Translation:Esther (Hebrew)

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For other English-language translations of this work, see Esther (Bible).
unknown, traditionally ascribed to Esther and/or Mordecai, translated from Hebrew by Wikisource
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Chapter 1[edit]

1 In the days of Ahasuerus,[1] (the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia, [comprising] one hundred and twenty seven provinces), 2 in those days, as King Ahasuerus sat on his royal throne in Susa the capital, 3 in the third year of his reign, he made a feast for all his satraps and slaves, all the army of Persia and Media, the courtiers and governors of the provinces before him. 4 He showed the glory of his kingdom and the prestige of his glamorous greatness for many days, one hundred and eighty days.

5 And after those days ended, the king made a feast for all the people in Susa the capital, great and small alike, for seven days, in the courtyard of the king's house. 6 White cotton cloth and violet, fastened up with cords of linen and red purple on rods of silver and pillars of marble. Beds of gold and silver, upon a mosaic pavement of porphyry and marble, and mother-of-pearl, and dark marble.[2] 7 They let them drink from golden vessels, vessels which differed from one another, and a great deal of royal wine provided by the king. 8 The drinking was unrestricted, because that is how the king ordered all the officers of his household, that each man could do as he pleased. 9 In addition, Vashti the queen made a feast for the women of the royal household who belonged to King Ahasuerus.

10 On the seventh day, buzzed on wine, the king commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Karkas, the seven officials who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, 11 to bring Vashti the queen into the presence of the queen with the royal crown, to show the people and the nobles her beauty, because she was attractive. 12 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment through his officials, and the king was very angry, and his temper flared up. 13 So the king said to his wise men, who knew the times (because this was the king's procedure toward who knew law and judgment. 14 And near him were Karshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who saw the king's face and sat first in the kingdom), 15 "According to the law, what is to be done about Queen Vashti, because she has done done what king Ahaserus commanded by his officers?"

16 And Memucan answered before the king and the nobles, "Vashti the queen has not only wronged the king, but also all the nobles and all the peoples who are in the provinces of King Ahasuerus, 17 because what the queen has done will be reported to all the wives, causing them to look down on their husbands when they hear, 'King Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen brought to his presence, but she did not come.' 18 And this very day the noblewomen of Persia and Media will say, who have heard about what the queen has done, will say [similar things] to all the king's nobles. Then there will be enough contempt and wrath. 19 If it please the king, let a royal commandment go forth from him, and let it be written among the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be changed, that Vashti may no longer appear before King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another woman better than her. 20 And when king's decree which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, which is massive, all the wives will respect their husbands, from the richest to the poorest.[3] 21 His proposal seemed good to the king, and the king did what Memucan suggested. 22 He sent letters to all the king's provinces, to each province in its own script, to every people in their own language, so that each man would be the ruler in his own home, and published in each people's language.

Chapter 2[edit]

1 After these things, when King Ahasuerus' anger had passed, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what had been decreed against her. 2 Then the king's young men who waited on him said, "Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. 3 Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom, to gather together all the beautiful young virgins to the citadel Shushan, to the harem,[4] to the custody of Hege the king's eunuch, keeper of the women, and let him give them beauty treatments. 4 Then let the young women who is best in the king's view be queen in place of Vashti." The suggestion seemed good to the king, and he did so.

5 A Jewish man lived in Shushan the citadel, and his name was Mordecai ben[5] Jair ben Shimei ben Kish, a Benjamite, 6 who had been taken captive from Jerusalem with the exiles who had been taken captive with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive.[6] 7 He was the guardian of Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter, because she had no father or mother, a beautiful and attractive young woman. When her father and her mother died, Mordecai tool her as his own daughter. 8 Now, when the king's message and his decree were heard, and when many young women had been gathered together to the citadel Shushan, to the custody of Hegai, Esther was taken to the palace,[7] to the custody of Hegai, keeper of the women. 9 He thought highly of the young woman, and was kind to her, and he quickly provided her cosmetics, and her special diet, and gave her seven young women selected from the palace.[8] He transferred her and her young women to the best place in the harem.[9]

