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נִקְהֲלוּ הַיְּהוּדִים בְּעָרֵיהֶם בְּכָל־מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֳחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ לִשְׁלֹחַ יָד בִּמְבַקְשֵׁי רָעָתָם וְאִישׁ לֹא־עָמַד לִפְנֵיהֶם כִּי־נָפַל פַּחְדָּם עַל־כָּל־הָעַמִּים׃ (Ester 9.5

Throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, the Jews mustered in their cities to attack those who sought their hurt; and no one could withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen upon all the peoples.

(I don't feel the English translation really say that nobody opposed them).

וַיַּכּוּ הַיְּהוּדִים בְּכָל־אֹיְבֵיהֶם מַכַּת־חֶרֶב וְהֶרֶג וְאַבְדָן וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְשֹׂנְאֵיהֶם כִּרְצוֹנָם׃

So the Jews struck at their enemies with the sword, slaying and destroying; they wreaked their will upon their enemies.

So I'm trying to visualize the events: did the enemies strike first or the Jews freely killed their enemies that didn't fight back?

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Esther 8:11

that the king had given to the Jews who are in every city, [the right] to assemble and to protect themselves, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish the entire host of every people and province that oppress them

They had to wait to be attacked and then wipe out the attackers. One could say that the haters thought that the Jews could not fight back even though they had permission to do so.

Similarly Esther 9:2

to lay hand on those who sought to harm them

Once the Jews began to fight no one could resist, but the fighting had started.

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