The Sacred BibleThe Book of Esther
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 - note
[Esther 1]

{1:1} Anno secundo, regnante Artaxerxe maximo, prima die mensis Nisan, vidit somnium Mardochæus filius Iairi, filii Semei, filii Cis, de tribu Beniamin:
{1:1} In the second year of the reign of Ahasuerus the great, on the first day of the month of Nisan, Mordecai the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin,

{1:2} homo Iudæus, qui habitabat in urbe Susis, vir magnus, et inter primos aulæ regiæ.
{1:2} a Jewish man who lived in the city of Susa, a great gentleman, and among the first ones of the king’s court, saw a dream.

~ The phrase “vir magnus” is usually translated as “a great man,” but in Latin the word vir is different that the word for man. Vir is derived from a word meaning virtuous or strong, so it carries within it a certain complementary connotation, much like the word “gentleman.”

{1:3} Erat autem de eo numero captivorum, quos transtulerat Nabuchodnosor rex Babylonis de Ierusalem cum Iechonia rege Iuda:
{1:3} Now he was one of a number of captives, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away from Jerusalem with Jeconiah king of Judah.

{1:4} et hoc eius somnium fuit: Apparuerunt voces, et tumultus, et tonitrua, et terræmotus, et conturbatio super terram:
{1:4} And this was his dream: voices appeared, and confusion, and thunders, and earthquakes, and a disturbance upon the earth.

{1:5} et ecce duo dracones magni, paratique contra se in prælium.
{1:5} And behold, there were two great dragons making preparations against one another for battle.

{1:6} Ad quorum clamorem cunctæ concitatæ sunt nationes, ut pugnarent contra gentem iustorum.
{1:6} And at their cry all peoples rushed forth to fight against the nation of the just.

~ Or, against a people of justice; or, against a just people.

{1:7} Fuitque dies illa tenebrarum et discriminis, tribulationis et angustiæ, et ingens formido super terram.
{1:7} And that was a day of darkness and division, of tribulation and anguish, and there was an unnatural dread over the earth.

~ Perhaps this is a reference to the three days of darkness.

{1:8} Conturbataque est gens iustorum timentium mala sua, et præparata ad mortem.
{1:8} And the nation of the just was disturbed, fearing their own evils, and was prepared for death.

{1:9} Clamaveruntque ad Deum: et illis vociferantibus, fons parvus creavit in fluvium maximum, et in aquas plurimas redundavit.
{1:9} And they cried out to God, and from their loud crying, a little fountain grew into a very great river and overflowed into many waters.

{1:10} Lux et sol ortus est, et humiles exaltati sunt, et devoraverunt inclytos.
{1:10} The light and the sun rose up, and the humble were exalted, and they devoured the illustrious.

{1:11} Quod cum vidisset Mardochæus, et surrexisset de strato, cogitabat quid Deus facere vellet: et fixum habebat in animo, scire cupiens quid significaret somnium.
{1:11} When Mordecai had seen this, and he arose from bed, he was considering what God might want to do, and he kept it fixed in his soul, desiring to know what the dream might signify.

[Esther 2]

{2:1} Morabatur autem eo tempore in aula regis cum Bagatha et Thara eunuchis regis, qui ianitores erant palatii.
{2:1} Now he was staying at that time in the king’s court with Bagatha and Thara the king’s eunuchs, who were porters of the palace.

~ Chapters 1 and 2 are found only in the Greek text. The Hebrew later mentions this same event. The names of these two eunuchs here have been reconciled with their names from the Hebrew version of the text. The Latin version of their names was chosen since this is a translation from the Latin.

{2:2} Cumque intellexisset cogitationes eorum, et curas diligentius pervidisset, didicit quod conarentur in regem Artaxerxem manus mittere, et nunciavit super eo regi.
{2:2} And when he realized their thoughts, and had diligently paid close attention, he learned that they were attempting to cast their hand against king Artaxerxes, and he reported this to the king.

~ Again, the name of the king varies depending on the text. Ahasuerus is an English rendering from the Hebrew portion of the text. Artaxerxes is commonly used in English translations of the Greek portion of the text. Many translations mix both versions of the name. Here the Latin version of the name is used, although the Latin version of the name is actually derived from the Greek.

{2:3} Qui de utroque, habita quæstione, confessos iussit duci ad mortem.
{2:3} Then the king had both of them questioned, and when they confessed, he ordered a sentence of death.

{2:4} Rex autem quod gestum erat, scripsit in commentariis: sed et Mardochæus rei memoriam litteris tradidit.
{2:4} But the king had what had happened written in the commentaries. And even Mordecai handed over the memory of these things into writing.

{2:5} Præcepitque ei rex, ut in aula palatii moraretur, datis ei pro delatione muneribus.
{2:5} And the king instructed him to remain in the court of the palace, having given him this position for the information.

{2:6} Aman vero filius Amadathi bugæus erat gloriosissimus coram rege, et voluit nocere Mardochæo, et populo eius pro duobus eunuchis regis, qui fuerant interfecti.
{2:6} In truth, Haman the son of Hammedatha the Bougaean had great honor in the eyes of the king, and he wanted to harm Mordecai and his people because of the two eunuchs of the king who had been executed.

[Esther 3]

{3:1} In diebus Assueri, qui regnavit ab India usque Æthiopiam super centum viginti septem provincias:
{3:1} In the days of Artaxerxes, who reigned from India to Ethiopia over one hundred twenty-seven provinces,

~ In Biblical times, the term “India” did not refer to the subcontinent of India, as we call it today. Rather it referred to various areas east of the Red Sea, including Arabia, Persia, and Parthia, but not present-day India.

{3:2} quando sedit in solio regni sui, Susan civitas regni eius exordium fuit.
{3:2} when he sat on the throne of his kingdom, the city of Susa was the root of his kingdom.

~ The word exordium, is actually “from the beginning.” The word implies the root, origins, dawning, rising, threshold, or starting point of something. Susa is the beginning of his kingdom, or the threshold of his kingdom.

{3:3} Tertio igitur anno imperii sui fecit grande convivium cunctis principibus, et pueris suis, fortissimis Persarum, et Medorum inclytis, et præfectis provinciarum coram se,
{3:3} And so, in the third year of his reign, he made a great feast for all the leaders and his servants, for the most powerful among the Persians and the distinguished among the Medes, and for the rulers of the provinces before him,

~ Convivium literally means living together, or, (more loosely, but, in this context, more accurately) rejoicing together. The concept of food is not intrinsic to the word, even though it is usually translated as feast or similarly. The word perhaps derives from the idea that a group of people who gathered for a feast or celebration would spend several days or longer living and rejoicing in the same place.

{3:4} ut ostenderet divitias gloriæ regni sui, ac magnitudinem, atque iactantiam potentiæ suæ, multo tempore, centum videlicet et octoginta diebus.
{3:4} so that he might show the glorious riches of his kingdom, as well as its greatness, and so boast of his power, for a long time, namely, one hundred and eighty days.

{3:5} Cumque implerentur dies convivii, invitavit omnem populum, qui inventus est in Susan, a maximo usque ad minimum: et iussit septem diebus convivium præparari in vestibulo horti, et nemoris, quod regio cultu et manu consitum erat.
{3:5} And when the days of the feast were nearly completed, he invited all the people, who had been found in Susa, from the greatest even to the least, and he commanded a feast to be prepared, for seven days, in the court of the garden and the arboretum, which had been planted by the care and by the hand of the king.

~ Nemoris is a forest, but in this context it is clearly a planted and cultivated area of trees, i.e. an arboretum.

{3:6} Et pendebant ex omni parte tentoria aerii coloris et carbasini ac hyacinthini, sustentata funibus byssinis, atque purpureis, qui eburneis circulis inserti erant, et columnis marmoreis fulciebantur. Lectuli quoque aurei et argentei, super pavimentum smaragdino et pario stratum lapide, dispositi erant: quod mira varietate pictura decorabat.
{3:6} And, in every direction, tents the color of the sky and of flax as well as hyacinth were hung up, suspended by cords of linen and even purple, which had been placed through rings of ivory and were held up with marble columns. The couches also, of gold and silver, had been arranged over a pavement of emerald-green, bearing scattered jewels, which was decorated with a wonderful variety of images.

~ Purple, purpureis, refers to that ancient and very expensive purple dye used by royalty and the very wealthy.

{3:7} Bibebant autem qui invitati erant, aureis poculis, et aliis atque aliis vasis cibi inferebantur. Vinum quoque, ut magnificentia regia dignum erat, abundans, et præcipuum ponebatur.
{3:7} Moreover, those who had been invited drank from golden cups, and dishes of foods were brought in one after another. Likewise, choice wine was presented in abundance, as was worthy of royal magnificence.

{3:8} Nec erat qui nolentes cogeret ad bibendum, sed sicut rex statuerat, præponens mensis singulos de principibus suis ut sumeret unusquisque quod vellet.
{3:8} Nor was anyone compelled to drink who was unwilling, but, just as the king had appointed, one of his nobles was set over each table, so that each one might select what he wanted.

{3:9} Vasthi quoque regina fecit convivium feminarum in palatio, ubi rex Assuerus manere consueverat.
{3:9} Likewise, Vashti the queen made a feast for the women, in the palace where king Artaxerxes was accustomed to stay the night.

~ This other feast for the women was in the queen’s palace, not the king’s palace. Apparently, the king would sleep with the queen at her palace, not his.

{3:10} Itaque die septimo, cum rex esset hilarior, et post nimiam potationem incaluisset mero, præcepit Maumam, et Bazatha, et Harbona, et Bagatha, et Abgatha, et Zethar, et Charchas, septem eunuchis, qui in conspectu eius ministrabant,
{3:10} And so, on the seventh day, when the king was more cheerful, and, after excessive drinking, had become warmed with wine, he ordered Mehuman, and Biztha, and Harbona, and Bigtha, and Abagtha, and Zethar, and Charkas, seven eunuchs who served in his presence,

{3:11} ut introducerent reginam Vasthi coram rege, posito super caput eius diademate, ut ostenderet cunctis populis et principibus pulchritudinem illius: erat enim pulchra valde.
{3:11} to bring in queen Vashti before the king, with the crown set upon her head, to show her beauty to the whole people and to the leaders, for she was very beautiful.

{3:12} Quæ renuit, et ad regis imperium, quod per eunuchos mandaverat, venire contempsit. Unde iratus rex, et nimio furore succensus,
{3:12} She refused, and she showed contempt towards the king’s command, which he had delivered to her by the eunuchs. Whereupon the king, being angry and inflamed with a very great fury,

{3:13} interrogavit sapientes, qui ex more regio semper ei aderant, et illorum faciebat cuncta consilio, scientium leges, ac iura maiorum:
{3:13} questioned the wise men, who, according to royal custom were always near him and all he did was by their counsel, who knew the laws as well as the judgments of their ancestors,

{3:14} (erant autem primi et proximi, Charsena, et Sethar, et Admatha, et Tharsis, et Mares, et Marsana, et Mamuchan, septem duces Persarum, atque Medorum, qui videbant faciem regis, et primi post eum residere soliti erant)
{3:14} (but first and foremost were Carshena, and Shethar, and Admatha, and Tarshish, and Meres, and Marsena, and Memucan, seven rulers of the Persians as well as the Medes, who saw the face of the king and who were accustomed to sitting down first after him,)

{3:15} cui sententiæ Vasthi regina subiaceret, quæ Assueri regis imperium, quod per eunuchos mandaverat, facere noluisset.
{3:15} as to what sentence should fall upon Vashti the queen, who had refused to do the commandment of king Artaxerxes, which he had delivered to her by the eunuchs.

{3:16} Responditque Mamuchan, audiente rege, atque principibus, Non solum regem læsit regina Vasthi, sed et omnes populos, et principes, qui sunt in cunctis provinciis regis Assueri.
{3:16} And Memucan answered, in the hearing of the king as well as the rulers, “Queen Vashti has wounded not only the king, but also all the people and the leaders, who are in all the provinces of king Artaxerxes.

{3:17} Egredietur enim sermo reginæ ad omnes mulieres, ut contemnant viros suos, et dicant: Rex Assuerus iussit ut regina Vasthi intraret ad eum, et illa noluit.
{3:17} For word about the queen will go out to all the women, so that they will show contempt for their husbands, and they will say, ‘King Artaxerxes ordered that queen Vashti should enter before him, and she would not.’

{3:18} Atque hoc exemplo omnes principum coniuges Persarum atque Medorum, parvipendent imperia maritorum: unde regis iusta est indignatio.
{3:18} And so, by this example all the wives of the leaders of the Persians and the Medes will belittle the authority of their husbands; therefore, the indignation of the king is just.

{3:19} Si tibi placet, egrediatur edictum a facie tua, et scribatur iuxta legem Persarum atque Medorum, quam præteriri illicitum est, ut nequaquam ultra Vasthi ingrediatur ad regem, sed regnum illius, altera, quæ melior est illa, accipiat.
{3:19} If it pleases you, let an edict be sent out from your presence, and let it be written according to the law of the Persians and the Medes, which it is forbidden to disregard, that Vashti shall no longer enter before the king, but let another, who is better than her, receive her queenship.

{3:20} Et hoc in omne (quod latissimum est) provinciarum tuarum divulgetur imperium, et cunctæ uxores tam maiorum, quam minorum deferant maritis suis honorem.
{3:20} And let this be published in all the provinces of your empire, (which is very wide,) and let all wives, the greater as much as the lesser, give honor to their husbands.”

