1. And this was the text of the letter: “Artaxerxes, the great king from India all the way to Ethiopia, to the leaders and generals of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces, which are subject to his authority, greetings.
2. Although I have reigned over many nations and subjugated the whole world under my realm, I was by no means willing to abuse the greatness of this power, but to govern my subjects with clemency and leniency, so that they would settle into a quiet life, apart from any terror, and delight in peace, as all mortals would choose to do.
3. Yet, in asking my counselors how this might be able to be accomplished, one who excelled the others in wisdom and fidelity, and who was second after the king, named Haman,
4. explained to me that there was a people, scattered throughout the whole world, that used strange laws, and, acting against the customs of all peoples, despised the commandments of kings and violated the harmony of all nations with their dissension.
5. When we had learned this, seeing one nation rebellious against all mankind, having overthrown the usefulness of laws, and going against our orders, and disturbing the peace and harmony of the provinces subject to us,
6. we commanded that whomever Haman, who is chief over all the provinces, and second after the king, and whom we honor in the place of a father, whomever he would point out should be destroyed by their enemies, with their wives and children, and that no one may take pity on them, on the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year,
7. so that these guilty men, all on one day, may go down to the underworld, restoring to our empire the peace that they had disturbed.”
8. And the effect of the letters was this: that all provinces would know and prepare for the prescribed day.
9. The couriers, who had been sent, hurried to complete the king’s command, but the edict was hung up in Susa immediately. And the king and Haman celebrated a feast, while all the Jews in the city were weeping.