Mordecai writes the letter about the Jews to the empire (Esth 8:9-8:12)

“The king’s secretaries were summoned at that time, in the third month, which is the month of Sivan, on the twenty-third day. An edict was written according to all that Mordecai commanded. It was sent to the Jews, to the satraps, the governors, and the officials of the provinces from India to Ethiopia, one hundred and twenty-seven provinces. This went to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language, and also to the Jews in their script and their language. He wrote letters in the name of King Artaxerxes. He sealed them with the king’s ring. He sent them by mounted couriers riding on swift horses that were used in the king’s service, bred from the royal herd. By these letters, the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and defend their lives. They were able to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, with their children and women, and to plunder their goods, on a single day throughout all the provinces of King Artaxerxes, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.”

All the king’s secretaries came to help Mordecai. This took place at Sivan, which is in the May-June time frame. The Persians had something like the later American Pony Express, with horses for their couriers. Notice that it was written in various languages and scripts for the 127 provinces of the Persian Empire. This letter had the king’s seal from his ring. This section is like that in chapter 3, when Haman was writing his letter to exterminate the Jews. This letter said that all the Jews could respond when they are attacked on the 13th day of the 12th month of Adar. They were allowed to destroy, kill, and plunder anyone attacking them. The Greek text also says that they should be allowed to follow their own laws.

The sending of the decree (Esth 3:12-3:13)

“The king’s secretaries were summoned on the thirteenth day of the first month. In accordance with Haman’s instructions, they wrote in the name of King Artaxerxes to the magistrates and the governors in every province from India to Ethiopia. There were one hundred twenty-seven provinces in all. The governors were addressed each in his own language. It was written and sealed with the king’s ring. Letters were sent by couriers throughout all the empire of King Artaxerxes to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jewish people, young and old, women and children, on a given day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is Adar, and to plunder their goods.”

The king’s secretaries were summoned on the next day after the meeting between Haman and the king. They were to follow the instructions of Haman. They wrote in the name of the king to the magistrates and governors of all the 127 provinces from India to Ethiopia, each in their own language with the royal seal. They were sent by royal couriers throughout the empire. On the 13th day of the 12th month of that year they were to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jewish people and take their goods. This was also the final solution of Hitler some 2500 years before his time.

The king’s audition (Esth 2:12-2:14)

“The turn came for each girl to go in to King Artaxerxes. This took place after being twelve months under the regulations for the women. The regular period of their beautifying treatment was six months with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics for women. When the girl went in to the king, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king’s palace. In the evening she went in. Then in the morning, she came back to the second harem in the custody of Shaashgaz the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the concubines. She did not go in to the king again, unless the king delighted in her and she was summoned by name.”

The audition with the king was pretty simple. Each girl had to wait a year in the harem in order to be beautiful enough for the king. These girls would spend 6 months with myrrh massage treatments and another 6 months with perfume and cosmetics massage treatments. When the girl went in to visit the king, she could bring whatever she wanted with her. She would then spend the evening with the king. Then in the morning, she would be part of the concubine harem that was under the custody of another eunuch, where she stayed until and if she was called again to be with the king.

The people of Bethulia greet Judith (Jdt 13:12-13:14)

“When the people of her town heard Judith’s voice, they hurried down to the town gate. They summoned the elders of the town. They all ran together, both small and great, for it seemed unbelievable that she had returned. They opened the gate. They welcomed them. Then they lit a fire to give light. They gathered around them. Then Judith said to them with a loud voice.

‘Praise God!

Praise him!

Praise God!

He has not withdrawn his mercy from the house of Israel,

He has destroyed our enemies by my hand this very night!’”

When the townspeople heard the voice of Judith, they hurried down to the town gate. They called the elders of the town as everyone ran together. This was unbelievable that Judith had returned. Finally, they opened the gate for her and her maid as they welcomed her back and lit a fire. When they had gathered around her, Judith praised God, saying that he had destroyed their enemies that every night. So far, she has not revealed how this was done. However, they were all very happy to see her.