy them: and I will remit into the king’s treasury ten thousand talents of silver.
10 And the king took off his ring, and gave it into the hands of Aman, to seal the decrees against the Jews.
11 And the king said to Aman, Keep the silver, and treat the nation as thou wilt.
12 So the king’s recorders were called in the first month, on the thirteenth day, and they wrote as Aman commanded to the captains and governors in every province, from India even to Ethiopia, to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces; and to the rulers of the nations according to their several languages, in the name of king Artaxerxes.
13 And the message was sent by posts throughout the kingdom of Artaxerxes, to destroy utterly the race of the Jews on the first day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods.
13a And the following is the copy of the letter; The great king Artaxerxes writes thus to the rulers and inferior governors of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia,
13b who hold authority under him. Ruling over many nations and having obtained dominion over the whole world, I was minded (not elated by the confidence of power, but ever conducting myself with great moderation and gentleness) to make the lives of my subjects continually tranquil, desiring both to maintain the kingdom quiet and orderly to its utmost limits, and to restore the peace desired by all men.
13c But when I had enquired of my counsellors how this should be brought to pass. Aman, who excels in soundness of judgment among us, and has been manifestly well inclined without wavering and with unshaken fidelity, and had obtained the second post in the kingdom,
13d informed us that a certain ill-disposed people is mixed up with all the tribes throughout the world, opposed in their law to every other nation, and continually neglecting the commands of the king, so that the united government blamelessly administered by us is not quietly established.
13e Having then conceived that this nation alone of all others is continually set in opposition to every man, introducing as a change a foreign code of laws, and injuriously plotting to accomplish the worst of evils against our interests, and against the happy establishment of the monarchy;
13f we signified to you in the letter written by Aman, who is set over the public affairs and is our second governor, to destroy them all utterly with their wives and children by the swords of the enemies, without pitying or sparing any, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, of the present year;
13g that the people aforetime and now ill-disposed to us having been violently consigned to death in one day, may hereafter secure to us continually a well constituted and quiet state of affairs.
14 And the copies of the letters were published in every province; and an order was given to all the nations to be ready against that day.
15 And the business was hastened, and that at Susa: and the king and Aman began to drink; but the city was troubled.
But Mardochaeus having perceived what was done, rent his garments, and put on sackcloth, and sprinkled dust upon himself; and having rushed forth through the open street of the city, he cried with a loud voice, A nation that has done no wrong is going to be destroyed.
2 And he came to the king’s gate, and stood; for it was not lawful for him to enter into the palace, wearing sackcloth and ashes.
3 And in every province where the letters were published, there was crying and lamentation and great mourning on the part of the Jews: they spread for themselves sackcloth and ashes.
4 And the queen’s maids and chamberlains went in and told her: and when she had heard what was done, she was disturbed; and she sent to clothe Mardochaeus, and take away his sackcloth; but he consented not.
5 So Esther called for her chamberlain Achrathaeus, who waited upon her; and she sent to learn the truth from Mardochaeus.
6 7 And Mardochaeus shewed him what was done, and the promise which Aman had made the king of ten thousand talents to be paid into the treasury, that he might destroy the Jews.
8 And he gave him the copy of the writing that was published in Susa concerning their destruction, to shew to Esther; and told him to charge her to go in and intreat the king, and to beg him for the people, remembering, said he, the days of thy low estate, how thou wert nursed by my hand: because Aman who holds the next place to the king has spoken against us for death. Do thou call upon the Lord, and speak to the king concerning us, to deliver us from death.
9 So Achrathaeus went in and told her all these words.
10 And Esther said to Achrathaeus, Go to Mardochaeus, and say,
11 All the nations of the empire know, that whoever, man or woman, shall go in to the king into the inner court uncalled, that person cannot live: only to whomsoever the king shall stretch out his golden sceptre, he shall live: and I have not been called to go into the king, for these thirty days.
12 And Achrathaeus reported to Mardochaeus all the words of Esther.
13 Then Mardochaeus said to Achrathaeus, Go, and say to her, Esther, say not to thyself that thou alone wilt escape in the kingdom, more than all the other Jews.
