Good News Translation (GNB)
7

71 And so the king and Haman went to eat with Esther 2 for a second time. Over the wine the king asked her again, “Now, Queen Esther, what do you want? Tell me and you shall have it. I'll even give you half the empire.”

3 Queen Esther answered, “If it please Your Majesty to grant my humble request, my wish is that I may live and that my people may live. 4 My people and I have been sold into slavery; our possessions have been plundered, and now we are to be destroyed — all of us, including our children, will be slaves — and so far I have kept quiet. It isn't right that our enemy should be a member of the royal court.”

5 Then Xerxes asked Esther, “Who dares to do such a thing?”

6 Esther answered, “Our enemy is this evil man Haman!”

In terror Haman faced the king and queen. 7 The king got up from the table and went outside to the palace gardens. Haman could see that he was in a dangerous situation, so he stayed behind to beg the queen for his life. 8 He had just thrown himself down on Esther's couch to beg for mercy, when the king came back into the room from the gardens. Seeing this, the king cried out, “Are you going to rape my wife here in my own palace?”

When Haman heard this, he turned away in despair. 9 Then one of the eunuchs, whose name was Bougathan, said, “Haman has even gone so far as to build a gallows at his house so that he can hang Mordecai, who warned Your Majesty about the plot. And it's 22 metres high!”

“Hang Haman on it” the king commanded.

10 So Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai. Then the king's anger cooled down.

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The Jews Are Told to Fight Back

81 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther all the property of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was related to her, and Mordecai was invited to enter the king's presence. 2 The king took off his ring with his seal on it (which he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman's property.

3 Then Esther spoke to the king again, throwing herself at his feet. She begged him to do something to stop the evil plot that Haman had made against the Jews. 4 The king held out the gold sceptre to her, so she stood up 5 and said, “If it please Your Majesty and if you care about me, please issue a proclamation to prevent Haman's orders from being carried out — those orders he gave for the destruction of all the Jews in the empire. 6 How can I endure it if this disaster comes on my people? How can I go on living if my whole nation is destroyed?”

7 Then the king said to Esther, “I have hanged Haman for his plot against the Jews, and I have given you his property. If that is not enough, 8

8.8:
Dan 6.8
you may write to the Jews whatever you like; and you may write it in my name and stamp it with the royal seal, for a proclamation issued in the king's name and stamped with the royal seal cannot be revoked.”

9 On the 23rd day of the first month, the month of Nisan, the king's secretaries were called and letters were written to the Jews and to the governors and administrators of all 127 provinces from India to Sudan. The letters were written to each province in its own language. 10 They were written in the name of the king and stamped with the royal seal, and they were delivered by runners.

11 These letters explained that the king would allow the Jews in every city of the empire to live by their own laws and organize for self-defence. They were permitted to treat their opponents and enemies in any way they liked. 12 This decree was to take effect throughout the Persian Empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month.8.12 Chapter 8 continues after Chapter E.

E

The King's Decree in Favour of the Jews

13 E.1 Chapter E 1–24 corresponds to Chapter 16.1–24 in a number of English translations.This is a copy of the decree:

“Greetings from King Xerxes the Great to the governors of the 127 provinces, which extend from India to Sudan, and to all those who are loyal to us.

14 “Many people become increasingly arrogant when honours are given to them and favours are done for them. 15 They do not know what to do with so much good fortune, so they not only try to harm our subjects, but they even scheme against those who grant them favours. 16 They are never grateful for what people do for them, and they even think they can escape the judgement of God, who hates evil and sees everything. In their arrogance they listen to the flattery of ignorant, sinful people.

17 “It often happens also that friends who have been entrusted with administrative responsibilities exert pressure on those in authority. They make their leaders their partners in killing people and bring about misfortunes that can never be remedied. 18 These friends, by their lies and deceitful ways, take advantage of the good will of their rulers.

19 “You can see examples of this misuse of power not only in the stories that have been handed down to us from the past, but in the more recent outrageous things which have happened among you.

20 “I intend to make sure that in future my kingdom will remain untroubled and peaceful for all. 21 This can be done by changing certain policies and by judging fairly each situation that comes to my attention.

22 “Consider, for example, the case of Haman son of Hammedatha, a Macedonian. He is a foreigner with no Persian blood and with no trace of my generosity; but I welcomed him, 23 and he received the benefit of my concern and love for all nations. He was, in fact, proclaimed ‘Father’ of the empire and received more honour than anyone else, except the king.

24 “But his arrogance knew no limits, and he tried to murder me and take over the empire. 25 In his crafty and deceitful way, he asked that Mordecai be put to death — Mordecai, who once saved my life and who has always supported me. He even asked for the death of Esther, our blameless queen, and in fact, the death of all the Jewish people. 26 His purpose was to leave us helpless and to allow the Macedonians to take over the Persian Empire. 27 Even though this wicked criminal plotted to wipe out the Jews, I find that they are not traitors at all but are governed by very just laws. 28 They worship the living God, the highest and greatest God, who has kept our empire in its excellent condition from the time of our ancestors until our own day.

