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(The Greek Version Containing the Additional Chapters)

Addition A

Mordecai’s Dream

11*2In the second year of the reign of Artaxerxes the Great, on the first day of Nisan, Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei* son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, had a dream. 3He was a Jew living in the city of Susa, a great man, serving in the court of the king. 4He was one of the captives whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had brought from Jerusalem with King Jeconiah of Judea. And this was his dream: 5Noises* and confusion, thunders and earthquake, tumult on the earth! 6Then two great dragons came forward, both ready to fight, and they roared terribly. 7At their roaring every nation prepared for war, to fight against the righteous nation. 8It was a day of darkness and gloom, of tribulation and distress, affliction and great tumult on the earth! 9And the whole righteous nation was troubled; they feared the evils that threatened them,* and were ready to perish. 10Then they cried out to God; and at their outcry, as though from a tiny spring, there came a great river, with abundant water; 11light came, and the sun rose, and the lowly were exalted and devoured those held in honour.

12 Mordecai saw in this dream what God had determined to do, and after he awoke he had it on his mind, seeking all day to understand it in every detail.

A Plot against the King

12Now Mordecai took his rest in the courtyard with Gabatha and Tharra, the two eunuchs of the king who kept watch in the courtyard. 2He overheard their conversation and inquired into their purposes, and learned that they were preparing to lay hands on King Artaxerxes; and he informed the king concerning them. 3Then the king examined the two eunuchs, and after they had confessed it, they were led away to execution. 4The king made a permanent record of these things, and Mordecai wrote an account of them. 5And the king ordered Mordecai to serve in the court, and rewarded him for these things. 6But Haman son of Hammedatha, a Bougean, who was held in great honour by the king, determined to injure Mordecai and his people because of the two eunuchs of the king.

End of Addition A

Artaxerxes’ Banquet

1It was after this that the following things happened in the days of Artaxerxes, the same Artaxerxes who ruled over one hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia.* 2In those days, when King Artaxerxes was enthroned in the city of Susa, 3in the third year of his reign, he gave a banquet for his Friends and other persons of various nations, the Persians and Median nobles, and the governors of the provinces. 4After this, when he had displayed to them the riches of his kingdom and the splendour of his bountiful celebration during the course of one hundred and eighty days, 5at the end of the festivity* the king gave a drinking-party for the people of various nations who lived in the city. This was held for six days in the courtyard of the royal palace, 6which was adorned with curtains of fine linen and cotton, held by cords of purple linen attached to gold and silver blocks on pillars of marble and other stones. Gold and silver couches were placed on a mosaic floor of emerald, mother-of-pearl, and marble. There were coverings of gauze, embroidered in various colours, with roses arranged around them. 7The cups were of gold and silver, and a miniature cup was displayed, made of ruby, worth thirty thousand talents. There was abundant sweet wine, such as the king himself drank. 8The drinking was not according to a fixed rule; but the king wished to have it so, and he commanded his stewards to comply with his pleasure and with that of the guests.

Meanwhile, Queen Vashti* gave a drinking-party for the women in the palace where King Artaxerxes was.

Dismissal of Queen Vashti

10 On the seventh day, when the king was in good humour, he told Haman, Bazan, Tharra, Boraze, Zatholtha, Abataza, and Tharaba, the seven eunuchs who served King Artaxerxes, 11to escort the queen to him in order to proclaim her as queen and to place the diadem on her head, and to have her display her beauty to all the governors and the people of various nations, for she was indeed a beautiful woman. 12But Queen Vashti* refused to obey him and would not come with the eunuchs. This offended the king and he became furious. 13He said to his Friends, ‘This is how Vashti* has answered me.* Give therefore your ruling and judgement on this matter.’ 14Arkesaeus, Sarsathaeus, and Malesear, then the governors of the Persians and Medes who were closest to the king—Arkesaeus, Sarsathaeus, and Malesear, who sat beside him in the chief seats—came to him 15and told him what must be done to Queen Vashti* for not obeying the order that the king had sent her by the eunuchs. 16Then Muchaeus said to the king and the governors, ‘Queen Vashti* has insulted not only the king but also all the king’s governors and officials’ 17(for he had reported to them what the queen had said and how she had defied the king). ‘And just as she defied King Artaxerxes, 18so now the other ladies who are wives of the Persian and Median governors, on hearing what she has said to the king, will likewise dare to insult their husbands. 19If therefore it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree, inscribed in accordance with the laws of the Medes and Persians so that it may not be altered, that the queen may no longer come into his presence; but let the king give her royal rank to a woman better than she. 20Let whatever law the king enacts be proclaimed in his kingdom, and thus all women will give honour to their husbands, rich and poor alike.’ 21This speech pleased the king and the governors, and the king did as Muchaeus had recommended. 22The king sent the decree into all his kingdom, to every province in its own language, so that in every house respect would be shown to every husband.

Esther Becomes Queen

2After these things, the king’s anger abated, and he no longer was concerned about Vashti* or remembered what he had said and how he had condemned her. 2Then the king’s servants said, ‘Let beautiful and virtuous girls be sought out for the king. 3The king shall appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, and they shall select beautiful young virgins to be brought to the harem in Susa, the capital. Let them be entrusted to the king’s eunuch who is in charge of the women, and let ointments and whatever else they need be given them. 4And the woman who pleases the king shall be queen instead of Vashti.’* This pleased the king, and he did so.

