2:18 Then the king prepared a large banquet for all his officials and his servants – it was actually Esther’s banquet. He also set aside a holiday for the provinces, and he provided for offerings at the king’s expense. 1
5:14 Haman’s 2 wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows seventy-five feet 3 high built, and in the morning tell the king that Mordecai should be hanged on it. Then go with the king to the banquet contented.” 4
It seemed like a good idea to Haman, so he had the gallows built.
8:17 Throughout every province and throughout every city where the king’s edict and his law arrived, the Jews experienced happiness and joy, banquets and holidays. Many of the resident peoples 5 pretended 6 to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had overcome them. 7
9:19 This is why the Jews who are in the rural country – those who live in rural cities – set aside the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a holiday for happiness, banqueting, holiday, and sending gifts to one another.
1 tc The LXX does not include the words “and he provided for offerings at the king’s expense.”
2 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Haman) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn Heb “fifty cubits.” Assuming a standard length for the cubit of about 18 inches (45 cm), this would be about seventy-five feet (22.5 meters), which is a surprisingly tall height for the gallows. Perhaps the number assumes the gallows was built on a large supporting platform or a natural hill for visual effect, in which case the structure itself may have been considerably smaller. Cf. NCV “a seventy-five foot platform”; CEV “a tower built about seventy-five feet high.”
4 tn Or “joyful”; NRSV “in good spirits”; TEV “happy.”
5 tn Heb “peoples of the land” (so NASB); NIV “people of other nationalities”; NRSV “peoples of the country.”
6 tn Heb “were becoming Jews”; NAB “embraced Judaism.” However, the Hitpael stem of the verb is sometimes used of a feigning action rather than a genuine one (see, e.g., 2 Sam 13:5, 6), which is the way the present translation understands the use of the word here (cf. NEB “professed themselves Jews”; NRSV “professed to be Jews”). This is the only occurrence of this verb in the Hebrew Bible, so there are no exact parallels. However, in the context of v. 17 the motivation of their conversion (Heb “the fear of the Jews had fallen upon them”) should not be overlooked. The LXX apparently understood the conversion described here to be genuine, since it adds the words “they were being circumcised and” before “they became Jews.”
7 tn Heb “had fallen upon them” (so NRSV); NIV “had seized them.”