Esther 9:22

Hebrew Bible

20 Mordecai wrote these matters down and sent letters to all the Jews who were throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, 21 to have them observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth days of the month of Adar each year 22 as the time when the Jews gave themselves rest from their enemies—the month when their trouble was turned to happiness and their mourning to a holiday. These were to be days of banqueting, happiness, sending gifts to one another, and providing for the poor. 23 So the Jews committed themselves to continuing what they had begun to do and to what Mordecai had written to them. 24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised plans against the Jews to destroy them. He had cast pur (that is, the lot) in order to afflict and destroy them.

Nehemiah 8:10

Hebrew Bible

8 They read from the book of God’s law, explaining it and imparting insight. Thus the people gained understanding from what was read. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priestly scribe, and the Levites who were imparting understanding to the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the law. 10 He said to them, “Go and eat delicacies and drink sweet drinks and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared. For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11 Then the Levites quieted all the people saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy. Do not grieve.” 12 So all the people departed to eat and drink and to share their food with others and to enjoy tremendous joy, for they had gained insight in the matters that had been made known to them.

 Notes and References

"... It seems that the text underwent several modifications before it reached the somewhat unclear version of 1 Esdras. The original of Nehemiah 8:9 presented Ezra and the Levites as instructing the people and telling them that the day was holy and should be celebrated with joy. This text was secondly enlarged by the interpolation of “Nehemiah the Tirshata,” which introduced Nehemiah to the event and joined him to Ezra and the Levites as the instructors of the people. Two further changes were introduced in 1 Esdras. The unfamiliar title “Tirshata” was conceived as a personal name, Hattharates, and the name “Nehemiah” was omitted. In the present version of 1 Esdras it is not Ezra and the Levites who instruct the people, but Hattharates who instructs Ezra and the Levites ... Two features mark the day as a day of joy: eating and drinking well, and sending gifts to the poor. These features mark the festive day also in Esther 9:22 ..."

Wright, Benjamin G. Outside the Bible: Ancient Jewish Writings Related to Scripture (pp. 207-208) The Jewish Publication Society, 2013

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