Esther Chapter 7 to 10 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Haman Is Hanged

7 So the king and Haman went to eat with Queen Esther. 2Then as they were drinking wine on the second day of the party, the king again asked Esther a question, “Queen Esther, what is it you want to ask for? Ask anything and it will be given to you. What do you want? I will give you anything, even half my kingdom.” 3Then Queen Esther answered, “King, if you like me and it pleases you, please let me live! And I ask you to let my people live, too! That is what I ask for. 4Why? Because I and my people have been sold to be ruined, killed, and completely destroyed. If we had just been sold as slaves, I would have kept quiet, because that would not be enough of a problem to bother the king.” 5Then King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who did this to you? Where is the man that dared to do such a thing to your people?” 6Esther said, “The man against us, our enemy, is this wicked Haman.” Then Haman was filled with terror before the king and queen. 7The king was very angry. He got up, left his wine, and went out into the garden. But Haman stayed inside to beg Queen Esther to save his life. Haman begged for his life because he knew that the king had already decided to kill him. 8Just as the king was coming back in from the garden to the party room, he saw Haman falling on the couch where Esther was lying. The king said with anger in his voice, “Will you attack the queen even while I am in the house? As soon as the king had said that, servants came in and killed Haman.* 9One of the eunuchs* that served the king was named Harbona. Harbona said, “A hanging post 75 feet* tall has been built near Haman’s house. Haman had it made so he could hang Mordecai on it. Mordecai is the man that helped you when he told about the evil plans to kill you.” The king said, “Hang Haman on that post!” 10So they hanged Haman on the hanging post he had built for Mordecai. Then the king stopped being angry.

killed Haman Literally, “covered Haman’s face.” eunuchs Men whose testicles have been removed. Rulers often gave such men important positions. 75 feet Literally, “50 cubits.” palace A large house for the king and his family.

The King’s Order To Help the Jews

8 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther all the things that belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. Then Mordecai came to see the king. 2The king had gotten his ring back from Haman. The king took that ring off his finger and gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of all of the things that belonged to Haman. 3Then Esther spoke to the king again. She fell at the king’s feet and began crying. She begged the king to cancel the evil plan of Haman the Agagite. Haman had thought up that plan to hurt the Jews. 4Then the king held out the gold scepter* to Esther. Esther got up and stood in front of the king. 5Then Esther said, “King, if you like me and if it pleases you, please do this for me. Please do this if you think it is a good idea. If the king is happy with me, please write a command that would stop the command that Haman sent out. Haman the Agagite thought of a plan to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces, and he sent out commands for that to happen. 6I am begging the king because I could not bear to see those terrible things happen to my people. I could not bear to see my family killed.” 7King Xerxes answered Queen Esther and Mordecai the Jew. This is what the king said, “Because Haman was against the Jews, I have given his property to Esther. And my soldiers have hanged him on the hanging post. 8Now write another command by the authority of the king. Write it to help the Jews in a way that seems best to you. Then seal that order with the king’s special ring. No official letter written by the authority of the king and sealed with the king’s ring can be cancelled.” 9Very quickly the king’s secretaries were called. This was done on the 23rd day of the third month, the month of Sivan. Those secretaries wrote out all of Mordecai’s commands to the Jews, and to the satraps (leaders), the governors, and officials of the 127 provinces. Those provinces reached from India to Ethiopia. Those commands were written in the language of each province. And they were translated into the language of each group of people. And those commands were written to the Jews in their own language and their own alphabet. 10Mordecai wrote commands by the authority of King Xerxes. Then he sealed the letters with the king’s ring. And he sent those letters by messengers on horses. Those messengers rode fast horses which were raised especially for the king. 11The king’s commands in those letters said this: The Jews in every city have the right to gather together to protect themselves. They have the right to ruin, kill, and completely destroy any army from any group of people that might attack them and their women and children. And the Jews have the right to take and destroy the property of their enemies. 12The day that was set for the Jews to do this was the 13th day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. The Jews were permitted to do this in all King Xerxes’ provinces. 13A copy of the letter with the king’s command was to be sent out. It became a law. It became a law in every province. They announced it to all the people of every nation living in the kingdom. They did this so the Jews would be ready for that special day. The Jews would be allowed to pay their enemies back. 14The messengers hurried out, riding on the king’s horses. The king commanded those messengers to hurry. And that command was also put in the capital city of Susa. 15Mordecai left the king. Mordecai was wearing special clothes from the king. His clothes were blue and white, and he had on a large gold crown. He also had a purple robe made of the best linen.* There was a special celebration in Susa. The people were very happy. 16It was an especially happy day for the Jews. It was a day of great joy and happiness. 17Wherever the king’s command went in every province and every city, there was joy and gladness among the Jews. The Jews were having parties and celebrating. And many of the common people from other groups became Jews. They did that because they were very afraid of the Jews.

scepter A special stick that a king holds in his hand. linen Thread or cloth made from the fibers of the flax plant.

