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.

New International Version

Esther 3:1-15

Haman’s Plot to Destroy the Jews

1After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles. 2All the royal officials at the king’s gate knelt down and paid honor to Haman, for the king had commanded this concerning him. But Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor.

3Then the royal officials at the king’s gate asked Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” 4Day after day they spoke to him but he refused to comply. Therefore they told Haman about it to see whether Mordecai’s behavior would be tolerated, for he had told them he was a Jew.

5When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. 6Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes.

7In the twelfth year of King Xerxes, in the first month, the month of Nisan, the pur (that is, the lot) was cast in the presence of Haman to select a day and month. And the lot fell on3:7 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have And the lot fell on. the twelfth month, the month of Adar.

8Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. 9If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will give ten thousand talents3:9 That is, about 375 tons or about 340 metric tons of silver to the king’s administrators for the royal treasury.”

10So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. 11“Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.”

12Then on the thirteenth day of the first month the royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. 13Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. 14A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day.

15The couriers went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa. The king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was bewildered.