Esther 3
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1  Some time afterward, King Ahasuerus promoted Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite; he advanced him and seated him higher than any of his fellow officials.

א  אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה גִּדַּל הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אֶת־הָמָן בֶּן־הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי וַיְנַשְּׂאֵהוּ וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת־כִּסְאוֹ מֵעַל כָּל־הַשָּׂרִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ׃

2  All the king’s courtiers in the palace gate knelt and bowed low to Haman, for such was the king’s order concerning him; but Mordechai would not kneel or bow low.

ב  וְכָל־עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר־בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כֹּרְעִים וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוִים לְהָמָן כִּי־כֵן צִוָּה־לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ וּמָרְדֳּכַי לֹא יִכְרַע וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה׃

3  Then the king’s courtiers who were in the palace gate said to Mordechai, “Why do you disobey the king’s order?”

ג  וַיֹּאמְרוּ עַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר־בְּשַׁעַר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְמָרְדֳּכָי מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה עוֹבֵר אֵת מִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

4  When they spoke to him day after day and he would not listen to them, they told Haman, in order to see whether Mordechai’s resolve would prevail; for he had explained to them that he was a Yehudi.

ד  וַיְהִי באמרם [כְּאָמְרָם] אֵלָיו יוֹם וָיוֹם וְלֹא שָׁמַע אֲלֵיהֶם וַיַּגִּידוּ לְהָמָן לִרְאוֹת הֲיַעַמְדוּ דִּבְרֵי מָרְדֳּכַי כִּי־הִגִּיד לָהֶם אֲשֶׁר־הוּא יְהוּדִי׃

5  When Haman saw that Mordechai would not kneel or bow low to him, Haman was filled with rage.

ה  וַיַּרְא הָמָן כִּי־אֵין מָרְדֳּכַי כֹּרֵעַ וּמִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לוֹ וַיִּמָּלֵא הָמָן חֵמָה׃

6  But he disdained to lay hands on Mordechai alone; having been told who Mordechai’s people were, Haman plotted to do away with all the Yehudim, Mordechai’s people, throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus.

ו  וַיִּבֶז בְּעֵינָיו לִשְׁלֹח יָד בְּמָרְדֳּכַי לְבַדּוֹ כִּי־הִגִּידוּ לוֹ אֶת־עַם מָרְדֳּכָי וַיְבַקֵּשׁ הָמָן לְהַשְׁמִיד אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים אֲשֶׁר בְּכָל־מַלְכוּת אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ עַם מָרְדֳּכָי׃

7  In the first month, that is, the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, pur—which means “the lot”—was cast before Haman concerning every day and every month, [until it fell on] the twelfth month, that is, the month of Adar.

ז  בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ נִיסָן בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ הִפִּיל פּוּר הוּא הַגּוֹרָל לִפְנֵי הָמָן מִיּוֹם לְיוֹם וּמֵחֹדֶשׁ לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר׃

8  Haman then said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people, scattered and dispersed among the other peoples in all the provinces of your realm, whose laws are different from those of any other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; and it is not in Your Majesty’s interest to tolerate them.

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר הָמָן לַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ יֶשְׁנוֹ עַם־אֶחָד מְפֻזָּר וּמְפֹרָד בֵּין הָעַמִּים בְּכֹל מְדִינוֹת מַלְכוּתֶךָ וְדָתֵיהֶם שֹׁנוֹת מִכָּל־עָם וְאֶת־דָּתֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֵינָם עֹשִׂים וְלַמֶּלֶךְ אֵין־שֹׁוֶה לְהַנִּיחָם׃

9  If it please Your Majesty, let an edict be drawn for their destruction, and I will pay ten thousand kikarot of silver to the stewards for deposit in the royal treasury.”

ט  אִם־עַל־הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב יִכָּתֵב לְאַבְּדָם וַעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים כִּכַּר־כֶּסֶף אֶשְׁקוֹל עַל־יְדֵי עֹשֵׂי הַמְּלָאכָה לְהָבִיא אֶל־גִּנְזֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

10  Thereupon the king removed his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the foe of the Yehudim.

י  וַיָּסַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־טַבַּעְתּוֹ מֵעַל יָדוֹ וַיִּתְּנָהּ לְהָמָן בֶּן־הַמְּדָתָא הָאֲגָגִי צֹרֵר הַיְּהוּדִים׃

11  And the king said, “The money and the people are yours to do with as you see fit.”

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהָמָן הַכֶּסֶף נָתוּן לָךְ וְהָעָם לַעֲשׂוֹת בּוֹ כַּטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ׃

12  On the thirteenth day of the first month, the king’s scribes were summoned and a decree was issued, as Haman directed, to the king’s satraps, to the governors of every province, and to the officials of every people, to every province in its own script and to every people in its own language. The orders were issued in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with the king’s signet.

