King James Version

Esther 3:1-15

1After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. 2And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. 3Then the king’s servants, which were in the king’s gate, said unto Mordecai, Why transgressest thou the king’s commandment? 4Now it came to pass, when they spake daily unto him, and he hearkened not unto them, that they told Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s matters would stand: for he had told them that he was a Jew. 5And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. 6And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that 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 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 keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them.3.8 for the…: Heb. meet or, equal, etc 9If it please 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 that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.3.9 that they…: Heb. to destroy them3.9 pay: Heb. weigh 10And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.3.10 enemy: or, oppressor 11And the king said unto Haman, The silver is given to thee, the people also, to do with them as it seemeth good to thee. 12Then were the king’s scribes called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and there was written according to all that Haman had commanded unto the king’s lieutenants, and to the governors that 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.3.12 scribes: or, secretaries 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 spoil of them for a prey. 14The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, that they should be ready against that day. 15The posts went out, being hastened by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given in Shushan the palace. And the king and Haman sat down to drink; but the city Shushan was perplexed.

New International Reader's Version

Esther 3:1-15

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. 2All 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.

3The royal officials at the palace gate asked Mordecai a question. They said, “Why don’t you obey the king’s command?” 4Day 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.

5Haman noticed that Mordecai wouldn’t get down on his knees. He wouldn’t give Haman any honor. So Haman was very angry. 6But 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.

7The 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.

8Then 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. 9If 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.”

10So 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.”

12The 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. 13They 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. 14A 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.

15The 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.