1 Then Mardocheus saide, God hath done these things.
5 For I remember a dreame, which I saw concerning these matters, and there was nothing thereof omitted.
6 A litle fountaine which became a flood, and was a light, and as the sunne, and as much water, this flood was Esther whom the King maried, and made Queene.
7 And the two dragons are I and Aman.
8 And the people are they that are assembled to destroy the name of the Iewes.
9 And my people is Israel, which cryed to God, and are saued: for the Lord hath saued his people, & the Lorde hath deliuered vs from all these euils, and God hath wrought signes, & great wonders, which haue not bene done among the Gentiles.
10 Therefore hath hee made two lottes, one for the people of God, and another for all ye Gentiles.
11 And these two lottes came before God for all nations, at the houre and time appointed, and in the day of iudgement.
12 So God remembred his owne people, and iustified his inheritance.
13 Therefore those dayes shalbe vnto them in the moneth Adar the fourteenth, and fifteenth day of the same moneth, with an assemblie and ioy, and with gladnesse before God, according to the generations for euer among his people.
1 In the fourth yere of the reigne of Ptolomeus & Cleopatra Dositheus, who said he was a Priest & Leuite, and Ptolomeus his sonne, and brought the former letters of [Note: Or, lottes. ] Phrurai, which they saide Lysimachus the sonne of Ptolomeus, which was at Ierusalem, interpreted,
2 In the second yere of the reigne of great Artaxerxes in the first day of the moneth Nisan, Mardocheus the sonne of Iarus, the sonne of Semei, the
sonne of Cis of the tribe of Beniamin had a dreame,
3 A Iewe dwelling in the citie of Susis, a noble man, that bare office in the Kings court.
4 Hee was also one of the captiuitie which Nabuchodonosor the King of Babylon brought from Ierusalem with Iechonias.
5 And this was his dreame, Beholde a noyse of a tempest with thunders, and earthquakes, and vproare in the land.
6 Beholde two great dragons came foorth ready to fight one against another.
7 Their cry was great, whereby all the heathen were ready to fight against the righteous people.
8 And the same day was full of darkenes and obscuritie, and trouble, and anguish: yea, aduersitie, and great affliction was vpon the earth.
9 For then ye righteous fearing their afflictions, were amased, & being ready to die, cried vnto God.
10 And while they were crying, ye litle well grew into a great riuer, and flowed ouer with great waters.
11 The light and the sunne rose vp, and the lowly were exalted, and deuoured the glorious.
12 Nowe when Mardocheus had seene this dreame, hee awoke and rose vp and thought in his heart vntill the night, what God would doe, and so he desired to knowe all the matter.
1 At the same time dwelt Mardocheus in the kings court with Bagathas, and Thara, the Kings eunuches and keepers of the palace.
2 [Note: Ester.2.21. and 6.2. ] But when hee heard their purpose, and their imaginations, he perceiued that they went about to laye their handes vpon the King Artaxerxes, and so he certified the King thereof.
3 Then caused the King to examine the two eunuches with torments, and when they had confessed it, they were put to death.
4 This the King caused to be put in the Chronicles. Mardocheus also wrote the same thing.
5 So the King commaunded that Mardocheus shoulde remaine in the court, and for the aduertisement, he gaue him a reward.
6 But Aman the sonne of Amadathus the Agagite, which was in great honour and reputation with the King, went about to hurt Mardocheus and his people, because of the two eunuches of the King that were put to death.
1 The copie of the letters of Artaxerxes against the Iewes. 8 The prayer of Mardocheus.
1 [Note: Ioseph. antiq. lib. 11.chap.6. ] The copie of the letters was this, The great King Artaxerxes writeth these thinges to the princes and gouernours that are vnder him from India vnto Ethiopia in an hundreth and seuen and twentie prouinces.
2 When I was made Lord ouer many people, and had subdued the whole earth vnto my dominion, I would not exalt my selfe by the reason of my power, but purposed with equitie alway and gentlenesse to gouerne my subiects, and wholy to set them in a peaceable life, and thereby to bring my kingdome vnto tranquilitie, that men might safely goe thorow on euery side, and to renewe peace againe, which all men desire.
3 Now when I asked my counsellers how these things might be brought to passe, one that was conuersant with vs, of excellent wisdome, and constant in good wil, and shewed him selfe to be of sure fidelitie, which had the second place in the kingdome, euen Aman,
4 Declared vnto vs, that in all nations there was scattered abroad a rebellious people, that had lawes contrary to all people, and haue alway despised the commandements of Kings, and so that this generall empire, that we haue begunne, cannot be gouerned without offence.
5 Seeing nowe wee perceiue, that this people alone are altogether contrary vnto euery man, vsing strange and other maner of lawes, and hauing an euill opinion of our doings, and goe about to stablish wicked matters, that our kingdome should not come to good estate,
6 Therefore haue we comaunded, that all they that are appointed in writing vnto you by Aman (which is ordeined ouer ye affaires, & is as our second father) shall all with their wiues and children be destroyed & rooted out with ye sword of their enemies without all mercy, and that none be spared the fourtenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar of this yeere,
7 That they which of olde, and nowe also haue euer bene rebellious, may in one day with violence be thrust downe into the hell, to the intent that after this time our affaires may bee without troubles, and well gouerned in all pointes.
