16:15. But we have found that the Jews, who were by that most wicked man appointed to be slain, are in no fault at all, but contrariwise, use just laws,
16:16. And are the children of the highest and the greatest, and the ever living God, by whose benefit the kingdom was given both to our fathers and to us, and is kept unto this day.
16:17. Wherefore know ye that those letters which he sent in our name, are void and of no effect.
16:18. For which crime both he himself that devised it, and all his kindred hang on gibbets, before the gates of this city Susan: not we, but God repaying him as he deserved.
16:19. But this edict, which we now send, shall be published in all cities, that the Jews may freely follow their own laws.
16:20. And you shall aid them that they may kill those who had prepared themselves to kill them, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar.
16:21. For the almighty God hath turned this day of sadness and mourning into joy to them.
16:22. Wherefore you shall also count this day among other festival days, and celebrate it with all joy, that it may be known also in times to come,
16:23. That all they who faithfully obey the Persians, receive a worthy reward for their fidelity: but they that are traitors to their kingdom, are destroyed for their wickedness.
16:24. And let every province and city, that will not be partaker of this solemnity, perish by the sword and by fire, and be destroyed in such manner as to be made unpassable, both to men and beasts, for an example of contempt, and disobedience.
THE BOOK OF JOB
This Book takes its name from the holy man of whom it treats: who, according to the more probable opinion, was of the race of Esau; and the same as Jobab, king of Edom, mentioned Gen. 36.33. It is uncertain who was the writer of it. Some attribute it to Job himself; others to Moses, or some one of the prophets. In the Hebrew it is written in verse, from the beginning of the third chapter to the forty-second chapter.
Job Chapter 1
1:1. There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, and that man was simple and upright, and fearing God, and avoiding evil.
Hus... The land of Hus was a part of Edom; as appears from Lam. 4.21.
Ibid. Simple... That is, innocent, sincere, and without guile.
1:2. And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters.
1:3. And his possession was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a family exceedingly great: and this man was great among all the people of the east.
1:4. And his sons went, and made a feast by houses, every one in his day. And sending, they called their three sisters, to eat and drink with them.
And made a feast by houses... That is, each made a feast in his own house and had his day, inviting the others, and their sisters.
1:5. And when the days of their feasting were gone about, Job sent to them, and sanctified them: and rising up early, offered holocausts for every one of them. For he said: Lest perhaps my sons have sinned, and have blessed God in their hearts. So did Job all days.
Blessed... For greater horror of the very thought of blasphemy, the scripture both here and ver. 11, and in the following chapter, ver. 5 and 9, uses the word bless to signify its contrary.
1:6. Now on a certain day, when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them.
The sons of God... The angels.-Ibid. Satan also, etc.. This passage represents to us in a figure, accommodated to the ways and understandings of men, 1. The restless endeavours of Satan against the servants of God; 2. That he can do nothing without God's permission; 3.
That God doth not permit him to tempt them above their strength: but assists them by his divine grace in such manner, that the vain efforts of the enemy only serve to illustrate their virtue and increase their merit.
1:7. And the Lord said to him: Whence comest thou? And he answered and said: I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it.
1:8. And the Lord said to him: Hast thou considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a simple and upright man, and fearing God, and avoiding evil?
1:9. And Satan answering, said: Doth Job fear God in vain?
1:10. Hast thou not made a fence for him, and his house, and all his substance round about, blessed the works of his hands, and his possession hath increased on the earth?
1:11. But stretch forth thy hand a little, and touch all that he hath, and see if he bless thee not to thy face.
1:12. Then the Lord said to Satan: Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand: only put not forth thy hand upon his person. And Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
1:13. Now upon a certain day, when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine, in the house of their eldest brother,
1:14. There came a messenger to Job, and said: The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them,
1:15. And the Sabeans rushed in, and took all away, and slew the servants with the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.
1:16. And while he was yet speaking, another came, and said: The fire of God fell from heaven, and striking the sheep and the servants, hath consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell thee.
1:17. And while he also was yet speaking, there came another, and said: The Chaldeans made three troops, and have fallen upon the camels, and taken them; moreover, they have slain the servants with the sword: and I alone have escaped to tell thee.
1:18. He was yet speaking, and behold another came in, and said: Thy sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother,
1:19. A violent wind came on a sudden from the side of the desert, and shook the four corners of the house, and it fell upon thy children, and they are dead: and I alone have escaped to tell thee.
1:20. Then Job rose up, and rent his garments, and having shaven his head, fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
1:21. And said: Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.
1:22. In all these things Job sinned not by his lips, nor spoke he any foolish thing against God.
Job Chapter 2
2:1. And it came to pass, when on a certain day the sons of God came, and stood before the Lord, and Satan came amongst them, and stood in his sight,
2:2. That the Lord said to Satan: Whence comest thou? And he answered, and said: I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it.
2:3. And the Lord said to Satan: Hast thou considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a man simple and upright, and fearing God, and avoiding evil, and still keeping his innocence? But thou hast moved me against him, that I should afflict him without cause.
2:4. And Satan answered, and said: Skin for skin; and all that a man hath, he will give for his life:
2:5. But put forth thy hand, and touch his bone and his flesh, and then thou shalt see that he will bless thee to thy face.
2:6. And the Lord said to Satan: Behold, he is in thy hand, but yet save his life.