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Esther 16

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(This chapter appears in the Septuagint Greek after 8.12. The letter here given is addressed throughout to the king’s Gentile subjects; which suggests that two separate missives are referred to in 8.9.) ὧν ἐστιν ἀντίγραφον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς τὰ ὑπογεγραμμένα (This chapter appears in the Septuagint Greek after 8.12. The letter here given is addressed throughout to the king’s Gentile subjects; which suggests that two separate missives are referred to in 8.9.) (This chapter appears in the Septuagint Greek after 8.12. The letter here given is addressed throughout to the king’s Gentile subjects; which suggests that two separate missives are referred to in 8.9.)
1 βασιλεὺς μέγας Ἀρταξέρξης τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰνδικῆς ἕως τῆς Αἰθιοπίας ἑκατὸν εἴκοσι ἑπτὰ σατραπείαις χωρῶν ἄρχουσι καὶ τοῖς τὰ ἡμέτερα φρονοῦσι χαίρειν 2 πολλοὶ τῇ πλείστῃ τῶν εὐεργετούντων χρηστότητι πυκνότερον τιμώμενοι μεῖζον ἐφρόνησαν 3 καὶ οὐ μόνον τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους ἡμῖν ζητοῦσι κακοποιεῖν τόν τε κόρον οὐ δυνάμενοι φέρειν καὶ τοῖς ἑαυτῶν εὐεργέταις ἐπιχειροῦσι μηχανᾶσθαι 4 καὶ τὴν εὐχαριστίαν οὐ μόνον ἐκ τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἀνταναιροῦντες ἀλλὰ καὶ τοῖς τῶν ἀπειραγάθων κόμποις ἐπαρθέντες τοῦ τὰ πάντα κατοπτεύοντος ἀεὶ θεοῦ μισοπόνηρον ὑπολαμβάνουσιν ἐκφεύξεσθαι δίκην 5 πολλάκις δὲ καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν ἐ{P'} ἐξουσίαις τεταγμένων τῶν πιστευθέντων χειρίζειν φίλων τὰ πράγματα παραμυθία μεταιτίους αἱμάτων ἀθῴων καταστήσασα περιέβαλε συμφοραῖς ἀνηκέστοις 6 τῷ τῆς κακοηθείας ψευδεῖ παραλογισμῷ παραλογισαμένων τὴν τῶν ἐπικρατούντων ἀκέραιον εὐγνωμοσύνην 7 σκοπεῖν δὲ ἔξεστιν οὐ τοσοῦτον ἐκ τῶν παλαιοτέρων ὧν παρεδώκαμεν ἱστοριῶν ὅσα ἐστὶν παρὰ πόδας ὑμᾶς ἐκζητοῦντας ἀνοσίως συντετελεσμένα τῇ τῶν ἀνάξια δυναστευόντων λοιμότητι 8 καὶ προσέχειν εἰς τὰ μετὰ ταῦτα εἰς τὸ τὴν βασιλείαν ἀτάραχον τοῖς πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις με{T'} εἰρήνης παρεξόμεθα 9 χρώμενοι ταῖς μεταβολαῖς τὰ δὲ ὑπὸ τὴν ὄψιν ἐρχόμενα διακρίνοντες ἀεὶ με{T'} ἐπιεικεστέρας ἀπαντήσεως 1 The great king Artaxerxes, to the governors of the hundred and twenty-seven provinces between India and Ethiopia, and to all his vassal chiefs, sends greeting. 2 The favour of princes has often bred insolence in those whom they advanced to high rank; 3 they oppress their fellow-subjects, and are even prompted by their good fortune to plot against the authors of it; 4 deaf to the claims of gratitude and of humanity, they think to escape the all-seeing scrutiny of God. 5 A madness comes over them, and they assail with false charges the very men who win the praise of all by faithfulness to their duties; 6 what easier, than to abuse with calumny the confidence of an unsuspecting ruler, who fancies all men to be as honest as himself? 7 That men will so practise on the credulity of princes is evident both from history and from daily experience; 8 no little foresight is needed, if the welfare of a great empire is to be preserved. 9 The orders given yesterday must be reversed to-day; not from any caprice of ours, but because we have to consider the changing needs of the moment, in the best interests of the commonwealth. 1 Rex magnus Artaxerxes ab India usque Æthiopiam, centum viginti septem provinciarum ducibus ac principibus qui nostræ jussioni obediunt, salutem dicit. 2 Multi bonitate principum et honore, qui in eos collatus est, abusi sunt in superbiam: 3 et non solum subjectos regibus nituntur opprimere, sed datam sibi gloriam non ferentes, in ipsos qui dederunt, moliuntur insidias. 4 Nec contenti sunt gratias non agere beneficiis, et humanitatis in se jura violare, sed Dei quoque cuncta cernentis arbitrantur se posse fugere sententiam. 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, 6 dum aures principum simplices, et ex sua natura alios æstimantes, callida fraude decipiunt. 7 Quæ res et ex veteribus probatur historiis, et ex his quæ geruntur quotidie, quomodo malis quorumdam suggestionibus regum studia depraventur. 8 Unde providendum est paci omnium provinciarum. 9 Nec putare debetis, si diversa jubeamus, ex animi nostri venire levitate, sed pro qualitate et necessitate temporum, ut reipublicæ poscit utilitas, ferre sententiam.