{3:21} Placuit consilium eius regi, et principibus: fecitque rex iuxta consilium Mamuchan,
{3:21} His counsel pleased the king and the rulers, and the king acted according to the counsel of Memucan,

{3:22} et misit epistolas ad universas provincias regni sui, ut quæque gens audire et legere poterat, diversis linguis et litteris, esse viros principes ac maiores in domibus suis: et hoc per cunctos populos divulgari.
{3:22} and he sent letters to all the provinces of his kingdom, so that every nation was able to hear and to read, in various languages and letters, that husbands are to be the greater rulers in their own houses, and that this should be published to every people.

~ Note that husbands are greater rulers in their house than their wives. “Viros principes ac maiores in domibus suis” could be translated as, “husbands are leaders and greater in their own houses,” but the phrase “greater rulers” is more succinct and makes for a better translation. Maiores is comparative, meaning greater, not great.

[Esther 4]

{4:1} His ita gestis, postquam regis Assueri indignatio deferbuerat, recordatus est Vasthi, et quæ fecisset, vel quæ passa esset:
{4:1} And so, after this had been carried out, and the indignation of king Artaxerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti, and what she had done, and what had happened to her.

{4:2} dixeruntque pueri regis, ac ministri eius: Quærantur regi puellæ virgines ac speciosæ,
{4:2} And the servants of the king, and his ministers, said, “Let young women be sought for the king, virgins and beautiful,

{4:3} et mittantur qui considerent per universas provincias puellas speciosas et virgines: et adducant eas ad civitatem Susan, et tradant eas in domum feminarum sub manu Egei eunuchi, qui est præpositus et custos mulierum regiarum: et accipiant mundum muliebrem, et cetera ad usus necessaria.
{4:3} and let investigators be sent throughout all the provinces for young women, beautiful and virgins. And let them bring them to the city of Susa, and deliver them to the house of the women under the hand of Hegai the eunuch, who is the overseer and keeper of the king’s women. And let them receive feminine ornaments, and other things necessary for their use.

~ The phrase “qui considerent” means those who examine or, more literally, those who sit together. In this context, it refers to a group given the task of choosing the young women for the king.

{4:4} Et quæcumque inter omnes oculis regis placuerit, ipsa regnet pro Vasthi. Placuit sermo regi: et ita, ut suggesserant, iussit fieri.
{4:4} And whoever among them all will please the king’s eyes, let her reign instead of Vashti.” The idea pleased the king, and so he ordered it to be done as they had suggested.

{4:5} Erat vir Iudæus in Susan civitate, vocabulo Mardochæus filius Iair, filii Semei, filii Cis, de stirpe Iemini,
{4:5} There was a Jewish man in the city of Susa, by the name of Mordecai, son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, of the house of Benjamin,

~ Here vir is translated merely as “man,” even though it has a somewhat greater meaning than the English word man.

{4:6} qui translatus fuerat de Ierusalem eo tempore, quo Iechoniam regem Iuda Nabuchodonosor rex Babylonis transtulerat,
{4:6} who had been carried away from Jerusalem at the time that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon carried away Jeconiah king of Judah,

{4:7} qui fuit nutritius filiæ fratris sui Edissæ, quæ altero nomine vocabatur Esther: et utrumque parentem amiserat: pulchra nimis, et decora facie. Mortuisque patre eius ac matre, Mardochæus sibi eam adoptavit in filiam.
{4:7} who had raised his brother’s daughter Hadassah, who by another name was called Esther. And she had lost both her parents. She was very beautiful, with a graceful appearance. Since her father and mother had both died, Mordecai adopted her as his own daughter.

{4:8} Cumque percrebruisset regis imperium, et iuxta mandatum illius multæ pulchræ virgines adducerentur Susan, et Egeo traderentur Eunucho; Esther quoque inter ceteras puellas ei tradita est, ut servaretur in numero feminarum.
{4:8} And when the king’s command became very well-known, in accordance with his command, many beautiful virgins were brought to Susa, and were delivered to Hegai the eunuch. Likewise, Esther, along with the other young women, was delivered to him, to be protected with the assembled women.

~ The phrase “in numero feminarum” is loosely translated as “with the assembled women.” Notice that the Latin “in” does not always translate as the English “in”. Literally, “numero feminarum” means “the number of women,” but in this context number means a group, not a particular number.

{4:9} Quæ placuit ei, et invenit gratiam in conspectu illius. Et præcepit eunucho, ut acceleraret mundum muliebrem, et traderet ei partes suas, et septem puellas speciosissimas de domo regis, et tam ipsam, quam pedissequas eius ornaret atque excoleret.
{4:9} She was pleasing to him, and she found favor in his sight. And he commanded a eunuch to hasten the women’s ornaments, and to deliver her share to her, along with seven of the most beautiful young women of the king’s house, so as to both adorn and honor her and her handmaids.

~ Excoleret means to honor or to improve.

{4:10} Quæ noluit indicare ei populum et patriam suam: Mardochæus enim præceperat ei, ut de hac re omnino reticeret:
{4:10} She was not willing to reveal to him her people or her native land. For Mordecai had instructed her that she should keep silent about all these things.

{4:11} qui deambulabat quotidie ante vestibulum domus, in qua electæ virgines servabantur, curam agens salutis Esther, et scire volens quid ei accideret.
{4:11} He went for a walk every day, in the front courtyard of the house in which the chosen virgins were kept, having concern for Esther’s welfare and wanting to know what would happen to her.

{4:12} Cum autem venisset tempus singularum per ordinem puellarum, ut intrarent ad regem, expletis omnibus, quæ ad cultum muliebrem pertinebant, mensis duodecimus vertebatur: ita dumtaxat, ut sex mensibus oleo ungerentur myrrhino, et aliis sex quibusdam pigmentis et aromatibus uterentur.
{4:12} But, when the time came for each in the line of young women to go in to the king, after everything had been completed concerning feminine grooming, the twelfth month had been reached, to the extent that for six months they were anointed with oil of myrrh, and for another six months they used certain types of makeup and perfumes.

~ The phrase “singularum per ordinem” refers to each in a series or succession. The women needed 12 months to prepare to meet the king. He was apparently looking for a diamond in the rough.

{4:13} Ingredientesque ad regem, quidquid postulassent ad ornatum pertinens, accipiebant: et ut eis placuerat, compositæ de triclinio feminarum ad regis cubiculum transibant.
{4:13} And when they were going in to the king, whatever they requested to adorn themselves, they received, and when each was pleased with herself, having been prepared in the chamber of the women, she passed on to the king’s chamber.

{4:14} Et quæ intraverat vespere, egrediebatur mane, atque inde in secundas ædes deducebatur, quæ sub manu Susagazi eunuchi erant, qui concubinis regis præsidebat: nec habebat potestatem ad regem ultra redeundi, nisi voluisset rex, et eam venire iussisset ex nomine.
{4:14} And whoever entered at evening, departed in the morning, and then from there she was led to the second house, which was under the hand of Shaashgaz the eunuch, who presided over the king’s concubines. Nor did she have the power to return again to the king, unless the king desired it and had summoned her by name.

{4:15} Evoluto autem tempore per ordinem, instabat dies, quo Esther filia Abihail fratris Mardochæi, quam sibi adoptaverat in filiam, deberet intrare ad regem. Quæ non quæsivit muliebrem cultum, sed quæcumque voluit Egeus eunuchus custos virginum, hæc ei ad ornatum dedit. Erat enim formosa valde, et incredibili pulchritudine, omnium oculis gratiosa et amabilis videbatur.
{4:15} But, as the order continued to progress, the day arrived when Esther, the daughter of Abihail the brother of Mordecai, whom he had adopted as his daughter, was required to go in to the king. She did not seek feminine ornaments, except that whatever Hegai the eunuch and keeper of the virgins chose, he gave her to adorn her. For she was very attractive, and her incredible beauty made her appear gracious and amiable in the eyes of all.

~ “Evoluto autem tempore per ordinem” refers to the unfolding, as time passes, of a series or succession of events. It is best translated as a phrase, rather than as a word-for-word translation.

{4:16} Ducta est itaque ad cubiculum regis Assueri mense decimo, qui vocatur Tebeth, septimo anno regni eius.
{4:16} And so she was led to the chamber of king Artaxerxes, in the tenth month, which is called Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign.

{4:17} Et adamavit eam rex plus quam omnes mulieres, habuitque gratiam et misericordiam coram eo super omnes mulieres, et posuit diadema regni in capite eius, fecitque eam regnare in loco Vasthi.
{4:17} And the king loved her more than all the women, and she had favor and mercy in his eyes above all the women, and he set the royal crown on her head, and he made her queen instead of Vashti.

{4:18} Et iussit convivium præparari permagnificum cunctis principibus, et servis suis pro coniunctione, et nuptiis Esther. Et dedit requiem universis provinciis, ac dona largitus est iuxta magnificentiam principalem.
{4:18} And he ordered a magnificent feast to be prepared for all the rulers, and for his servants, because of the union and wedding of Esther. And he gave a holiday to all the provinces, and he bestowed gifts befitting of princely generosity.

~ Requiem means rest or respite from labor, but in this context it refers to a day of rest from labor, in other words, a holiday.

{4:19} Cumque secundo quærerentur virgines et congregarentur, Mardochæus manebat ad ianuam regis:
{4:19} And when the virgins were sought for the second time and gathered together, Mordecai remained at the king’s gate.

{4:20} necdum prodiderat Esther patriam, et populum suum, iuxta mandatum eius. Quidquid enim ille præcipiebat, observabat Esther: et ita cuncta faciebat ut eo tempore solita erat, quo eam parvulam nutriebat.
{4:20} Esther had not yet declared her native land and her people, according to his command. For whatever he instructed, Esther observed. And so she did all things as she had become accustomed in the time when he raised her from early childhood.

~ The phrase “quo eam parvulam nutriebat” means “when she was nourished as a small child.” Parvulam means very small or, more loosely, very young. He raised her from her earliest days, when she was a very young child.

{4:21} Eo igitur tempore, quo Mardochæus ad regis ianuam morabatur, irati sunt Bagathan, et Thares duo eunuchi regis, qui ianitores erant, et in primo palatii limine præsidebant: volueruntque insurgere in regem, et occidere eum.
{4:21} Therefore, at that time, when Mordecai was staying at the king’s gate, Bagatha and Thara, two of the king’s eunuchs, who were gatekeepers and who presided over the first entryway of the palace, were angry, and they decided to rise up against the king and kill him.

{4:22} Quod Mardochæum non latuit, statimque nuntiavit reginæ Esther: et illa regi ex nomine Mardochæi, qui ad se rem detulerat.
{4:22} But Mordecai did not keep this secret, and immediately he reported it to queen Esther, and she reported it to the king in Mordecai’s name, who had brought the matter to her.

{4:23} Quæsitum est, et inventum: et appensus est uterque eorum in patibulo. Mandatumque est historiis, et annalibus traditum coram rege.
{4:23} It was inquired into and discovered, and they were both hanged on a gallows. And it was committed to the histories and the chronicles which are delivered in the sight of the king.

~ The word “patibulo” means a gallows (in general) or a gibbet (more specifically). A gibbet has a “T” or cross shape. Later in the text the word for cross is used to describe the same item.

[Esther 5]

{5:1} Post hæc rex Assuerus exaltavit Aman filium Amadathi, qui erat de stirpe Agag: et posuit solium eius super omnes principes, quos habebat.
{5:1} After this, king Artaxerxes exalted Haman, the son of Hammedatha, who was of Agag lineage, and he set his throne above all the rulers whom he had.

{5:2} Cunctique servi regis, qui in foribus palatii versabantur, flectebant genua, et adorabant Aman: sic enim præceperat eis imperator. Solus Mardochæus non flectebat genu, neque adorabat eum.
{5:2} And all the king’s servants, who passed by the doors of the palace, bent their knees and adored Haman, for so the ruler had instructed them. Only Mordecai did not bend his knee, nor adore him.

~ It is not clear from the wording of the text whether this “imperator” is the king or Haman. Imperator can mean emperor or it can mean a ruler or general. Perhaps the text is making fun of Haman, who is only a ruler, but who acts as if he were an emperor.

{5:3} Cui dixerunt pueri regis, qui ad fores palatii præsidebant: Cur præter ceteros non observas mandatum regis?
{5:3} The king’s servants, who presided over the doors of the palace, said to him, “Why do you, more than the others, not observe the king’s command?”

{5:4} Cumque hoc crebrius dicerent, et ille nollet audire, nuntiaverunt Aman, scire cupientes utrum perseveraret in sententia: dixerat enim eis se esse Iudæum.
{5:4} And when they were saying this frequently, and he would not listen to them, they reported it to Haman, desiring to know whether he would continue in his resolution, for he had told them that he was a Jew.

{5:5} Quod cum audisset Aman, et experimento probasset quod Mardochæus non flecteret sibi genu, nec se adoraret, iratus est valde,
{5:5} Now when Haman had heard this, and had proved by a test that Mordecai did not bend his knee to him, nor adore him, he was very angry.

{5:6} et pro nihilo duxit in unum Mardochæum mittere manus suas: audierat enim quod esset gentis Iudææ. Magisque voluit omnem Iudæorum, qui erant in regno Assueri, perdere nationem.
{5:6} And he considered it pointless to lay his hands on Mordecai alone, for he had heard that he was part of the Jewish people. And so he wanted more: to destroy the entire nation of the Jews, who were in the kingdom of Artaxerxes.

