Esther

Book of Esther. Chapter 3

   

1 After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who [were] with him.

2 And all the king's servants who [were] within the king's gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.

3 Then the king's servants who [were] within the king's gate said to Mordecai, "Why do you transgress the king's command?"

4 Now it happened, when they spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told [it] to Haman, to see whether Mordecai's words would stand; for [Mordecai] had told them that he [was] a Jew.

5 When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.

6 But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who [were] throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus -- the people of Mordecai.

7 In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that [is,] the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, until [it fell on the] twelfth [month,] which [is] the month of Adar.

8 Then Haman said to King Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws [are] different from all [other] people's, and they do not keep the king's laws. Therefore it [is] not fitting for the king to let them remain.

9 "If it pleases the king, let [a decree] be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring [it] into the king's treasuries."

10 So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews.

11 And the king said to Haman, "The money and the people [are] given to you, to do with them as seems good to you."

12 Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and [a decree] was written according to all that Haman commanded -- to the king's satraps, to the governors who [were] over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's signet ring.

13 And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth [day] of the twelfth [month,] which [is] the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions.

14 A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day.

15 The couriers went out, hastened by the king's command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.

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