Throughout each and every province where the king’s edict and law were announced 1 there was considerable 2 mourning among the Jews, along with fasting, weeping, and sorrow. 3 Sackcloth and ashes were characteristic 4 of many.
So Haman took the clothing and the horse, and he clothed Mordecai. He led him about on the horse throughout the plaza of the city, calling before him, “So shall it be done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!”
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.
If you see the extortion 1 of the poor, or the perversion 2 of justice and fairness in the government, 3 do not be astonished by the matter. For the high official is watched by a higher official, 4 and there are higher ones over them! 5
This is the unfortunate fact 1 about everything that happens on earth: 2 the same fate awaits 3 everyone. In addition to this, the hearts of all people 4 are full of evil, and there is folly in their hearts during their lives – then they die. 5
Then the Lord will create over all of Mount Zion 1 and over its convocations a cloud and smoke by day and a bright flame of fire by night; 2 indeed a canopy will accompany the Lord’s glorious presence. 3
Through all that they suffered, he suffered too. 1 The messenger sent from his very presence 2 delivered them. In his love and mercy he protected 3 them; he lifted them up and carried them throughout ancient times. 4
The Lord also spoke to him when Jehoiakim son of Josiah ruled over Judah, and he continued to speak to him until the fifth month of the eleventh year 1 that Zedekiah son of Josiah ruled over Judah. That was when the people of Jerusalem 2 were taken into exile. 3
The Lord said, 1 “Go up and down 2 through the streets of Jerusalem. 3 Look around and see for yourselves. Search through its public squares. See if any of you can find a single person who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. 4 If you can, 5 then I will not punish this city. 6
I hear my dear people 1 crying out 2 throughout the length and breadth of the land. 3 They are crying, ‘Is the Lord no longer in Zion? Is her divine King 4 no longer there?’” The Lord answers, 5 “Why then do they provoke me to anger with their images, with their worthless foreign idols?” 6
People of Jerusalem, 1 I have seen your adulterous worship, your shameless prostitution to, and your lustful pursuit of, other gods. 2 I have seen your disgusting acts of worship 3 on the hills throughout the countryside. You are doomed to destruction! 4 How long will you continue to be unclean?’”
If I go out into the countryside, I see those who have been killed in battle. If I go into the city, I see those who are sick because of starvation. 1 For both prophet and priest go about their own business in the land without having any real understanding.’” 2
If you do this, 1 then the kings and princes who follow in David’s succession 2 and ride in chariots or on horses will continue to enter through these gates, as well as their officials and the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. 3 This city will always be filled with people. 4