Haman’s Plot to Destroy the Jews

After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite,(A) elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 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.

Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?”(B) Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply.(C) Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged.(D) Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way(E) to destroy(F) all Mordecai’s people, the Jews,(G) throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur(H) (that is, the lot(I)) 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.(J)

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(K) are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey(L) the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.(M) 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.”(N)

10 So the king took his signet ring(O) 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(P) 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(Q) 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(R)—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar,(S) and to plunder(T) 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.(U)

15 The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.(V) The king and Haman sat down to drink,(W) but the city of Susa was bewildered.(X)

Footnotes

  1. Esther 3:7 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have And the lot fell on.
  2. Esther 3:9 That is, about 375 tons or about 340 metric tons

The Parable of the Bags of Gold(A)

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey,(B) who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability.(C) Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.(D) 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.(E) Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.(F) Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.(G) 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’(H)

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.

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