14 For if thou shalt refuse to hearken on this occasion, help and protection will be to the Jews from another quarter; but thou and thy father’s house will perish: and who knows, if thou hast been made queen for this very occasion?
15 And Esther sent the man that came to her to Mardochaeus, saying,
16 Go and assemble the Jews that are in Susa, and fast ye for me, and eat not and drink not for three days, night and day: and I also and my maidens will fast; and then I will go in to the king contrary to the law, even if I must die.
17 So Mardochaeus went and did all that Esther commanded him.
17a And he besought the Lord, making mention of all the works of the Lord; and he said,
17b Lord God, king ruling over all, for all things are in thy power, and there is no one that shall oppose thee, in thy purpose to save Israel.
17c For thou hast made the heaven and the earth and every wonderful thing in the world under heaven. And thou art Lord of all, and there is no one who shall resist thee Lord.
17d Thou knowest all things: thou knowest, Lord, that it is not in insolence, nor haughtiness, nor love of glory, that I have done this, to refuse obeisance to the haughty Aman. For I would gladly have kissed the soles of his feet for the safety of Israel.
17e But I have done this, that I might not set the glory of man above the glory of God: and I will not worship any one except thee, my Lord, and I will not do these things in haughtiness.
17f And now, O Lord God, the King, the God of Abraam, spare thy people, for our enemies are looking upon us to our destruction, and they have desired to destroy thine ancient inheritance.
17g Do not overlook thy peculiar people, whom thou hast redeemed for thyself out of the land of Egypt.
17h Hearken to my prayer, and be propitious to thine inheritance, and turn our mourning into gladness, that we may live and sing praise to thy name, O Lord; and do not utterly destroy the mouth of them that praise thee, O Lord.
17i And all Israel cried with all their might, for death was before their eyes.
17j And queen Esther betook herself for refuge to the Lord, being taken as it were in the agony of death. And having taken off her glorious apparel, she put on garments of distress and mourning; and instead of grand perfumes she filled her head with ashes and dung, and she greatly brought down her body, and she filled every place of her glad adorning with the torn curls of her hair. And she besought the Lord God of Israel, and said,
17k O my Lord, thou alone art our king: help me who am destitute, and have no helper but thee, for my danger is near at hand.
17l I have heard from my birth, in the tribe of my kindred that thou, Lord, tookest Israel out of all the nations, and our fathers out of all their kindred for a perpetual inheritance, and hast wrought for them all that thou hast said.
17m And now we have sinned before thee, and thou hast delivered us into the hands of our enemies, because we honoured their gods: thou art righteous, O Lord.
17n But now they have not been contented with the bitterness of our slavery, but have laid their hands on the hands of their idols, in order to abolish the decree of thy mouth, and utterly to destroy thine inheritances, and to stop the mouth of them that praise thee, and to extinguish the glory of thine house and thine alter,
17o and to open the mouth of the Gentiles to speak the praises of vanities, and in order that a mortal king should be admired for ever.
17p O Lord, do not resign thy scepter to them that are not, and let them not laugh at our fall, but turn their counsel, against themselves, and make an example of him who has begun to injure us.
17q Remember us, O Lord, manifest thyself in the time of our affliction, and encourage me, O King of gods, and ruler of all dominion.
17r Put harmonious speech into my mouth before the lion, and turn his heart to hate him that fights against us, to the utter destruction of him that consent with him.
17s But deliver us by thine hand, and help me who am destitute, and have none but thee, O Lord.
17t Thou knowest all things, and knowest that I hate the glory of transgressors, and that I abhor the couch of the uncircumcised, and of every stranger.
17u Thou knowest my necessity, for I abhor the symbol of my proud station, which is upon my head in the days of my splendour: I abhor it as a menstruous cloth, and I wear it not in the days of my tranquility.
17v And thy handmaid has not eaten at the table of Aman, and I have not honoured the banquet of the king, neither have I drunk wine of libations.
17w Neither has thy handmaid rejoiced since the day of my promotion until now, except in thee, O Lord God of Abraam.
17x O God, who has power over all, hearken to the voice of the desperate, and deliver us from the hand of them that devise mischief; and deliver me from my fear.