10 Now Esther had not announced her nationality or her family background, because Mordecai commanded her not to announce it. 11 And every day, Mordecai would walk in front of the courtyard of the harem, to learn how Esther was doing, and what would happen to her. 12 When their turn came, each young women would go to King Ahasuerus, after spending twelve months according to the regulations concerning the women, because that is how their course of beauty treatments was was completed: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with fragrances, and the women's beauty treatments. 13 So each young woman would come to the king, and whatever she requested was given to her to take with her from the harem to the palace. 14 In the evening she would go, and in the morning she would come back to the other harem, to the custody of Shaashgaz, the king's eunuch who kept the concubines. She would not come to the king again, unless the king was delighted with her, and called for her by name.

15 When the time came for Esther, the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his daughter, to go in to the king, she did not ask for anything except for what Hegai the king's eunuch, the keeper of the women, suggested. And Esther was treated well by everyone who saw her. 16 So Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus to his royal house in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebet, in the seventh year of his reign. 17 The king loved Esther more than all the women, and she obtained kindness and favor in his sight more than all the virgins. He set the royal crown on her head, and made her queen in Vashti's place. 18 Then the king held a great banquet for all his nobles and his servants, Esther's banquet, and he declared a holiday[10] for the provinces, and gave gifts with royal generosity.

19 And when the virgins were gathered a second time, Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate. 20 Esther had not announced her family background or her nationality, just as Mordecai had commanded her. Esther did as Mordecai commanded, just as when he had been her guardian.

21 In those days, when Mordecai was sitting in the king's gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the door, were angry, and plotted against[11] King Ahasuerus. 22 Mordecai learned about this matter, and reported it to Esther the queen, and Esther told the king about it in Mordecai's name. 23 The matter was investigated, and it was found out, so they were both hanged from a gallows,[12] and it was recorded in the annals of the king.

Chapter 3[edit]

1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced his station above all the nobles who were with him. 2 And all the king's servants, who were in the king's gate, bowed and did homage[13] to Haman, because that is what the king commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow, and did not do homage to him. 3 Then the king's servants, who were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, "Why do you ignore the king's command?"

4 Now, although they spoke to him day after day, he did not listen to them, so they reported it to Haman, to see if Mordecai's words would be tolerated,[14] because he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow or do homage to him, he was filled with rage. 6 He despised the idea of only harming Mordecai, because they told him about Mordecai's people, so Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were in the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, [because they were] Mordecai's people. 7 In the first month, that is, the month of Nisan,[15] in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus,[16] they threw pur, that is, lots, in front of Haman from day to day, and from month to month.[17][The lot fell on] the twelfth [month], that is, the month of Adar.[18]

8 Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "We have a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from all other peoples, and they do not follow the king's laws, and it is not in the king's interest to tolerate them. 9 If it please the king, let it be written that they are to be destroyed, and I will contribute ten thousand talents of silver to those in charge of revenues,[19] to bring it to the king's treasury."[20]

10 The king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 The king said, "Keep the silver, and do with the people as you like."[21] 12 Then the king's scribes were called, in the first month, on its thirteenth day, and it was written down just as Haman commanded to the king's officials, and to the governors of each province, and to the leaders of every people, every province in their own script, and every people in their own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed with the king's signet ring. 13 The letters were sent by messengers to all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, to exterminate all the Jews, young and old, little children and women, on a single day — the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar — and to plunder their loot.14 A copy of the document, to be given as a decree in each of the provinces, was published to all the peoples, to prepare them for that day. 15 The messengers went out rapidly by the king's command, and the decree was given in the citadel Shushan. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, while the city of Shushan was bewildered.

