King Xerxes gave orders for these letters to be posted where they could be seen by everyone all over the kingdom. The king’s command was obeyed, and one of the letters was read aloud to the people in the walled city of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink together, but no one in the city could figure out what was going on.
A copy of the letters with the command was to be given as a law. It was to be a law in every province and announced to the people of every nation living in the kingdom. Then everyone would be ready for that day.
Bulletins were sent out by couriers to all the king’s provinces with orders to massacre, kill, and eliminate all the Jews—youngsters and old men, women and babies—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month Adar, and to plunder their goods. Copies of the bulletin were to be posted in each province, publicly available to all peoples, to get them ready for that day.
This is the copy of the edict: “King Ahasuerus the Great writes the following to the governors of the one hundred and twenty-seven provinces extending from India to Ethiopia and to their subordinate officials: Having been established as the ruler of many nations and master of the entire world, it has always been my policy never to be overwhelmed with the arrogance of power but always to rule with fairness and kindness, so as to ensure for my subjects a life of tranquillity in this kingdom, with the assurance of safe passage for everyone within its borders and the restoration of the peace desired by all. “When I sought the counsel of my advisors as to how this goal might be achieved, Haman, whose sound judgment, unfailing devotion, and steadfast loyalty have enabled him to achieve a rank second only to mine in the kingdom, spoke up. He informed us that, mingled among all the races of the world, there is one hostile people whose laws are opposed to those of all other nations and who continually act in defiance of royal ordinances, so that the unification of the empire that we envision cannot be accomplished. “In the realization that this people stands uniquely alone in its continual hostility to all other nations, observes laws that are at complete variance with ours, and commits the most grievous of crimes, thereby undermining the stability of our government, we hereby decree that all the persons designated to you in the letters written by Haman, who was appointed to safeguard our interests and who is a second father to us, shall, with their wives and children, be totally destroyed by the swords of their enemies, without any sign of mercy or pardon, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month, Adar, of the present year. In this way, when these people, whose treacherous opposition to us has been of long duration, have descended into the netherworld by a violent death in a single day, our kingdom will once again enjoy perpetual stability and peace.” A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that they might be ready for that day.
And the sentence of the letters was this, written in a few words, that all (the peoples of the) provinces should know (about), and make them(selves) ready, to the foresaid day. (And so in a few words, the sentence of the letters was this, that all the people of the provinces should know about, and prepare themselves for, the coming day of death and destruction.)
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