{5:7} Mense primo (cuius vocabulum est Nisan) anno duodecimo regni Assueri, missa est sors in urnam, quæ Hebraice dicitur phur, coram Aman, quo die et quo mense gens Iudæorum deberet interfici: et exivit mensis duodecimus, qui vocatur Adar.
{5:7} In the first month, which is called Nisan, in the twelfth year of the reign of Artaxerxes, the lot was cast into an urn, which in Hebrew is called Pur, in the presence of Haman, to determine on what day and in which month the Jewish people should be destroyed. And it turned out to be the twelfth month, which is called Adar.

{5:8} Dixitque Aman regi Assuero: Est populus per omnes provincias regni tui dispersus, et a se mutuo separatus, novis utens legibus et ceremoniis, insuper et regis scita contemnens. Et optime nosti quod non expediat regno tuo ut insolescat per licentiam.
{5:8} And Haman said to king Artaxerxes, “There is a people dispersed throughout all the provinces of your kingdom and separated one from another, who make use of unusual laws and ceremonies, and who, in addition, show contempt for the king’s ordinances. And you know very well that it is not expedient for your kingdom that they should become insolent through independence.

~ Novis can mean new, or it can mean strange or unusual. In this context, the laws of the Jews are seen as strange or unusual to the Persians, not as merely new.

{5:9} Si tibi placet, decerne, ut pereat, et decem millia talentorum appendam arcariis gazæ tuæ.
{5:9} If it pleases you, declare that they may be destroyed, and I will weigh out ten thousand talents to the keepers of your treasury.”

~ Appendam means to weigh, but it also means to hang (as to hang on a balance or scale when weighing). Haman wants to condemn the Jews to death by hanging ten thousand talents on monetary scales. Yet he himself is killed by being hung on the scales of justice and hanged on the gallows.

{5:10} Tulit ergo rex annulum, quo utebatur, de manu sua, et dedit eum Aman filio Amadathi de progenie Agag, hosti Iudæorum,
{5:10} And so the king took the ring that he used, from his own hand, and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha, of Agag lineage, enemy of the Jews.

{5:11} dixitque ad eum: Argentum, quod tu polliceris, tuum sit. De populo age quod tibi placet.
{5:11} And he said to him, “Let the silver, which you promise, be for yourself. As for the people, do with them as it pleases you.”

{5:12} Vocatique sunt scribæ regis mense primo Nisan, tertiadecima die eiusdem mensis: et scriptum est, ut iusserat Aman, ad omnes satrapas regis, et iudices provinciarum, diversarumque gentium, ut quæque gens legere poterat, et audire pro varietate linguarum ex nomine regis Assueri: et litteræ signatæ ipsius annulo,
{5:12} And the scribes of the king were summoned, in the first month Nisan, on the thirteenth day of the same month. And it was written, as Haman had commanded, to all the king’s governors, and to the judges of the provinces, and to various peoples, so that each people could read and hear according to their various languages, in the name of king Artaxerxes. And the letters were sealed with his ring.

{5:13} missæ sunt per cursores regis ad universas provincias ut occiderent atque delerent omnes Iudæos, a puero usque ad senem, parvulos, et mulieres, uno die, hoc est tertiodecimo mensis duodecimi, qui vocatur Adar, et diriperent bona, vel substantias eorum.
{5:13} These were sent by the king’s messengers to all the provinces, so as to kill and destroy all the Jews, from children all the way to the elderly, even little children and women, on one day, that is, on the thirteenth of the twelfth month, which is called Adar, and to plunder their goods, even their necessities.

~ The Latin vulgate places those verses found in the Greek version of Esther at the end of the book, after those verses found in the Hebrew. This places some of the text out of narrative order:

“... et diriperent bona, vel substantias eorum.” This last part of verse 5:13 is a correction, based on the Latin Vulgate, which has both “... et bona eorum diriperent.” (3:13 Vulgate numbering) and a separate verse “Et diripuerunt bona, vel substantias eorum.” (12:6b Vulgate numbering). This separate verse does not fit into the narrative in its place in the Vulgate arrangement. Its only reasonable fit into the narrative is in this place in the text, as an emendation indicating that the Jews enemies planned to plunder not only their wealth, but also their most basic possessions. The verse does not fit into verses 12:11 or 14:10 (new numbering), because the king’s just order would not ask the Jews to take even the necessities of their enemies (which might go to surviving relatives in need) and also because the Jews decided not to avail themselves of the option of taking the spoils at all.

[Esther 6]

{6:1} Epistolæ autem hoc exemplar fuit: Rex maximus Artaxerxes ab India usque Æthiopiam centum vigintiseptem provinciarum principibus, et ducibus, qui eius imperio subiecti sunt, salutem.
{6:1} 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.

~ Principibus and ducibus each refers to some type of leader. Principibus is often translated as princes, but since it does not actually refer to sons of the king, the more general term of leaders is a better fit. Ducibus in this context, when paired with principibus, probably refers to some type of military leader, a general. Since principibus is listed first, these leaders probably had authority over the ducibus generals.

{6:2} Cum plurimis gentibus imperarem, et universum orbem meæ ditioni subiugassem, volui nequaquam abuti potentiæ magnitudine, sed clementia et lenitate gubernare subiectos, ut absque ullo terrore vitam silentio transigentes, optata cunctis mortalibus pace fruerentur.
{6:2} 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.

~ Transigentes can have a wide variety of different meanings, depending on the context. Optata means to choose or select or desire or wish for something. Here the translation “delight in peace” takes into account the context as well as the Douay-Rheims translation “enjoy peace.”

{6:3} Quærente autem me a consiliariis meis quomodo posset hoc impleri, unus qui sapientia et fide ceteros præcellebat, et erat post regem secundus, Aman nomine,
{6:3} 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,

{6:4} indicavit mihi in toto orbe terrarum populum esse dispersum, qui novis uteretur legibus, et contra omnium gentium consuetudinem faciens, regum iussa contemneret, et universarum concordiam nationum sua dissensione violaret.
{6:4} 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.

{6:5} Quod cum didicissemus, videntes unam gentem rebellem adversus omne hominum genus perversis, uti legibus, nostrisque iussionibus contraire, et turbare subiectarum nobis provinciarum pacem atque concordiam,
{6:5} 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,

{6:6} iussimus ut quoscumque Aman, qui omnibus provinciis præpositus est, et secundus a rege, et quem patris loco colimus, monstraverit, cum coniugibus ac liberis deleantur ab inimicis suis, nullusque eorum misereatur, quartadecima die duodecimi mensis Adar anni præsentis:
{6:6} 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,

{6:7} ut nefarii homines uno die ad inferos descendentes, reddant imperio nostro pacem, quam turbaverant.
{6:7} 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.”

~ The word nefarii refers to something that is criminal, not merely against the written law, but also very offensive. Inferos is sometimes translated as Hell, but it can also refer merely to death or to one’s state of being after death. It has a more general meaning than Hell, and so it should only be translated as Hell when indicated by the context.

{6:8} Summa autem epistolarum hæc fuit, ut omnes provinciæ scirent, et pararent se ad prædictam diem.
{6:8} And the effect of the letters was this: that all provinces would know and prepare for the prescribed day.

{6:9} Festinabant cursores, qui missi erant, regis imperium explere. Statimque in Susan pependit edictum, rege et Aman celebrante convivium, et cunctis Iudæis, qui in urbe erant, flentibus.
{6:9} 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.

[Esther 7]

{7:1} Quæ cum audisset Mardochæus, scidit vestimenta sua, et indutus est sacco, spargens cinerem capiti: et in platea mediæ civitatis voce magna clamabat, ostendens amaritudinem animi sui,
{7:1} When Mordecai had heard this, he tore his garments and put on sackcloth, strewing ashes on his head, and he cried out with a loud voice in the main street of the city, revealing the anguish of his soul.

~ Notice that Mordecai strews only ashes on his head. This point is relevant to the translation of verse 8:2, when Esther does similarly. The phrase “in platea mediæ civitatis” refers to a wide street in the middle of the city. In modern terms, such a street would be called main street. It is not merely any street, but the main thoroughfare.

{7:2} et hoc eiulatu usque ad fores palatii gradiens. Non enim erat licitum indutum sacco aulam regis intrare.
{7:2} And he continued with this lamenting, even up to the gate of the palace, for no one clothed with sackcloth is permitted to enter the king’s court.

{7:3} In omnibus quoque provinciis, oppidis, ac locis, ad quæ crudele regis dogma pervenerat, planctus ingens erat apud Iudæos, ieiunium, ululatus, et fletus, sacco et cinere multis pro strato utentibus.
{7:3} Likewise, in all provinces, towns, and places where the king’s cruel decision arrived, there was extraordinary mourning among the Jews with fasting, wailing, and weeping, with many using sackcloth and ashes for their bed.

{7:4} Ingressæ autem sunt puellæ Esther et eunuchi, nuntiaveruntque ei. Quod audiens consternata est: et vestem misit, ut ablato sacco induerent eum: quam accipere noluit.
{7:4} Then Esther’s maids and eunuchs went in and informed her. When she heard it, she was shocked, and she sent a garment to clothe him and to take away the sackcloth, but he would not accept it.

~ Consternata est refers to a reaction or emotion of being confused, perplexed, confounded, or, to use the more common expression, shocked.

{7:5} Accitoque Athach eunucho, quem rex ministrum ei dederat, præcepit ei ut iret ad Mardochæum, et disceret ab eo cur hoc faceret.
{7:5} And she sent for Hathach the eunuch, whom the king had appointed to minister to her, and she instructed him to go to Mordecai and to discern from him why he was doing this.

{7:6} Egressusque Athach, ivit ad Mardochæum stantem in platea civitatis, ante ostium palatii:
{7:6} And departing, Hathach went to Mordecai, who was standing in the street of the city, in front of the palace entrance.

{7:7} qui indicavit ei omnia, quæ acciderant, quo modo Aman promisisset, ut in thesauros regis pro Iudæorum nece inferret argentum.
{7:7} He told him everything that had happened, how Haman had promised to transfer silver into the king’s treasury for the death of the Jews.

{7:8} Exemplar quoque edicti, quod pendebat in Susan, dedit ei, ut reginæ ostenderet, et moneret eam, ut intraret ad regem, et deprecaretur eum pro populo suo.
{7:8} Also, he gave him a copy of the edict that was hanging up in Susa, so that he would show it to the queen and advise her to go in to the king and beg him on behalf of her people.

{7:9} Regressus Athach, nuntiavit Esther omnia, quæ Mardochæus dixerat.
{7:9} And Hathach returned and informed Esther of all that Mordecai had said.

{7:10} Memorare (inquit) dierum humilitatis tuæ, quomodo nutrita sis in manu mea, quia Aman secundus a rege locutus est contra nos in mortem:
{7:10} “Remember,” he said, “the days of your lowliness, how you were nurtured as if in my hand, because Haman, who is second after the king, has spoken against us to death.

~ Latin has no quotation marks, so quotes are understood by the context. Sometimes, when the context does not make it clear that the sentence is a quote, the word “inquit” is added, meaning “he said.” Here verses 7:10 – 7:11 are from verses 15:2 – 15:3 in the Latin Vulgate. These verses are found in the Greek version of the text, but not the Hebrew.

~ The phrase “dierum humilitatis tuæ” refers to the time when Esther was a lowly commoner, not the queen of the Persian empire. The phrase “nutrita sis in manu mea” refers to the time when Esther was raised or nurtured by Mordecai. The word “sis” indicates a figure of speech: “as if in my hand.”

{7:11} et tu invoca Dominum, et loquere regi pro nobis, et libera nos de morte.
{7:11} And you must call upon the Lord, and speak with the king on our behalf, and free us from death.”

{7:12} Quæ respondit ei, et iussit ut diceret Mardochæo:
{7:12} She answered him, and ordered him say to Mordecai:

{7:13} Omnes servi regis, et cunctæ, quæ sub ditione eius sunt, norunt provinciæ, quod sive vir, sive mulier non vocatus, interius atrium regis intraverit, absque ulla cunctatione statim interficiatur: nisi forte rex auream virgam ad eum tetenderit pro signo clementiæ, atque ita possit vivere. Ego igitur quo modo ad regem intrare potero, quæ triginta iam diebus non sum vocata ad eum?
{7:13} “All the servants of the king and all the provinces that are under his realm understand that anyone, whether man or woman, who enters the king’s inner court, who has not been summoned, is immediately to be put to death without any delay, unless the king should happen to extend the golden scepter to him, as a sign of clemency, so that he will be able to live. How then can I go in to the king, when, for thirty days now, I have not been called to him?”

{7:14} Quod cum audisset Mardochæus, rursum mandavit Esther, dicens: Ne putes quod animam tuam tantum liberes, quia in domo regis es præ cunctis Iudæis:
{7:14} And when Mordecai had heard this, he again sent word to Esther, saying, “Do not think that you will save so much as your own soul, just because you are in the king’s house and are above all the Jews.

{7:15} si enim nunc silueris, per aliam occasionem liberabuntur Iudæi: et tu, et domus patris tui peribitis. Et quis novit utrum idcirco ad regnum veneris, ut in tali tempore parareris?
{7:15} For, if you remain silent now, the Jews will be delivered through some other opportunity, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for this reason, so that you would be prepared for such a time as this?”