Chapter 4[edit]

1 When Mordecai learned what had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes, and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the middle of the city, and cried out with a loud and bitter cry. 2 He came [only] as far as the king's gate, because no one could pass through the king's gate clothed in sackcloth. 3 And in each province, wherever the king's command and decree came, [there was] great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, and weeping, and lamentation, and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

4 Esther's maids came, along with her eunuchs, and reported it to her, and the queen was deeply distressed. She sent clothing for Mordecai to wear, to replace his sackcloth, but he would not accept it. 5 Esther called for Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs, whom he had stationed to attend to her, and gave him an order concerning Mordecai, to find out what was going on.[22] 6 So Hathach went out to Mordecai, to the city square, which was in front of the king's gate. 7 Mordecai told him about everything that had happened to him, and the exact amount of silver that Haman said he would pay to the king's treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 And he gave him a copy of the decree which was given at Shushan to destroy them, to show it to Esther and to report it to her, and to command her to go in to the king to plead for mercy, to make a request before him for her people. 9 So Hathach came and told Esther the things that Mordecai said.

10 Esther spoke to Hathach, and sent word by him to Mordecai. 11 "All the king's servants, and the people of king's provinces, know that any man or woman who comes in to the king, to the inner court, who has not been called, one penalty is prescribed, to put him to death, unless the king extends his golden sceptre to that person. But I have not been called to go in to the king these last thirty days." 12 And they told Mordecai what Esther had said.

13 Mordecai ordered word sent back to Esther, "Do not imagine that you will save your life in the palace any more than the rest of the Jews. 14 But if you hold your tongue at this time, liberation and deliverance will arise for the Jews from somewhere else, but you and your family[23] will be destroyed. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"

15 And Esther sent word to Mordecai: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews found in Shushan, and fast for me, and do not eat or drink for three days, day or night. I and my young women will fast in the same way as well, and so I will go to the king against the law. And if I perish, I perish." 17 Mordecai went his way, and did just as Esther commanded him.

Chapter 5[edit]

1 Now on the third day, Esther put on [her] royal [clothing], and stopped in the inner court of the king's house, opposite the king's house. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the royal house opposite the door of the house. 2 Then, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, he looked on her with favor, and the king extended to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. Esther approached and touched the top of the sceptre.

3 And the king said to her, "What do you want, Esther the queen? What is your request? Up to half the kingdom, it will be granted to you."

4 Esther said, "If it please the king, let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him."

5 Then the king said, "Tell Haman to hurry to do what Esther said." So the king and Haman came to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

6 Then the king said to Esther during the wine-drinking, "What is your request? It will be given to you. What do you ask for? As much as half the kingdom, it will be granted."

7 Esther replied, "My request that I ask, 8 if I have found favor with the king,[24] and if it please the king to grant my request, and to do what I am asking for, let the king and Haman come to the banquet that I will prepare for them, and tomorrow I will do as the king has said."

9 Then Haman, joyful and gladdened, went out that day. But when Haman saw Mordecai in the king's gate, and he did not stand up or move for him, Haman was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Haman restrained himself, and when he came home he sent and called for his friends and for Zeresh his wife. 11 Then Haman told them about his glorious wealth, and his many children, and all about how the king had promoted him and advanced his beyond the nobles and servants of the king. 12 And Haman said, "Esther the queen brought no one but myself and the king to the banquet that he had made, and also tomorrow I am invited to see her and the king. 13 But all this is worthless to me as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king's gate."

14 Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a gallows[25] be made fifty cubits high,[26] and in the morning speak to the king and ask that Mordecai be hung on it. Then go happily with the king to the banquet." This pleased Haman, and he made the gallows.

Chapter 6[edit]

1 That night, the king was unable to sleep, and he asked that the book of records[27] be brought to him, and they were read before the king. 2 And it was found written that Mordecai had told about Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officials, the keepers of the door, who had plotted against[11] King Ahasuerus. 3 And the king said, "What reward and honor for this has been done for Mordecai?"

Then those who waited on the king said, "Nothing has been done for him."

4 Then the king said, "Who is in the courtyard?"

Now, Haman was coming into the palace's outer courtyard to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. 5 Then the king's servants said to him, "Right now Haman is standing in the courtyard."

The king said, "Let him in."

6 So Haman came in. The king said to him, "What should be done for a man whom the king wishes to honor?"

Haman thought to himself[28], "Who would the king wish to honor more than myself?"

