Esther 3

1Haman, advanced by the king, hath great respect paid him by all but Mordecai, on whose account he seeketh revenge upon the whole Jewish nation. 7He casteth lots to fix the time for executing his purposes. 8By falsely accusing the Jews he obtaineth a commission from the king to destroy them.

1AFTER these things 1did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the 2Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat 3above all the princes that were with him.

1 That is, he promoted him above all the princes and peers of his realm, as is shown in the following words of the verse.

2 Some perceive that Haman came from the race of Agag, king of the Amalekites, of whom we may read in 1 Sam. 15:8. See likewise Exod. 14:17; Num. 24:7.

3 That is, above the seats of all the princes, 2 Kings 25:28.

2And 4all the king's servants, that were in the king’s gate, 5bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded 6concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.

4 Understand here, all the courtiers, or those who were of the king’s lifeguard.

5 Showing him an improper, unwarranted Persian honor, about which Mordecai made a matter of conscience to imitate them. Especially, as some perceive, since he knew that this Haman was an Amalekite.

6 Or, of him.

3Then the king's servants, which were in the king's gate, said unto Mordecai, 7Why transgressest thou the king's commandment?

7 See verse 2.

4Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not 8unto them, that they told Haman, to see 9whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for 10he had told them 11that he was a Jew.

8 That is, obeyed them not, nor was any whit moved by their speaking to him or admonishing of him.

9 That is, whether he would continue steadfast in his religion and whether he would henceforward refuse to bow before Haman or not.

10 Namely, when they asked him, why he obeyed not the king’s commandment in bowing down before Haman.

11 To whom it was unlawful to worship a man, for God had forbidden to worship creatures, Deut. 6:13; 10:12, 20; 17:3; Mat. 4:10; Luke 4:8.

5And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath.

6And he 12thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai 13alone; for they had shewed him the 14people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.

12 That is, he thought it too low and contemptible a thing, and not worth the labor to take away only Mordecai’s life.

13 Namely, to kill him. Also likewise Esther 2:21.

14 That is, his countrymen. Or, of what people and nation Mordecai was descended.

7¶In the first month, that is, the month 15Nisan, in the twelfth year of king Ahasuerus, they cast 16Pur, that is, the lot, before Haman 17from day to day, and from month to month, 18to the twelfth month, that is, the month 19Adar.

15 Agreeing partly with our March, and partly with out April.

16Pur or phur, is a Persian word, signifying a lot, Esther 9:24.

17 The meaning of these words is, that they cast the lot, according to the pagan Persian superstition, to know what day and what month would be the most suitable time to destroy all the Jews everywhere upon one and the same day.

18 That is, the lot came forth in the twelfth month, which pointed at the day on which they were to kill and murder the Jews.

19 This is a Syrian or Chaldean word, as it is written in 2 Maccabees 15:36. This month fell partly in our February and partly in our March.

8¶And Haman 20said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither 21keep they the king's laws: therefore it is not for the king's profit to suffer 22them.

20 Namely, before he cast the lot; for, this would have been labor in vain, unless he had first received consent of the king to destroy the Jews.

21 He therefore says this for the reason that Mordecai did not obey the king in worshipping Haman. And that wherein Mordecai alone had offended against him, the same does Haman here lay to the charge of all the Jews, and accuses them as if all of them together did despise and contemn the king’s laws.

22 Namely, in the kingdom or alive, but they ought to be destroyed.

9If it please the king, let it be written that 23they may be destroyed: 24and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands 25of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s 26treasuries.

23 Namely, all the Jews who may be found within the king’s dominion.

24 He promises to deliver this great treasure unto the king, that he may the sooner move him to give way that he may destroy the Jews.

25 He means the king’s treasurers, who would have the charge to receive the money.

26 Or, coffers, or, treasuries.

10And the king took 27his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews' enemy.

27 Namely, his seal ring, as may be gathered from Esther 8:8. The king did this unto a sign of the power which he gave to Haman. See verse 12; and the 55th annotation at Gen. 41 on verse 42.

11And the king said unto Haman, The 28silver is given to thee, 29the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee.

28 Namely, those ten thousand talents, which you have proffered to deliver into my treasury.

29 Namely, the Jews, whom you wish to destroy.

12Then were the king's scribes called on the thirteenth day of the 30first month, and there was written 31according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants,a and to the governors 32that were over every province, and to the rulers of every people of every province according to the writing thereof, and to every people after their language; in the name of king Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring.

30 Called, Nisan, verse 7.

31 This was, that on such a day, when Haman thought good, they would perform the king’s commandment, concerning the destruction of all the Jews.

a provincial rulers

32 Hebr. that were over province and province, people and people. Also frequently hereafter.

13And 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, which is the month Adar, and to take the 33spoil of them for a prey.

33 That is, to take away their goods, which are here called the spoil of the Jews, which is not so to be understood as if they had stolen, or had taken them away from others; but because others (namely, Haman with his own) would take them away from them, and rob them thereof.

14The 34copy of the writing for a commandment 35to be given 36in every province was published unto all people, that they should be 37ready 38against that day.

34 Or, contents.

35 Namely, by the princes and governors, every one in his dominion.

36 Hebr. in every province and province.

37 Namely, to fall upon the Jews, to kill and to destroy them, and to rob and plunder their goods, verse 13.

38 Namely, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.

15The posts went out, being hastened 39by the king's commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman 40sat down to drink; but 41the city Shushan was 42perplexed.

39 That is, by the king’s edict, concerning the destruction of the Jews, which was first put up in the palace of Shushan.

40 Hebr. sat to drink, or drinking.

41 That is, the inhabitants of the city of Shushan, but especially the Jews who dwelt in it, whose estates and lives were at stake. See Esther 8 on verse 15.

42 Or, troubled.