{7:16} Et mandavit ei (haud dubium quin esset Mardochæus) ut ingrederetur ad regem, et rogaret pro populo suo et pro patria sua.
{7:16} And he entrusted her (there was no question but that it was Mordecai) to go in to the king, and to petition on behalf of her people and her native land.

~ Verse 7:16 (which is 15:1 in the Latin Vulgate) is often omitted from English versions of Esther, even though it is consistently found in the Clementine Latin Vulgate. It has been placed here, in its logical position within the narrative.

{7:17} Rursumque Esther hæc Mardochæo verba mandavit:
{7:17} And again Esther sent to Mordecai in these words:

{7:18} Vade et congrega omnes Iudæos, quos in Susan reppereris, et orate pro me. Non comedatis, et non bibatis tribus diebus, et tribus noctibus: et ego cum ancillis meis similiter ieiunabo, et tunc ingrediar ad regem contra legem faciens, non vocata, tradensque me morti et periculo.
{7:18} “Go and gather together all the Jews whom you will find in Susa, and pray for me. Neither eat nor drink for three days and three nights, and I will fast with my handmaids similarly, and then I will go in to the king, doing what is against the law, not having been called, and so expose myself to mortal danger.”

~ Literally, the phrase “morti et periculo” means “death and danger,” but the more common expression “mortal danger” is a better fit.

{7:19} Ivit itaque Mardochæus, et fecit omnia, quæ ei Esther præceperat.
{7:19} And so Mordecai went, and he did everything that Esther had instructed him.

~ “Pergensque Mardochæus, fecit omnia, quæ ei mandaverat Esther.” is found before 13:8 – 14:19 in the Clementine Latin Vulgate, but it is merely a rephrasing of verse 4:17 (i.e. 7:19): “Ivit itaque Mardochæus, et fecit omnia, quæ ei Esther præceperat.”

{7:20} Mardochæus autem deprecatus est Dominum, memor omnium operum eius,
{7:20} Now Mordecai beseeched the Lord, remembering all his works,

{7:21} et dixit: Domine, Domine, Rex omnipotens, in ditione enim tua cuncta sunt posita, et non est qui possit tuæ resistere voluntati, si decreveris salvare Israel.
{7:21} and he said, “O Lord, Lord, almighty King, truly all things are possible for you, and there is no one who is able to resist your will, if you would determine to save Israel.

{7:22} Tu fecisti cælum et terram, et quidquid cæli ambitu continetur.
{7:22} You have created heaven and earth, and everything that is contained under the cycle of heaven.

{7:23} Dominus omnium es, nec est qui resistat maiestati tuæ.
{7:23} You are Lord of all, and there is no one who can resist your majesty.

{7:24} Cuncta nosti, et scis quia non pro superbia et contumelia, et aliqua gloriæ cupiditate fecerim hoc, ut non adorarem Aman superbissimum,
{7:24} You know everything, and you know that it was not out of arrogance or indignation or some desire for glory that I did this, so that I refused to adore the very proud Haman.

{7:25} (Libenter enim pro salute Israel etiam vestigia pedum eius deosculari paratus essem,)
{7:25} (For I was freely prepared, for the sake of the salvation of Israel, to have willingly kissed even the footsteps of his feet.)

{7:26} sed timui ne honorem Dei mei transferrem ad hominem, et ne quemquam adorarem, excepto Deo meo.
{7:26} But I feared, lest I should transfer the honor of my God to a man, and lest I should adore anyone except my God.

{7:27} Et nunc Domine, Rex, Deus Abraham miserere populi tui, quia volunt nos inimici nostri perdere, et hereditatem tuam delere.
{7:27} And now Lord, King, God of Abraham, may you have mercy on your people because our enemies want to destroy us and to erase your inheritance.

{7:28} Ne despicias partem tuam, quam redemisti tibi de Ægypto.
{7:28} Do not despise your portion, which you have redeemed for yourself out of Egypt.

{7:29} Exaudi deprecationem meam, et propitius esto sorti et funiculo tuo, et converte luctum nostrum in gaudium, ut viventes laudemus nomen tuum Domine, et ne claudas ora te canentium.
{7:29} Listen to my supplication, and be gracious to your lot and your token, and change our sorrow into gladness, so that, in living, we may praise your name, Lord; and do not close the mouths of those who sing to you.”

~ The phrase “sorti et funiculo tuo” literally means “your lot and string.” Funiculo is a thin rope or a cord or string. The word is used to refer to an ancient practice of using a string in a similar way to the casting of lots, i.e. to make a decision, often about a future event.

{7:30} Omnis quoque Israel pari mente et obsecratione clamavit ad Dominum, eo quod eis certa mors impenderet.
{7:30} Likewise, all Israel cried out to the Lord with the same intention and supplication because certain death was hanging over them.

[Esther 8]

{8:1} Esther quoque regina confugit ad Dominum, pavens periculum, quod imminebat.
{8:1} Queen Esther also, fearing the danger that was imminent, fled to the Lord.

{8:2} Cumque deposuisset vestes regias, fletibus et luctui apta indumenta suscepit, et pro unguentis variis, cinere et stercore implevit caput, et corpus suum humiliavit ieiuniis: omniaque loca, in quibus antea lætari consueverat, crinium laceratione complevit.
{8:2} And when she had put aside her royal apparel, she took up garments suitable for weeping and mourning, and instead of various ointments, she covered her head with ashes from burnt dung, and she humbled her body with fasting, and all the aspects of her beauty she covered with her torn hair.

~ Esther covered her head with “cinere et stercore,” literally, “ashes and filth” or “ashes and dung.” However, Esther did not literally put dung on her head. This was not the Jewish custom, as is clear from other sections of the text, where Mordecai and the other Jews put only ashes on their head. The correct understanding of this text leads to a more accurate, but less literal translation. In some arid lands, where there are not many trees to use as fuel for fires, people use dried animal dung to burn for their fires. Esther took ashes from such a fire and put them on her head. The translation should be “ashes from burnt dung,” rather than “ashes and dung.”

{8:3} Et deprecabatur Dominum Deum Israel, dicens: Domine mi, qui Rex noster es solus, adiuva me solitariam, et cuius præter te nullus est auxiliator alius.
{8:3} And she begged the Lord God of Israel, saying, “My Lord, who alone is our King, help me, a solitary woman, for there is no other helper but you.

{8:4} Periculum meum in manibus meis est.
{8:4} My peril is close at hand.

{8:5} Audivi a patre meo quod tu Domine tulisses Israel de cunctis gentibus, et patres nostros ex omnibus retro maioribus suis, ut possideres hereditatem sempiternam, fecistique eis sicut locutus es.
{8:5} I have heard from my father that you, Lord, chose Israel from among all nations and our fathers from among all their former ancestors, to possess them as an everlasting inheritance, and you have done for them just as you said.

{8:6} Peccavimus in conspectu tuo, et idcirco tradidisti nos in manus inimicorum nostrorum:
{8:6} We have sinned in your sight, and therefore you have delivered us into the hands of our enemies,

{8:7} coluimus enim deos eorum. Iustus es Domine:
{8:7} for we have worshipped their gods. You are just, O Lord.

{8:8} et nunc non eis sufficit, quod durissima nos opprimunt servitute, sed robur manuum suarum, idolorum potentiæ deputantes,
{8:8} And now they are not content to oppress us with a very difficult servitude, but attributing the strength of their hands to the power of their idols,

{8:9} volunt tua mutare promissa, et delere hereditatem tuam, et claudere ora laudantium te, atque extinguere gloriam templi et altaris tui,
{8:9} they want to alter your promises, and erase your inheritance, and close the mouths of those who praise you, and extinguish the glory of your temple and your altar,

{8:10} ut aperiant ora Gentium, et laudent idolorum fortitudinem, et prædicent carnalem regem in sempiternum.
{8:10} so that they may open the mouths of the nations, and praise the strength of idols, and proclaim a worldly king in perpetuity.

{8:11} Ne tradas Domine sceptrum tuum his, qui non sunt, ne rideant ad ruinam nostram: sed converte consilium eorum super eos, et eum, qui in nos cœpit sævire, disperde.
{8:11} Lord, do not hand over your scepter to that which does not exist, lest they laugh at our ruin, but turn their counsel upon themselves and destroy him who has begun to rage against us.

~ That which does not exist, “his, qui non sunt,” refers to the idols because such gods do not exist.

{8:12} Memento Domine, et ostende te nobis in tempore tribulationis nostræ, et da mihi fiduciam, Domine Rex deorum, et universæ potestatis:
{8:12} Be mindful, Lord, and show yourself to us in the time of our tribulation, and give me faith, Lord, King of gods and of every power.

{8:13} tribue sermonem compositum in ore meo in conspectu leonis, et transfer cor illius in odium hostis nostri, ut et ipse pereat, et ceteri, qui ei consentiunt.
{8:13} Grant fitting words to my mouth in the sight of the lion, and transform his heart to hate our enemy, so that both he, and the others who conspire with him, may perish.

~ The lion, leonis, here is the king and the enemy is Haman and the others.

{8:14} Nos autem libera manu tua, et adiuva me, nullum aliud auxilium habentem, nisi te, Domine, qui habes omnium scientiam,
{8:14} But free us by your hand, and help me, who has no other helper but you, Lord, who holds the knowledge of all things.

{8:15} et nosti quia oderim gloriam iniquorum, et detester cubile incircumcisorum, et omnis alienigenæ.
{8:15} And you know that I hate the glory of the wicked, and I detest the bed of the uncircumcised, and of all outsiders.

~ The word “alienigenæ” here refers not to persons from a foreign land, for Esther was herself a foreigner to the land of Persia, but rather to outsiders, those from another religion or no religion.

{8:16} Tu scis necessitatem meam, quod abominer signum superbiæ et gloriæ meæ, quod est super caput meum in diebus ostentationis meæ, et detester illud quasi pannum menstruatæ, et non portem in diebus silentii mei,
{8:16} You know my necessity, that I loathe the sign of my exaltation and glory, which is on my head in the days of my exhibition, and that I detest it like a menstruous rag and do not wear it in the days of my silence,

~ The sign of her exaltation is her crown, which she must wear when brought before the king and his associates (something Vashti refused to do), and perhaps also her royal garments. The days of her silence are the days when she does not have to present herself publicly before the king and others. Esther prefers the days of her silence over the days of her exhibition.

{8:17} et quod non comederim in mensa Aman, nec mihi placuerit convivium regis, et non biberim vinum libaminum:
{8:17} and that I have not eaten at Haman’s table, nor has the king’s feasts pleased me, and that I have not drunk the wine of his libations,

~ The “vinum libaminum” is the wine the king uses in his worship of idols and false gods.

{8:18} et numquam lætata sit ancilla tua, ex quo huc translata sum usque in præsentem diem, nisi in te Domine Deus Abraham.
{8:18} and that your handmaid has never rejoiced, from the time that I was carried here until this very day, except in you, Lord, God of Abraham.

{8:19} Deus fortis super omnes, exaudi vocem eorum, qui nullam aliam spem habent, et libera nos de manu iniquorum, et erue me a timore meo.
{8:19} O God, whose strength is above all things, heed the voice of those who have no other hope, and free us from the hand of the wicked, and rescue me from my fear.”

[Esther 9]

{9:1} Die autem tertio deposuit vestimenta ornatus sui, et circumdata est gloria sua.
{9:1} So, on the third day, she put away her ornate apparel, and surrounded herself with glory.

~ The glory she surrounded herself with was her glorious apparel, including her crown. Notice that she takes off ornate apparel and puts on even better garments.

{9:2} Cumque regio fulgeret habitu, et invocasset omnium rectorem et salvatorem Deum, assumpsit duas famulas,
{9:2} And when she was shining in a royal manner, and had called upon God, the Guide and Savior of all, she took two maids with her.

{9:3} et super unam quidem innitebatur, quasi præ deliciis et nimia teneritudine corpus suum ferre non sustinens:
{9:3} And she was leaning upon one of them, as if, out of delicateness and great tenderness, she were not able to bear carrying her own body.

{9:4} altera autem famularum sequebatur dominam, defluentia in humum indumenta sustentans.
{9:4} And the other maid followed her lady, carrying her garment flowing on the ground.

{9:5} Ipsa autem roseo colore vultum perfusa, et gratis ac nitentibus oculis tristem celabat animum, et nimio timore contractum.
{9:5} Yet she had a rosy color pouring over her face, for, with gracious and bright eyes, she restrained a sorrowful soul and very great fear.

{9:6} Ingressa igitur cuncta per ordinem ostia, stetit contra regem, ubi ille residebat super solium regni sui, indutus vestibus regiis, auroque fulgens, et pretiosis lapidibus, eratque terribilis aspectu.
{9:6} And so, entering hesitantly through a series of doors, she stood opposite the king, where he sat upon his royal throne, clothed in royal robes, and shining with gold and precious stones. And he was terrible to behold.

{9:7} Cumque elevasset faciem, et ardentibus oculis furorem pectoris indicasset, regina corruit, et in pallorem colore mutato, lassum super ancillulam reclinavit caput.
{9:7} And when he had lifted up his face, and with burning eyes had shown the fury of his heart, the queen collapsed, and her color turned pale, and she rested her exhausted head upon her handmaid.

