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ESTHER / ΕΣΘΗΡ

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1 And after this king Artaxerxes highly honoured Aman [son] of Amadathes, the Bugaean, and exalted him, and set his seat above all his friends. 2 And all in the palace did him obeisance, for so the king had given orders to do: but Mardochaeus did not do him obeisance. 3 And they in the king’s palace said to Mardochaeus, Mardochaeus, why dost thou transgress the commands of the king? 4 [Thus] they spoke daily to him, but he hearkened not unto them; so they represented to Aman that Mardochaeus resisted the commands of the king: and Mardochaeus had shewn to them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Aman understood that Mardochaeus did not obeisance to him, he was greatly enraged, 6 and took counsel to destroy utterly all the Jews who were under the rule of Artaxerxes. 7 And he made a decree in the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, and cast lots daily and monthly, to slay in one day the race of Mardochaeus: and the lot fell on the fourteenth [day] of the month which is Adar. 8 And he spoke to king Artaxerxes, saying, There is a nation scattered among the nations in all thy kingdom, and their laws differ from [those of] all the [other] nations; and they disobey the laws of the king; and it is not expedient for the king to let them alone. 9 If it seem good to the king, let him make a decree to destroy them: and I will remit into the king’s treasury ten thousand talents of silver. 10 And the king took off his ring, and gave it into the hands of Aman, to seal the decrees against the Jews. 11 And the king said to Aman, Keep the silver, and treat the nation as thou wilt. 12 So the king’s recorders were called in the first month, on the thirteenth [day], and they wrote as Aman commanded to the captains and governors in every province, from India even to Ethiopia, to a hundred and twenty-seven provinces; and to the rulers of the nations according to their [several] languages, in the name of king Artaxerxes. 13 And [the message] was sent by posts throughout the kingdom of Artaxerxes, to destroy utterly the race of the Jews on the first day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods. And the following is the copy of the letter; The great king Artaxerxes writes thus to the rulers and inferior governors of a hundred and twenty-seven provinces, from India even to Ethiopia, who hold authority under [him]. Ruling over many nations, and having obtained dominion over the whole world, I was minded, (not elated by the confidence of power but ever conducting [myself] with great moderation and with gentleness,) to make the lives of [my] subjects continually tranquil, desiring both to maintain the kingdom quite and orderly to [its] utmost limits, and to restore the peace desired by all men. But when I had enquired of my counsellors how this should be brought to pass, Aman, who excels in soundness of judgment among us, and has been manifestly well inclined without wavering and with unshaken fidelity, and has obtained the second post in the kingdom, informed us that a certain ill-disposed people is mixed up with all the tribes throughout soundness of judgment among us, and has been manifestly well