Haman Plans to Destroy the Jewish People
1After these things happened, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite. He gave him a new rank that was higher than all the important men. 2All the royal officers at the king’s gate would bow down and kneel before Haman, as the king had ordered. But Mordecai would not bow down or show him honor.
3Then the royal officers at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why don’t you obey the king’s command?” 4And they said this to him every day. When he did not listen to them, they told Haman about it. They wanted to see if Haman would accept Mordecai’s behavior because Mordecai had told them he was Jewish.
5When Haman saw that Mordecai would not bow down to him or honor him, he became very angry. 6He thought of himself as too important to try to kill 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’ kingdom.
7It was in the first month of the twelfth year of King Xerxes’ rule—the month of Nisan. Pur (that is, the lot) was thrown before Haman to choose a day and a month. So the twelfth month, the month of Adar, was chosen.
8Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain group of people scattered among the other people in all the states of your kingdom. Their customs are different from those of all the other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws. It is not right for you to allow them to continue living in your kingdom. 9If it pleases the king, let an order be given to destroy those people. Then I will pay seven hundred fifty thousand pounds of silver to those who do the king’s business, and they will put it into the royal treasury.”
10So the king took his signet ring off and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jewish people. 11Then the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are yours. Do with them as you please.”
12On the thirteenth day of the first month, the royal secretaries were called, and they wrote out all of Haman’s orders. They wrote to the king’s governors and to the captains of the soldiers in each state and to the important men of each group of people. The orders were written in the writing of each state and in the language of each people. They were written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with his signet ring. 13Letters were sent by messengers to all the king’s empire ordering them to destroy, kill, and completely wipe out all the Jewish people. That meant young and old, women and little children, too. It was to happen on a single day—the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which was Adar. And they could take everything the Jewish people owned. 14A copy of the order was given out as a law in every state so all the people would be ready for that day.
15The messengers set out, hurried by the king’s command, as soon as the order was given in the palace at Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was in confusion.