יב  וַיִּקָּרְאוּ סֹפְרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם בּוֹ וַיִּכָּתֵב כְּכָל־אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה הָמָן אֶל אֲחַשְׁדַּרְפְּנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶל־הַפַּחוֹת אֲשֶׁר עַל־מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וְאֶל־שָׂרֵי עַם וָעָם מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה כִּכְתָבָהּ וְעַם וָעָם כִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ בְּשֵׁם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ נִכְתָּב וְנֶחְתָּם בְּטַבַּעַת הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

13  Accordingly, written instructions were dispatched by couriers to all the king’s provinces to destroy, massacre, and exterminate all the Yehudim, young and old, children and women, on a single day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month—that is, the month of Adar—and to plunder their possessions.

v’-nish-LO-akh s’-fa-REEM b’-YAD ha-ra-TZEEM el kol m’-dee-NOT ha-ME-lekh l’-hash-MEED la-ha-ROG ul-a-BAYD et kol ha-y’-hu-DEEM mi-NA-ar v’-AD za-KAYN taf v’-na-SHEEM b’-YOM e-KHAD bish-lo-SHAH a-SAR l’-KHO-desh sh’-NAYM a-SAR hu KHO-desh a-DAR ush-la-LAM la-VOZ

יג  וְנִשְׁלוֹחַ סְפָרִים בְּיַד הָרָצִים אֶל־כָּל־מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ לְהַשְׁמִיד לַהֲרֹג וּלְאַבֵּד אֶת־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִים מִנַּעַר וְעַד־זָקֵן טַף וְנָשִׁים בְּיוֹם אֶחָד בִּשְׁלוֹשָׁה עָשָׂר לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂר הוּא־חֹדֶשׁ אֲדָר וּשְׁלָלָם לָבוֹז׃

3:13   To destroy, massacre, and exterminate all the Yehudim

Usually, the Torah gives us the reason why an individual, or the nation as a whole, are punished. Megillat Esther, however, does not explicitly state what the people did to deserve the threat of annihilation. When viewed in historical context, it becomes clear that the Jews of Shushan were guilty for not having returned to Eretz Yisrael even though they had the opportunity to do so. After the Persian king Cyrus conquered the Babylonians, he allowed the children of Israel to return to the land of Israel and begin reconstruction of the Beit Hamikdash. However, a mere 42,360 returned to Yerushalayim (Ezra 2:64) while close to a million remained in Babylonia. The generation was therefore punished for their lack of enthusiasm towards returning to Israel, thus teaching us the importance of making every effort to embrace the land and to physically return to it whenever possible.2 comments

14  The text of the document was to the effect that a law should be proclaimed in every single province; it was to be publicly displayed to all the peoples, so that they might be ready for that day.

יד  פַּתְשֶׁגֶן הַכְּתָב לְהִנָּתֵן דָּת בְּכָל־מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה גָּלוּי לְכָל־הָעַמִּים לִהְיוֹת עֲתִדִים לַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃

15  The couriers went out posthaste on the royal mission, and the decree was proclaimed in the fortress Shushan. The king and Haman sat down to feast, but the city of Shushan was dumfounded.

 

טו  הָרָצִים יָצְאוּ דְחוּפִים בִּדְבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַדָּת נִתְּנָה בְּשׁוּשַׁן הַבִּירָה וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן יָשְׁבוּ לִשְׁתּוֹת וְהָעִיר שׁוּשָׁן נָבוֹכָה׃

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Comments ( 2 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • If I may I will comment in Spanish, my first language.
    Es extraordinaria la historia de Hadassah. Las huellas invisibles de la mano de Dios quedaron impresas en todas las páginas del Megillot. Queremos servir a Hashem a nuestra manera y en ocasiones actuamos como si nos hemos olvidado de sus grandes misericordias. Abba nos ama con amor eterno y como buen Padre, en su justicia tiene que disciplinarnos.

  • It’s not clear here how Haman manages to rise to his position of power to influence the King. It puts the position in a bad light. Haman is so determined to carry out his evil plan that he is willing to pay ten thousand talents to the king so that he can put them to death.
    The “Jewish Encyclopedia” offers more information about the lineage of Haman as an Amalakite.
    Moshe records for us that the Israelites were ordered to kill the Amalakites on sight because of their actions against the people in the wilderness. This was a commandment that was to be carried out in all generations.
    Because the people failed to complete this task throughout their history, the Amalakites have risen up time and time again to try and kill the Israelites.
    Baruch Hashem.

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