8 Then Mardocheus thought vpon all ye workes and of the Lord, and made his prayer vnto him,
9 Saying, O Lord, Lord, the King Almighty (for all things are in thy power) & if thou hast appointed to saue Israel, there is no man yt can withstand thee.
10 For thou hast made heauen and earth, and all the wonderous things vnder the heauen.
11 Thou art Lorde of all thinges, and there is no man that can resist thee, which art the Lord.
12 Thou knowest all things, and thou knowest, Lord, that it was neither of malice, nor presumption, nor for any desire of glory, that I did this, and not bowe downe to proude Aman.
13 For I woulde haue bene content with good will for the saluation of Israel, to haue kist the sole of his feete.
14 But I did it, because I would not preferre the honour of a man aboue the glory of God, & would not worship any but onely thee, my Lorde, and this haue I not done of pride.
15 And therefore, O Lord God and King, haue mercy vpon thy people: for they imagine how they may bring vs to naught, yea, they would destroy the inheritance, that hath bin thine from the beginning.
16 Despise not the portion, which thou hast deliuered out of Egypt for thine owne selfe.
17 Heare my prayer, and bee mercifull vnto thy portion: turne our sorow into ioy, that we may liue, O Lord, and praise thy Name: shut not the mouthes of them that praise thee.
18 All Israel in like maner cried most earnestly vnto the Lord, because yt death was before their eyes.
The prayer of Esther for the deliuerance of her, and her people.
1 Qveene Esther also, being in danger of death, resorted vnto the Lord,
2 And layd away her glorious apparell, and put on the garments of sighing, and mourning. In the stead of precious oyntment, she scattered ashes, and dongue vpon her head: and she humbled her body greatly with fasting, and all the places of her ioy filled she with the heare that she pluckt off.
3 And she prayed vnto the Lord God of Israel, saying, O my Lorde, thou onely art our King: helpe me desolate woman, which haue no helper but thee.
4 For my danger is at hand.
5 From my youth vp I haue heard in the kinred of my father, that thou, O Lord, tookest Israel from among all people, and our fathers from their predecessours for a perpetuall inheritance, and thou hast performed that which thou didest promise them.
6 Now Lord, we haue sinned before thee: therefore hast thou giuen vs into ye hands of our enemies.
7 Because we worshipped their gods, O Lorde, thou art righteous.
8 Neuerthelesse, it satisfieth them not, that we are in bitter captiuitie, but they haue stroken hands with their idoles,
9 That they wil abolish the thing that thou with thy mouth hast ordeined, & destroy thine inheritace, to shut vp the mouth of them that praise thee, and to quench the glory of thy Temple, and of thine altar,
10 And to open the mouths of the heathen, that they may praise the power of the idoles, and to magnifie a fleshly King for euer.
11 O Lord, giue not thy scepter vnto them that be nothing, lest they laugh vs to scorne in our miserie: but turne their deuise vpon theselues, and make him an example, that hath begunne the same against vs.
12 Thinke vpon vs, O Lord, and shewe thy selfe vnto vs in the time of our distresse, and strengthen me, O King of gods, and Lord of all power.
13 Giue me an eloquent speach in my mouth before the Lion: turne his heart to hate our enemie, to destroy him, and all such as consent vnto him.
14 But deliuer vs wt thine hand, and helpe me that am solitary, which haue no defence but onely thee.
15 Thou knowest all things, O Lord: thou knowest, that I hate the glory of the vnrighteous, and that I abhorre the bed of the vncircumcised, and of all the heathen.
16 Thou knowest my necessitie: for I hate this token of my preeminence, which I beare vpon mine head, what time as I must shewe my selfe, and that I abhorre it as a menstruous cloth, and that I weare it not when I am alone by my selfe,
17 And that I thine handmayde haue not eaten at Amans table, and that I haue had no pleasure in the Kings feast, nor drunke the wine of the drinke offerings,
18 And that I thine handmayde haue no ioye since the day that I was brought hither, vntill this day, but in thee, O Lord God of Abraham.
19 O thou mighty God aboue al, heare the voyce of them, yt haue none other hope, & deliuer vs out of the hand of ye wicked, & deliuer me out of my feare.
1 Mardocheus mooueth Esther to go in to the King and make interceßion for her people. 9 And she perfourmeth his request.
1 Mardocheus also bade Esther to go in vnto the king, & pray for her people, & for her countrey.
2 Remember, saith hee, the dayes of thy lowe estate, how thou wast nourished vnder mine hande: for Aman which is next vnto the King hath giuen sentence of death against vs.