29 “Therefore I advise you not to carry out the instructions issued in the letters sent out by Haman. 30 He is the person responsible for all of this, and he has been hanged, along with his entire family, at the gates of Susa. God, who governs all things, has given him the speedy punishment that he deserved.

31 “I order you to post copies of this decree in every public place. Permit the Jews to live by their own customs, 32 and give them support when they defend themselves against those who attack them on the day set for their destruction, the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month. 33 God, who governs all things, has turned that day of destruction into a day of celebration for his chosen people.

34 “Include this day among your national holidays and celebrate it as a festival. 35 Now and in the future it will remind us and all our allies of the way God watches over our nation, and those who plot against us will be reminded of God's threat of destruction.

36 “Every province, every city, without exception, which does not obey these orders will feel my anger. It will be destroyed in battle and burnt to the ground. No human being will ever go there again, and even the birds and wild animals will avoid it for ever.

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37 8.13 Verses 1–12 precede Chapter E.“Post copies of this decree where it can be clearly seen in every province, so that all the Jews can be ready to fight their enemies when that day comes.”

38 Messengers on horses rode off at top speed to carry out the orders of the king, and the decree was also made public in Susa.

39 Mordecai left the palace, wearing royal robes, a turban of fine purple linen, and a gold crown. When the people of Susa saw him, they cheered, 40 and the Jews were happy and joyful. 41 They held a joyful holiday with feasting and happiness in every city and province, wherever the king's proclamation was posted. In fact, many Gentiles were circumcised and became Jews, because they were now afraid of them.

9

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

91

9.1:
1 Macc 7.49
2 Macc 15.36
On the thirteenth day of Adar, the day on which the royal proclamation was to take effect, 2 it was the enemies of the Jews who were wiped out. People everywhere were afraid of the Jews, and no one could stand against them. 3 In fact, the provincial governors, the administrators, and the royal scribes showed respect for the Jews, because they were all afraid of Mordecai. 4-5 The royal decree had made his name known throughout the empire.

6 In Susa, the capital city itself, the Jews killed 500 people 7-10 and looted their property. Among them were the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, a Bougaean, the enemy of the Jews: Pharsannestain, Delphon, Phasga, Pharadatha, Barea, Sarbacha, Marmasima, Arouphaeus, Arsaeus, and Zabouthaeus.

11 That same day the number of people killed in Susa was reported to the king. 12 He then said to Esther, “In Susa alone the Jews have killed 500 people. What must they have done out in the provinces! Tell me what else you want, and you shall have it.”

13 Esther answered, “Let the Jews in Susa do again tomorrow what they were allowed to do today. And order the bodies of Haman's ten sons to be hung up.” 14 The king agreed, and permitted the Jews to put the bodies of Haman's ten sons on public display. 15 On the fourteenth day of Adar the Jews of Susa got together again and killed 300 more people in the city. But they did no looting.

16 The Jews in the provinces also organized and defended themselves. They rid themselves of their enemies by killing 15,000 people on the thirteenth day of Adar, but they did no looting. 17 On the next day, the fourteenth, there was no more killing, and the Jews made it a joyful holiday of rest and feasting. 18 The Jews of Susa, however, made the fifteenth a holiday, since they had slaughtered their enemies on the thirteenth and fourteenth and did not stop until the fifteenth. 19 This is why Jews who live in small towns observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a holiday, while the Jews in the large cities celebrate the holiday in the same way on the fifteenth.

The Festival of Purim

20 Mordecai had these events written down in a book and sent it to all the Jews, near and far, throughout the Persian Empire, 21 telling them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar as holidays. 22 These were the days on which the Jews had rid themselves of their enemies. The Jews were to observe the whole month as a holiday, for this was a month that had been turned from a time of grief and despair into a time of joy and happiness. They were told to observe these days with feasts and parties, giving gifts of food to friends and to the poor. 23 So the Jews accepted all that Mordecai had written.

24

9.24–26:
Esth 3.7
Mordecai had recorded how Haman son of Hammedatha, the Macedonian, had fought against the Jewish people, how he had made a decree and cast lots to determine the day he would destroy them, 25 and how he had gone to the king to request that Mordecai be hanged. But Haman suffered the same fate he had planned for the Jews — he and his sons were hanged from the gallows. 26-28 Because of Mordecai's letter, because of all they had suffered, and because of all that had happened to them, the Jews accepted Mordecai's suggestion and made it a rule for themselves, their descendants, and anyone that might become a Jew, that these days should be properly observed as a memorial, generation after generation, in every city, province, and country. The Jews were to remember and observe these days of Purim for all time to come and never neglect them. (The holidays are called Purim because “purim” in their language is the word for “lots.”)

29-30 Then Queen Esther, the daughter of Aminadab, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote down what they had done, putting the queen's full authority behind the letter about Purim. 31 They both took responsibility for establishing the festival and made up their minds to observe it at all costs.9.31 at all costs; Greek unclear. 32 Esther established the festival for ever, and a written record was made of her official decree.