King Xerxes made the people in all his kingdom pay taxes.

Chapter 10

v1 King Xerxes made the people in all his kingdom pay taxes.

v2 The kings of Media and Persia made official records. These records include all the things that Xerxes did by his authority and power. The records also give a full account of how the king made Mordecai a very great man. v3 In fact, Mordecai the *Jew was only second in rank to King Xerxes. Mordecai was the most important man among the *Jews. And he was popular with the *Jewish people. He worked hard for the benefit of the *Jews.

Verses 1-3 After all that had happened, things returned to normal. (See Esther chapter 1.) The rich and powerful king made all the people in his *kingdom pay taxes. (This may mean that he made them work hard for him.) But something was different. The *Jews had been in great danger. Now a *Jew was a very important person in the government. Mordecai was working for the benefit of the *Jews. He was not working for his own benefit, as Haman had done.

The writer says that the official records include all these matters. He wants us to know that he has told a true story.

The Calendar in the Book of Esther

The Book of Esther uses the *Jewish calendar:

Order of months in the *Jewish calendar

Name of the*Jewish month

English month

An event in the year of Esther’s marriage

Events in the year of Haman’s plot

1st month

Nissan (or Nisan)

March or April

Esther 3:7 – Haman used the *Purim.

Esther 3:12 – Haman wrote his plot as a law.

2nd month

Iyar

April or May

3rd month

Sivan

May or June

Esther 8:9 – Mordecai wrote the law to save the *Jews.

4th month

Tammuz

June or July

5th month

Av

July or August

6th month

Elul

August or September

7th month

Tishrei

September or October

8th month

Chesvan

October or November

9th month

Kislev

November or December

10th month

Teves (or Tebeth)

December or January

Esther 2:16 – Esther first went to King Xerxes

11th month

Shevat

January or February

12th month

Adar

February or March

Esther 3:7 – the date that the *Purim selected.

Esther 3:13 – the date in Haman’s law was the 13th day of Adar.

Esther 8:12 – the date when the *Jews could defend themselves.

Esther chapter 9 – the *Jews defended themselves.

About *Purim today

The *Jews still remember *Purim each year. It is on the 14th and 15th days of the month called Adar.

On the day before, the 13th day in the month called Adar, many *Jews do not eat food. This day is called the ‘fast of Esther’. A fast is when people do not eat for a short time.

The 14th and 15th days of the month called Adar are days to be happy. These days are called ‘*Purim’. *Jews have some special traditions on these days:

·     They read the Book of Esther in public. This book is called the ‘Megilla’.

·     They give gifts of food to friends.

·     They give gifts to help poor people.

·     They have a special meal with their family and friends. This meal is a happy party.

Word List

beauty treatment ~ oils that make a person’s body beautiful.

descendant ~ a child, grandchild, and so on; a person in your family who lives after you are dead.

gallows ~ a wooden structure where people used to hang criminals or enemies in order to kill them. Or, a wooden structure where people would hang the dead bodies of criminals or enemies.

Jews ~ people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew or anything that belongs to the people called *Jews.

kingdom ~ the place or territory or land where a king rules.

Purim ~ stones with numbers on them. People used them to choose a date by chance. Afterwards, Purim became the name of the *Jewish holiday. It is a happy holiday when *Jews remember the events in the Book of Esther.

sackcloth ~ a dress of very rough material that people may make from old sacks. People wore sackcloth to show shame. The person who wore it was very sorry or very sad.

virgin ~ a woman who has not had sex with a man.