בַּיֹּום הַהוּא נָתַן הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹושׁ לְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה אֶת־בֵּית הָמָן צֹרֵר (הַיְּהוּדִיִּים) [הַיְּהוּדִים 8:1
וּמָרְדֳּכַי בָּא לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־הִגִּידָה אֶסְתֵּר מַה הוּא־לָהּ׃
Esth. 8:1 On that day the king, Ahasuerus, gave to Esther, the queen, the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came before the king, when Esther had told what he was to her.
Concerning the error in the parentheses, which is corrected after the right bracket, see Esth. 4:7.
וַיָּסַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־טַבַּעְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱבִיר מֵהָמָן וַיִּתְּנָהּ לְמָרְדֳּכָי וַתָּשֶׂם אֶסְתֵּר אֶת־מָרְדֳּכַי עַל־בֵּית 8:2
Esth. 8:2 And the king removed his ring, which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. Then Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.
וַתֹּוסֶף אֶסְתֵּר וַתְּדַבֵּר לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַתִּפֹּל לִפְנֵי רַגְלָיו וַתֵּבְךְּ וַתִּתְחַנֶּן־לֹו לְהַעֲבִיר אֶת־רָעַת הָמָן 8:3
הָאֲגָגִי וְאֵת מַחֲשַׁבְתֹּו אֲשֶׁר חָשַׁב עַל־הַיְּהוּדִים׃
Esth. 8:3 And Esther did more, that she spoke before the king as she fell before his feet and wept and sought his favor to put aside the wickedness of Haman, the Agagite, and his plan that he had devised against the Jews.
וַיֹּושֶׁט הַמֶּלֶךְ לְאֶסְתֵּר אֵת שַׁרְבִט הַזָּהָב וַתָּקָם אֶסְתֵּר וַתַּעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 8:4
Esth. 8:4 And the king extended to Esther the gold scepter. Then Esther rose and stood before the king.
וַתֹּאמֶר אִם־עַל־הַמֶּלֶךְ טֹוב וְאִם־מָצָאתִי חֵן לְפָנָיו וְכָשֵׁר הַדָּבָר לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְטֹובָה אֲנִי בְּעֵינָיו 8:5
יִכָּתֵב לְהָשִׁיב אֶת־הַסְּפָרִים מַחֲשֶׁבֶת הָמָן בֶּן־הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי אֲשֶׁר כָּתַב לְאַבֵּד אֶת־הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר
Esth. 8:5 And she said, “If it is according to the good king, and if I have found favor before him, and the matter seems proper before the king, and I am pleasant in his eyes, let it be written to draw back the letters of the device of Haman, the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, that he wrote to destroy the Jews, which were in all the provinces of the king.”
כִּי אֵיכָכָה אוּכַל וְרָאִיתִי בָּרָעָה אֲשֶׁר־יִמְצָא אֶת־עַמִּי וְאֵיכָכָה אוּכַל וְרָאִיתִי בְּאָבְדַן מֹולַדְתִּי׃ 8:6
Esth. 8:6 “For how could I endure and look upon the evil that would befall my people, and how could I endure and look upon the destruction of my kindred?”
There’s a mismatch in gender in this verse that I suspect identifies a possible error. The fifth word, translated as upon the evil, is a feminine noun, and the seventh word, translated as would befall, is a masculine verb. I have the tentative suspicion that the eighth word, the et, should not be there. If it were not, the ninth word, translated as my people, would be the subject of the verb (which would now be translated as would encounter) and they are both masculine. Therefore, the correction I would make to this verse would be to omit the et. Then the verse would read “For how could I endure and look upon the evil my people would encounter, and ....?”
וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ לְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וּלְמָרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי הִנֵּה בֵית־הָמָן נָתַתִּי לְאֶסְתֵּר וְאֹתֹו 8:7
תָּלוּ עַל־הָעֵץ עַל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח יָדֹו (בַּיְּהוּדִיִּים) [בַּיְּהוּדִים׃
Esth. 8:7 And the king, Ahasuerus, said to Esther, the queen, and to Mordecai, the Jew, “Behold, the house of Haman I have given to Esther, and him they have hanged upon the gallows because he had extended his hand toward the Jews.”
The error in the parentheses, which is corrected after the right bracket, is the same as the one encountered in Esth. 4:7.
וְאַתֶּם כִּתְבוּ עַל־הַיְּהוּדִים כַּטֹּוב בְּעֵינֵיכֶם בְּשֵׁם הַמֶּלֶךְ וְחִתְמוּ בְּטַבַּעַת הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי־כְתָב 8:8
אֲשֶׁר־נִכְתָּב בְּשֵׁם־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְנַחְתֹּום בְּטַבַּעַת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין לְהָשִׁיב׃
Esth. 8:8 “Now you write concerning the Jews as is good in your eyes in the name of the king, and seal with the ring of the king. For there is no reversing any writing that is written in the name of the king and sealed with the ring of the king.”
The last sentence in this verse at first struck me as peculiar and contradictory. If the statement was true, and it probably was, then how could the earlier edict of Haman be reversed by this new edict? See Esth. 3:12. I suspected something was a bit fishy here. Was this an oversight by the author, or was it intentional? The answer, I discover, is that it is appropriate. As we will see below in v. 11, the new edict did not reverse Haman’s letters. Instead it gave the Jews the right and the authority to defend themselves against any who would attack them.
