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They are apprehended and hanged, and Mordecai's service to the king is recorded in the daily record of the court. Mordecai, who sits at the palace gates, falls into Haman's disfavor as he refuses to bow down to him.Having found out that Mordecai is Jewish, Haman plans to kill not just Mordecai but the entire Jewish minority in the empire.

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The first-century CE historian Josephus recounts the origins of Purim in Book 11 of his Antiquities of the Jews.

He follows the Hebrew Book of Esther but shows awareness of some of the additional material found in the Greek version (the Septuagint) in that he too identifies Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes and provides the text of the king's letter.

In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of the Biblical Joshua, Purim is instead celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as Shushan Purim, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar.

The Book of Esther begins with a six-month (180-day) drinking feast given by King Ahasuerus for the army of Persia and Medea and the civil servants and princes in the 127 provinces of his kingdom, concluding with a seven-day drinking feast for the inhabitants of Shushan (Susa), rich and poor, and a separate drinking feast for the women organized by Queen Vashti in the pavilion of the royal courtyard.

As a result, on 13 Adar, five hundred attackers and Haman's ten sons are killed in Shushan.

Throughout the empire 75,000 of the Jewish peoples' enemies are killed.

On the third day, she seeks an audience with Ahasuerus, during which she invites him to a feast in the company of Haman.

During the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening.

Mordecai warns her that she will not be any safer in the palace than any other Jew, says that if she keeps silent, salvation for the Jews will arrive from some other quarter but "you and your father's house will perish," and suggests that she was elevated to the position of queen to be of help in just such an emergency.

Esther has a change of heart, says she will fast and pray for three days and will then approach the king to seek his help, despite the law against doing so, and "if I perish, I perish." She also requests that Mordecai tell all Jews of Shushan to fast and pray for three days together with her.

Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordecai's refusal to bow to him; egged on by his wife Zeresh and unidentified friends, he builds a gallows for Mordecai, with the intention to hang him there the very next day.

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