10 ὡς γὰρ Αμαν Αμαδαθου Μακεδών ταῖς ἀληθείαις ἀλλότριος τοῦ τῶν Περσῶν αἵματος καὶ πολὺ διεστηκὼς τῆς ἡμετέρας χρηστότητος ἐπιξενωθεὶς ἡμῖν 11 ἔτυχεν ἧς ἔχομεν πρὸς πᾶν ἔθνος φιλανθρωπίας ἐπὶ τοσοῦτον ὥστε ἀναγορεύεσθαι ἡμῶν πατέρα καὶ προσκυνούμενον ὑπὸ πάντων τὸ δεύτερον τοῦ βασιλικοῦ θρόνου πρόσωπον διατελεῖν 12 οὐκ ἐνέγκας δὲ τὴν ὑπερηφανίαν ἐπετήδευσεν τῆς ἀρχῆς στερῆσαι ἡμᾶς καὶ τοῦ πνεύματος 13 τόν τε ἡμέτερον σωτῆρα καὶ διὰ παντὸς εὐεργέτην Μαρδοχαῖον καὶ τὴν ἄμεμπτον τῆς βασιλείας κοινωνὸν Εσθηρ σὺν παντὶ τῷ τούτων ἔθνει πολυπλόκοις μεθόδων παραλογισμοῖς αἰτησάμενος εἰς ἀπώλειαν 14 διὰ γὰρ τῶν τρόπων τούτων ᾠήθη λαβὼν ἡμᾶς ἐρήμους τὴν τῶν Περσῶν ἐπικράτησιν εἰς τοὺς Μακεδόνας μετάξαι 15 ἡμεῖς δὲ τοὺς ὑπὸ τοῦ τρισαλιτηρίου παραδεδομένους εἰς ἀφανισμὸν Ιουδαίους εὑρίσκομεν οὐ κακούργους ὄντας δικαιοτάτοις δὲ πολιτευομένους νόμοις 16 ὄντας δὲ υἱοὺς τοῦ ὑψίστου μεγίστου ζῶντος θεοῦ τοῦ κατευθύνοντος ἡμῖν τε καὶ τοῖς προγόνοις ἡμῶν τὴν βασιλείαν ἐν τῇ καλλίστῃ διαθέσει 10 But to our matter. We took under our protection, some time since, one Aman, son of Amadathi, a stranger; a Macedonian by race, with no share of our Persian blood, a Macedonian in his nature, whose cruel temper sorts ill with our Persian kindliness.[1] 11 He received from us nothing but friendly usage; we would have him called our father, we would have reverence paid to him as one that stood next to the king’s person. 12 And he? So was his heart swelled with pride, that he went about to deprive us of our royalty, and of life itself. 13 First, with daring unheard-of, he would compass the death of two persons, through the general massacre of their race; Mardochaeus, to whose loyalty we owe life itself, and Esther, the queen-consort of our realm. 14 Then, when their deaths had left us unbefriended, he would plot against our own empire and transfer it to the Macedonians.[2] 15 Meanwhile, the race this inhuman wretch had marked down for slaughter, the Jewish race, proves to have deserved no blame whatever. The laws they follow are just; 16 they are the children of that most high, most powerful and ever-living God by whose favour my fathers won this realm, and I maintain it. 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: 11 et tantam in se expertus humanitatem, ut pater noster vocaretur, et adoraretur ab omnibus post regem secundus: 12 qui in tantum arrogantiæ tumorem sublatus est, ut regno privare nos niteretur et spiritu. 13 Nam Mardochæum, cujus fide et beneficiis vivimus, et consortem regni nostri Esther cum omni gente sua, novis quibusdam atque inauditis machinis expetivit in mortem: 14 hoc cogitans ut illis interfectis, insidiaretur nostræ solitudini, et regnum Persarum transferret in Macedonas. 15 Nos autem a pessimo mortalium Judæos neci destinatos, in nulla penitus culpa reperimus, sed e contrario justis utentes legibus, 16 et filios altissimi et maximi semperque viventis Dei, cujus beneficio et patribus nostris et nobis regnum est traditum, et usque hodie custoditur.
