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Chronicles of Jerahmeel, by M. Gaster [1899], at

LXXIX. (1) But our ancestors served the kings of Media and Persia with great loyalty, for they neither did them harm nor oppressed them. It was only in the time of Ahasuerus that the memory of Judah was nearly destroyed through the enmity of Haman the Amalekite, because Mordecai, a descendant of Saul, who smote the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur, a distance of several days, would not rise before him. He slew more than 500,000 Amalekites, and put to the sword their men, women, and children, to the number of thousands of thousands. It was for this reason that Haman, who was descended from them, cherished that hatred against the people of Judah, and especially against the tribe of Benjamin.

(2) Now, in the days of Ahasuerus, when Mordecai was sitting at the gate of the king he discovered a secret plot of two Persian princes, Bigthan and Teresh, whom he heard whispering and plotting to sever the head of the king while he lay in his bed, in order to carry it to the Macedonian king, for at that time the Macedonian empire was warring against the Persian kingdom. This plot Mordecai revealed to Esther, and she in her turn to the king, who commanded this act of loyalty on the part of Mordecai to be noted down in the Book of Chronicles, as well as the reward due to him. When, however, these two chamberlains were hanged it incurred the wrath of Haman,.

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for they were his counsellors, and he, therefore, sought to blot out the name of Judah from under the heavens. But Mordecai discovered this plan of his and remembered the dream he had in the second year of the reign of Ahasuerus. (3) It was the following: There was a great earthquake, accompanied by a noise and the sound of wailing in the land, so that fear and terror fell upon all the inhabitants, and two immense dragons with terrible noise went against each other in battle, whereupon all the inhabitants ran towards the spot. Living among them was a small nation, and all the nations round about it rose up to destroy their memory from the face of the earth. On that day everywhere it was thick darkness, and the small nation, being much oppressed, cried unto the Lord. The dragons continued to fight furiously and nobody could separate them; when to! Mordecai saw a small brook of water passing between the two dragons, which separated them, for the brook soon grew into an overflowing river, like the overflowing of the Great Sea, so that it flooded the whole earth. The sun then shone upon the earth, and the small nation was raised to exaltation, while the proud ones were humbled, and peace and truth were restored in the world.

(4) Mordecai from that day always nursed that dream in his heart, and when Haman oppressed him, he said to Esther, 'Remember the dream I narrated to thee in the days of thy youth. Now arise, and, beseeching the Lord for mercy, go into the presence of Ahasuerus; stand before him in all thy beauty, and plead the cause of thy people and thy kindred.' And Mordecai supplicated to God, saying, 'It is well known and revealed to the throne of Thy glory, O Lord of the universe, that it was not from pride or haughtiness I refused to bow down to this Amalekite, but on account of the reverence I have for Thee I opposed him, refusing to bow down, for I fear Thee alone, O Lord of the universe, and would not, therefore, give Thine honour to flesh and blood; therefore, I would prostrate myself to no being except Thy holy presence. And who am I that would not bow down to

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[paragraph continues] Haman? Yet for Israel's salvation I would lick the shoe upon his foot, and the dust upon which he walks. (5) O Lord, deliver them from his hand, that he may fall into the pit which he has dug for us, and be caught in the net which he has spread (hidden) under the feet of Thy pious men, that they may thereby know that Thou hast not forgotten the oath Thou didst swear; for Thou didst not deliver us into captivity because Thou wert not able to save us, but because of our sins and our iniquities, for we have sinned against Thee. But Thou, our God, art mighty in salvation; therefore save us, O Lord, from his hand; in our distress we call upon Thee to protect us, and to stand up in our midst to fight those who rise up against us. Remember, we beseech Thee, that we are Thy portion; for of old, when Thou didst give the nations their inheritance, and when Thou didst separate the sons of men, we were Thy portion; the lot which Thou didst cast fell upon us to be chosen for Thy name. (6) Why, O God, should our enemies say we have no God? why should they open wide their mouth to swallow up Thy portion and praise their idols and vanities? We beseech Thee, O Lord, send salvation unto us; let them be ashamed of their idols and vanities, and let them place their hand upon their mouth and see Thy salvation, O Lord. Have mercy upon Thy people, and upon Thine inheritance. Do not close the mouths of those who praise Thee and proclaim Thy unity evening and morning continually. Turn our sorrow to joy and gladness, that we may live and give Thee thanks for the blessed salvation by which Thou wilt save us.' And all Israel cried unto the Lord for the trouble and sorrow which had come upon them.

Next: LXXX. The Beating of the Grave