Esther 9–10; Acts 7:1–21

The Jews Destroy Their Enemies

sNow in the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, ton the thirteenth day of the same, uwhen the king's command and edict were about to be carried out, jon the very day when the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, the reverse occurred: the Jews gained mastery over those who hated them. vThe Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to lay hands on those who sought their harm. And no one could stand against them, wfor the fear of them had fallen on all peoples. All the officials of the provinces and xthe satraps and the governors and the royal agents also helped the Jews, for the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. For Mordecai was great in the king's house, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces, for the man Mordecai grew ymore and more powerful. The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha and Parmashta and Arisai and Aridai and Vaizatha, 10 zthe ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, athe enemy of the Jews, bbut they laid no hand on the plunder.

11 That very day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was reported to the king. 12 And the king said to Queen Esther, In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed 500 men and also the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king's provinces! cNow what is your wish? It shall be granted you. And what further is your request? It shall be fulfilled. 13 And Esther said, If it please the king, let the Jews who are in Susa be allowed dtomorrow also to do according to this day's edict. And let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows.1 14 So the king commanded this to be done. A decree was issued in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged. 15 The Jews who were in Susa gathered also on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and they killed 300 men in Susa, but they laid no hands on the plunder.

16 eNow the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces also fgathered to defend their lives, and got relief from their enemies and killed 75,000 of those who hated them, but they laid no hands on the plunder. 17 This was gon the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. 18 But the Jews who were in Susa gathered gon the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested hon the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. 19 Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in ithe rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as ja holiday, and kas a day on which they send gifts of food to one another.

The Feast of Purim Inaugurated

20 And Mordecai recorded these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21 obliging them to keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar and also the fifteenth day of the same, year by year, 22 as the days on which the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month that had been turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into ja holiday; that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor.

23 So the Jews accepted what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, lthe enemy of all the Jews, mhad plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and nhad cast Pur (that is, cast lots), to crush and to destroy them. 25 But when it came before the king, he gave orders in writing othat his evil plan that he had devised against the Jews pshould return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. 26 Therefore they called these days Purim, after the term nPur. Therefore, because of all that was written in qthis letter, and of what they had faced in this matter, and of what had happened to them, 27 the Jews firmly obligated themselves and their offspring and rall who joined them, that without fail they would keep sthese two days according to what was written and at the time appointed every year, 28 that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, in every clan, province, and city, and that these days of Purim should never fall into disuse among the Jews, nor should the commemoration of these days cease among their descendants.

29 Then Queen Esther, tthe daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew gave full written authority, confirming uthis second letter about Purim. 30 Letters were sent to all the Jews, vto the 127 provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, in words of peace and truth, 31 that these days of Purim should be observed at their appointed seasons, as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther obligated them, and as they had obligated themselves and their offspring, with regard to wtheir fasts and their lamenting. 32 The command of Esther confirmed these practices of xPurim, and it was recorded in writing.

The Greatness of Mordecai

10 King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on ythe coastlands of the sea. And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, zto which the king advanced him, are they not written in athe Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? For Mordecai the Jew was bsecond in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he csought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.


Stephen's Speech

And the high priest said, Are these things so? And Stephen said:

jBrothers and fathers, hear me. kThe God lof glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, mbefore he lived in Haran, and said to him, nGo out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you. mThen he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And oafter his father died, pGod removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised qto give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, rthough he had no child. And God spoke to this effectthat shis offspring would tbe sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them ufour hundred years. But vI will judge the nation that they serve, said God, and after that they shall come out wand worship me in this place. And xhe gave him the covenant of circumcision. And yso Abraham became the father of Isaac, and zcircumcised him on the eighth day, and aIsaac became the father of Jacob, and bJacob of the twelve patriarchs.

And the patriarchs, cjealous of Joseph, dsold him into Egypt; but eGod was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and fgave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gwho made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now hthere came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 iBut when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And jon the second visit kJoseph made himself known to his brothers, and lJoseph's family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And mJoseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, nseventy-five persons in all. 15 And oJacob went down into Egypt, and phe died, he qand our fathers, 16 and rthey were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that sAbraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 But tas the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, uthe people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king vwho did not know Joseph. 19 wHe dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, xso that they would not be kept alive. 20 yAt this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house, 21 and zwhen he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.