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Esther 9:20-32

Context

9:20 Mordecai wrote these matters down and sent letters to all the Jews who were throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 9:21 to have them observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month of Adar each year 9:22 as the time when the Jews gave themselves rest from their enemies – the month when their trouble was turned to happiness and their mourning to a holiday. These were to be days of banqueting, happiness, sending gifts to one another, and providing for the poor.

9:23 So the Jews committed themselves to continue what they had begun to do and to what Mordecai had written to them. 9:24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised plans against the Jews to destroy them. He had cast pur (that is, the lot) in order to afflict and destroy them. 9:25 But when the matter came to the king’s attention, the king 1  gave written orders that Haman’s 2  evil intentions that he had devised against the Jews should fall on his own head. He and his sons were hanged on the gallows. 9:26 For this reason these days are known as Purim, after the name of pur. 9:27 Therefore, because of the account found in this letter and what they had faced in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established as binding on themselves, their descendants, and all who joined their company that they should observe these two days without fail, just as written and at the appropriate time on an annual basis. 9:28 These days were to be remembered and to be celebrated in every generation and in every family, every province, and every city. The Jews were not to fail to observe these days of Purim; the remembrance of them was not to cease among their descendants.

9:29 So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second 3  letter about Purim. 9:30 Letters were sent 4  to all the Jews in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the empire of Ahasuerus – words of true peace 5 9:31 to establish these days of Purim in their proper times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established, and just as they had established both for themselves and their descendants, matters pertaining to fasting and lamentation. 9:32 Esther’s command established these matters of Purim, and the matter was officially recorded. 6 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Haman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tc The LXX and the Syriac Peshitta omit the word “second.”

4 tc The present translation is based on the Niphal form וַיּשָּׁלַח (vayyishalakh, “were sent”; so also NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT) rather than the reading of the MT וַיּשְׁלַח (vayyishlakh, Qal, “and he sent”). The subject of the MT verb would have to be Mordecai (cf. NAB, NIV, NCV), but this is problematic in light of v. 29, where both Esther and Mordecai are responsible for the letters.

5 tn Heb “peace and truth.” The expression is probably a hendiadys (see the note on 5:10 for an explanation of this figure).

6 tn Heb “written in the book” (so NASB); NIV, NLT “written down in the records”; NRSV “recorded in writing.”



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