Esther 8:11 (ESV)

11 saying that the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods,

Mordecai’s edict gave to all the Jews (not only those living in Judea and Jerusalem) the right to defend themselves against their attackers. The edict went no further than what was necessary for self-defence. Moreover, it was intended to parallel the first edict (Esther 3:13):

  • Both edicts contained the words destroy, kill, and annihilate.

  • Both included women and children among those to be killed.

  • Both edicts gave permission to plunder property.