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Esther 3

Haman’s Plot against the Jews

1 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him to a position above all the princes who were with him. 2 All the royal servants at the king’s gate bowed down and paid homage to Haman, because the king had commanded that this be done for him. But Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage.

3 Then the royal servants at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the command of the king?”

4 Day after day they warned him, but he would not comply. So they reported it to Haman to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, since he had told them he was a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down or pay him homage, he was filled with rage. 6 And when he learned the identity of Mordecai’s people, he scorned the notion of a laying hands on Mordecai alone. Instead, he sought to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the kingdom of Xerxes.

7 In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, b the Pur (that is, the lot) was cast before Haman to determine a day and month. And the lot fell on the twelfth month, the month of Adar. c 

8 Then Haman informed King Xerxes, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples of every province of your kingdom. Their laws are different from everyone else’s, and they do not obey the king’s laws. So it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9 If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will deposit ten thousand talents of silver d into the royal treasury to pay those who carry it out.”

10 So the king removed the signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep your money,” said the king to Haman. “These people are given to you to do with them as you please.”

12 On the thirteenth day of the first month, the royal scribes were summoned and the order was written exactly as Haman commanded the royal satraps, the governors of each province, and the officials of each people, in the script of each province and the language of every people. It was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the royal signet ring.

13 And the letters were sent by couriers to each of the royal provinces with the order to destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—and to plunder their possessions on a single day, the thirteenth day of Adar, the twelfth month.

14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued in every province and published to all the people, so that they would be ready on that day. 15 The couriers left, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was in confusion.



6 a Hebrew he disdained in his eyes
7 b Nisan is the first month of the Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of March and April.
7 c LXX were cast before Haman—a day and month—and the lot fell on the fourteenth of the month of Adar ; Hebrew were cast before Haman a day and month—the twelfth, Adar ; the month of Adar (also in verse 13) is the twelfth month of the Hebrew lunar calendar, usually occurring within the months of February and March.
9 d 10,000 talents is approximately 377 tons or 342 metric tons of silver.

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