20 iSo they jwatched him and sent spies, who kpretended to be sincere, that they might lcatch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of mthe governor. 21 So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and oshow no partiality,1 but truly teach pthe way of God. 22 Is it lawful for us to give qtribute to rCaesar, or not?” 23 But he perceived their scraftiness, and said to them, 24 “Show me ta denarius.2 Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25 He said to them, “Then urender to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26 And they were not able in the presence of the people vto catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent.
12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me son your behalf tduring my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be uby compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why vhe was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 wno longer as a bondservant1 but more than a bondservant, as xa beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, yboth in the flesh and in the Lord.
17 So if you consider me zyour partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 aI, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. bRefresh my heart in Christ.
21 cConfident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for dI am hoping that ethrough your prayers fI will be graciously given to you.
25 kThe grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
16 Why should a fool have money in his hand jto buy wisdom
when he has no sense?
17 kA friend loves at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
18 One who lacks sense gives a pledge
and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19 Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
he who lmakes his door high seeks destruction.
20 mA man of crooked heart does not discover good,
and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21 He who nsires a fool gets himself sorrow,
and the father of a fool has no joy.
22 oA joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit pdries up the bones.
to rpervert the ways of justice.
24 sThe discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25 nA foolish son is a grief to his father
26 vTo impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27 Whoever wrestrains his words has knowledge,
and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28 Even a fool xwho keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
The Jews Destroy Their Enemies
9 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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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. 5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them, and did as they pleased to those who hated them. 6 In Susa the citadel itself the Jews killed and destroyed 500 men, 7 and also killed Parshandatha and Dalphon and Aspatha 8 and Poratha and Adalia and Aridatha 9 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. 2 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? 3 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.