And it came to pass on the third day, when she had ceased praying, that she put off her mean dress, and put on her glorious apparel.
1a And being splendidly arrayed, and having called upon God the Overseer and Preserver of all things, she took her two maids, and she leaned upon one, as a delicate female, and the other followed bearing her train.
1b And she was blooming in the perfection of her beauty; and her face was cheerful, and it were benevolent, but her heart was straitened for fear.
1c And having passed through all the doors, she stood before the king: and he was sitting upon his royal throne, and he had put on all his glorious apparel, covered all over with gold and precious stones, and was very terrible.
1d And having raised his face resplendent with glory, he looked with intense anger: and the queen fell, and changed her colour as she fainted; and she bowed herself upon the head of the maid that went before her.
1e But God changed the spirit of the king gentleness, and in intense feeling he sprang from off his throne, and took her into his arms, until she recovered: and he comforted her with peaceable words, and said to her,
1f What is the matter, Esther? I am thy brother; be of good cheer, thou shalt not die, for our command is openly declared to thee, Draw nigh.
2 And having raised the golden sceptre he laid it upon her neck, and embraced her, and said, Speak to me.
2a And she said to him, I saw thee, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was troubled for fear of thy glory; for thou, my lord, art to be wondered at, and thy face is full of grace.
2b And while she was speaking, she fainted and fell. Then the king was troubled, and all his servants comforted her.
3 And the king said, What wilt thou, Esther? and what is thy request? ask even to the half of my kingdom, and it shall be thine.
4 And Esther said, To-day is my great day: if then it seem good to the king, let both him and Aman come to the feast which I will prepare this day.
5 And the king said, Hasten Aman hither, that we may perform the word of Esther. So they both come to the feast of which Esther had spoken.
6 And at the banquet the king said to Esther, What is thy request, queen Esther? speak, and thou shalt have all that thou requirest.
7 And she said, My request and my petition are:
8 if I have found favour in the sight of the king, let the king and Aman come again to-morrow to the feast which I shall prepare for them, and to-morrow I will do the same.
9 So Aman went out from the king very glad and merry: but when Aman saw Mardochaeus the Jew in the court, he was greatly enraged.
10 And having gone into his own house, he called his friends, and his wife Zosara.
11 And he shewed them his wealth, and the glory with which the king had invested him, and how he had caused him to take precedence and bear chief rule in the kingdom.
12 And Aman said, The queen has called no one to the feast with the king but me, and I am invited to-morrow.
13 But these things please me not, while I see Mardochaeus the Jew in the court.
14 And Zosara his wife and his friends said to him, Let there be a gallows made for thee of fifty cubits, and in the morning do thou speak to the king, and let Mardochaeus be hanged on the gallows: but do thou go in to the feast with the king, and be merry. And the saying pleased Aman, and the gallows was prepared.
But the Lord removed sleep from the king that night: and he told his servant to bring in the books, the registers of daily events, to read to him.
2 And he found the records written concerning Mardochaeus, how he had told the king concerning the two chamberlains of the king, when they were keeping guard, and sought to lay hands on Artaxerxes.
3 And the king said, What honour or favour have we done to Mardochaeus? And the king’s servants said, Thou hast not done anything to him.
4 And while the king was enquiring about the kindness of Mardochaeus, behold, Aman was in the court. And the king said, Who is in the court? Now Aman was come in to speak to the king, that he should hang Mardochaeus on the gallows, which he had prepared.
5 And the king’s servants said, Behold, Aman stands in the court. And the king said, Call him.
6 And the king said to Aman, What shall I do to the man whom I wish to honour? And Aman said within himself, Whom would the king honour but myself?
7 and he said to the king, As for the man whom the king wishes to honour,
8 let the king’s servants bring the robe of fine linen which the king puts on, and the horse on which the king rides,
9 and let him give it to one of the king’s noble friends, and let him array the man whom the king loves; and let him mount him on the horse, and proclaim through the street of the city, saying, Thus shall it be done to every man whom the king honours.
10 Then the king said to Aman, Thou hast well said: so do to Mardochaeus the Jew, who waits in the palace, and let not a word of what thou hast spoken be neglected.