7 So Haman said to the king, "For the man whom the king wishes to honor, 8 let royal clothing be brought, which the king has worn, and a horse that the king has ridden, and a royal crown which has been placed on his head, 9 and let this clothing and this horse be delivered to one of the king's noble officials, to clothe the man whom the king wishes to reward, and bring him on horseback through the city streets, and proclaim before him, 'This is what is done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!'"

10 Then the king said to Haman, "Hurry — take the clothing and the horse, as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who sits in the king's gate. Do exactly as you have said."[29]

11 So Haman took the clothing and the horse, and dressed Mordecai, and brought him on horseback through the city streets, and proclaimed before him, "This is what is done to the man whom the king wishes to honor!"

12 Then Mordecai went back to the king's gate. But Haman hurried home to his house mourning, covering his face. 13 Haman told his wife Zeresh and all his friends all that had happened to him. His wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, "If the Jew Mordecai, before you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail over him, but will surely fall before him." 14 As they were still speaking with him, the king's officials arrived and hurried to take Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

Chapter 7[edit]

1 The king and Haman came to the banquet with Esther the queen. 2 And again the king said to Esther on the second day, as they were drinking wine, "What is your request, Esther the queen? It will be granted to you. What are you asking for? Up to half my kingdom, it will be done."

3 Esther the queen replied, "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be spared as my request, and my people are what I am asking for. 4 Because we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed, to be extermined. If we had only been sold as slaves, I would hold my tongue, because the enemy is not sufficient for the king's injury.[30]

5 King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen, "Who is he, and where is he, who dares plan such a thing?"

6 Esther said, "The enemy and oppressor is this wicked Haman!" Then Haman terrified before the king and the queen.

7 The king stood up enraged from drinking wine [and went] to the palace garden, and Haman stood to beg Esther for his life, because he saw that the king planned to harm him. 8 The king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, and Haman was fallen on the bed where Esther was. Then the king said, "Will he also rape the queen with me in the house?" Before the word had left the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.

9 Harbonah, one of the king's eunuchs, said before the king, "There is a gallows which Haman made for Mordecai, who has done[31] good for the king, standing at Haman's house, fifty cubits tall."

The king said, "Hang him on it." 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king's anger passed.

Chapter 8[edit]

1 On that day King Ahasuerus gave to Esther the queen, the property[32] which had belonged to Haman, the Jews' enemy. And Mordecai came in to the king, because Esther had told him what he was to her. 2 The king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it to Morcedai. And Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman's property.

3 And again Esther spoke before the king, and fell down at his feet, and wept and begged him to do away with the calamity proposed by Haman the Agagite, his plot which he devised against the Jews. 4 The king held out his golden sceptre toward Esther. So Esther got up and stood before the king. 5 She said, "If it please the king, and if I have found favor with you, and if it seems right to the king, and if you are pleased with me,[33] let it be written to reverse the letters devised by Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote to destroy the Jews who are in all the king's provinces. 6 Because how can I endure to see the calamity which will come upon my people? And how can I endure to see the destruction of my people?"

7 The King Ahasuerus said to Esther the queen, and to Mordecai the Jew, "Now, I have given Haman's property to Esther, and they have hung him on the gallows, because he laid his hand on the Jews. 8 Write something about the Jews, as seems good to you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring, because any document written in the king's name and sealed with the king's ring cannot be reversed."

9 Then the king's scribes were called at that time, in the third month, that is, the month of Sivan,[34] on the twenty-third [day] of it, and it was written exactly as Mordecai ordered to the Jews, and to the satraps and the governors and nobles of the provinces who were from India to Kush, one hundred twenty provinces, to each province in its own script, and to each people in their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language 10 He wrote it in the name of King Ahasuerus, and sealed it with the king's signet ring, and sent letters by messengers on horseback, riding on coursers, fine steeds bred from studs.[35] 11 In them the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather themselves, and fight for their lives, to destroy, and to kill, and to exterminate any all the forces of people or provinces who opposed them, little ones and women, and to plunder their spoils, 12 on one day in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth months, which is the month Adar. 13 A copy of the document was to be given as a decree in every province, published for all the peoples, so that the Jews would be ready for that day to take revenge against their enemies. 14 The messengers riding on the steeds went out swiftly to carry the king's commandment. The decree was given at the citadel Shushan.