3 Call thou therfore vpon the Lord, and speake for vs vnto the King, and deliuer vs from death.
4 And vpon the third day when she had ended her prayer, she layde away the mourning garments, and put on her glorious apparell,
5 And deckt herselfe goodly, after that she had called vpon God, which is the beholder and sauiour of all things, and tooke two handmaides with her.
6 Vpon the one she leaned herselfe, as one that was tender.
7 And the other followed her, and bare the traine of her vesture.
8 The shine of her beautie made her face rose coloured: and her face was cheerefull and amiable, but her heart was sorowfull for great feare.
9 Then she went in thorowe all the doores, and stoode before the King, and the King sate vpon his royal throne, and was clothed in his goodly aray, all glittering with golde and precious stones, and hee was very terrible.
10 Then he lift vp his face, that shoane with maiestie, and looked fiercely vpon her: therefore the Queene fell downe, and was pale and faint and leaned her selfe vpon the head of the mayde that went with her.
11 Neuerthelesse, God turned the Kings minde that he was gentle, who being carefull, leaped out of his throne, and tooke her in his armes, till she came to her selfe againe: and comforted her with louing wordes, and said,
12 Esther, what is the matter? I am thy brother, be of good cheare,
13 Thou shalt not die: for our commaundement toucheth the commons, and not thee. Come neere.
14 And so hee helde vp his golden scepter, and layd it vpon her necke,
15 And kissed her, and said, Talke with me.
16 Then said she, I saw thee, O lord, as an Angel of God, and mine heart was troubled for feare of thy maiestie.
17 For wonderfull art thou, O lord, and thy face is full of grace.
18 And as shee was thus speaking vnto him, shee fell downe againe for faintnesse.
19 Then the King was troubled, and all his seruants comforted her.
The copie of the letters of Artaxerxes, whereby he reuoketh those which he first sent foorth.
1 [Note: Ioseph. Antiq. 11.chap.6. ] The great King Artaxerxes, which reigneth from India vnto Ethiopia, ouer an hundreth & seuen and twentie prouinces, sendeth vnto the princes and rulers that haue ye charge of our affaires, Salutation.
2 There be many that through the goodnesse of Princes and honour giuen vnto them, become very proud,
3 And indeuour not onely to hurt our subiects, but not content to liue in wealth, doe also imagine destruction against those that doe them good,
4 And take not onely all thankefulnesse away from men, but in pride and presumption, as they that be vnmindefull of benefites, they thinke to escape the vengeance of God, that seeth all thinges, and is contrary to euill.
5 And oft times many, which bee set in office, and vnto whome their friendes causes are committed, by vaine intisements doe wrappe them in calamities, that cannot be remedied: for they make them partakers of innocent blood,
6 And deceitfully abuse the simplicitie, and gentlenesse of Princes with lying tales.
7 This may be proued not onely by olde histories, but also by those things that are before our eyes, and are wickedly committed of such pestilences as are not worthy to beare rule.
8 Therefore we must take heede hereafter that we may make the kingdome peaceable for all men, what chance soeuer shall come,
9 And discerne the thinges that are before our eyes, to withstand them with gentlenesse.
10 For Aman, a Macedonian, the sonne of Amadathus,
being in deede a stranger from the Persians blood, & far from our goodnes, was receiued of vs,
11 And hath proued the friendship that we beare toward all nations, so that he was called our father, and was honoured of euery man, as the next person vnto the King.
12 But he could not vse himselfe soberly in this great dignitie, but went about to depriue vs of the kingdome, and of our life.
13 With manifolde deceite also hath he desired to destroy Mardocheus our preseruer, which hath done vs good in all things, and innocent Esther the partaker of our kingdome, with all her nation.
14 For his minde was (when he had taken them out of the way) to lay waite for vs, and by this meanes to translate the kingdome of the Persians vnto them of Macedonia.
15 But we finde that ye Iewes (which were accused of this most wicked man that they might be destroyed) are no euill doers, but vse most iust lawes,
16 And that they be the children of the most High and Almightie & euerliuing God, by whome the kingdome hath bene preserued vnto vs, and our progenitours in very good order.
17 Wherefore ye shall doe well, if ye doe not put in execution those letters, that Aman the sonne of Amadathus did write vnto you.
18 For he that inuented them, hangeth at Susis before the gates with all his familie, and God (which hath all things in his power) hath speedely rewarded him after his deseruing.
19 Therefore ye shall publish the copy of this letter in all places, that the Iewes may freely liue after their owne Lawes.
20 And ye shall ayde them, that vpon the thirteenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar they may be auenged of them, which in the time of their trouble would haue oppressed them.
21 For almightie God hath turned to ioy ye day wherein the chosen people should haue perished.
22 Moreouer, among other solemne dayes ye shall keepe this day with all gladnes,
23 That both nowe and in time to come this day may be a remembrance of deliuerance for vs and all such as loue the prosperitie of the Persians, but a remembrance of destruction to those that be seditious vnto vs.
24 Therefore all cities and countreys that doe not this, shall horribly be destroyed with sworde and fire, and shall not onely not be inhabited of men, but be abhorred also of the wilde beasts and foules for euer.