THen Mardocheus ſaide, God hath done theſe things.
5For I remember a dreame, which I ſawe concerning theſe matters, and nothing thereof hath failed.
6A little fountaine became a riuer, and there was light, ⁊ the Sunne, and much water: this riuer is Eſther, whõ the King married and made Queene.
7And the two Dragons are I, and Aman.
8And the nations were thoſe that were aſſembled, to deſtroy the name of the Iewes.
9And my nation is this Iſrael, which cryed to God and were ſaued: for the Lord hath ſaued his people, and the Lord hath deliuered vs from all thoſe euils, and God hath wrought ſignes, and great wonders, which haue not bin done among the Gentiles.
10Therefore hath hee made two lots, one for the people of God, and another for all the Gentiles.
11And theſe two lots came at the houre, and time, and day of iudgement before God amongſt all nations.
12So God remembred his people, and iuſtified his inheritance.
13Therefore thoſe dayes ſhall be vnto them in the moneth Adar, the foureteenth and fifteenth day of the ſame moneth, with an aſſembly, and ioy, and with gladneſſe, before God, according to the generations for euer among his people.
IN the fourth yeere of the raigne of Ptolomeus, and Cleopatra, Doſitheus, who ſaid hee was a prieſt and Leuite, and Ptolomeus his ſonne brought this Epiſtle of Phurim, which they ſaid was the ſame, and that Lyſimachus the ſonne of Ptolomeus, that was in Ieruſalem, had interpreted it.
2In the ſecond yeere of the raigne of Artaxerxes the great: in the firſt day of the moneth Niſan, Mardocheus the ſonne of Iairus, the ſonne of Semei, the ſonne of Ciſai of the tribe of Beniamin, had a dreame.
3Who was a Iew and dwelt in the citie of Suſa, a great man, being a ſeruitour in the kings court.
4He was alſo one of the captiues, which Nabuchodonoſor the king of Babylon caried from Ieruſalem, with Iechonias king of Iudea; and this was his dreame.
5Behold a noiſe of a tumult with thunder, and earthquakes, and vproare in the land.
6And behold, two great dragons came forth ready to fight, and their crie was great.
7And at their cry all nations were prepared to battel, that they might fight againſt the righteous people.
8And loe a day of darkneſſe and obſcurity: tribulation, and anguiſh, affliction, and great vproare vpon the earth.
9And the whole righteous nation was troubled, fearing their owne euils and were ready to periſh.
10Then they cryed vnto God, and vpon their cry, as it were from a little fountaine, was made a great flood, euen much water.
11The light and the Sunne roſe vp, and the lowly were exalted, and deuoured the glorious.
12Now when Mardocheus, who had ſeene this dreame, and what God had determined to doe, was awake: he bare this dreame in minde, and vntill night by all meanes was deſirous to know it.
THeIof. antiq. lib.11.cap.6 copy of the letters was this. The great king Artaxerxes, writeth theſe things to the princes, and gouernours that are vnder him from India vnto Ethiopia, in an hundred and ſeuen and twentie prouinces.
2After that I became Lord ouer many nations, and had dominion ouer the whole world, not lifted vp with preſumption of my authoritie, but carying my ſelfe away with equitie and mildneſſe, I purpoſed to ſettle my ſubiects continually in a quiet life, and making my kingdome ‖‖ Or, milde. peaceable, and open for paſſage to the vtmoſt coaſtes, to renue peace which is deſired of all men.
3Now when I aſked my counſellers how this might bee brought to paſſe, Aman that excelled in wiſedome among vs, and was approoued for his conſtant good will, and ſtedfaſt fidelitie, and had the honour of the ſecond place in the kingdome,
4Declared vnto vs, that in all nations throughout the world, there was ſcattered a certaine malitious people, that had Lawes contrary to all nations, and continually deſpiſed the commandements of Kings, ſo as the vniting of our kingdomes honourably intended by vs, cannot ‖‖ Or, be ſettled. goe forward.
5Seeing then we vnderſtand that this people alone is continually in oppoſition vnto all men, differing in the ſtrange maner of their Lawes, and euill affected to our ſtate, working all the miſchiefe they can, that our kingdome may not be firmely ſtabliſhed:
6Therefore haue we commanded that al they that are ſignified in writing vnto you by Aman (who is ordained ouer the affaires, and is ‖‖ Or, ſecond from vs. next vnto vs) ſhall all with their wiues and children, bee vtterly deſtroyed, by the ſword of their enemies, without all mercie and pitie, the fourteenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar of this preſent yeere:
7That they, who of old, and now alſo are malitious, may in one day with violence goe into the graue, and ſo euer hereafter, cauſe our affaires to be well ſettled, and without trouble.
8Then Mardocheus thought vpon all the works of the Lord, and made his prayer vnto him,
9Saying, O Lord, Lord, the king Almightie: for the whole world is in thy power; and if thou haſt appointed to ſaue Iſrael, there is no man that can gaineſay thee.
10For thou haſt made heauen and earth, and all the wonderous things vnder the heauen.
