1The copy of the letters was this. The great king Artaxerxes, writeth these things to the princes, and gouernours that are vnder him from India vnto Ethiopia, in an hundred and seuen and twentie prouinces.
2After that I became Lord ouer many nations, and had dominion ouer the whole world, not lifted vp with presumption of my authoritie, but carying my selfe alway with equitie and mildenesse, I purposed to settle my subiects continually in a quiet life, and making my kingdome peaceable, and open for passage to the vtmost coastes, to renue peace which is desired of all men.
3Now when I asked my counsellers how this might bee brought to passe, Aman that excelled in wisedome among vs, and was approoued for his constant good will, and stedfast fidelitie, and had the honour of the second place in the kingdome,
4Declared vnto vs, that in all nations throughout the world, there was scattered a certaine malitious people, that had Lawes contrary to all nations, and continually despised the commandements of Kings, so as the vniting of our kingdomes honourably intended by vs, cannot goe forward.
5Seeing then we vnderstand that this people alone is continually in opposition vnto all men, differing in the strange maner of their Lawes, and euill affected to our state, working all the mischiefe they can, that our kingdome may not be firmely stablished:
6Therefore haue we commanded that al they that are signified in writing vnto you by Aman (who is ordained ouer the affaires, and is next vnto vs) shall all with their wiues and children bee vtterly destroyed, by the sword of their enemies, without all mercie and pitie, the fourteenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar of this present yeere:
7That they, who of old, and now also are malitious, may in one day with violence goe into the graue, and so euer hereafter, cause our affaires to be well settled, and without trouble.
8Then Mardocheus thought vpon all the works of the Lord, and made his prayer vnto him,
9Saying, O Lord, Lord, the king Almightie: for the whole world is in thy power; and if thou hast appointed to saue Israel, there is no man that can gainesay thee.
10For thou hast made heauen and earth, and all the wonderous things vnder the heauen.
11Thou art Lord of all things, and there is no man that can resist thee, which art the Lord.
12Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest Lord, that it was neither in contempt nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow downe to proud Aman.
13For I could haue bene content with good will for the saluation of Israel, to kisse the soles of his feet.
14But I did this, that I might not preferre the glory of man aboue the glory of God: neither will I worship any but thee, O God, neither wil I doe it in pride.
15And now, O Lord God, and King, spare thy people: for their eyes are vpon vs, to bring vs to nought, yea they desire to destroy the inheritance that hath beene thine from the beginning.
16Despise not the portion which thou hast deliuered out of Egypt for thine owne selfe:
17Heare my prayer, and be mercifull vnto thine inheritance: turne our sorrow into ioy, that wee may liue, O Lord, and praise thy Name: and destroy not the mouthes of them that praise thee, O Lord.
18All Israel in like maner cried most earnestly vnto the Lord, because their death was before their eyes.