Esther 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Haman Plans to Destroy the Jews
3 After these ·things happened [events], King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] ·honored [promoted; L made great] Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite [C a descendant of King Agag of the Amalekites, the hated enemies of Israel (which Saul failed to eradicate; 1 Sam. 15); Ex. 17:8–15; Deut. 23:3–6]. He ·gave him a new rank that was [exalted/elevated him] ·higher than [above] all the ·important men [nobles; officials]. 2 All the ·royal officers [king’s ministers; officials] at the king’s gate would bow down and ·kneel before [pay homage to] Haman, as the king had ·ordered [commanded]. But Mordecai would not bow down or ·show him honor [pay him homage; C because he was a hated Amalekite].
3 Then the ·royal officers [ministers; officials] at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why don’t you obey the king’s command?” 4 And they said this to him every day. When he did not listen to them, they told Haman. They wanted to see if Haman would ·accept [tolerate; L let stand] Mordecai’s behavior because Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down to him or ·honor [pay homage to] him, he became ·very angry [enraged]. 6 He ·thought of himself as too important [disdained; thought it beneath him] to ·try to kill [lay hands on] only Mordecai. He had been told who the people of Mordecai were, so he looked for a way to destroy all of Mordecai’s people, the Jews, in all of ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] ·kingdom [empire].
7 It was in the first month [C April] of the twelfth year [C about 474 bc; approximately a year later] of King ·Xerxes’ [L Ahasuerus’s] ·rule [reign]—the month of Nisan. Pur (that is, the lot [C dice-like objects]) was thrown before Haman to choose a day and a month. ·So […and; …until] the twelfth month, the month of Adar, was chosen.
8 Then Haman said to King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus], “There is ·a certain group of [L one] people ·scattered [dispersed and spread] among the ·other people [nations; L peoples] in all the ·states [provinces] of your ·kingdom [empire]. Their ·customs [laws] are different from those of all the other ·people [nations; L peoples], and they do not ·obey [observe; keep] the king’s laws. It is not ·right for you [in the king’s interest] to allow them to ·continue living in your kingdom [remain; L cause them to rest]. 9 If it ·pleases [L is good to] the king, let ·an order be given [it be decreed] to destroy those people. Then I will pay ·seven hundred fifty thousand pounds [L ten thousand talents] of silver to ·those who do the king’s [the officials who carry out this] business, and they will put it into the royal treasury.”
10 So the king took his signet ring off his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the ·enemy [persecutor; oppressor] of the Jews. 11 Then the king said to Haman, “The ·money [L silver] and the people are yours [C perhaps telling Haman to keep his money, or that he could have the Jews’ money, or that he could spend his money this way if he wished; see 4:7]. Do with them as ·you please [L is good in your eyes].”
12 On the thirteenth day of the first month [C April 17], the royal ·secretaries [scribes] were called, and they wrote out all of Haman’s ·orders [commands]. They wrote to the king’s governors and to the ·captains of the soldiers [high officials] in each ·state [province] and to the ·important men [nobles] of each ·group of people [nation]. The ·orders [edicts; decrees] were written in the ·writing [script] of each ·state [province] and in the language of each people. They were written in the name of King ·Xerxes [L Ahasuerus] and sealed with his signet ring. 13 ·Letters [Dispatches; Scrolls] were sent by ·messengers [couriers] to all the king’s ·empire [L provinces] ordering them to destroy, kill, and ·completely wipe out [annihilate] all the Jews, young and old, including women and little children. It was to happen on a single day—the thirteenth day of the twelfth month [C March 7, about twelve months later], which was Adar. And they could ·take [plunder; confiscate] ·everything the Jewish people owned [L their possessions]. 14 A copy of the ·order [edict; decree] was given out as a law in every ·state [province] so all the ·people [nations; L peoples] would be ready for that day.
15 The ·messengers [couriers] set out, ·hurried [spurred on; impelled] by the king’s command, as soon as the ·order [edict; decree] was given in the ·palace [citadel; fortress] at Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was ·in confusion [bewildered; in an uproar].
Esther 3 New International Version (NIV)
Haman’s Plot to Destroy the Jews
3 After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2 All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.
3 Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4 Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.
5 When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6 Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.
7 In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur (that is, the lot) was cast in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on[a] the twelfth month, the month of Adar.
8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; 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 give ten thousand talents[b] of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”
10 So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”
12 Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.
15 The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.