{9:8} Convertitque Deus spiritum regis in mansuetudinem, et festinus ac metuens exilivit de solio, et sustentans eam ulnis suis, donec rediret ad se, his verbis blandiebatur:
{9:8} And God changed the king’s spirit into gentleness; quickly and apprehensively, he leapt from his throne, and lifting her up in his arms until she came to herself, he coaxed her with these words:

{9:9} Quid habes Esther? Ego sum frater tuus, noli metuere.
{9:9} “What is the matter, Esther? I am your brother, do not be afraid.

~ The word “frater” meaning brother is often used in the Bible to refer to persons who are not children of the same parents. The word brother has broad meaning in the Bible.

{9:10} Non morieris: non enim pro te, sed pro omnibus hæc lex constituta est.
{9:10} You will not die. For this law has not been established for you, but for all others.

{9:11} Accede igitur, et tange sceptrum.
{9:11} So approach and touch the scepter.”

{9:12} Cumque illa reticeret, tulit auream virgam, et posuit super collum eius, et osculatus est eam, et ait: Cur mihi non loqueris?
{9:12} And since she remained silent, he took the golden scepter and placed it on her neck, and he kissed her and said, “Why do you not speak to me?”

{9:13} Quæ respondit: Vidi te domine quasi Angelum Dei, et conturbatum est cor meum præ timore gloriæ tuæ.
{9:13} She answered, “I saw you, my lord, as an angel of God, and my heart was disturbed for fear of your glory.

{9:14} Valde enim mirabilis es domine, et facies tua plena est gratiarum.
{9:14} For you, my lord, are great and wonderful, and your face is full of grace.”

~ Here is an example in Scripture of the term “full of grace” also found in the Hail Mary prayer.

{9:15} Cumque loqueretur, rursus corruit, et pene exanimata est.
{9:15} And while she was speaking, she collapsed again, because she was out of breath.

~ The word pene can have various very diverse meanings. In this context, it is certainly used to mean “because” or “for” and is not used as a noun. The word exanimata can refer to death, (ex anima, out of the soul, or the soul leaves). The word can also mean out of breath, since anima mean spirit or breath or the breath of life.

{9:16} Rex autem turbabatur, et omnes ministri eius consolabantur eam.
{9:16} But the king was troubled, and all his servants consoled her.

Textus alternus de Hebraico, versus 17-18:
Alternate text from the Hebrew, verses 17-18:

~ Verses 9:17 and 9:18 are numbered 5:1 and 5:2 in the Latin Vulgate. These are the verses in the Hebrew which cover the same portion of the narrative as the Greek verses 9:1 – 9:16.

{9:17} Die autem tertio induta est Esther regalibus vestimentis, et stetit in atrio domus regiæ, quod erat interius, contra basilicam regis: at ille sedebat super solium suum in consistorio palatii contra ostium domus.
{9:17} And so, on the third day, Esther had put on her royal apparel and was standing in the atrium of the king’s house, which was inside, opposite the king’s hall, while he was sitting on his throne in the council room of the palace, opposite the entrance of the house.

{9:18} Cumque vidisset Esther reginam stantem, placuit oculis eius, et extendit contra eam virgam auream, quam tenebat manu: Quæ accedens, osculata est summitatem virgæ eius:
{9:18} And when he saw Esther the queen standing there, she pleased his eyes, and he extended toward her the golden scepter, which he held in his hand, and she approached and kissed the top of his scepter.

{9:19} Dixitque ad eam rex: Quid vis Esther regina? quæ est petitio tua? etiam si dimidiam partem regni petieris, dabitur tibi.
{9:19} And the king said to her, “What do you wish, queen Esther? What is your request? Even if you ask for half of the kingdom, it will be given to you.”

{9:20} At illa respondit: Si regi placet, obsecro ut venias ad me hodie, et Aman tecum ad convivium, quod paravi.
{9:20} But she responded, “If it pleases the king, I beg you to come with me today, and Haman with you, to the feast that I have prepared.”

{9:21} Statimque rex, Vocate, inquit, cito Aman ut Esther obediat voluntati. Venerunt itaque rex et Aman ad convivium, quod eis regina paraverat.
{9:21} And immediately the king said, “Call Haman quickly, so that he may obey Esther’s will. And so the king and Haman came to the feast, which the queen had prepared for them.

{9:22} Dixitque ei rex, postquam vinum biberat abundanter: Quid petis ut detur tibi? et pro qua re postulas? etiam si dimidiam partem regni mei petieris, impetrabis.
{9:22} And the king said to her, after he had drunk wine abundantly, “What are you asking for that should be given to you? And which things do you require? Even if you request half of my kingdom, you will obtain it.”

{9:23} Cui respondit Esther: Petitio mea, et preces sunt istæ:
{9:23} Esther answered him, “My petition and prayer is this:

{9:24} Si inveni in conspectu regis gratiam, et si regi placet ut det mihi quod postulo, et meam impleat petitionem: veniat rex et Aman ad convivium quod paravi eis, et cras aperiam regi voluntatem meam.
{9:24} If I have found favor in the sight of the king, and if it pleases the king to give me what I ask, and to fulfill my petition, let the king and Haman come to the feast which I have prepared for them, and tomorrow I will open my mind to the king.”

{9:25} Egressus est itaque illo die Aman lætus et alacer. Cumque vidisset Mardochæum sedentem ante fores palatii, et non solum non assurrexisse sibi, sed nec motum quidem de loco sessionis suæ, indignatus est valde:
{9:25} And so Haman went out that day joyful and cheerful. And when he saw that Mordecai was sitting in front of the gate of the palace, and that he alone did not get up for him, but did not so much as move from the place where he sat, he was very indignant.

{9:26} et dissimulata ira, reversus in domum suam, convocavit ad se amicos suos, et Zares uxorem suam:
{9:26} But, concealing his anger and returning into his house, he gathered to him his friends and Zeresh, his wife.

{9:27} et exposuit illis magnitudinem divitiarum suarum, filiorumque turbam, et quanta eum gloria super omnes principes et servos suos rex elevasset.
{9:27} And he explained to them the greatness of his riches, and the influence of his sons, and how, with such glory, the king had elevated him above all his rulers and servants.

~ The word turbam means a disturbance or a commotion. It can also refer to a large crowd or a large number of persons. However, in this context, Haman is boasting about his life. It is not much of a boast to say that ones sons cause a commotion, nor to say merely that one has many sons. Rather, Haman is boasting that his sons are influential, in that they can stir things up when they wish.

{9:28} Et post hæc ait: Regina quoque Esther nullum alium vocavit ad convivium cum rege, præter me: apud quam etiam cras cum rege pransurus sum.
{9:28} And after this, he said, “Also, queen Esther has called no one else to the feast with the king, except me. And I will be dining with the king again tomorrow.

{9:29} Et cum hæc omnia habeam, nihil me habere puto, quamdiu videro Mardochæum Iudæum sedentem ante fores regias.
{9:29} And though I have all these things, I consider that I have nothing as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting in front of the king’s gate.”

{9:30} Responderuntque ei Zales uxor eius, et ceteri amici: Iube parari excelsam trabem, habentem altitudinis quinquaginta cubitos, et dic mane regi ut appendatur super eam Mardochæus, et sic ibis cum rege lætus ad convivium. Placuit ei consilium, et iussit excelsam parari crucem.
{9:30} And Zeresh his wife and his other friends answered him, “Order a great beam to be prepared, having a height of fifty cubits, and in the morning speak to the king, so that Mordecai may be hanged from it, and so you will go joyfully with the king to the feast.” This advice pleased him, and so he ordered a high cross to be prepared.

~ The word crucem means cross. Elsewhere in the text the word patibulo is used, meaning gallows. Both words refer to the same “T” shaped wooden structure used for hangings. This is not the type of cross used by the Romans for executions.

[Esther 10]

{10:1} Noctem illam duxit rex insomnem, iussitque sibi afferri historias et annales priorum temporum. Quæ cum illo præsente legerentur,
{10:1} The king passed that night without sleep, and so he ordered the histories and chronicles of former times to be brought to him. And when they were reading them before him,

{10:2} ventum est ad illum locum ubi scriptum erat quo modo nunciasset Mardochæus insidias Bagathan, et Thares eunuchorum, regem Assuerum iugulare cupientium.
{10:2} they came to that place where it had been written, how Mordecai had reported the treachery of Bigthan and Teresh the eunuchs, who desired to cut the throat of king Artaxerxes.

~ The word “iugulare” means to kill someone by cutting their throat. “Jugulare” refers to the throat. The English word jugular, as in the jugular vein, is derived from the Latin.

{10:3} Quod cum audisset rex, ait: Quid pro hac fide honoris ac præmii Mardochæus consecutus est? Dixerunt ei servi illius ac ministri: Nihil omnino mercedis accepit.
{10:3} When the king had heard this, he said, “What honor and reward has Mordecai been given for this fidelity?” His servants and ministers said to him, “He has received no compensation at all.”

~ Compensation, or reward, or gift.

{10:4} Statimque rex, Quis est, inquit, in atrio? Aman quippe interius atrium domus regiæ intraverat, ut suggereret regi, et iuberet Mardochæum affigi patibulo, quod ei fuerat præparatum.
{10:4} And immediately the king said, “Who is in the atrium?” For, you see, Haman was entering the inner atrium of the king’s house to suggest to the king that he should order Mordecai to be hanged on the gallows, which had been prepared for him.

{10:5} Responderunt pueri: Aman stat in atrio. Dixitque rex: Ingrediatur.
{10:5} The servants answered, “Haman is standing in the atrium.” And the king said, “Let him enter.”

{10:6} Cumque esset ingressus, ait illi: Quid debet fieri viro, quem rex honorare desiderat? Cogitans autem in corde suo Aman, et reputans quod nullum alium rex, nisi se, vellet honorare,
{10:6} And when he had entered, he said to him, “What ought to be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?” But Haman, thinking in his heart and supposing that the king would honor no one else but himself,

~ Interestingly, the author of this book uses “vir” when the king is speaking, because he is referring to Mordecai. The word “vir” has a generally positive connotation, not unlike the word “gentleman.” But, in the next verse, the author has Haman use the word “homo,” meaning merely “man,” because Haman is referring to himself. The author puts the less complementary word in Haman’s mouth to show that Haman is not worthy to be called “vir.” Haman is not a gentleman, but merely a man.

{10:7} respondit: Homo, quem rex honorare cupit,
{10:7} answered, “The man whom the king wishes to honor,

{10:8} debet indui vestibus regiis, et imponi super equum, qui de sella regis est, et accipere regium diadema super caput suum,
{10:8} ought to be clothed with the king’s apparel, and be set upon the horse that the king rides, and receive the royal crown upon his head.

{10:9} et primus de regiis principibus, ac tyrannis teneat equum eius, et per plateam civitatis incedens clamet, et dicat: Sic honorabitur, quemcumque voluerit rex honorare.
{10:9} And let the first of the king’s rulers and sovereigns hold his horse, and, as they advance through the street of the city, proclaim before him and say, ‘Thus shall he be honored, whom the king decides to honor.’ ”

{10:10} Dixitque ei rex: Festina, et sumpta stola et equo, fac, ut locutus es, Mardochæo Iudæo, qui sedet ante fores palatii. Cave ne quidquam de his, quæ locutus es, prætermittas.
{10:10} And the king said to him, “Hurry, take the robe and the horse, and do as you have said to Mordecai the Jew, who sits in front of the gate of the palace. Be careful not to omit any of those things which you have mentioned.”

{10:11} Tulit itaque Aman stolam et equum, indutumque Mardochæum in platea civitatis, et impositum equo præcedebat, atque clamabat: Hoc honore condignus est, quemcumque rex voluerit honorare.
{10:11} And so Haman took the robe and the horse, and arraying Mordecai in the street of the city, and setting him on the horse, he went before him and cried out, “He is worthy of this honor, whom the king has decided to honor.”

{10:12} Reversusque est Mardochæus ad ianuam palatii: et Aman festinavit ire in domum suam, lugens et operto capite:
{10:12} And Mordecai returned to the palace door. And Haman hurried to go to his house, mourning and hiding his head.

{10:13} narravitque Zares uxori suæ, et amicis omnia quæ evenissent sibi. Cui responderunt sapientes, quos habebat in consilio, et uxor eius: Si de semine Iudæorum est Mardochæus, ante quem cadere cœpisti, non poteris ei resistere, sed cades in conspectu eius.
{10:13} And he explained to Zeresh his wife and to his friends all that had happened to him. And the wise men, whom he held in counsel, and his wife, answered him, “If Mordecai, before whom you have begun to fall, is from the offspring of the Jews, you will not be able to withstand him, but you will fall in his sight.”

{10:14} Adhuc illis loquentibus, venerunt eunuchi regis, et cito eum ad convivium, quod regina paraverat, pergere compulerunt.
{10:14} As they were still speaking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and compelled him to go quickly to the feast, which the queen had prepared.

[Esther 11]

{11:1} Intravit itaque rex et Aman, ut biberent cum regina.
{11:1} And so the king and Haman entered to drink with the queen.

{11:2} Dixitque ei rex etiam secunda die, postquam vino incaluerat: Quæ est petitio tua Esther ut detur tibi? et quid vis fieri? etiam si dimidiam partem regni mei petieris, impetrabis.
{11:2} And the king said to her again on the second day, after he was warmed with wine, “What is your request, Esther, so that it may be given to you? And what do you want done? Even if you ask for half of my kingdom, you will obtain it.”

