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Esther: Chapter 3

Haman, advanced by the king, and despised by Mordecai, seeks revenge upon all the Jews, 1-6. He casts lots, 7. He obtains by slander a decree of the king to put the Jews to death, 8-15.

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 in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman, for the king had thus commanded concerning him. But Mordecai did not bow, nor did him reverence. 3 Then the king's servants who were in the king's gate, said to Mordecai, "Why do you transgress the king's commandment?" 4 Now it came to pass, when they spoke daily to him, and he did not listen to them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai's matters would stand, for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5 And when Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow, nor did him reverence, Haman was full of wrath. 6 And he scorned to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had revealed to him the people of Mordecai. Therefore, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

7 In the first month (that is, the month Nisan), in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman from day to day, and from month to month, to the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar). 8 And Haman said to king Ahasuerus, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom. And their laws are diverse from all people, neither do they keep the king's laws. Therefore, it is not for the king's profit to allow them to remain. 9 If it pleases the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed. And I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those who have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king's treasuries." 10 And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it to Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy. 11 And the king said to Haman, "The silver is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you."

12 Then the king's scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and all that Haman had commanded was written to the king's lieutenants, to the governors who were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province, according to its writing, and to every people after their language. In the name of king Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king's ring. 13 And the letters were sent by posts into all the king's provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, even upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month Adar), and to take their spoil for plunder. 14 The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province, was published to all people, that they should be ready for that day. 15 The posts departed, being hastened by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in the palace of Shushan. And the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.