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1 After 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.

2 And 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.

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

4 Now 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.

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

6 And 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.

9 If 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.

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

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

12 Then 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.

13 And 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.

14 The 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.

15 The 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.

Commentary for Esther 3

Haman seeks to destroy the Jews. (1-6) He obtains a decree against the Jews. (7-15)

1-6 Mordecai refused to reverence Haman. The religion of a Jew forbade him to give honours to any mortal man which savoured of idolatry, especially to so wicked a man as Haman. By nature all are idolaters; self is our favourite idol, we are pleased to be treated as if every thing were at our disposal. Though religion by no means destroys good manners, but teaches us to render honour to whom honour is due, yet by a citizen of Zion, not only in his heart, but in his eyes, such a vile person as Haman was, is contemned, #Ps 15:4|. The true believer cannot obey edicts, or conform to fashions, which break the law of God. He must obey God rather than man, and leave the consequences to him. Haman was full of wrath. His device was inspired by that wicked spirit, who has been a murderer from the beginning; whose enmity to Christ and his church, governs all his children.

7-15 Without some acquaintance with the human heart, and the history of mankind, we should not think that any prince could consent to a dreadful proposal, so hurtful to himself. Let us be thankful for mild and just government. Haman inquires, according to his own superstitions, how to find a lucky day for the designed massacre! God's wisdom serves its own purposes by men's folly. Haman has appealed to the lot, and the lot, by delaying the execution, gives judgment against him. The event explains the doctrine of a particular providence over all the affairs of men, and the care of God over his church. Haman was afraid lest the king's conscience should smite him for what he had done; to prevent which, he kept him drinking. This cursed method many often take to drown convictions, and to harden their own hearts, and the hearts of others, in sin. All appeared in a favourable train to accomplish the project. But though sinners are permitted to proceed to the point they aim at, an unseen but almighty Power turns them back. How vain and contemptible are the strongest assaults against Jehovah! Had Haman obtained his wish, and the Jewish nation perished, what must have become of all the promises? How could the prophecies concerning the great Redeemer of the world have been fulfilled? Thus the everlasting covenant itself must have failed, before this diabolical project could take place.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Esther 3

  • Allen Arowood
    It shows me the provision and protection of God for his people. If God be for us who can be against us. God is protecting us even when we can't see any danger. Praise be to God.
  • BSP
    This verse shows how wicked Haman really was. He didn't want to just kill Mordecai, but he wanted to kill all of the Jews. He abused his new found power, but God was watching and made sure that the evil he planend came back upon his own head.
  • Donald
    I think that Esther was chosen and set aside by God to do a work just like he still does today if we allow him to use us. We are not always willing to do the work that God has planned for us. It seems that we know Gods timing better than he does and are not willing to wait for God to give us the go ahead.
  • Bryan McCloud
    We shouldn't bow down and give reverance to no Man, but God. Praise ye the Lord.
  • Ngaire
    13th June Netanyaho gave Obama a copy of the book of Esther See Chapter 3 verse 13 book of Esther
  • JOYCE bake
    we are studing esther in bible class it is a story of perverance
  • Steven Hines
    Esther represents the purity of the Jewish believer in the eyes of the world therefore she is envied She continues the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham and this parallels Genesis 50 20 and the story of Joseph It is the work of God to take a curse and turn it into a blessing Galatians 3 13 II Cor 5 21 It is absurd to wish ill on the world however when Jesus said Love your enemies bless those who curse you do good to those who hate you and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you Matt 5 44 Christians are changing the curse into a blessing by obedience not wrath Love
  • Pam
    Thanks Clint for your good word. Praise God for Esther. God allow her to be there to use her help to save the Jews. Praise the Lord. Romans 8:28

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Bible Trivia

In the time of Esther and Mordecai, what was the name of the king's wicked manager who wanted to kill the Jews?
  • Herod
  • Ahab
  • Haman
  • Joab