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].
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