וַיִּקָּרְאוּ סֹפְרֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ בָּעֵת־הַהִיא בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁלִישִׁי הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ סִיוָן בִּשְׁלֹושָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים בֹּו וַיִּכָּתֵב 8:9
כְּכָל־אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה מָרְדֳּכַי אֶל־הַיְּהוּדִים וְאֶל הָאֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנִים־וְהַפַּחֹות וְשָׂרֵי הַמְּדִינֹות אֲשֶׁר מֵהֹדּוּ
וְעַד־כּוּשׁ שֶׁבַע וְעֶשְׂרִים וּמֵאָה מְדִינָה מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְעַם וָעָם כִּלְשֹׁנֹו וְאֶל־הַיְּהוּדִים כִּכְתָבָם
Esth. 8:9 And they called scribes of the king at that time in the third month -- that is the month of Sivan -- on its twenty-third, and it was written according to all that Mordecai commanded to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the princes of the provinces that were from India and as far as Ethiopia, a hundred twenty-seven provinces, province after province, according to its writing, and people after people according to its language, and to the Jews according to their writing and according to their language.
וַיִּכְתֹּב בְּשֵׁם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ וַיַּחְתֹּם בְּטַבַּעַת הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלַח סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים בַּסּוּסִים רֹכְבֵי 8:10
הָרֶכֶשׁ הָאֲחַשְׁתְּרָנִים בְּנֵי הָרַמָּכִים׃
Esth. 8:10 And he wrote in the name of the king, Ahasuerus, and he sealed with the ring of the king, and he sent letters in the hand of runners on horses, riders of royal stallions, the offspring of studs,
אֲשֶׁר נָתַן הַמֶּלֶךְ לַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל־עִיר־וָעִיר לְהִקָּהֵל וְלַעֲמֹד עַל־נַפְשָׁם לְהַשְׁמִיד וְלַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד 8:11
אֶת־כָּל־חֵיל עַם וּמְדִינָה הַצָּרִים אֹתָם טַף וְנָשִׁים וּשְׁלָלָם לָבֹוז׃
Esth. 8:11 that the king had granted to the Jews that in one city after another to assemble and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to make perish any force of people or province attacking them, little ones or women, or plundering them for spoil,
בְּיֹום אֶחָד בְּכָל־מְדִינֹות הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹושׁ בִּשְׁלֹושָׁה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר׃ 8:12
Esth. 8:12 on one day in all the provinces of the king, Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is the month of Adar).
פַּתְשֶׁגֶן הַכְּתָב לְהִנָּתֵן דָּת בְּכָל־מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה גָּלוּי לְכָל־הָעַמִּים וְלִהְיֹות (הַיְּהוּדִיִּים) [הַיְּהוּדִים 8:13
עֲתוּדִים) [עֲתִידִים] לַיֹּום הַזֶּה לְהִנָּקֵם מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם׃
Esth. 8:13 A copy of the writing was to be given, a decree, throughout one province and another, revealing to all the peoples that the Jews are prepared for that day to be avenged from their enemies.
See Esth. 4:7 concerning the error in the first set of parentheses. As for the word before the second left parenthesis, it is misspelled. The vav after the tav makes the word a noun instead of a verb. Interesting also is the fact that the correction in the brackets, with the yad replacing the vav, means the future, also a noun, and reveals a subtle double meaning for the corrected word.
הָרָצִים רֹכְבֵי הָרֶכֶשׁ הָאֲחַשְׁתְּרָנִים יָצְאוּ מְבֹהָלִים וּדְחוּפִים בִּדְבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַדָּת נִתְּנָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן 8:14
Esth. 8:14 The runners, riders of royal stallions, went out, hurrying and pressing on, with the word of the king and the decree given in Shushan the castle.
וּמָרְדֳּכַי יָצָא מִלִּפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בִּלְבוּשׁ מַלְכוּת תְּכֵלֶת וָחוּר וַעֲטֶרֶת זָהָב גְּדֹולָה וְתַכְרִיךְ בּוּץ וְאַרְגָּמָן 8:15
וְהָעִיר שׁוּשָׁן צָהֲלָה וְשָׂמֵחָה׃
Esth. 8:15 And Mordecai went out from before the king in violet and white royal apparel and a great crown of gold, and a white linen and purple robe, and the city of Shushan shouted and rejoiced.
לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה אֹורָה וְשִׂמְחָה וְשָׂשֹׂן וִיקָר׃ 8:16
Esth. 8:16 There was light and gladness and joy and honor for the Jews.
וּבְכָל־מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וּבְכָל־עִיר וָעִיר מְקֹום אֲשֶׁר דְּבַר־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְדָתֹו מַגִּיעַ שִׂמְחָה וְשָׂשֹׂון לַיְּהוּדִים 8:17
מִשְׁתֶּה וְיֹום טֹוב וְרַבִּים מֵעַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ מִתְיַהֲדִים כִּי־נָפַל פַּחַד־הַיְּהוּדִים עֲלֵיהֶם׃
Esth. 8:17 And in one province after another and in one city after another, any place that the word of the king and his decree was reaching, was a feast of the Jews’ gladness and joy, and a good day, as many from among the peoples of the land were becoming Jewish, for dread of the Jews had fallen upon them.
It looks like becoming a Jew in those days was as easy as it was for Ruth, the Moabitess, the great-grandmother of David. See Ruth 4:22. Yet about 750 years separated Esther’s people from Ruth.
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