A copy of the bronze tablets (1 Macc 14:27-14:28)

“This is a copy of what they wrote.

‘On the eighteenth day of Elul,

In the one hundred seventy-second year,

That is the third year of the great high priest Simon,

In Asarmel,

In the great assembly of the priests,

The people, the rulers of the nation,

And the elders of the country,

The following was proclaimed to us.’”

This is what was written on the bronze tablets, which was the way that important documents were maintained. This document was put into bronze on the 18th day of Elul that was part of the months of August and September, in 140 BCE. Notice they used the old dating of year 162 and the new calendar of 3rd year. This took place before the great assembly of priests, the people, the rulers, and the elders.

The sending of the royal edict that favors the Jews (Esth 8:13-8:14)

“A copy of the document was to be issued as a decree in every province, and published to all peoples. The Jews were to be ready on that day to take revenge on their enemies. So the couriers, mounted on their swift royal horses hurried out, urged by the king’s command. The decree was issued in the citadel of Susa.”

Now we are back at the Hebrew text, which summarizes the letter. A copy of this decree was sent to every one of the 127 provinces so that all the people knew about this. The Jews were to be ready on the 13th of Adar to take revenge against their enemies. This word went out by the royal couriers with their swift royal horses. The king had urged them on, since this decree came from the Persian capital of Susa.

Follow this order carefully (Greek text only)

“Therefore you shall observe this with all good cheer

As a notable day among your commemorative festivals.

Both now and hereafter it may represent

Deliverance for you and the loyal Persians.

However, this will be a reminder of destruction

For those who plot against us.

Every city and country, without exception,

That does not act accordingly

Shall be destroyed in wrath with spear and fire.

It shall be made not only impassable for human beings,

But also most hateful to wild animals and birds for all time.”

The Greek text of the document concludes that this should be a festival day because it represents deliverance for all loyal Persians. Now this festival is not only a Jewish remembrance but a Persian holiday showing what happens to those who plot against the Persians. Anyone who does not follow this decree will be wiped out, not only the humans there, but also the animals and birds of that area.

The posting of the decree (Esth 3:14-3:15)

“Copies of the document were posted in every province. All the peoples were ordered to be prepared for that day. The couriers went in haste by order of the king. The matter was expedited also in Susa the capital. While the king and Haman caroused together, the city of Susa was thrown into confusion.”

Now we are back to the mixed Hebrew and Greek text. Obviously, the couriers brought the decree out to all the provinces. Everyone was to get ready for this massacre day. They also spread this news in the capital city of Susa. King Artaxerxes and Haman sat down to drink, thinking that their mission was accomplished. However, the city of Susa was confused by this decree.