Now there was a Jew in Susa the capital whose name was Mordecai son of Jair son of Shimei* son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin; 6he had been taken captive from Jerusalem among those whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had captured. 7And he had a foster-child, the daughter of his father’s brother Aminadab, and her name was Esther. When her parents died, he brought her up to womanhood as his own child. The girl was beautiful in appearance. 8So, when the decree of the king was proclaimed, and many girls were gathered in Susa the capital in the custody of Gai, Esther also was brought to Gai, who had custody of the women. 9The girl pleased him and won his favour, and he quickly provided her with ointments and her portion of food,* as well as seven maids chosen from the palace; he treated her and her maids with special favour in the harem. 10Now Esther had not disclosed her people or country, for Mordecai had commanded her not to make it known. 11And every day Mordecai walked in the courtyard of the harem, to see what would happen to Esther.

12 Now the period after which a girl was to go to the king was twelve months. During this time the days of beautification are completed—six months while they are anointing themselves with oil of myrrh, and six months with spices and ointments for women. 13Then she goes in to the king; she is handed to the person appointed, and goes with him from the harem to the king’s palace. 14In the evening she enters and in the morning she departs to the second harem, where Gai the king’s eunuch is in charge of the women; and she does not go in to the king again unless she is summoned by name.

15 When the time was fulfilled for Esther daughter of Aminadab, the brother of Mordecai’s father, to go in to the king, she neglected none of the things that Gai, the eunuch in charge of the women, had commanded. Now Esther found favour in the eyes of all who saw her. 16So Esther went in to King Artaxerxes in the twelfth month, which is Adar, in the seventh year of his reign. 17And the king loved Esther and she found favour beyond all the other virgins, so he put on her the queen’s diadem. 18Then the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all his Friends and the officers, to celebrate his marriage to Esther; and he granted a remission of taxes to those who were under his rule.

The Plot Discovered

19 Meanwhile, Mordecai was serving in the courtyard. 20Esther had not disclosed her country—such were the instructions of Mordecai; but she was to fear God and keep his laws, just as she had done when she was with him. So Esther did not change her mode of life.

21 Now the king’s eunuchs, who were chief bodyguards, were angry because of Mordecai’s advancement, and they plotted to kill King Artaxerxes. 22The matter became known to Mordecai, and he warned Esther, who in turn revealed the plot to the king. 23He investigated the two eunuchs and hanged them. Then the king ordered a memorandum to be deposited in the royal library in praise of the goodwill shown by Mordecai.

Mordecai Refuses to Do Obeisance

3After these events King Artaxerxes promoted Haman son of Hammedatha, a Bougean, advancing him and granting him precedence over all the king’s* Friends. 2So all who were at court used to do obeisance to Haman,* for so the king had commanded to be done. Mordecai, however, did not do obeisance. 3Then the king’s courtiers said to Mordecai, ‘Mordecai, why do you disobey the king’s command?’ 4Day after day they spoke to him, but he would not listen to them. Then they informed Haman that Mordecai was resisting the king’s command. Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. 5So when Haman learned that Mordecai was not doing obeisance to him, he became furiously angry, 6and plotted to destroy all the Jews under Artaxerxes’ rule.

In the twelfth year of King Artaxerxes Haman* came to a decision by casting lots, taking the days and the months one by one, to fix on one day to destroy the whole race of Mordecai. The lot fell on the fourteenth* day of the month of Adar.

Decree against the Jews

Then Haman* said to King Artaxerxes, ‘There is a certain nation scattered among the other nations in all your kingdom; their laws are different from those of every other nation, and they do not keep the laws of the king. It is not expedient for the king to tolerate them. 9If it pleases the king, let it be decreed that they are to be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the king’s treasury.’ 10So the king took off his signet ring and gave it to Haman to seal the decree* that was to be written against the Jews. 11The king told Haman, ‘Keep the money, and do whatever you want with that nation.’

12 So on the thirteenth day of the first month the king’s secretaries were summoned, and in accordance with Haman’s instructions they wrote in the name of King Artaxerxes to the magistrates and the governors in every province from India to Ethiopia. There were one hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all, and the governors were addressed each in his own language. 13Instructions were sent by couriers throughout all the empire of Artaxerxes to destroy the Jewish people on a given day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods.

Addition B

The King’s Letter

13*This is a copy of the letter: ‘The Great King, Artaxerxes, writes the following to the governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia and to the officials under them:

‘Having become ruler of many nations and master of the whole world (not elated with presumption of authority but always acting reasonably and with kindness), I have determined to settle the lives of my subjects in lasting tranquillity and, in order to make my kingdom peaceable and open to travel throughout all its extent, to restore the peace desired by all people.

‘When I asked my counsellors how this might be accomplished, Haman—who excels among us in sound judgement, and is distinguished for his unchanging goodwill and steadfast fidelity, and has attained the second place in the kingdom— 4pointed out to us that among all the nations in the world there is scattered a certain hostile people, who have laws contrary to those of every nation and continually disregard the ordinances of kings, so that the unifying of the kingdom that we honourably intend cannot be brought about. 5We understand that this people, and it alone, stands constantly in opposition to every nation, perversely following a strange manner of life and laws, and is ill-disposed to our government, doing all the harm they can so that our kingdom may not attain stability.

‘Therefore we have decreed that those indicated to you in the letters written by Haman, who is in charge of affairs and is our second father, shall all—wives and children included—be utterly destroyed by the swords of their enemies, without pity or restraint, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of this present year, 7so that those who have long been hostile and remain so may in a single day go down in violence to Hades, and leave our government completely secure and untroubled hereafter.’

End of Addition B

314Copies of the document were posted in every province, and all the nations were ordered to be prepared for that day.

For copyright reasons, a maximum of 83 verses may be displayed. A further 230 verses have been omitted.


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From the oremus Bible Browser v2.9.2 30 June 2021.