15 Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal clothing of blue and white linen, and a large golden crown, and with a mantle of fine linen and purple. The city of Shushan shouted with gladness. 16 The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor. 17 And in every province, and in every city, wherever the king's command and decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. Many among the local peoples became Jews, because fear of the Jews had fallen upon them.

Chapter 9[edit]

1 Now in the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar, on the thirteenth day of it, when the king's command and decree was close to coming into effect, on the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to overpower them, it was turned around, so that the Jews overpowered those who hated them. 2 The Jews were gathered together in their cities in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to attack[36] those who sought to harm them, and no one could withstand them, because all the peoples were afraid of them. 3 And all the nobles of the provinces, and the satraps, and the governors, and the officers of the king helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai fell upon them. 4 Because Mordecai was prominent in the king's household, and his reputation spread through all the provinces, because this man Mordecai became more and more prominent. 5 So the Jews struck all their enemies down with the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they wanted to those who hated them.

6 And in the citadel Shushan the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, 7 And they [also] killed[37] Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha, 8 and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha, 9 and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vayezatha, 10 the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews[37], but they did not lay a hand on the spoil.

11 On that day the number of those killed in the citadel Shushan was brought to the king. 12 And the king said to Esther the queen, "In the citadel Shushan the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men, and the ten sons of Haman. In the rest of the king's provinces, what have they done? And what do you request? It will be given to you. What else would like you to ask for? It will be done."

13 And Esther said, "If it please the king, let it be granted for the Jews who are in Shushan to carry out today's decree tomorrow as well, and let Haman's ten sons hang on the gallows." 14 And the king commanded it to be done so, and the decree was given in Shushan, and they hanged Haman's ten sons.

15 And the Jews who were in Sushan gathered themselves together on the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and they killed three hundred men at Shushan, but did not touch the spoils. 16 And the rest of the Jews who were in the king's provinces gathered together and fought for their lives, and had relief from their enemies, and killed of those who hated them seventy-five thousand, but did not touch the spoils, 17 on the thirteenth [day] of the month of Adar. And on the fourteenth [day of the month] they rested, and made it a day of feasting and celebration. 18 And the Jews who were at Shushan assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth, and made it a day of feasting and celebration. 19 Therefore the country Jews, who lived in rural hamlets, made the fourteenth day of the month of Adar [an occasion of] celebration and feasting, a good day, and sent presents to one another.

20 And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far, 21 to establish a holiday for them on the fourteenth of the month of Adar, and fifteenth of it, every year, 22 as the days when the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which turned for them from sorrow to joy, from mourning to a good day; to make them days of feasting and celebration, and sending gifts to one another.

23And the Jews established the custom of doing what they had already begun, and as Mordecai wrote to them, 24 because Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and cast Pur (that is, lots), to wipe them out and destroy them. 25 But when she came in before the king, he commanded by a letter that this wicked plot, which he plotted against the Jews, should return on his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.

26 That is why they called these days Purim, named after the pur. Therefore all the words of this letter, and what they saw concerning this, and what had happened to them, 27 the Jews made it customary, for themselves, and for their descendants, and for all those who joined themselves to them, so that it would not cease, to observe these two days according to their writing, and according to their time every year, 28 and that these days should be remembered and observed through all generations, each famly, each province, and each city; and that these days of Purim should not cease among the Jews, and that their memory should not end among their descendants.

29 Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote with all authority to confirm this second letter of Purim. 30 And he sent letters to all the Jews, to the one hundred twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, words of peace and fidelity, 31 to establish these days of Purim in their [set] times, as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen decreed for them, and as they decreed for themselves and for their offspring, concerning their fasting and cry of distress. 32 And Esther's decree confirmed these matters of Purim, and it was written in the book.