{11:3} Ad quem illa respondit: Si inveni gratiam in oculis tuis o rex, et si tibi placet, dona mihi animam meam pro qua rogo, et populum meum pro quo obsecro.
{11:3} She answered him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O king, and if it pleases you, spare my soul, I ask you, and spare my people, I beg you.

{11:4} Traditi enim sumus ego et populus meus, ut conteramur, iugulemur, et pereamus. Atque utinam in servos et famulas venderemur: esset tolerabile malum, et gemens tacerem: nunc autem hostis noster est, cuius crudelitas redundat in regem.
{11:4} For I and my people have been handed over to be crushed, to be slain, and to perish. And if we were only being sold as servants and slaves, the evil might be tolerable, and I would have mourned in silence. But now our enemy is one whose cruelty overflows upon the king.”

{11:5} Respondensque rex Assuerus ait: Quis est iste, et cuius potentiæ, ut hæc audeat facere?
{11:5} And king Artaxerxes answered and said, “Who is this, and of what power, that he would dare to do these things?”

{11:6} Dixitque Esther: Hostis et inimicus noster pessimus iste est Aman. Quod ille audiens, illico obstupuit, vultum regis ac reginæ ferre non sustinens.
{11:6} And Esther said, “This is our most wicked enemy and foe: Haman!” Hearing this, Haman was suddenly dumbfounded, unable to bear the faces of the king and the queen.

~ “Hostis” means enemy in the sense of the enemy of a nation or a large group, or an enemy in war or battle. The word “inimicus” tends more towards the meaning of a personal enemy.

{11:7} Rex autem iratus surrexit, et de loco convivii intravit in hortum arboribus consitum. Aman quoque surrexit ut rogaret Esther reginam pro anima sua, intellexit enim a rege sibi paratum malum.
{11:7} But the king, being angry, rose up and, from the place of the feast, entered into the arboretum of the garden. Haman likewise rose up to entreat Esther the queen for his soul, for he understood that evil was prepared for him by the king.

~ Or, for his life.

{11:8} Qui cum reversus esset de horto nemoribus consito, et intrasset convivii locum, reperit Aman super lectulum corruisse, in quo iacebat Esther, et ait: Etiam reginam vult opprimere, me præsente, in domo mea. Necdum verbum de ore regis exierat, et statim operuerunt faciem eius.
{11:8} When the king returned from the arboretum of the garden and entered into the place of the feast, he found Haman collapsed on the couch on which Esther lay, and he said, “And now he wishes to oppress the queen, in my presence, in my house!” The word had not yet gone out of the king’s mouth, and immediately they covered his face.

{11:9} Dixitque Harbona, unus de eunuchis, qui stabant in ministerio regis: En lignum, quod paraverat Mardochæo, qui locutus est pro rege, stat in domo Aman, habens altitudinis quinquaginta cubitos. Cui dixit rex: Appendite eum in eo.
{11:9} And Harbona, one of the eunuchs who stood in ministry to the king, said, “Behold the wood, which he had prepared for Mordecai, who spoke up on behalf of the king, stands in Haman’s house, having a height of fifty cubits.” The king said to him, “Hang him from it.”

~ The gallows at Haman’s house has been called “patibulo,” “crucem,” and here, “lignum,” respectively translated as gallows, cross, and wood.

{11:10} Suspensus est itaque Aman in patibulo quod paraverat Mardochæo: et regis ira quievit.
{11:10} And so Haman was hanged on the gallows, which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king’s anger was quieted.

[Esther 12]

{12:1} Die illo dedit rex Assuerus Esther reginæ domum Aman adversarii Iudæorum, et Mardochæus ingressus est ante faciem regis. Confessa est enim ei Esther quod esset patruus suus.
{12:1} On that day king, Artaxerxes gave the house of Haman, the adversary of the Jews, to queen Esther, and Mordecai entered before the king. For Esther had confessed to him that he was her paternal uncle.

{12:2} Tulitque rex annulum, quem ab Aman recipi iusserat, et tradidit Mardochæo. Esther autem constituit Mardochæum super domum suam.
{12:2} And the king took the ring, which he had ordered to be taken from Haman, and he handed it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed Mordecai over her house.

{12:3} Nec his contenta, procidit ad pedes regis, flevitque et locuta ad eum oravit ut malitiam Aman Agagitæ, et machinationes eius pessimas, quas excogitaverat contra Iudæos, iuberet irritas fieri.
{12:3} Not content with these things, she threw herself down at the king’s feet and wept, and, speaking to him, pleaded that he would give orders that the malice of Haman the Agagite, and his most wicked schemes, which he had contrived against the Jews, would be made ineffective.

{12:4} At ille ex more sceptrum aureum protendit manu, quo signum clementiæ monstrabatur: illaque consurgens stetit ante eum,
{12:4} But he, as was the custom, extended the golden scepter with his hand, which was the sign of clemency, and she rose up and stood before him.

{12:5} et ait: Si placet regi, et si inveni gratiam in oculis eius, et deprecatio mea non ei videtur esse contraria, obsecro, ut novis epistolis, veteres Aman litteræ, insidiatoris et hostis Iudæorum, quibus eos in cunctis regis provinciis perire præceperat, corrigantur.
{12:5} And she said, “If it pleases the king, and if I have found favor in his eyes, and my request is not seen to be disagreeable to him, I beg you that the former letters of Haman, the traitor and enemy of the Jews, by which he instructed them to be destroyed in all the king’s provinces, may be corrected by new letters.

{12:6} Quo modo enim potero sustinere necem et interfectionem populi mei?
{12:6} For how will I be able to endure the murder and execution of my people?”

{12:7} Responditque rex Assuerus Esther reginæ, et Mardochæo Iudæo: Domum Aman concessi Esther, et ipsum iussi affigi cruci, quia ausus est manum mittere in Iudæos.
{12:7} And king Artaxerxes answered Esther the queen and Mordecai the Jew, “I have granted Haman’s house to Esther, and I have ordered him to be fastened to a cross, because he dared to lay hands on the Jews.

{12:8} Scribite ergo Iudæis, sicut vobis placet, regis nomine, signantes litteras annulo meo. Hæc enim consuetudo erat, ut epistolis, quæ ex regis nomine mittebantur, et illius annulo signatæ erant, nemo auderet contradicere.
{12:8} Therefore, write to the Jews, just as it pleases you, in the king’s name, sealing the letters with my ring.” For this was the custom, that letters which were sent in the king’s name and were sealed with his ring, no one would dare to contradict.

{12:9} Accitisque scribis et librariis regis (erat autem tempus tertii mensis, qui appellatur Siban) vigesima et tertia die illius scriptæ sunt epistolæ, ut Mardochæus voluerat, ad Iudæos, et ad principes, procuratoresque et iudices, qui centum vigintiseptem provinciis ab India usque ad Æthiopiam præsidebant: provinciæ atque provinciæ, populo et populo iuxta linguas et litteras suas, et Iudæis, prout legere poterant, et audire.
{12:9} Then the scribes and copyists were brought in, (now it was the time of the third month which is called Sivan,) on the twenty-third day of the month, and letters were written, as Mordecai wanted, to the Jews, and to the governors, and procurators, and judges, who presided over the one hundred twenty-seven provinces, from India all the way to Ethiopia: to one province and another, to one people and another, in accordance with their languages and letters, and to the Jews, exactly as they were able to read and hear.

~ The scribes would translate the letter, and perhaps help to compose the letter. The copyists would write out copies of the letter, and perhaps even take dictation from the scribes as they translated.

{12:10} Ipsæque epistolæ, quæ regis nomine mittebantur, annulo ipsius obsignatæ sunt, et missæ per veredarios: qui per omnes provincias discurrentes, veteres litteras novis nunciis prævenirent.
{12:10} And these letters, which were sent in the king’s name, had been signed with his ring, and were sent by swift couriers who were to rush in every direction, through all the provinces, so as to prevent the former letters with new messages.

~ The word “veredarios” is derived from “veredus,” referring to a swift horse; veredarios refers to couriers using swift horses.

{12:11} Quibus imperavit rex, ut convenirent Iudæos per singulas civitates, et in unum præciperent congregari ut starent pro animabus suis, et omnes inimicos suos cum coniugibus ac liberis et universis domibus, interficerent atque delerent, et spolia eorum diriperent.
{12:11} The king commanded them to bring together the Jews throughout each city, and to instruct them to join together, so as to make a stand for their lives, and to execute and destroy all their enemies, with their wives and children and their entire houses, and to plunder their spoil.

~ The word “interficerent” refers to killing under authority, an execution rather than a murder.

{12:12} Et constituta est per omnes provincias una ultionis dies, id est tertiadecima mensis duodecimi Adar.
{12:12} And one day of retribution was established throughout all the provinces, namely, the thirteenth of the twelfth month Adar.

[Esther 13]

{13:1} Rex magnus Artaxerxes ab India usque Æthiopiam centum vigintiseptem provinciarum ducibus ac principibus, qui nostræ iussioni obediunt, salutem dicit.
{13:1} “Artaxerxes, the great king from India all the way to Ethiopia, to the generals and leaders of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces that obey our command: greetings, he says.

{13:2} Multi bonitate principum et honore, qui in eos collatus est, abusi sunt in superbiam:
{13:2} In arrogance, many have abused the goodness of leaders and the honor that has been bestowed on them,

{13:3} et non solum subiectos regibus nituntur opprimere, sed datam sibi gloriam non ferentes, in ipsos, qui dederunt, moliuntur insidias.
{13:3} and they strive, not only to oppress the king’s subjects, but, not acting according to the glory given to them, set in motion a plan to ambush those very ones who gave it.

~ The phrase “moliuntur insidias” is here translated loosely as “set in motion a plan to ambush.” The word moliuntur means to undertake something, or to labor or struggle to do something, or to set something (a plan) in motion. Insidias refers to treachery or a plot or an ambush.

{13:4} Nec contenti sunt gratias non agere beneficiis, et humanitatis in se iura violare, sed Dei quoque cuncta cernentis arbitrantur se posse fugere sententiam.
{13:4} Neither are they content to withhold thanks for benefits and to violate in themselves the laws of humanity, but they also think they are able to escape from every sentence of the sifting judgment of God.

~ The word cernentis means to sift or to distinguish or to discern. In this translation, the well-known phrase “sifting judgment of God” is fittingly applied.

{13:5} Et in tantum vesaniæ proruperunt, ut eos, qui credita sibi officia diligenter observant, et ita cuncta agunt ut omnium laude digni sint, mendaciorum cuniculis conentur subvertere,
{13:5} And they rush forth in such insanity that they attempt to subvert by filthy lies those who carefully fulfill the offices delegated to them and so perform everything that is deserving of the praise of all.

~ The phrase “mendaciorum cuniculis” is a very strong expression for a royal letter. The word “cuniculis” refers to excrement or filth, and can be a rather objectionable and base term.

{13:6} dum aures principum simplices, et ex sua natura alios æstimantes, callida fraude decipiunt.
{13:6} Meanwhile, they craftily deceive by fraud the ears of single-minded leaders, and they judge others according to their own nature.

~ The word “simplices” means simple or single or unaffected. In this context, “principum simplices” means a single-minded leader or a clear minded leader. The implication is that the leader does not bear much blame.

{13:7} Quæ res et ex veteribus probatur historiis, et ex his, quæ geruntur quotidie, quomodo malis quorumdam suggestionibus regum studia depraventur.
{13:7} These things are proven both from the ancient histories and from those things which happen daily: how the zeal of kings can be corrupted by the evil suggestions of such persons.

{13:8} Unde providendum est paci omnium provinciarum.
{13:8} Therefore, we will make provision for the peace of all the provinces.

{13:9} Nec putare debetis, si diversa iubeamus, ex animi nostri venire levitate, sed pro qualitate et necessitate temporum, ut reipublicæ poscit utilitas, ferre sententiam.
{13:9} Neither should you think, if we change our orders, that they come from a fickle mind, but that we draw conclusions from the quality and necessity of the times, just as the expediency of the public good demands.

~ Animi often means soul or life, but it can, as in this case, refer to the mind.

{13:10} Et ut manifestius quod dicimus, intelligatis, Aman filius Amadathi, et animo et gente Macedo, alienusque a Persarum sanguine, et pietatem nostram sua crudelitate commaculans, peregrinus a nobis susceptus est:
{13:10} And, so that you may more clearly understand what we are saying: Haman the son of Hammedatha, a Macedonian both in mind and ancestry, and foreign to Persian blood, and with his cruelty contaminating our piety, was accepted by us as a sojourner.

~ He was accepted as a sojourner, as a wayward traveler in need.

{13:11} et tantam in se expertus humanitatem, ut pater noster vocaretur, et adoraretur ab omnibus post regem secundus:
{13:11} And our humanity proved to be so great towards him that he was called our father and was adored by all as second only to the king.

{13:12} qui in tantum arrogantiæ tumorem sublatus est, ut regno privare nos niteretur et spiritu.
{13:12} But he was so filled with arrogance as to strive to deprive us of our kingdom and our life.

{13:13} Nam Mardochæum, cuius fide et beneficiis vivimus, et consortem regni nostri Esther cum omni gente sua novis quibusdam atque inauditis machinis expetivit in mortem:
{13:13} For example, with certain strange and unheard of machinations, he sought the death of Mordecai, whose faith and kindness kept us alive, and Esther, the partner of our kingdom, and all their people.

