Greek Esther 16

1 The great king Artaxerxes unto the governors of countries in a hundred and seven and twenty provinces from India unto Ethiopia, and unto them that are well affected to our state, greeting.

2 Many, the more often they are honoured with the great bounty of their benefactors, the more proud they are waxen,

3 and endeavour to hurt not our subjects only, but not being able to bear abundance, do take in hand to practise also against those that do them good:

4 and take not only thankfulness away from among men, but also lifted up with the boastful words of them that were never good, they think to escape the evil-hating justice of God, who alway seeth all things.

5 Oftentimes also fair speech of those that are put in trust to manage their friends’ affairs, hath caused many that are in authority to be partakers of innocent blood, and hath enwrapped them in remediless calamities:

6 beguiling with the false deceit of their lewd disposition the innocent good will of princes.

7 Now ye may see this, as we have declared, not so much by more ancient histories, as ye may, if ye search what hath been wickedly done of late through the pestilent behaviour of them that are unworthily placed in authority.

8 And we must take care for the time to come, to render our kingdom quiet and peaceable for all men,

9 both by changing our purposes, and always judging things that come before our eyes with more equal proceeding.

10 For Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadathus, an alien in truth from the Persian blood, and far distant from our goodness, being as a guest received of us,

11 had so far forth obtained the favour that we shew toward every nation, as that he was called our father, and was continually honoured of all men, as the next person unto the royal throne.

12 But he, not bearing his high estate, went about to deprive us of our kingdom and our life;

13 having by manifold and cunning deceits sought of us the destruction, as well of Mardocheus, who saved our life, and continually procured our good, as also of Esther the blameless partaker of our kingdom, together with their whole nation.

14 For by these means he thought, finding us destitute of friends , to have translated the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.

15 But we find that the Jews, whom this most ungracious wretch hath delivered to utter destruction, are no evil-doers, but live by most just laws:

16 and that they be children of the most high and most mighty living God, who hath ordered the kingdom both unto us and to our progenitors in the most excellent manner.

17 Wherefore ye shall do well not to put in execution the letters sent unto you by Aman the son of Amadathus.

18 For he, that was the worker of these things, is hanged at the gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him according to his deserts.

19 Therefore ye shall publish openly the copy of this letter in all places, and let the Jews live after their own laws,

20 and ye shall aid them, that even the same day, being the thirteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, they may defend themselves against those who set upon them in the time of their affliction.

21 For Almighty God hath made this day to be a joy unto them, instead of the destruction of the chosen people.

22 And ye shall therefore among your commemorative feasts keep it a high day with all feasting:

23 that both now and hereafter there may be safety to us, and the well affected Persians; but to those which do conspire against us a memorial of destruction.

24 Therefore every city or country whatsoever, which shall not do according to these things, shall be utterly destroyed without mercy with fire and sword; it shall be made not only unpassable for men, but also most hateful to wild beasts and fowls for ever.

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