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 <<  Ester 3 >> 

1Later, King Xerxes promoted Haman. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag.) He gave Haman a position higher in authority than all the other officials who were with him.

2All the king’s advisers were at the king’s gate, kneeling and bowing to Haman with their faces touching the ground, because the king had commanded it. But Mordecai would not kneel and bow to him.

3Then the king’s advisers at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, "Why do you ignore the king’s command?"

4Although they asked him day after day, he paid no attention to them. So they informed Haman to see if Mordecai’s actions would be tolerated, since Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew.

5When Haman saw that Mordecai did not kneel and bow to him, Haman was infuriated.

6Because the king’s advisers had informed him about Mordecai’s nationality, he thought it beneath himself to kill only Mordecai. So Haman planned to wipe out Mordecai’s people––all the Jews in the entire kingdom of Xerxes.

7In Xerxes’ twelfth year as king, Pur (which means the lot) was thrown in front of Haman for every day of every month, from Nisan, the first month, until Adar, the twelfth month.

8Now, Haman told King Xerxes, "Your Majesty, there is a certain nationality scattered among––but separate from––the nationalities in all the provinces of your kingdom. Their laws differ from those of all other nationalities. They do not obey your decrees. So it is not in your interest to tolerate them, Your Majesty.

9If you approve, have the orders for their destruction be written. For this I will pay 750,000 pounds of silver to your treasurers to be put in your treasury."

10At that, the king removed his signet ring and gave it to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. (Haman was the son of Hammedatha and was from Agag.)

11The king told Haman, "You can keep your silver and do with the people whatever you like."

12On the thirteenth day of the first month the king’s scribes were summoned. All Haman’s orders were written to the king’s satraps, the governors of every province, and the officials of every people. They wrote to each province in its own script and to the people in each province in their own language. The orders were signed in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s ring.

13Messengers were sent with official documents to all the king’s provinces. The people were ordered to wipe out, kill, and destroy all the Jews––young and old, women and children––on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. Their possessions were also to be seized.

14A copy of the document was made public in a decree to every province. All the people were to be ready for this day.

15The messengers hurried out as the king told them. The decree was also issued at the fortress of Susa. So the king and Haman sat down to drink a toast, but the city of Susa was in turmoil.

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 <<  Ester 3 >> 

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