11 So Aman took the robe and the horse, and arrayed Mardochaeus, and mounted him on the horse, and went through the street of the city, and proclaimed, saying, Thus shall it be to every man whom the king wishes to honour.
12 And Mardochaeus returned to the palace: but Aman went home mourning, and having his head covered.
13 And Aman related the events that had befallen him to Zosara his wife, and to his friends: and his friends and his wife said to him, If Mardochaeus be of the race of the Jews, and thou hast begun to be humbled before him, thou wilt assuredly fall, and thou wilt not be able to withstand him, for the living God is with him.
14 While they were yet speaking, the chamberlains arrived, to hasten Aman to the banquet which Esther had prepared.
So the king and Aman went in to drink with the queen.
2 And the king said to Esther at the banquet on the second day, What is it, queen Esther? and what is thy request, and what is thy petition? and it shall be done for thee, to the half of my kingdom.
3 And she answered and said, If I have found favour in the sight of the king, let my life be granted to my petition, and my people to my request.
4 For both I and my people are sold for destruction, and pillage, and slavery; both we and our children for bondmen and bondwomen: and I consented not to it, for the slanderer is not worthy of the king’s palace.
5 And the king said, Who is this that has dared to do this thing?
6 And Esther said, the adversary is Aman, this wicked man. Then Aman was troubled before the king and the queen.
7 And the king rose up from the banquet to go into the garden: and Aman began to intreat the queen; for he saw that he was in an evil case.
8 And the king returned from the garden; and Aman had fallen upon the bed, intreating the queen. And the king said, Wilt thou even force my wife in my house? And when Aman heard it, he changed countenance.
9 And Bugathan, one of the chamberlains, said to the king, Behold, Aman has also prepared a gallows for Mardochaeus, who spoke concerning the king, and a gallows of fifty cubits high has been set up in the premises of Aman. And the king said, Let him be hanged thereon.
10 So Aman was hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mardochaeus: and then the king’s wrath was appeased.
And in that day king Artaxerxes gave to Esther all that belonged to Aman the slanderer: and Mardochaeus was called by the king; for Esther had shewn that he was related to her.
2 And the king took the ring which he had taken away from Aman, and gave it to Mardochaeus: and Esther appointed Mardochaeus over all that had been Aman’s.
3 And she spoke yet again to the king, and fell at his feet, and besought him to do away the mischief of Aman, and all that he had done against the Jews.
4 Then the king stretched out to Esther the golden sceptre: and Esther arose to stand near the king.
5 And Esther said, If it seem good to thee, and I have found favour in thy sight, let an order be sent that the letters sent by Aman may be reversed, that were written for the destruction of the Jews, who are in thy kingdom.
6 For how shall I be able to look upon the affliction of my people, and how shall I be able to survive the destruction of my kindred?
7 And the king said to Esther, If I have given and freely granted thee all that was Aman’s, and hanged him on a gallows, because he laid his hands upon the Jews, what dost thou yet further seek?
8 Write ye also in my name, as it seems good to you, and seal it with my ring: for whatever orders are written at the command of the king, and sealed with my ring, it is not lawful to gainsay them.
9 So the scribes were called in the first-month, which is Nisan, on the three and twentieth day of the same year; and orders were written to the Jews, whatever the king had commanded to the local governors and chiefs of the satraps, from India even to Ethiopia, a hundred and twenty-seven satraps, according to the several provinces, according to their dialects.
10 And they were written by order of the king, and sealed with his ring, and they sent the letters by the posts:
11 wherein he charged them to use their own laws in every city, and to help each other, and to treat their adversaries, and those who attacked them, as they pleased,
12 on one day in all the kingdom of Artaxerxes, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar.
12a And the
following is the copy of the letter of the orders.
12c Many who have been frequently honored by the most abundant kindness of their benefactors have conceived ambitious designs, and not only endeavour to hurt our subjects, but moreover, not being able to bear prosperity, they also endeavour to plot against their own benefactors.
12d And they not only would utterly abolish gratitude from among men, but also, elated by the boastings of men who are strangers to all that is good, they supposed that they shall escape the sin-hating vengeance of the ever-seeing God.