inclined without wavering and with unshaken fidelity, and has obtained the second post in the kingdom, informed us that a certain ill-disposed people is mixed up with all the tribes throughout the world, opposed in their laws to every [other] nation, and continually neglecting the commands of the kings, so that the united government blamelessly administered by us is not quietly established. Having then conceived that this nation alone [of all others] is continually set in opposition to every man, introducing as a change a foreign code of laws, and injuriously plotting to accomplish the worst of evils against our interests, and against the happy establishment of the monarchy; we have accordingly appointed those who are signified to you the letters written by Aman, who is set over [the public] affairs and is our second governor, to destroy them all utterly with their wives and children by the swords of the enemies, without pitying or sparing any, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, of the present year; that the people aforetime and now ill-disposed [to us] having been violently consigned to death in one day, may hereafter secure to us continually a well constituted and quiet [state of] affairs. 14 And the copies of the letters were published in every province; and an order was given to all the nations to be ready against that day. 15 And the business was hastened, and [that] at Susa: and the king and Aman began to drink; but the city was troubled. ΜΕΤΑ δὲ ταῦτα ἐδόξασεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ᾿Αρταξέρξης ᾿Αμὰν ᾿Αμαδάθου Βουγαῖον καὶ ὕψωσεν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐπρωτοβάθρει πάντων τῶν φίλων αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ πάντες οἱ ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ προσεκύνουν αὐτῷ, οὕτως γὰρ προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς ποιῆσαι· ὁ δὲ Μαρδοχαῖος οὐ προσεκύνει αὐτῷ. 3 καὶ ἐλάλησαν οἱ ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τοῦ βασιλέως τῷ Μαρδοχαίῳ· Μαρδοχαῖε, τί παρακούεις τὰ ὑπὸ τοῦ βασιλέως λεγόμενα; 4 καθ᾿ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν ἐλάλουν αὐτῷ, καὶ οὐχ ὑπήκουεν αὐτῶν· καὶ ὑπέδειξαν τῷ ᾿Αμὰν Μαρδοχαῖον τοῖς τοῦ βασιλέως λόγοις ἀντιτασσόμενον· καὶ ὑπέδειξεν αὐτοῖς ὁ Μαρδοχαῖος ὅτι ᾿Ιουδαῖός ἐστι. 5 καὶ ἐπιγνοὺς ᾿Αμὰν ὅτι οὐ προσκυνεῖ αὐτῷ Μαρδοχαῖος, ἐθυμώθη σφόδρα 6 καὶ ἐβουλεύσατο ἀφανίσαι πάντας τοὺς ὑπὸ τὴν ᾿Αρταξέρξου βασιλείαν ᾿Ιουδαίους. 7 καὶ ἐποίησε ψήφισμα ἐν ἔτει δωδεκάτῳ τῆς βασιλείας ᾿Αρταξέρξου καὶ ἔβαλε κλήρους ἡμέραν ἐξ ἡμέρας καὶ μῆνα ἐκ μηνός, ὥστε ἀπολέσαι ἐν μιᾷ ἡμέρᾳ τὸ γένος Μαρδοχαίου, καὶ ἔπεσεν ὁ κλῆρος εἰς τὴν τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτην τοῦ μηνός, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ. 8 καὶ ἐλάλησε πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾿Αρταξέρξης λέγων· ὑπάρχει ἔθνος διεσπαρμένον ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἐν πάσῃ τῇ βασιλείᾳ σου, οἱ δὲ νόμοι αὐτῶν ἔξαλλοι παρὰ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, τῶν δὲ νόμων τοῦ βασιλέως παρακούουσι, καὶ οὐ συμφέρει τῷ βασιλεῖ ἐᾶσαι αὐτούς· 9 εἰ δοκεῖ τῷ βασιλεῖ, δογματισάτω ἀπολέσαι αὐτούς, κἀγὼ διαγράψω εἰς τὸ γαζοφυλάκιον τοῦ βασιλέως ἀργυρίου τάλαντα μύρια. 