Esther Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Est 3
Haman’s Plan to Kill the Jews

1After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat of honor above all the officials who were with him.
  2All the king’s servantsa who were at the king’s gate kneeled and bowed down to Haman, for the king had commanded that concerning him. But Mordecai did not kneel or bow down.
  3Then the king’s servants who were in the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?”
  4Now it came to pass, when they spoke daily to him and he did not listen to them, that they told Haman to see whether Mordecai’s reason would stand; for he had told them that he was a Jew.

5When Haman saw that Mordecai did not kneel or bow down to him, Haman was filled with rage.
  6But he thought it beneath him to put forth his hand against Mordecai alone, for they had made known to him Mordecai’s people. So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even all the people of Mordecai.

7In the first month, which is the month Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, they cast the lot), before Haman from day to day, and from month to month. And the lot fell on the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
  8Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws are different from those of other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws, so it is not in the king’s best interest to allow them to remain.
  9If it pleases the king, let it be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who are in charge of the king’s business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

10The king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.
  11The king said to Haman, “The silver is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good in your eyes.”

12Then the king’s scribes were called in on the first month, on the thirteenth day of the month, and all that Haman commanded was written to the king’s satraps and to the governors who were over every province and to the leaders of every people, to every province in its own script and to every people in their own language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus, and it was sealed with the king’s ring.
  13Letters were sent by couriers 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 on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar, and to seize their goods as plunder.

14A copy of the document, to be issued as a decree in every province, was proclaimed to all the peoples, to be ready for that day.
  15The couriers went forth in haste at the king’s command, and the decree was given out in the palace-fortress of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was thrown into confusion.

Here “servants” are royal officials.

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