11Thou art Lord of all things, and there is no man that can reſiſt thee, which art the Lord.
12Thou 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 downe to proud Aman.
13For I could haue bene content with good will for the ſaluation of Iſrael, to kiſſe the ſoles of his feet.
14But I did this, that I might not preferre the glory of man aboue the glory of God: neither will I worſhip any but thee, O God, neither wil I doe it in pride.
15And now, O Lord God, and King, ſpare thy people: for their eyes are vpon vs, to bring vs to nought, yea they deſire to deſtroy the inheritance that hath beene thine from the beginning.
16Deſpiſe not the portion which thou haſt deliuered out of Egypt for thine owne ſelfe:
17Heare my prayer, and be mercifull vnto thine inheritance: turne our ſorrow into ioy, that wee may liue, O Lord, and praiſe thy Name: and ‖‖ Or, ſhut or ſtop not. deſtroy not the mouthes of them that praiſe thee, O Lord.
18All Iſrael in like maner cried moſt †† Greeke mightily. earneſtly vnto the Lord, becauſe their death was before their eyes.
QUeene Eſther also being in feare of death, reſorted vnto the Lord,
2and layd away her glorious apparel, and put on the garments of anguiſh, ⁊ mourning: and in ſtead of pretious oyntments, ſhe couered her head with aſhes, ⁊ doung, and ſhe humbled her body greatly, and all the places of her ioy ſhe filled with her torne haire.
3And ſhee prayed vnto the Lord God of Iſrael, ſaying, O my Lord, thou onely art our king: helpe me deſolate woman, which haue no helper but thee:
4** 1.Sam.28.21. iob 13.14. pſa.119.109. For my danger is in mine hand.
5From my youth vp I haue heard in the tribe of my family, that thou, O Lord, tookeſt Iſrael from among all people, and our fathers from all their predeceſſours, for a perpetuall inheritance, and thou haſt performed whatſoeuer thou didſt promiſe them.
6And now we haue ſinned before thee: therefore haſt thou giuen vs into the hands of our enemies,
7Becauſe wee worſhipped their gods: O Lord, thou art righteous.
8Neuertheles it ſatiſfieth them not, that we are in bitter captiuitie, but they haue ſtricken hands with their idols,
9That they will aboliſh the thing, that thou with thy mouth haſt ordained, and deſtroy thine inheritance, and ſtop the mouth of them that praiſe thee, and quench the glory of thy houſe, and of thine Altar.
10And open the mouthes of the heathen to ſet foorth the praiſes of the †† Or, vaine things. Idoles, and to magnifie a fleſhly king for euer.
11O Lord, giue not thy ſcepter vnto them that †† Gr. be not. be nothing, and let them not laugh at our fall, but turne their deuice vpon themſelues, and make him an example that hath begunne this againſt vs.
12Remember, O Lord, make thy ſelfe knowen in time of our affliction, and giue mee boldneſſe, O King of the ‖‖ Or, gods. nations, and Lord of all power.
13Giue me eloquent ſpeech in my mouth before the lyon: turne his heart to hate him that fighteth againſt vs, that there may be an end of him, and of all that are like minded to him:
14But deliuer vs with thine hand, and helpe me that am deſolate, ⁊ which haue no other helper but thee.
15Thou knoweſt all things, O Lord, thou knoweſt that I hate the glory of the vnrighteous, and abhore the bed of the vncircumciſed, and of †† Gr. euery ſtranger. all the heathen.
16Thou knoweſt my neceſſitie: for I abhore the ſigne of my †† Gr. pride. high eſtate, which is vpon mine head, in the dayes wherein I ſhewe my ſelfe, and that I abhore it as a menſtruous ragge, and that I weare it not when I am †† Gr. quiet, or priuate. priuate by my ſelfe.
17And that thine handmaid hath not eaten at Amans table, and that I haue not greatly eſteemed the Kings feaſt, nor drunke the wine of the drinke offerings:
18Neither had thine handmaid any ioy, ſince the day †† Gr. of my change. that I was brought hither to this preſent, but in thee, O Lord God of Abraham.
19O thou mightie God aboue all, heare the voice of the forlorne, and deliuer vs out of the handes of the miſchieuous, and deliuer me out of my feare.
ANd vpon the third day when ſhee had ended her prayer, ſhe laide away her mourning garments, and put on her glorious apparell.
2And being gloriouſly adorned, after ſhe had called vpon God, who is the beholder, and Sauiour of all things, ſhe tooke two maids with her.
3And vpon the one ſhee leaned as carying her ſelfe ‖‖ Or, delicately. daintily.
4And her other followed bearing vp her traine.
5And ſhe was ‖‖ Or, roſe coloured. ruddy through the perfection of her beautie, and her countenance was cheerefull, and very ‖‖ Or, as amiable or ſmiling. amiable: but her heart was anguiſh for feare.
6Then hauing paſſed through all the doores, ſhee ſtood before the King, who ſate vpon his royall throne, and was clothed with all his robes of maieſtie, all glittering with golde and precious ſtones, and he was very dreadfull.
