Esther 3:7-15

Haman decides to kill all the Jews

7 Haman asked his advisors when would be the right time to make this happen. He asked them in the first month of the year (Nisan), during Xerxes' 12th year as king. Haman's advisors threw dice to decide the right time to destroy the Jews. The dice chose the 12th month of the year (Adar). The dice were called ‘Purim’.

8 Then Haman said to King Xerxes, ‘There is a group of people who live in many regions of your kingdom. They have different customs to all the other people. They refuse to obey the laws of your kingdom. It is not good for you to let them live among all the other people in your kingdom. 9 If you agree, we should send out a command to destroy them. Then I will give 350 tons of silver to the king, so that your officers can do this work.’

3:9This was a very large amount of silver. Haman probably expected to take it from the Jews when he had killed them all.

10 The king took his special ring from his finger and he gave it to Hammedatha's son, Haman, the Jews' great enemy. 11 He said to Haman, ‘Keep your money. You should do anything that you want with these people.’

3:10Any law with the mark of the king's special ring on it had the king's authority. When the king gave his special ring to Haman, he was giving Haman his royal authority.

12 On the 13th day of the first month, Haman asked the king's secretaries to come to him. They wrote Haman's commands in letters to the king's rulers and officers in every region. They wrote the letters in the languages that people spoke in the different regions. Haman used the authority of King Xerxes and he marked the letters with the king's special ring.

3:12Haman used the king's authority to send the letters to destroy the Jews. But the king did not know that it was the Jews that Haman wanted to destroy. And he did not know that Queen Esther was a Jew.

13 Men delivered the letters to all the regions of the kingdom. Haman's command said that on the 13th day of the 12th month (Adar) people should completely destroy and kill all the Jews. They should kill old people and young people, women and children. Then they should take all the Jews' valuable things for themselves. 14 Haman sent copies of his command to every region, so that it would be read aloud to the people. Everyone would know what the law said, and everyone would be ready on the right day.

15 King Xerxes told his men to take the letters quickly to all the people. They also read the law to the people in Susa city. Then Haman and the king sat down to drink wine together. But the people in the city were very upset.