Greek Esther 13

1 Now this is the copy of the letter: The great king Artaxerxes writeth these things to the princes of a hundred and seven and twenty provinces from India unto Ethiopia, and to the governors that are set under them.

2 After that I became lord over many nations, and had dominion over the whole world, not lifted up with presumption of my authority, but carrying myself alway with equity and mildness, I purposed to settle my subjects continually in a quiet life, and making my kingdom peaceable, and open for passage to the utmost coasts, to renew peace, which is desired of all men.

3 Now when I asked my counsellors how this might be brought to pass, Aman, that excelled in wisdom among us, and was approved for his constant good will and stedfast fidelity, and had the honour of the second place in the kingdom,

4 declared unto us, that in all nations throughout the world there was scattered a certain malignant people, that had laws contrary to all nations, and continually set aside the commandments of kings, so as the uniting of our kingdoms, honourably intended by us, cannot go forward.

5 Seeing then we understand that this nation is alone continually in opposition unto all men, following perversely a life which is strange to our laws, and evil affected to our state, working all the mischief they can, that our kingdom may not be firmly stablished:

6 therefore have we commanded, that they that are signified in writing unto you by Aman, who is ordained over the affairs, and is a second father unto us, shall all, with their wives and children, be utterly destroyed by the sword of their enemies, without all mercy and pity, the fourteenth day of the twelfth month Adar of this present year:

7 that they, who of old and now also are malicious, may in one day with violence go down to the grave, and so ever hereafter cause our affairs to be well settled, and without trouble.

8 Then Mardocheus made his prayer unto the Lord, calling to remembrance all the works of the Lord,

9 and said, O Lord, Lord, thou King Almighty: for the whole world is in thy power, and if it be thy will to save Israel, there is no man that can gainsay thee:

10 for thou hast made heaven and earth, and all the wondrous things that are beneath the heaven;

11 and thou art Lord of all, 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 in contempt nor pride, nor for any desire of glory, that I did not bow down to proud Aman.

13 For I could have been content with good will for the salvation of Israel to kiss the soles of his feet.

14 But I did this, that I might not prefer the glory of man above the glory of God: neither will I bow down unto any but to thee, which art my Lord, neither will I do it in pride.

15 And now, O Lord, thou God and King, the God of Abraham, spare thy people: for their eyes are upon us to bring us to nought, and they desire to destroy the heritage, that hath been thine from the beginning.

16 Despise not thy portion, which thou didst redeem out of the land of Egypt for thine own self.

17 Hear my prayer, and be merciful unto thine inheritance: and turn our mourning into feasting, that we may live, O Lord, and sing praises to thy name: and destroy not the mouth of them that praise thee, O Lord.

18 And all Israel cried out mightily, because their death was before their eyes.

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