17 καλῶς οὖν ποιήσετε μὴ προσχρησάμενοι τοῖς ὑπὸ Αμαν Αμαδαθου ἀποσταλεῖσι γράμμασιν 18 διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν τὸν ταῦτα ἐξεργασάμενον πρὸς ταῖς Σούσων πύλαις ἐσταυρῶσθαι σὺν τῇ πανοικίᾳ τὴν καταξίαν τοῦ τὰ πάντα ἐπικρατοῦντος θεοῦ διὰ τάχους ἀποδόντος αὐτῷ κρίσιν 19 τὸ δὲ ἀντίγραφον τῆς ἐπιστολῆς ταύτης ἐκθέντες ἐν παντὶ τόπῳ μετὰ παρρησίας ἐᾶν τοὺς Ιουδαίους χρῆσθαι τοῖς ἑαυτῶν νομίμοις 20 καὶ συνεπισχύειν αὐτοῖς ὅπως τοὺς ἐν καιρῷ θλίψεως ἐπιθεμένους αὐτοῖς ἀμύνωνται τῇ τρισκαιδεκάτῃ τοῦ δωδεκάτου μηνὸς Αδαρ τῇ αὐτῇ ἡμέρᾳ 21 ταύτην γὰρ ὁ πάντα δυναστεύων θεὸς ἀν{T'} ὀλεθρίας τοῦ ἐκλεκτοῦ γένους ἐποίησεν αὐτοῖς εὐφροσύνην 22 καὶ ὑμεῖς οὖν ἐν ταῖς ἐπωνύμοις ὑμῶν ἑορταῖς ἐπίσημον ἡμέραν μετὰ πάσης εὐωχίας ἄγετε 23 ὅπως καὶ νῦν καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα σωτηρία ᾖ ἡμῖν καὶ τοῖς εὐνοοῦσιν Πέρσαις τοῖς δὲ ἡμῖν ἐπιβουλεύουσιν μνημόσυνον τῆς ἀπωλείας 24 πᾶσα δὲ πόλις ἢ χώρα τὸ σύνολον ἥτις κατὰ ταῦτα μὴ ποιήσῃ δόρατι καὶ πυρὶ καταναλωθήσεται με{T'} ὀργῆς οὐ μόνον ἀνθρώποις ἄβατος ἀλλὰ καὶ θηρίοις καὶ πετεινοῖς εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον ἔχθιστος κατασταθήσεται 17 Take note, then, that the directions which were sent out by Aman under our name are to be left unheeded.[3] 18 He, the author of this plot, hangs now on a gibbet, here at the gates of Susan, with all his kindred; to God, not to us, thanks are due that he has received his deserts. 19 The decree we are now sending you, giving the Jews liberty to follow their own laws, is to be posted up in every city of the realm; 20 and you must furnish them with the means to make an end of all those who would have compassed their murder, on the thirteenth day of Adar, the last month of the year. 21 Here is a day marked down for mourning and lament, turned by God Almighty into a day of triumph for them; 22 you too must keep it as one of the year’s holidays, and observe it with due rejoicing; so making it known to posterity 23 that Persia’s loyal subjects are well rewarded for their loyalty, and that all who plot against her sovereignty atone for their crime with death. 24 Be there province or city that will not take its part in this observance, let it be laid waste with fire and sword; man nor beast shall tread its ways hereafter; to warn men what doom they suffer, that set edict of ours at defiance. 17 Unde eas litteras, quas sub nomine nostro ille direxerat, sciatis esse irritas. 18 Pro quo scelere ante portas hujus urbis, id est, Susan, et ipse qui machinatus est, et omnis cognatio ejus pendet in patibulis: non nobis, sed Deo reddente ei quod meruit. 19 Hoc autem edictum, quod nunc mittimus, in cunctis urbibus proponatur, ut liceat Judæis uti legibus suis. 20 Quibus debetis esse adminiculo, ut eos qui se ad necem eorum paraverant, possint interficere tertiadecima die mensis duodecimi, qui vocatur Adar. 21 Hanc enim diem, Deus omnipotens, mœroris et luctus, eis vertit in gaudium. 22 Unde et vos inter ceteros festos dies, hanc habetote diem, et celebrate eam cum omni lætitia, ut et in posterum cognoscatur, 23 omnes qui fideliter Persis obediunt, dignam pro fide recipere mercedem; qui autem insidiantur regno eorum, perire pro scelere. 24 Omnis autem provincia et civitas quæ noluerit solemnitatis hujus 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.
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