Esther 8

The king makes another law

1 That day, King Xerxes gave Queen Esther all of Haman's things. Mordecai came in front of the king. Esther had told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. 2 The king had taken back his signet ring from Haman. He gave the signet ring to Mordecai. Esther gave Mordecai authority over all the things that the king gave to her.

8:2They were the things that had been Haman's.

3 Then Esther went to the king. She cried aloud and she threw herself down at his feet. She asked him to stop Haman's very bad idea to kill all the Jews. 4 The king held out his gold sceptre to Esther. Then she stood up in front of the king.

5 Esther said to the king, ‘I hope that I make the king happy. And perhaps the king thinks that this is the right thing to do: If he does, the king should do this. Tell your people that they must not kill all the Jews on the 13th day of the 12th month. 6 If they do kill them, I will have to see the death of all my people.’

7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai, ‘Because Haman wanted to kill the Jews, I have given all of his things to Esther. And my officers have killed Haman on the gallows. 8 Write another law with the king's authority. Write a law to help the Jews. My signet ring shows that the law has the king's authority. There can be no change to a law that has the king's authority.’

9 On the 23rd day of the third month (the month Sivan), Mordecai asked certain men to come to him. They were the men who recorded the law. Mordecai the Jew told them what to write. Men who were riding on horses took the law to all the kingdom. Mordecai asked people to copy the law into every language that people spoke in the kingdom. So everyone would know what the new law said. 10 The law that Mordecai wrote had the king's authority. It had the mark of the king's signet ring. Men who were riding on fast horses took the law all through the kingdom.

11 The king's law said this: Every Jew in every city could fight against any person who attacked them. This included the women and children of any man who attacked them. The Jews could take the things of anyone that they killed. 12 The law said that the Jews could do this for one day. This day was the 13th day of the 12th month. That was the month called Adar.

8:12That was the day that Haman had wanted to kill all the Jews.

13 A copy of the law reached all the kingdom. Everybody knew the law. The Jews prepared for that day. They would kill all the people who wanted to kill them on that day. 14 The king told his officers that they must travel quickly on their horses. The king's officers also told everybody about the law in the city (Susa).

15 Then Mordecai went from the king's palace. He was wearing beautiful blue and white clothes. He had a large crown of gold on his head and he was wearing special clothes. The colour of the clothes was purple and somebody had made them out of linen. The people in Susa were very happy.

8:15Mordecai does not wear sackcloth and ashes because God has answered the Jews' prayers. God has saved the Jews. Only rich and powerful people wore purple clothes. They wore them over other clothes. They used linen to make clothes for rich and powerful people.

16 The Jews were very happy and everyone respected them. 17 In all the kingdom, the Jews had feasts and they were very happy. Many people became Jews because of what happened.