Esther Chapter 3

Esther Chapter 3 centers on a plot by Haman to kill the Jews.

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The Rage of Haman

Haman was honored by King Xerxes and given a very prestigious position above the other nobles in society. The nobles did honor him out of respect for both Haman and the king. However, Mordecai was obstinate and did not offer any particular feelings of good will towards him.

The royal officials would quiz Mordecai on his behavior. Once Haman found out about the lack of respect that Mordecai was showing to him, he became outright enraged. Mordecai, being a Jew, would not bow to Haman. Haman wished to kill Mordecai, but then thought differently of such plans due to concerns over what the resulting effects may be. Haman internalized his rage and wished to use the situation to kill all the Jews in the Kingdom of Xerxes.

Haman Plots against the Jews

Haman went to King Xerxes and told him that the Jews who lived throughout the kingdom were not loyal to the king. As such, they represented a threat to his rule and to the stability of the kingdom overall. Haman suggested that the king issue a decree to kill the Jews. In the decree, an offer of many thousands of pieces of silver could be offered to those who contribute to carrying out the order of killing them.

The king agreed to what Haman had suggested. He took of his ring as a symbol of the down payment required to carry out the task. It was noted on the 13th day of the 12th month, the month of Adar, the plan would be carried out. Messages were sent through all the provinces in the kingdom. The Jews, young and old, women and children, would be slaughtered. Shock went through the populace that such an order would be given.

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Esther 3 (King James Version)

1 After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.

2 And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

3 Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment?

4 Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

6 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

7 In the first month, that is, the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month, that is, the month Adar.

8 And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.

9 If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.

10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

11 And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

12 Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king’s ring.

13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to take the spoil of them for a prey.

14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day.

15 The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

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