10 καὶ περιελόμενος ὁ βασιλεὺς τὸ δακτύλιον ἔδωκεν εἰς χεῖρας τῷ ᾿Αμὰν σφραγίσαι κατὰ τῶν γεγραμμένων κατὰ τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων. 11 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ ᾿Αμάν· τὸ μὲν ἀργύριον ἔχε, τῷ δὲ ἔθνει χρῶ ὡς βούλει. 12 καὶ ἐκλήθησαν οἱ γραμματεῖς τοῦ βασιλέως μηνὶ πρώτῳ τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ καὶ ἔγραψαν, ὡς ἐπέταξεν ᾿Αμάν, τοῖς στρατηγοῖς, καὶ τοῖς ἄρχουσι κατὰ πᾶσαν χώραν ἀπὸ ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας, ταῖς ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ χώραις, τοῖς τε ἄρχουσι τῶν ἐθνῶν κατὰ τὴν αὐτῶν λέξιν δι᾿ ᾿Αρταξέρξου τοῦ βασιλέως. 13 καὶ ἀπεστάλη διὰ βιβλιοφόρων εἰς τὴν ᾿Αρταξέρξου βασιλείαν ἀφανίσαι τὸ γένος τῶν ᾿Ιουδαίων ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾶ μηνὸς δωδεκάτου, ὅς ἐστιν ᾿Αδάρ, καὶ διαρπάσαι τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αὐτῶν. 13α Τῆς δὲ ἐπιστολῆς ἐστι τὸ ἀντίγραφον τόδε· «Βασιλεὺς μέγας ᾿Αρταξέρξης τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς ᾿Ινδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας ἑκατὸν εἰκοσιεπτὰ χωρῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ τοπάρχαις ὑποτεταγμένοις τάδε γράφει· 13β πολλῶν ἐπάρξας ἐθνῶν καὶ πάσης ἐπικρατήσας οἰκουμένης, ἐβουλήθην μὴ τῷ θράσει τῆς ἐξουσίας ἐπαιρόμενος, ἐπιεικέστερον δὲ καὶ μετὰ ἠπιότητος ἀεὶ διεξάγων, τοὺς τῶν ὑποτεταγμένων ἀκυμάντους διαπαντὸς καταστῆσαι βίους, τήν τε βασιλείαν ἥμερον καὶ πορευτὴν μέχρι περάτων παρεξόμενος ἀνανεώσασθαί τε τὴν ποθουμένην τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις εἰρήνην. ῟13γ πυθομένου δέ μου τῶν συμβούλων, πῶς ἂν ἀχθείη τοῦτο ἐπὶ πέρας, ὁ σωφροσύνῃ παρ᾿ ἡμῖν διενέγκας καὶ ἐν τῇ εὐνοίᾳ ἀπαραλλάκτως καὶ βεβαίᾳ πίστει ἀποδεδειγμένος καὶ δεύτερον τῶν βασιλειῶν γέρας ἀπενηνεγμένος ᾿Αμὰν 13δ ἐπέδειξεν ἡμῖν ἐν πάσαις ταῖς κατὰ τὴν οἰκουμένην φυλαῖς ἀναμεμεῖχθαι δυσμενῆ λαόν τινα τοῖς νόμοις ἀντίθετον πρὸς πᾶν ἔθνος τά τε τῶν βασιλέων παραπέμποντας διηνεκῶς διατάγματα, πρὸς τὸ μὴ κατατίθεσθαι τὴν ὑφ᾿ ἡμῶν κατευθυνομένην ἀμέμπτως συναρχίαν. 13ε διειληφότες οὖν τόδε τὸ ἔθνος μονώτατον ἐν ἀντιπαραγωγῇ παντὶ διαπαντὸς ἀνθρώπῳ κείμενον, διαγωγὴν νόμων ξενίζουσαν παραλλάσσον καὶ δυσνοοῦν τοῖς ἡμετέροις πράγμασι τὰ χείριστα συντελοῦν κακὰ καὶ πρὸς τὸ μὴ τὴν βασιλείαν εὐσταθείας τυγχάνειν· 13ζ προστετάχαμεν οὖν τοὺς σημαινομένους ὑμῖν ἐν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ὑπὸ ᾿Αμὰν τοῦ τεταγμένου ἐπὶ τῶν πραγμάτων καὶ δευτέρου πατρὸς ἡμῶν πάντας σὺν συναιξὶ καὶ τέκνοις ἀπολέσαι ὁλορριζεὶ ταῖς τῶν ἐχθρῶν μαχαίραις ἄνευ παντὸς οἴκτου καὶ φειδοῦς, τῇ τεσσαρεσκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς ᾿Αδάρ, τοῦ ἐνεστῶτος ἔτους, 13η ὅπως οἱ πάλαι καὶ νῦν δυσμενεῖς ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾷ βιαίως εἰς τὸν ᾅδην κατελθόντες, εἰς τὸν μετέπειτα χρόνον εὐσταθῆ καὶ ἀτάραχα παρέχωσιν ἡμῖν διὰ τέλους τὰ πράγματα». 14 Τὰ δὲ ἀντίγραφα τῶν ἐπιστολῶν ἐξετίθετο κατὰ χώραν, καὶ προσετάγη πᾶσι τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἑτοίμους εἶναι εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν ταύτην. 15 ἐσπεύδετο δὲ τὸ πρᾶγμα καὶ εἰς Σοῦσαν· ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς καὶ ᾿Αμὰν ἐκωθωνίζοντο, ἐταράσσετο δὲ ἡ πόλις.

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