Chapter 10[edit]

1 King Ahasuerus laid tribute on the mainland and on the islands of the sea. 2 And all the acts of his power and his might, and the declaration of the greatness of Mordecai, to which the king promoted him, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Media and Persia? 3 Indeed, Mordecai the Jew was second to King Ahasuerus, and prominent among the Jews, and accepted by the multitude[38] of his brothers, seeking the benefit of his people, and speaking peace to all his descendants.


  1. (1:1) Ahasuerus - generally believed to be Xerxes I.
  2. This verse, according to Lewis Paton's commentary in the International Critical Commentary series, contains two ungrammatical sentence fragments. I have followed his interpretation, including his wording, of the verse and reproduced the awkward Hebrew with awkward English.
  3. literally, from big to small.
  4. (2:3) harem. Literally, the house of the women.
  5. (2:5) In Hebrew names and genealogies, ben usually means "son of." It can occasionally refer to later decendants, and if that's what's meant here then the verse may be intended to be a reference to King Saul, a Benjamite whose father's name was Kish.
  6. (2:7) This verse doesn't necessarily refer to Mordecai himself; grammatically it could refer to any of the individuals mentioned in the previous verse. Historically, it couldn't possibly refer to Mordecai.
  7. (2:8) palace. Literally, "king's house."
  8. (2:9) palace. Literally, "the king's house."
  9. (2:9) harem. Literally, "the women's house."
  10. (2:18) declared a holiday. Literally, a causing to rest. The exact meaning of this phrase is disputed, with some commentators favoring interpreting this as a release of prisoners, or a temporary release of tribute obligations. See Paton's commentary on Esther.
  11. 11.0 11.1 (2:21) (6:2) plotted against. Literally, sought to lay a hand on
  12. (2:23) a gallows. Literally, a tree.
  13. bowed and did homage - the verb translated as "did homage" (משתחווים) is used elsewhere in the bible as an act of respect towards important people; the verb tranpas "bowed" (כורעים) is necessarily an act of worship.
  14. (3:4) to see if Mordecai's actions would be tolerated. Or, more literally, to see whether the words of Mordecai would stand.
  15. (3:7) Nisan. A lunar month roughly equivalent to the modern month of March or April
  16. (3:7) the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus. If Ahasuerus is the historical king Xerxes I, this verse is therefore set in 474 BCE
  17. That is, they cast lots, a form of using chance or divination to make a selection, to determine a date.
  18. (3:7) Adar. A lunar month falling roughly where modern February and March fall.
  19. (3:9) revenues. Literally, the business.
  20. treasury. Literally, chests.
  21. (3:11) Keep the . . . as you like. Literally, The silver is given to you, and the people to do with them what is good in your eyes.
  22. (4:5) to find out what was going on. Literally, to know what this was and why this was.
  23. (4:14) family. Literally, father's house.
  24. (5:8) with the king. Literally, in the eyes of the king.
  25. (5:14) gallows. Literally, a tree.
  26. (5:14) cubits. A cubit is a measure of about eighteen inches, so a 50-cubit high gallons is about 75 feet tall.
  27. (6:1) book of records. Literally, book of the memories of the matters of the days.
  28. (6:6) literally "Haman said in his heart"
  29. (6:10) Do exactly . . . said. Literally, Do not let a thing fall of all that you said.
  30. (7:4) because the enemy is not sufficient for the king's injury. According to Paton, the meaning of this difficult phrase as not been explained. Therefore, this translation simply renders it into English in a form just as confusing as the Hebrew original.
  31. (7:9) literally "spoke"
  32. (7:1) property. Literally, house
  33. (8:5) if you are pleased with me. Literally, and I am good in your eyes.
  34. (8:9) Sivan. A lunar month roughly equivalent to the modern May or June.
  35. (8:10) The various terms for horses in this verse are of uncertain meaning. The translation here follows the best guess of Paton's commentary on Esther.
  36. (9:2) attack. Literally, lay a hand on.
  37. 37.0 37.1 (9:7,9:10)The word haragu (they killed) is located in verse 10, but was moved up to verse 7 for clarity.
  38. (10:3) the word translated as "multitude" could also mean "most".