{13:14} hoc cogitans ut illis interfectis, insidiaretur nostræ solitudini, et regnum Persarum transferret in Macedonas.
{13:14} This he planned so that, after they were executed, he might work treason against us in our solitude and transfer the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.

{13:15} Nos autem a pessimo mortalium Iudæos neci destinatos, in nulla penitus culpa reperimus, sed e contrario iustis utentes legibus,
{13:15} But we, having been resolved to ruin in death the mortal Jews, discovered no fault within them, but on the contrary, they use just laws

~ Clearly, the text is saying that the king had been resolved (destinatos, having been resolved) to kill the Jews, but changed his mind when he discovered no fault in them.

{13:16} et filios altissimi et maximi, semperque viventis Dei, cuius beneficio et patribus nostris et nobis regnum est traditum, et usque hodie custoditur.
{13:16} and are sons of the highest and greatest and ever-living God, by whose kindness the kingdom was handed down both to our fathers and to us, and is cared for even unto this day.

{13:17} Unde eas litteras, quas sub nomine nostro ille direxerat, sciatis esse irritas.
{13:17} Therefore, you should understand to be null and void those letters that he administered under our name.

~ The word “irritas” means “ineffective” or “null and void.”

{13:18} Pro quo scelere ante portas huius urbis, id est, Susan, et ipse qui machinatus est, et omnis cognatio eius pendet in patibulis: non nobis, sed Deo reddente ei quod meruit.
{13:18} For this crime, before the gates of this city, that is, Susa, both he who devised it, and all his associates, hang on gallows: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.

~ The word “cognatio” often refers to relatives, but it can include close friends or close associates.

{13:19} Hoc autem edictum, quod nunc mittimus, in cunctis urbibus proponatur, ut liceat Iudæis uti legibus suis.
{13:19} But this edict, which we now send, shall be displayed in all cities so that the Jews may be allowed to use their own laws.

{13:20} Quibus debetis esse adminiculo, ut eos, qui se ad necem eorum paraverant, possint interficere tertiadecima die mensis duodecimi, qui vocatur Adar.
{13:20} You must be a support to them, so that they may be able to execute those, who themselves had prepared to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.

~ Notice that the act of the Jews killing their enemies is called an execution (interficere, to kill by authority), whereas the act of their enemies planning to kill the Jews is called a killing or murder (necem). The author’s choice of words show the understanding that this act by the Jews is lawful, whereas the act planned by Haman, though done under the guise of authority, was unlawful.

{13:21} Hanc enim diem, Deus omnipotens, mœroris et luctus, eis vertit in gaudium.
{13:21} For the almighty God has turned this day of grief and sorrow into joy for them.

~ Again, the verb vertit is used to indicate the change of fortune of the Jews.

{13:22} Unde et vos inter ceteros festos dies, hanc habetote diem, et celebrate eam cum omni lætitia, ut et in posterum cognoscatur,
{13:22} Therefore, you too will keep this day, along with the other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, so that it may be known even by future generations.

~ Or, by (your) posterity.

{13:23} omnes, qui fideliter Persis obediunt, dignam pro fide recipere mercedem: qui autem insidiantur regno eorum, perire pro scelere.
{13:23} All those who faithfully obey the Persians deserve, for their fidelity, to receive a reward, but those who are traitors to their kingdom deserve to be destroyed for their crime.

{13:24} Omnis autem provincia et civitas, quæ noluerit sollemnitatis huius esse particeps, gladio et igne pereat, et sic deleatur, ut non solum hominibus, sed etiam bestiis invia sit in sempiternum, pro exemplo contemptus, et inobedientiæ.
{13:24} But every province and city, which is not willing to participate in this solemnity, must perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in this way so that they will be forever an indisputable example of contempt and disobedience, not only to humans, but even to wild animals.”

~ The word “invia” means impassable or inaccessible, but in this context, it refers to something that one cannot ignore or explain away, i.e., something intellectually impassable or indisputable.

{13:25} Summaque epistolæ hæc fuit, ut in omnibus terris ac populis, qui regis Assueri subiacebant imperio, notum fieret, paratos esse Iudæos ad capiendam vindictam de hostibus suis.
{13:25} And such was the content of the letter, so that it would be made known in all lands and nations, which are subject to the authority of king Artaxerxes, that the Jews have been made ready to be vindicated of their enemies.

{13:26} Egressique sunt veredarii celeres nuncia perferentes, et edictum regis pependit in Susan.
{13:26} And so the swift couriers departed in haste, carrying through the announcement, and the king’s edict was hung up in Susa.

{13:27} Mardochæus autem de palatio, et de conspectu regis egrediens, fulgebat vestibus regiis, hyacinthinis videlicet et aeriis, coronam auream portans in capite, et amictus serico pallio atque purpureo. Omnisque civitas exultavit, atque lætata est.
{13:27} But Mordecai, going forth from the palace and from the king’s presence, shone in royal apparel the color of hyacinth and of the sky, wearing a golden crown on his head, and clothed with a cloak of silk and purple. And all the city rejoiced and was joyful.

{13:28} Iudæis autem nova lux oriri visa est, gaudium, honor, et tripudium.
{13:28} But for the Jews, a new light seemed to rise; there was joy, honor, and dancing.

~ Or, more loosely: “But the Jews saw a new light rise....”

{13:29} Apud omnes populos, urbes, atque provincias, quocumque regis iussa veniebant, mira exultatio, epulæ atque convivia, et festus dies: in tantum ut plures alterius gentis et sectæ eorum religioni et ceremoniis iungerentur. Grandis enim cunctos Iudaici nominis terror invaserat.
{13:29} With all the peoples, cities, and provinces, wherever the king’s orders arrived, there was wonderful rejoicing, banquets and feasts, and a solemn holy day, so much so that many of the other nations joined themselves to their religious practices and ceremonies. For a great fear of the name of the Jews had overcome them all.

[Esther 14]

{14:1} Igitur duodecimi mensis, quem Adar vocari ante iam diximus, tertiadecima die, quando cunctis Iudæis interfectio parabatur, et hostes eorum inhiabant sanguini, versa vice Iudæi superiores esse cœperunt, et se de adversariis vindicare.
{14:1} Therefore, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which as we have said before is called Adar, when all the Jews were prepared to be executed and their enemies were greedy for their blood, the situation turned around, and the Jews began to have the upper hand and to vindicate themselves of their adversaries.

~ “Versa vice” means, literally, “around turn.”

{14:2} Congregatique sunt per singulas civitates, oppida, et loca ut extenderent manum contra inimicos, et persecutores suos. Nullusque ausus est resistere, eo quod omnes populos magnitudinis eorum formido penetrarat.
{14:2} And they gathered together throughout each city, and town, and place, so as to extend their hands against their enemies and their persecutors. And no one dared to resist them, because their great power had pierced all the peoples.

{14:3} Nam et provinciarum iudices, et duces, et procuratores, omnisque dignitas, quæ singulis locis ac operibus præerat, extollebant Iudæos timore Mardochæi:
{14:3} For even the judges of the provinces, and the rulers, and the procurators, and everyone of dignity, who presided over every place and work, extolled the Jews for fear of Mordecai.

{14:4} quem principem esse palatii, et plurimum posse cognoverant: fama quoque nominis eius crescebat quotidie, et per cunctorum ora volitabat.
{14:4} For they knew him to be the leader of the palace and to have much power. Likewise, the fame of his name increased daily and flew everywhere through word of mouth.

{14:5} Itaque percusserunt Iudæi inimicos suos plaga magna, et occiderunt eos, reddentes eis quod sibi paraverant facere:
{14:5} And so the Jews struck their enemies like a great plague and killed them, repaying according to what they had prepared to do to them,

{14:6} in tantum ut etiam in Susan quingentos viros interficerent, extra decem filios Aman Agagitæ hostis Iudæorum: quorum ista sunt nomina:
{14:6} so much so that even in Susa they executed five hundred men, besides the ten sons of Haman the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews, and their names are these:

{14:7} Pharsandatha, et Delphon, et Esphatha,
{14:7} Parshandatha, and Dalphon, and Aspatha

{14:8} et Phoratha, et Adalia, et Aridatha,
{14:8} and Poratha, and Adalia, and Aridatha,

{14:9} et Phermesta et Arisai, et Aridai, et Iezatha.
{14:9} and Parmashta, and Arisai, and Aridai, and Vaizatha.

{14:10} Quos cum occidissent, prædas de substantiis eorum tangere noluerunt.
{14:10} When they had slain them, they were unwilling to touch the spoils of their belongings.

~ Or, the spoils of their necessities.

{14:11} Statimque numerus eorum, qui occisi erant in Susan, ad regem relatus est.
{14:11} And immediately the number of those who had been killed in Susa was reported to the king.

{14:12} Qui dixit reginæ: In urbe Susan interfecerunt Iudæi quingentos viros, et alios decem filios Aman: quantam putas eos exercere cædem in universis provinciis? Quid ultra postulas, et quid vis ut fieri iubeam?
{14:12} He said to the queen, “In the city of Susa, the Jews have executed five hundred men, and also the ten sons of Haman. How many executions do you think that they have carried out in all the provinces? What more do you ask, and what do you wish, so that I may order it to be done?”

{14:13} Cui illa respondit: Si regi placet, detur potestas Iudæis, ut sicut fecerunt hodie in Susan, sic et cras faciant, et decem filii Aman in patibulis suspendantur.
{14:13} And she answered, “If it pleases the king, may power be granted to the Jews, so as to do tomorrow in Susa just as they have done today, and that the ten sons of Haman may be hung up the gallows.”

~ The sons of Haman are “hung up” on the gallows, not “hanged” on the gallows. The word hanged implies that someone is being put to death, whereas hung merely means suspended. In the next verse, the edict and the sons of Haman are both hung up, each as a kind of public notice of these events.

{14:14} Præcepitque rex ut ita fieret. Statimque in Susan pependit edictum, et decem filii Aman suspensi sunt.
{14:14} And the king instructed that it should be so done. And immediately the edict was hung up in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hung up.

{14:15} Congregatis Iudæis quartadecima die mensis Adar, interfecti sunt in Susan trecenti viri: nec eorum ab illis direpta substantia est.
{14:15} On the fourteenth day of the month Adar, the Jews gathered themselves together, and they executed in Susa three hundred men, but they did not seize their belongings from them.

{14:16} Sed et per omnes provincias, quæ ditioni regis subiacebant, pro animabus suis steterunt Iudæi, interfectis hostibus ac persecutoribus suis: in tantum ut septuagintaquinque millia occisorum implerentur, et nullus de substantiis eorum quidquam contingeret.
{14:16} Moreover, throughout all the provinces which were subject to the king’s dominion, the Jews made a stand for their lives, and they executed their enemies and their persecutors, so much so that the number of those who were killed amounted to seventy-five thousand, and yet no one touched any of their belongings.

~ The phrase “pro animabus suis steterunt” means that they stood up on behalf of their souls or their lives.

{14:17} Dies autem tertiusdecimus mensis Adar primus apud omnes interfectionis fuit, et quartadecima die cædere desierunt. Quem constituerunt esse sollemnem, ut in eo omni tempore deinceps vacarent epulis, gaudio atque conviviis.
{14:17} Now the thirteenth day of the month Adar was the first day with all of the executions, and on the fourteenth day they ceased the killing. This day they established to be sacred, so that in all times hereafter they would be free for feasting, joyfulness, and celebration.

{14:18} At hi, qui in urbe Susan cædem exercuerant, tertiodecimo et quartodecimo die eiusdem mensis in cæde versati sunt: quintodecimo autem die percutere desierunt. Et idcirco eundem diem constituerunt sollemnem epularum atque lætitiæ.
{14:18} But, as for those who were carrying out the killings in the city of Susa, they turned to killing on the thirteenth and fourteenth day of the same month. But on the fifteenth day they ceased to attack. And for that reason they established that day as sacred, with feasting and with gladness.

~ The expression “turned to killing” (in cæde versati sunt) refers to the Jews turning the killing upon those who would have killed them. A day that was originally supposed to be a disastrous day for the Jews became a day of vindication for them, so that circumstances were turned around for them.

{14:19} Hi vero Iudæi, qui in oppidis non muratis ac villis morabantur, quartumdecimum diem mensis Adar conviviorum et gaudii decreverunt, ita ut exultent in eo, et mittant sibi mutuo partes epularum et ciborum.
{14:19} But in truth, those Jews who were staying in unwalled towns and villages, appointed the fourteenth day of the month Adar for celebration and gladness, so as to rejoice on that day and send one another portions of their feasts and their meals.

~ “Epularum” is food in the sense of feasting, special holiday foods. “Ciborum” is food in the sense of daily sustenance, that is, staple foods. They sent one another both types of foods.

{14:20} Scripsit itaque Mardochæus omnia hæc, et litteris comprehensa misit ad Iudæos, qui in omnibus regis provinciis morabantur, tam in vicino positis, quam procul,
{14:20} And so Mordecai wrote down all these things and sent them, composed in letters, to the Jews who were staying in all the king’s provinces, as much to those in nearby places as to those far away,

{14:21} ut quartamdecimam et quintamdecimam diem mensis Adar pro festis susciperent, et revertente semper anno sollemni celebrarent honore:
{14:21} so that they would accept the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the month Adar for holy days, and always, at the return of the year, would celebrate them with sacred esteem.

