THE BOOKS CALLED APOCRYPHA
ADDITIONS TO ESTHER
ADDITIONS TO ESTHER 16
1: The great king Artexerxes unto the princes and governors of an hundred and seven and twenty provinces from India unto Ethiopia, and unto all our faithful subjects, greeting.
2: Many, the more often they are honoured with the great bounty of their gracious princes, the more proud they are waxen,
3: And endeavour to hurt not our subjects only, but not being able to bear abundance, do take in hand to practise also against those that do them good:
4: And take not only thankfulness away from among men, but also lifted up with the glorious words of lewd persons, that were never good, they think to escape the justice of God, that seeth all things and hateth evil.
5: Oftentimes also fair speech of those, that are put in trust to manage their friends' affairs, hath caused many that are in authority to be partakers of innocent blood, and hath enwrapped them in remediless calamities:
6: Beguiling with the falsehood and deceit of their lewd disposition the innocency and goodness of princes.
7: Now ye may see this, as we have declared, not so much by ancient histories, as ye may, if ye search what hath been wickedly done of late through the pestilent behaviour of them that are unworthily placed in authority.
8: And we must take care for the time to come, that our kingdom may be quiet and peaceable for all men,
9: Both by changing our purposes, and always judging things that are evident with more equal proceeding.
10: For Aman, a Macedonian, the son of Amadatha, being indeed a stranger from the Persian blood, and far distant from our goodness, and as a stranger received of us,
11: Had so far forth obtained the favour that we shew toward every nation, as that he was called our father, and was continually honoured of all the next person unto the king.
12: But he, not bearing his great dignity, went about to deprive us of our kingdom and life:
13: Having by manifold and cunning deceits sought of us the destruction, as well of Mardocheus, who saved our life, and continually procured our good, as also of blameless Esther, partaker of our kingdom, with their whole nation.
14: For by these means he thought, finding us destitute of friends to have translated the kingdom of the Persians to the Macedonians.
15: But we find that the Jews, whom this wicked wretch hath delivered to utter destruction, are no evildoers, but live by most just laws:
16: And that they be children of the most high and most mighty, living God, who hath ordered the kingdom both unto us and to our progenitors in the most excellent manner.
17: Wherefore ye shall do well not to put in execution the letters sent unto you by Aman the son of Amadatha.
18: For he that was the worker of these things, is hanged at the gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him according to his deserts.
19: Therefore ye shall publish the copy of this letter in all places, that the Jews may freely live after their own laws.
20: And ye shall aid them, that even the same day, being the thirteenth day of the twelfth month Adar, they may be avenged on them, who in the time of their affliction shall set upon them.
21: For Almighty God hath turned to joy unto them the day, wherein the chosen people should have perished.
22: Ye shall therefore among your solemn feasts keep it an high day with all feasting:
23: That both now and hereafter there may be safety to us and the well affected Persians; but to those which do conspire against us a memorial of destruction.
24: Therefore every city and country whatsoever, which shall not do according to these things, shall be destroyed without mercy with fire and sword, and shall be made not only unpassable for men, but also most hateful to wild beasts and fowls for ever.