Victory for the Jews

9 On the 13th day of the twelfth month (Adar), the people were supposed to obey the king’s command. That was the day the enemies of the Jews hoped to defeat them. But now, things had changed. Now, the Jews were stronger than their enemies who hated them. 2The Jews met together in their cities in all the provinces of King Xerxes. They met together so they would be strong enough to attack the people that wanted to destroy them. So no one was strong enough to stand against them. Those people were afraid of the Jews. 3And all the officials of the provinces, the satraps (leaders), the governors, and the king’s administrators helped the Jews. All those leaders helped the Jews because they were afraid of Mordecai. 4Mordecai had become a very important man in the king’s palace.* Everyone in the provinces knew his name and knew how important he was. And Mordecai became more and more powerful. 5The Jews defeated all their enemies. They used swords to kill and destroy their enemies. And the Jews did what they wanted to with those people that hated them. 6The Jews killed and destroyed 500 men in the capital city of Susa. 7The Jews also killed these men: Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, 8Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, 9Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha. 10These men were the ten sons of Haman. Haman son of Hammedatha was the enemy of the Jews. The Jews killed all those men, but they didn’t take any of the things that belonged to them. 11That day the king heard how many men had been killed in the capital city of Susa. 12So the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have killed 500 men in Susa, including Haman’s ten sons. Now, what do you want done in the other provinces of the king? Tell me, and I will have it done. Ask, and I will do it.” 13Esther said, “If it pleases the king, please let the Jews in Susa do the same thing again tomorrow. Also, hang the bodies of Haman’s ten sons on posts.” 14So the king gave the command. That law continued another day in Susa. And they hanged Haman’s ten sons. 15The Jews in Susa met together on the 14th day of the month of Adar. They killed 300 men in Susa, but they didn’t take the things that belonged to those men. 16At the same time, the Jews living in the other provinces also met together. They met together so they would be strong enough to protect themselves. And so they got rid of their enemies. The Jews killed 75,000 of their enemies. But the Jews didn’t take any of the things that belonged to those people. 17This happened on the 13th day of the month Adar. And on the 14th day the Jews rested. The Jews made that day a happy holiday.

The Festival of Purim

18The Jews in Susa had met together on the 13th and 14th days of the month of Adar. And then on the 15th day they rested. So they made the 15th day a happy holiday. 19So, the Jews that live in the country and small villages celebrate Purim on the 14th day Adar. They keep the 14th day as a happy holiday. On that day they have parties and give presents to each other. 20Mordecai wrote everything down that had happened. And then he sent letters to all the Jews in all of King Xerxes’ provinces. He sent letters far and near. 21Mordecai did that to tell the Jews to celebrate Purim every year on the 14th and 15th days of the month of Adar. 22The Jews were to celebrate those days because on those days the Jews got rid of their enemies. And they were also to celebrate that month as the month when their sadness was turned into joy. And it was a month when their crying was changed into a day of celebration. Mordecai wrote letters to all the Jews. He told them to celebrate those days as a happy holiday. They should have parties and give gifts to each other and give presents to poor people. 23So the Jews agreed to do what Mordecai had written to them. And they agreed to continue the celebration they had begun. 24Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite was the enemy of all the Jews. He had made an evil plan against the Jews to destroy them. And Haman had thrown the lot* to choose a day to ruin and to destroy the Jews. At that time, the lot was called a “pur,” {so the holiday is called “Purim.”} 25Haman did those things, but Esther went to talk to the king. So he sent out new commands. These commands not only ruined Haman’s plans, but these commands caused those bad things to happen to Haman and his family! So Haman and his sons were hung on the posts. 26–27At this time, lots* were called “purim”. So this holiday is called “Purim.” Mordecai wrote a letter and told the Jews to celebrate this holiday. And so the Jews started the custom of celebrating these two days every year. 28They do this to help them remember what they had seen happen to them. The Jews and all the people that join them celebrate these two days every year at the right time in just the right way. Every generation and every family remembers these two days. They celebrate this holiday in each and every province and in each and every town. And the Jews will never stop celebrating the days of Purim. The descendants* of those Jews will always remember this holiday. 29So Queen Esther the daughter of Abihail and Mordecai the Jew wrote an official letter about Purim. They wrote with full authority of the king to prove that the second letter was true. 30So Mordecai sent letters to all the Jews in the 127 provinces of King Xerxes’ kingdom. Mordecai told the people that the holiday should bring peace and make people trust* each other. 31Mordecai wrote these letters to tell the people to start celebrating Purim. And he told them when to celebrate this new holiday. Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had sent out the command for the Jews. They did this to establish this two-day holiday for themselves and their descendants.* They will remember this holiday just like they remember the other holidays when they fast* and cry about the bad things that had happened. 32Esther’s letter made the rules for Purim official. And these things were written down in a book.

palace A large house for the king and his family.  lots Sticks, stones, or pieces of bone used like dice for making decisions. See Proverbs 16:33. descendants A person’s children and all of their future families. peace ... trust Or “fellowship and truth.” Zech. 8:19 teaches that this is how people should celebrate the holidays and why God gave them. fast To live without food for a special time of prayer and worship to God.

Mordecai Honored

10 King Xerxes made people pay taxes. All the people in the kingdom, even the faraway cities on the sea coast, had to pay taxes. 2And all the great things that Xerxes did are written in the Book of History of the Kings of Media and Persia. And also written in those history books are all the things that Mordecai did. The king made Mordecai a great man. 3Mordecai the Jew was second in importance to King Xerxes. Mordecai was the most important man among the Jews. And his fellow Jews respected him very much. They respected Mordecai because he worked hard for the good of his people. And Mordecai brought peace for all of the Jews.

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