7Then lifting vp his countenance that ſhone with maieſtie, he looked very fiercely vpon her: and the Queene fell downe and was pale, and fainted, and bowed her ſelfe vpon the head of the maide that went ‖‖ Or, with her, or by her. before her.
8Then God changed the ſpirit of the king into mildneſſe, who in a †† Gr. in an agonie. feare leaped from his throne, and tooke her in his armes till ſhe came to her ſelfe againe, and comforted her with louing words, and ſayd vnto her:
9Eſther, what is the matter? I am thy brother, be of good cheere.
10Thou ſhalt not die, though our cõmandement be ‖‖ Or, as well thine as mine. generall: come neere.
11And ſo he held vp his golden ſcepter, and laid it vpon her necke.
12And embraced her, ⁊ ſaid, Speake vnto me.
13Then ſaid ſhee vnto him, I ſaw thee, my lord, as an Angel of God, and my heart was troubled for feare of thy maieſtie.
14For wonderfull art thou, lord, and thy countenance is full of grace.
15and as ſhe was ſpeaking, ‖‖ Or, ſhe fell in a ſwoone. ſhe fell downe for faintneſſe.
16Then the king was troubled, and all his ſeruants comforted her.
THeIoſeph.Ant.lib.11.c.6. great king Artaxerxes vnto the princes and gouernours of an hundreth and ſeuen and twenty prouinces, from India vnto Ethiopia, and vnto all ‖‖ Or, well affected to our State. our faithfull Subiects, greeting.
2Many, the more often they are honoured with the great bountie of their †† Gr. their benefactors. gracious princes, the more proud they are waxen,
3And endeauour to hurt not our Subiects onely, but not being able to beare abundance, doe take in hand to practiſe alſo againſt thoſe that doe them good:
4And take not only thankfulneſſe away from among men, but alſo lifted vp with the glorious words of ‖‖ Or, needie lewde perſons ‖‖ Or, that neuer taſted proſperitie. that were neuer good, they thinke to eſcape the iustice of God, that ſeeth all things, and hateth euill.
5Often times alſo faire ſpeech of ‖‖ Or, of our friends put in truſt to manage the affaires. thoſe that are put in truſt to manage their friends affaires, hath cauſed many that are in authority to be partakers of innocent blood, and hath enwrapped them in remedileſſe calamities:
6Beguiling with the falſhood and deceit of their lewd diſpoſition, the innocencie and goodneſſe of princes.
7Now yee may ſee this as we haue declared, not ſo much by ancient hiſtories, as yee may, if ye ſearch what hath beene wickedly done of late through the peſtilent behauiour of them that are vnworthily placed in authoritie.
8And we muſt take care for the time to come, that our kingdome may bee quiet and peaceable for all men,
9Both by changing our purpoſes, and alwayes iudging things that are euident, with more equall proceeding.
10For Aman a Macedonian the ſon of Amadatha, being indeed a ſtranger from the Perſian blood, and far diſtant from our goodneſſe, and as a ſtranger receiued of vs:
11Had ſo farre forth obtained the fauour that wee ſhew toward euery nation, as that he was called our father, and was continually honoured of all men, as the next perſon vnto the king.
12But he not bearing his great dignitie, went about to depriue vs of our kingdome and life.
13Hauing by mainfold and cunning deceits ſought of vs the deſtruction as well of Mardocheus, who ſaued our life, and continually procured our good, as alſo of blameleſſe Eſther partaker of our kingdome, with their whole nation.
14For by theſe meanes he thought, finding vs deſtitute of friends, to haue tranſlated the kingdome of Perſians to the Macedonians.
15But wee finde that the Iewes, whom this wicked wretch hath deliuered to vtter deſtruction, are no euill doers, but liue by moſt iuſt lawes:
16And that they be children of the moſt high and moſt mighty liuing God, who hath ‖‖ Or, proſpered. ordered the kingdome both vnto vs, and to our progenitors in the moſt excellent maner.
17Wherefore ye ſhall doe well not to put in execution the Letters ſent vnto you by Aman the ſonne of Amadatha.
18For hee that was the worker of theſe things, is hanged at the gates of Suſa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, ſpeedily rendring vengeance to him according to his deſerts.
19Therefore ye ſhall publiſh the copy of this Letter in all places, that the Iewes may freely liue after their owne lawes.
20And ye ſhall aide them, that euen the ſame day, being the thirteenth day of the twelfth moneth Adar, they may be auenged on them, who in the time of their affliction ſhall ſet vpon them.
21For Almightie God hath turned to ioy vnto them the day, wherein the choſen people ſhould haue periſhed.
22You ſhall therefore among your ſolemne feaſts keepe it in an high day with all feaſting.
23That both now and hereafter there may be ſafetie to vs, and the well affected Perſians: but to thoſe which doe conſpire againſt vs, a memoriall of deſtruction.
24Therefore euery citie and countrey whatſoeuer, which ſhall not doe according to theſe things, ſhall bee deſtroyed without mercy, with fire and ſword, and ſhall be made not onely vnpaſſable for men, but alſo moſt hatefull to wilde beaſts and foules for euer.