{14:22} quia in ipsis diebus se ulti sunt Iudæi de inimicis suis, et luctus atque tristitia in hilaritatem gaudiumque conversa sunt, essentque dies isti epularum atque lætitiæ, et mitterent sibi invicem ciborum partes, et pauperibus munuscula largirentur.
{14:22} For on those days, the Jews vindicated themselves of their enemies, and their mourning and sorrow were turned into mirth and joy, so that these would be days of feasting and gladness, in which they would send one another portions of their feasts, and would grant gifts to the poor.

{14:23} Susceperuntque Iudæi in sollemnem ritum cuncta quæ eo tempore facere cœperant, et quæ Mardochæus litteris facienda mandaverat.
{14:23} And the Jews accepted as a solemn ritual all the things which they had begun to do at that time, which Mordecai had commanded with letters to be done.

{14:24} Aman enim, filius Amadathi stirpis Agag, hostis et adversarius Iudæorum, cogitavit contra eos malum, ut occideret illos, atque deleret: et misit phur, quod nostra lingua vertitur in sortem.
{14:24} For Haman, the son of Hammedatha of Agag lineage, the enemy and adversary of the Jews, had devised evil against them, to kill them and to destroy them. And he had cast Pur, which in our language means the lot.

{14:25} Et postea ingressa est Esther ad regem, obsecrans ut conatus eius, litteris regis irriti fierent: et malum, quod contra Iudæos cogitaverat, reverteretur in caput eius. Denique et ipsum et filios eius affixerunt cruci,
{14:25} And after this, Esther had entered before the king, begging him that his efforts might be made ineffective by the king’s letters, and that the evil he intended against the Jews might return upon his own head. Finally, both he and his sons were fastened to a cross.

{14:26} atque ex illo tempore dies isti appellati sunt phurim, id est sortium: eo quod phur, id est sors, in urnam missa fuerit. Et cuncta, quæ gesta sunt, epistolæ, id est libri huius volumine continentur:
{14:26} And so, from that time, these days are called Purim, that is, of the lots, because Pur, that is, the lot, was cast into the urn. And all things that had been carried out are contained in the volume of this epistle, that is, of this book.

{14:27} quæque sustinuerunt, et quæ deinceps immutata sunt, susceperunt Iudæi super se et semen suum, et super cunctos, qui religioni eorum voluerunt copulari, ut nulli liceat duos hos dies absque sollemnitate transigere: quos scriptura testatur, et certa expetunt tempora, annis sibi iugiter succedentibus.
{14:27} And whatever they suffered, and whatever was altered afterwards, the Jews received for themselves and their offspring and for all who were willing to be joined to their religion, so that none would be permitted to transgress the solemnity of these two days, to which the writing testifies, and which certain times require, as the years continually succeed one another.

{14:28} Isti sunt dies, quos nulla umquam delebit oblivio: et per singulas generationes cunctæ in toto orbe provinciæ celebrabunt: nec est ulla civitas, in qua dies phurim, id est sortium, non observentur a Iudæis, et ab eorum progenie, quæ his ceremoniis obligata est.
{14:28} These are the days which no one ever will erase into oblivion, and which every province in the whole world, throughout each generation, shall celebrate. Neither is there any city wherein the days of Purim, that is, of lots, may not be observed by the Jews, and by their posterity, which has been obligated to these ceremonies.

{14:29} Scripseruntque Esther regina filia Abihail, et Mardochæus Iudæus etiam secundam epistolam, ut omni studio dies ista solemnis sanciretur in posterum:
{14:29} And Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, also wrote a second letter, so that with all zealousness this day would be confirmed as customary for future generations.

{14:30} et miserunt ad omnes Iudæos, qui in centum viginti septem provinciis regis Assueri versabantur, ut haberent pacem, et susciperent veritatem,
{14:30} And they sent to all the Jews, who had been stirred up in the one hundred twenty-seven provinces of king Artaxerxes, that they should have peace and receive truth,

{14:31} observantes dies sortium, et suo tempore cum gaudio celebrarent: sicut constituerant Mardochæus et Esther, et illi observanda susceperunt a se, et a semine suo ieiunia, et clamores, et sortium dies,
{14:31} and observe the days of lots, and celebrate them with joy at their proper time, just as Mordecai and Esther had established. And they accepted these to be observed by themselves and by their offspring: fasting, and crying out, and the days of lots,

{14:32} et omnia, quæ libri huius, qui vocatur Esther, historia continentur.
{14:32} and all things which are contained in the history of this book, which is called Esther.

[Esther 15]

{15:1} Rex vero Assuerus omnem terram, et cunctas maris insulas fecit tributarias:
{15:1} Truly, king Artaxerxes made all the land, and all the islands of the sea, tributaries.

~ Or, he made a tribute, i.e., he collected a tribute from all the lands and islands.

{15:2} cuius fortitudo et imperium, et dignitas atque sublimitas, qua exaltavit Mardochæum, scripta sunt in libris Medorum, atque Persarum:
{15:2} And his strength and his authority, and the dignity and supremacy with which he exalted Mordecai, have been written in the books of the Medes and the Persians,

{15:3} et quomodo Mardochæus Iudaici generis secundus a rege Assuero fuerit: et magnus apud Iudæos et acceptabilis plebi fratrum suorum, quærens bona populo suo, et loquens ea, quæ ad pacem seminis sui pertinerent.
{15:3} and how Mordecai of Jewish birth, was second after king Artaxerxes, and great among the Jews, and acceptable to the people of his brethren, seeking the good of his people, and speaking about things which pertained to peace for their descendants.

{15:4} Dixitque Merdochæus: A Deo facta sunt ista.
{15:4} And Mordecai said, “By God have these things been done.

{15:5} Recordatus sum somnii, quod videram, hæc eadem significantis: nec eorum quidquam irritum fuit.
{15:5} I remember a dream that I saw, which signified these same things, and nothing of this whatsoever has failed to occur.

{15:6} Parvus fons, qui crevit in fluvium, et in lucem, solemque conversus est, et in aquas plurimas redundavit: Esther est, quam rex accepit uxorem, et voluit esse reginam.
{15:6} The little fountain which grew into a river, and had turned into light and into the sun, and overflowed into many waters, is Esther, whom the king received as wife and whom he preferred to be queen.

{15:7} Duo autem dracones: ego sum, et Aman.
{15:7} But the two dragons are I and Haman.

{15:8} Gentes, quæ convenerant: hi sunt, qui conati sunt delere nomen Iudæorum.
{15:8} The peoples who gathered together are those who had attempted to erase the name of the Jews.

{15:9} Gens autem mea: Israel est, quæ clamavit ad Dominum, et salvum fecit Dominus populum suum: liberavitque nos ab omnibus malis, et fecit signa magna atque portenta inter Gentes:
{15:9} And my people is Israel, who cried out to the Lord, and the Lord brought salvation to his people, and he freed us from all evils, and he created great signs and portents among the nations.

{15:10} et duas sortes esse præcepit, unam Populi Dei, et alteram cunctarum Gentium.
{15:10} And he commanded there to be two lots, one for the people of God and the other for all the nations.

~ The command that there be two lots means that there would be two different fates or two different end results, one for the people of God and the other for the nations.

{15:11} Venitque utraque sors in statutum ex illo iam tempore diem coram Deo universis gentibus:
{15:11} And both lots arrived at the day appointed before God, even from that past time, for all peoples.

~ Both end results are completed at the same time: the vindication of the people of God and the punishment of their enemies.

{15:12} et recordatus est Dominus populi sui, ac misertus est hereditatis suæ.
{15:12} And the Lord remembered his people and had mercy on his inheritance.

{15:13} Et observabuntur dies isti in mense Adar quartadecima, et quintadecima die eiusdem mensis, cum omni studio, et gaudio in unum cœtum populi congregati, in cunctas deinceps generationes populi Israel.
{15:13} And these days shall be observed in the month of Adar, on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of the same month, with all zealousness and joy, by the people gathered together into one union, throughout all the generations hereafter of the people of Israel.”

{15:14} Anno quarto regnantibus Ptolemæo, et Cleopatra, attulerunt Dosithæus, qui se Sacerdotem, et Levitici generis ferebat, et Ptolemæus filius eius hanc epistolam phurim, quam dixerunt interpretatum esse Lysimachum Ptolemæi filium in Ierusalem.
{15:14} In the fourth year of the reigns of Ptolemy and Cleopatra, Dositheus, who was himself a priest and born of the Levites, and Ptolemy his son, brought this epistle of Purim, which they said was a translation by Lysimachus the son of Ptolemy in Jerusalem.

~ The phrase “qui se Sacerdotem” is often translated as “who said he was a priest” or “who claimed he was a priest.” But the word “se” does not indicate that this man claimed something; it is merely a reflexive pronoun, a way of emphasizing that this man “was himself a priest.”

[Editor's Note:]

The Book of Esther was originally written in Hebrew. Later, those Jewish synagogues which used Greek as their written language not only translated the Jewish Scriptures into Greek, but added additional material to Esther (and to Daniel). The Catholic Church accepts both the Hebrew and Greek versions of Esther as truly inspired by God.

In some translations of Esther, the Hebrew text is presented first, then the Greek additions are grouped together at the end of the book. The text is then numbered in 16 chapters, with the Greek additions numbered from 10:4 to 16:24. However, separating out the Greek additions and grouping them at the end takes those additions out of their natural order in the narrative.

In other versions, the Greek text is integrated with the Hebrew text, so that events are placed in their proper order within the narrative. Some of these versions keep the same numbering, so that the Book begins with 11:2 to 11:12, then chapter 12 follows, then chapters 1 and 2, and so on. Other versions number the chapters with letters as well as numbers, so that Esther begins with chapter A, then chapter B, then chapters 1 and 2, et cetera. Still other versions number the material in ten chapters, from 1 to 10, but with the integrated material from the Greek given verses numbers using numbers and letters, such as verses 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, and verses 17, 17a, 17b ... 17x, 17y, 17z, 17aa, 17bb, etc. These numbering systems are not very useful.

The catholic public domain version (CPDV) of the Book of Esther, as well as the corresponding edition of the Latin Vulgate, keeps the text in the usual narrative order (where the Greek text is integrated with the Hebrew text) and numbers the chapters and verses in that same order. This gives every chapter a different number than in the original numbering. Many verses retain the same verse number, even though their chapter number has changed. This new numbering system (with minor differences) is also used on the Greek version of the Book of Esther in the World English Bible.

List of old numbering and new numbering:

11:2 - 11:12 becomes 1:1 - 1:11
12:1 - 12:6 becomes 2:1 - 2:6
1:1 - 1:22 becomes 3:1 - 3:22
2:1 - 2:23 becomes 4:1 - 4:23
3:1 - 3:13 becomes 5:1 - 5:13

The last phrase of 5:13 incorporates verse 12:6b from the Latin Vulgate text by adding "even their necessities." The Latin text changes from: "et bona eorum diriperent." (end of 3:13) and "Et diripuerunt bona, vel substantias eorum." (12:6b) to: "et diriperent bona, vel substantias eorum."

13:1 - 13:7 becomes 6:1 - 6:7
3:14 - 3:15 becomes 6:8 - 6:9
4:1 - 4:9 becomes 7:1 - 7:9
15:2 - 15:3 becomes 7:10 - 7:11
4:10 - 4:11 becomes 7:12 - 7:13
4:12 - 4:13 are combined as 7:14

{4:12} Quod cum audisset Mardochæus,
{4:13} rursum mandavit Esther, dicens: Ne putes quod animam tuam tantum liberes, quia in domo regis es præ cunctis Iudæis:
{7:14} Quod cum audisset Mardochæus, rursum mandavit Esther, dicens: Ne putes quod animam tuam tantum liberes, quia in domo regis es præ cunctis Iudæis:

4:14 becomes 7:15
15:1 becomes 7:16

Verse 15:1 (i.e. 7:16) is often omitted from English versions of Esther, even though it is consistently found in the Clementine Latin Vulgate. It has been placed here, in its logical position within the narrative.

4:15 - 4:17 becomes 7:17 - 7:19

"Pergensque Mardochæus, fecit omnia, quæ ei mandaverat Esther." is found before 13:8 - 14:19 in the Clementine Latin Vulgate, but it is merely a rephrasing of verse 4:17 (i.e. 7:19): "Ivit itaque Mardochæus, et fecit omnia, quæ ei Esther præceperat."

13:8 - 13:18 becomes 7:20 - 7:30
14:1 - 14:19 becomes 8:1 - 8:19
15:4 - 15:19 becomes 9:1 - 9:16
5:1 - 5:2 becomes 9:17 - 9:18

These two verses, 9:17 - 9:18, are from the Hebrew. They are a shorter form of the Greek text found in verses 9:1 - 9:16. Both the shorter and longer forms are retained in this edition of the Latin and in the CPDV.

5:3 - 5:14 becomes 9:19 - 9:30
6:1 - 6:14 becomes 10:1 - 10:14
7:1 - 7:10 becomes 11:1 - 11:10
8:1 - 8:12 becomes 12:1 - 12:12
16:1 - 16:24 becomes 13:1 - 13:24
8:13 - 8:17 becomes 13:25 - 13:29
9:1 - 9:32 becomes 14:1 - 14:32
10:1 - 10:13 becomes 15:1 - 15:13
11:1 becomes 15:14

The revised numbering of the Book of Esther has 15 chapters and 274 verses; whereas the prior numbering (in the Latin Vulgate) had 16 chapters and 274 verses.

The Sacred BibleThe Book of Esther