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Haman Hates the Jews

Some time later King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite, elevating him and setting his chair above all the officials who were with him. All the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate bowed down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded it. But Mordecai would not bow down or pay him honor.

Then the king’s servants who were at the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why are you disobeying the king’s command?” Day after day, they spoke to him but he would not listen to them. Therefore they told Haman in order to see whether Mordecai’s resolve would prevail, for he had told them that he was a Jew.

When Haman saw that Mordecai was not bowing down or paying him honor, Haman was filled with rage. But it was repugnant in his eyes to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him the identity of Mordecai’s people. So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews, the people of Mordecai, who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus.

In the first month (that is the month of Nisan), in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast the pur (that is, ‘the lot’) in the presence of Haman from day to day and month to month, up to the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

Haman then said to King Ahasuerus: “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose laws differ from those of every other people and who do not obey the king’s laws. It is not in the king’s interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let an edict be written to destroy them. I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who carry out this business, to put it into the king’s treasuries.”

10 The king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman—son of Hammedatha the Agagite—enemy of the Jews. 11 The king said to Haman, “The silver and the people are yours—do with them as you please.”

12 The king’s scribes were summoned in the first month, on the thirteenth day, and an edict was written as Haman had commanded. Everything Haman commanded was written to the king’s provincial governors, and to the officials who were in every province, and to the officials of every people, province by province, according to its script and people by people according to its language. It was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s ring. 13 Dispatches were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, stating to destroy, slay, and annihilate all the Jews—from the youth to the elderly, both little children and women—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions. 14 A copy of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to all people, so that they would be ready for that day. 15 The couriers went out hurriedly with the king’s command and the edict was issued in the palace in Shushan. The king and Haman then sat down to drink. But the city of Shushan was dumbfounded.