12eAnd oftentimes evil exhortation hath made partakers of the guilt of shedding innocent blood, and hath involved in remediless calamities, many of them that were appointed to offices of authority, which had been entrusted with their friends’ affairs;
12f while men, by the false sophistry of evil disposition, have deceived the simple candour of the ruling powers.
12g And it is possible to see this, not so much from more ancient traditionary accounts, as it is immediately in your power to see it by examining what things have been wickedly perpetrated by the baseness of men unworthily holding power.
12h And it is right to take heed with regard to the future, that we may maintain the government in undistributed peace for all men,
12i adopting needful changes, and ever judging those cases which come under our notices, with truly equitable decision.
12j For whereas Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadathes, in reality an alien from the blood of the Persians, and differing widely from our mild course of government, having been hospitable entertained by us,
12k obtained so large a share of our universal kindness, as to be called our father, and to continue the person next to the royal throne, reverenced of all;
12l he however, overcome by the pride of his station, endeavored to deprive us of our dominion,
12m and our life: having by various and subtle artifices demanded for destruction both Mardochaeus our deliverer and perpetual benefactor, and Esther the blameless consort of our kingdom, with their whole nation.
12n For by these methods he thought, having surprised us in a defenceless state, to transfer the dominion of the Persians to the Macedonians.
12o But we find that the Jews, who have been consigned to destruction by the most abominable of men, are not malefactors, but living according to the justest laws,
12p and being the sons of the living God, the most high and mighty, who maintains the kingdom. to us as well as to our forefathers, in the most excellent order.
12q Ye will therefore do well in refusing to obey the letter sent by Aman the son of Amadathes, because he that has done these things, has been hanged with his whole family at the gates of Susa, Almighty God having swiftly returned to him a worthy recompence,
12r We enjoin you then, having openly published a copy of this letter in every place, to give the Jews permission to use their own lawful customs, and to strengthen them, that on the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar, on the self-same day, they may defend themselves against those who attack them in a time of affliction.
12s For in the place of the destruction of the chosen race, Almighty God has granted them this time of gladness.
12t Do ye therefore also, among your notable feasts, keep a distinct day with all festivity, that both now and hereafter it may be a day of deliverance to us and who are well disposed toward the Persians, but to those that plotted against us a memorial of destruction.
12u And every city and province collectively, which shall not do accordingly, shall be consumed with vengeance by spear and fire: it shall be made not only inaccessible to men, but most hateful to wild beasts and birds for ever."
13 And let the copies be posted in conspicuous places throughout the kingdom and let all the Jews be ready against this day, to fight against their enemies.
14 So the horsemen went forth with haste to perform the king’s commands; and the ordinance was also published in Susa.
15 And Mardochaeus went forth robed in the royal apparel, and wearing a golden crown, and a diadem of fine purple linen: and the people in Susa saw it and rejoiced.
16 And the Jews had light and gladness,
17 in every city and province wherever the ordinance was published: wherever the proclamation took place, the Jews had joy and gladness, feasting and mirth: and many of the Gentiles were circumcised, and became Jews, for fear of the Jews.
For in the twelfth month, on the thirteenth day of the month which is Adar, the letters written by the king arrived.
2 In that day the adversaries of the Jews perished: for no one resisted, through fear of them.
3 For the chiefs of the satraps, and the princes and the royal scribes, honoured the Jews; for the fear of Mardochaeus lay upon them.
4 For the order of the king was in force, that he should be celebrated in all the kingdom.
5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
6 And in the city Susa the Jews slew five hundred men:
7 Pharsannes, and Delphon and Phasga,
8 and Pharadatha, and Barea, and Sarbaca,
9 and Marmasima, and Ruphaeus, and Arsaeus, and Zabuthaeus,
10 the ten sons of Aman the son of Amadathes the Bugaean, the enemy of the Jews, and they plundered their property:
11 on that day the number of them that perished in Susa was rendered to the king.
12 And the king said to Esther, The Jews have slain five hundred men in the city Susa; and how, thinkest thou, have they used them in the rest of the country? What then dost thou yet ask, that it may be done for thee?
