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Ester 16

1 The grete kyng Artaxerses, fro Yinde `til to Ethiopie, seith helthe to the duykis and pryncis of an hundrid and seuene and twenti prouynces, that obeien to oure comaundement.

2 Many men mysusen in to pride the goodnesse and onour of princes, which is youun to hem;

3 and not oneli thei enforsen to oppresse sugetis to kyngis, but thei beren not glorie youun to hem, and maken redy tresouns ayens hem, that yauen the glorie.

4 And thei ben not apaied to do not thankyngis for benefices, and to defoule in hem silf the lawis of curtesie; but also thei demen, that thei moun fle the sentence of God seynge alle thingis.

5 And thei breken out in to so mych woodnesse, that thei enforsen with the roopis of leesyngis to distrie hem, that kepen diligentli offices bitakun to hem, and doen so alle thingis, that thei ben worthi the preisyng of alle men;

6 while bi sutil fraude `false men disseyuen the symple eeris of kyngis, `and gessynge othere men bi her owne kynde.

7 Which thing is preuyd bothe bi elde stories, and bi these thingis that ben doen ech dai; hou the studies of kyngis ben maad schrewid bi yuele suggestiouns of summen.

8 Wherfor it is to purueye for the pees of alle prouynces.

9 And thouy we comaunden dyuerse thingis, ye owen not to gesse, that it cometh of the vnstablenesse of oure soule; but that we yyuen sentence for the maner and nede of tymes, as the profit of the comyn thing axith.

10 And that ye vndurstonde opynliere that, that we seyen; Aaman, the sone of Amadathi, a man of Macedoyne bi soule and folk, and an alien fro the blood of Persis, and defoulynge oure pitee with his cruelte, was a pilgrym, ethir a straunger, and was resseyued of vs;

11 and he feelide in hym silf so grete curtesie of vs, that he was clepid oure fadir, and was worschipid of alle men the secounde aftir the kyng;

12 which Aaman was reisid in to so greet bolnyng of pride, that he enforside to pryue us of the rewme and spirit.

13 For bi summe newe and vnherd castis he axide in to deeth Mardochee, bi whos feith and benefices we liuen, and the felowe of oure rewme Hester, with al hir folk;

14 and he thouyte these thingis, that whanne thei weren slayn, he schulde sette tresoun to `oure aloonenesse, and that he schulde translate the rewme of Persis in to Macedoynes.

15 Forsothe we founden not the Jewis in ony gilt outirli, that weren ordeyned to deth by the worste of deedli men; but ayenward that thei vsen iust lawis,

16 and ben the sones of the hiyeste and moste God, and `euere lyuynge, bi whos benefice the rewme was youun bothe to oure fadris and to vs, and is kept `til to dai.

17 Wherfor wyte ye, that tho lettris ben voide, whiche thilke Aaman sente vndur oure name.

18 For which greet trespas bothe he that ymagynede, and al his kynrede, hangith in iebatis bifor the yatis of this citee, `that is, Susa; for not we, but God yeldide to hym that, that he desseruyde.

19 Forsothe this comaundement, which we senden now, be set forth in alle citees, that it be leueful to Jewis to vse her lawis.

20 `Whyche Jewis ye owen helpe, that thei moun sle hem, that maden hem silf redi to the deeth of Jewis, in the thrittenthe dai of the tweluethe monethe, which is clepyd Adar;

21 for Almyyti God turneth this dai of weilyng and morenyng in to ioye to hem.

22 Wherfor and ye han this dai among othere feeste daies, and halowe it with al gladnesse; that it be knowun aftirward,

23 that alle men, that obeien feithfuli to Persis, resseyuen worthi meed for feith; sotheli that thei, that setten tresoun to the rewme of hem, perischen for the felony.

24 Forsothe ech prouynce and citee, that wole not be parcenere of this solempnytee, perische bi swerd and fier; and be it `doon awey so, that not oneli it be with out weie to men but also to beestis with outen ende, for ensaumple of dispisyng and vnobedience.

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