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Ester 3

Hamans plan om at udrydde jøderne

1Kort tid efter forfremmede kong Xerxes en mand ved navn Haman[a] til premierminister, og han blev således den øverste mand i riget næst efter kongen. Alle kongens ansatte knælede ned og hyldede ham, når han gik forbi, for det havde kongen befalet. Men Mordokaj nægtede at gøre det, fordi han var jøde.

3-4 „Du må hellere adlyde kongens befaling!” sagde de andre ansatte til ham gang på gang. Men Mordokaj var ubøjelig. Til sidst fortalte de Haman, at Mordokaj ikke ville knæle ned for ham. 5-6 Haman blev rasende, men i stedet for kun at hævne sig på Mordokaj bestemte han sig for at udrydde alle jøder fra det persiske rige, fordi Mordokaj var jøde.

I den første måned, der hed nisan, i kong Xerxesʼ 12. regeringsår søgte Haman ved at kaste lod om dage og måneder at finde det gunstigste tidspunkt til at gøre det af med jøderne. Loddet traf den trettende dag i den 12. måned, som hed adar.

Haman sagde derpå til kongen: „Der findes et særligt folk blandt undersåtterne i kongens rige, som har deres egne love og traditioner og nægter at overholde perserrigets love. Derfor må det være i kongens interesse, at dette folk bliver udryddet. Hvis det behager kongen, bør der udsendes en befaling til alle rigets provinser om, at jøderne skal udryddes. Jeg anslår, at kongens embedsmænd på den måde kan indsamle 10.000 sække med sølv[b] til rigets skatkammer.”

10 Kongen gik ind på Hamans forslag og rakte ham sin signetring. 11 „Du må gøre, som du vil, med jøderne, og sølvet må du gerne selv beholde,” sagde han.

12 På den 13. dag i den første måned samlede Haman kongens sekretærer, som efter hans diktat nedskrev brevet til guvernørerne på alle de forskellige sprog, der taltes i riget. Derefter blev brevene underskrevet med kongens navn, forseglet med kongens signetring 13 og sendt ud til alle rigets provinser. I brevet stod der, at alle jøder, unge og gamle såvel som kvinder og børn, skulle slås ihjel den 13. dag i den 12. måned, og at deres ejendom skulle konfiskeres. 14 Brevets indhold skulle bekendtgøres som lov, så folk i hver eneste provins kunne være parat til at udføre ordren på den fastsatte dag. 15 På kongens befaling blev bestemmelsen først offentliggjort i regeringsbyen Susa, hvorefter sendebudene skyndte sig af sted til alle rigets provinser. Kongen og Haman satte sig derefter til at drikke. Men jøderne i Susa var rædselsslagne.

  1. 3,1 Teksten tilføjer: „søn af agagitten Hammedata”. Sandsynligvis er Haman efterkommer af amalekitternes kong Agag (1.Sam. 15), som igen nedstammer fra Esau. Amalekitterne havde altid været fjender af Israels folk, og den sidste rest af dem blev åbenbart udryddet nu.
  2. 3,9 Ordret: „10,000 talenter”, ca. 345 tons sølv.

New International Reader's Version

Esther 3

Haman Plans to Destroy the Jews

1After those events, King Xerxes honored Haman. Haman was the son of Hammedatha. He was from the family line of Agag. The king gave Haman a higher position than he had before. He gave him a seat of honor. It was higher than the positions any of the other nobles had. All the royal officials at the palace gate got down on their knees. They gave honor to Haman. That’s because the king had commanded them to do it. But Mordecai refused to get down on his knees. He wouldn’t give Haman any honor at all.

The royal officials at the palace gate asked Mordecai a question. They said, “Why don’t you obey the king’s command?” Day after day they spoke to him. But he still refused to obey. So they told Haman about it. They wanted to see whether he would let Mordecai get away with what he was doing. Mordecai had told them he was a Jew.

Haman noticed that Mordecai wouldn’t get down on his knees. He wouldn’t give Haman any honor. So Haman was very angry. But he had found out who Mordecai’s people were. So he didn’t want to kill only Mordecai. He also looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people. They were Jews. He wanted to kill all of them everywhere in the kingdom of Xerxes.

The lot was cast in front of Haman. The lot was called Pur. It was cast in the first month of the 12th year that Xerxes was king. That month was called Nisan. The lot was cast to choose a day and a month. The month chosen was the 12th month. That month was called Adar.

Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “Certain people are scattered among the nations. They live in all the territories in your kingdom. They keep themselves separate from everyone else. Their practices are different from the practices of all other people. They don’t obey your laws. It really isn’t good for you to put up with them. If it pleases you, give the order to destroy them. I’ll even add 375 tons of silver to the king’s officials for the royal treasures.”

10 So the king took his ring off his finger. The ring had his royal seal on it. He gave the ring to Haman. Haman was the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite. Haman was the enemy of the Jews. 11 “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman. “Do what you want to with those people.”

12 The king sent for the royal secretaries. It was the 13th day of the first month. The secretaries wrote down all Haman’s orders. They wrote them down in the writing of each territory in the kingdom. They also wrote them in the language of each nation. The orders were sent to the royal officials and to the governors of the territories. And the orders were also sent to the nobles of the nations. The orders were written in the name of King Xerxes himself. And they were stamped with his own official mark. 13 They were carried by messengers. They were sent to all the king’s territories. The orders commanded people to destroy, kill and wipe out all the Jews. That included young people and old people alike. It included women and children. All the Jews were supposed to be killed on a single day. That day was the 13th day of the 12th month. It was the month of Adar. The orders also commanded people to take everything that belonged to the Jews. 14 A copy of the order had to be sent out as law. It had to be sent to every territory in the kingdom. It had to be announced to the people of every nation. Then they would be ready for that day.

15 The king commanded the messengers to go out. So they did. The order was sent out from the fort of Susa. Then the king and Haman sat down to drink wine. But the people in the city were bewildered.