13 And Esther said to the king, let it be granted to the Jews so to treat them tomorrow as to hang the ten sons of Aman.
14 And he permitted it to be so done; and he gave up to the Jews of the city the bodies of the sons of Aman to hang.
15 And the Jews assembled in Susa on the fourteenth day of Adar, and slew three hundred men, but plundered no property.
16 And the rest of the Jews who were in the kingdom assembled, and helped one another, and obtained rest from their enemies: for they destroyed fifteen thousand of them on the thirteenth day of Adar, but took no spoil.
17 And they rested on the fourteenth of the same month, and kept it as a day of rest with joy and gladness.
18 And the Jews in the city Susa assembled also on the fourteenth day and rested; and they kept also the fifteenth with joy and gladness.
19 On this account then it is that the Jews dispersed in every foreign land keep the fourteenth of Adar as a holy day with joy, sending portions each to his neighbour.
20 And Mardochaeus wrote these things in a book, and sent them to the Jews, as many as were in the kingdom of Artaxerxes, both them that were near and them that were afar off,
21 to establish these as joyful days, and to keep the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar;
22 for on these days the Jews obtained rest from their enemies; and as to the month, which was Adar, in which a change was made for them, from mourning to joy, and from sorrow to a good day, to spend the whole of it in good days of feasting and gladness, sending portions to their friends, and to the poor.
23 And the Jews consented to this accordingly as Mardochaeus wrote to them,
24 shewing how Aman the son of Amadathes the Macedonian fought against them, how he made a decree and cast lots to destroy them utterly;
25 also how he went in to the king, telling him to hang Mardochaeus: but all the calamities he tried to bring upon the Jews came upon himself, and he was hanged, and his children.
26 Therefore these days were called Phrurae, because of the lots; (for in their language they are called Phrurae;) because of the words of this letter, and because of all they suffered on this account, and all that happened to them.
27 And Mardochaeus established it, and the Jews took upon themselves, and upon their seed, and upon those that were joined to them to observe it, neither would they on any account behave differently: but these days were to be a memorial kept in every generation, and city, and family, and province.
28 And these days of the Phrurae, said they, shall be kept for ever, and their memorial shall not fail in any generation.
29 And queen Esther, the daughter of Aminadab, and Mardochaeus the Jew, wrote all that they had done, and the confirmation of the letter of Phrurae.
30 And Mardochaeus and Esther the queen appointed a fast for themselves privately, even at that time also having formed their plan against their own health.
31 And Esther established it by a command for ever, and it was written for a memorial.
And the king levied a tax upon his kingdom both by land and sea.
2 And as for his strength and valour, and the wealth and glory of his kingdom, behold, they are written in the book of the Persians and Medes, for a memorial.
3 And Mardochaeus was viceroy to king Artaxerxes, and was a great man in the kingdom, and honoured by the Jews, and passed his life beloved of all his nation.
3a And Mardocheus said, These things have been done of God.
3b For I remember the dream which I had concerning these matters: for not one particular of them has failed.
3c There was the little fountain which became a river, and there was light, and the sun and much water. The river is Esther, whom the king married, and made queen.
3d And the two serpents are I and Aman.
3e And the nations are those nations that combined to destroy the name of the Jews.
3f But as for my nation, this is Israel, even they that cried to God and were delivered: for the Lord delivered his people. And the Lord rescued us out of all these calamities; and God wrought such signs and great wonders as have not been done among the nations.
3g Therefore did he ordain two lots. One for the people of God, and one for all the other nations.
3h And these two lots came for an appointed season, and for a day of judgment, before God, and for all the nations.
3i And God remembered his people, and vindicated his inheritance.
3j And they shall observe these days in the month Adar, on the fourteenth and on the fifteenth day of the month, with an assembly, and joy and gladness before God, throughout the generations for ever among his people Israel.
the fourth year of the reign of Ptolemeus and Cleopatras, Dositheus, who
said he was a priest and Levite, and Ptolemeus his son, brought this
epistle of Phurim, which they said was the same, and that Lysimachus the
son of Ptolemeus, that was in Jerusalem, had interpreted it.